Posts in Category: Broadcast History

‘The Munsters’…Unaired Color Pilot And Some Surprises!

‘The Munsters’…Unaired Color Pilot And Some Surprises!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVaHtPWAVi8

What do ‘The Musters’ and ‘Leave It To Beaver’ have in common?

The two men that produced ‘The Munsters’…Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher…that’s what. They created ‘Leave It To Beaver’ and before that, wrote over 1,500 episodes of ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy.

Here’s another surprise…the show only ran for two seasons! Seems much longer than that doesn’t it? Season one started September 24, 1964 with 38 episodes. Season two ended May 12, 1966 with the 32nd episode.

The link at the top takes you to the color pilot of the show which is in two parts. Yvonne DeCarlo as Lilly and Butch Patrick as Eddie were added after the pilot replacing Joan Marshal as Phoebe Munster. Patrick replaced Happy Derman as Eddie. The screen credits are a couple of minutes in. Enjoy and share!

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Pretty Maids All In A Row…

Pretty Maids All In A Row…

Last month I posted the other four pix from this ABC event at Pebble Beach in the late 60s, but just found this fifth photo I had forgotten about. These are the dozen TK41Cs that Roone Arlidge ordered for ABC in 1966.

RCA had orders for a dozen more from production houses and TV stations that they had been holding till they could get a run of at least 24 and when the ABC order came, the did the last TK41 run.

On the left is the nose of a TK60 used for graphics and in the distance are a dozen Norelco PC60s.

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The Ultimate Mailbox For A Television Guy…

The Ultimate Mailbox For A Television Guy…

A friend in Indiana is in the used broadcast gear business and has put some of his obsolete inventory to good use. Enjoy and share!


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‘Queen For A Day’ ABC Hollywood

‘Queen For A Day’

Here is the ABC Hollywood crew for the show with a few of the iconic white ABC TK30s around 1949. One of the show’s telecast locations was the Earl Carroll Theater on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood and that’s where this photo was taken. In 1953, it was renamed The Moulin Rouge Theater and is called that in the show’s intro in the video below.

Ken Murray hosted the original radio version of the show on the Mutual–Don Lee Radio Network but on April 30, 1945, it came to ABC radio in New York City and when it moved, Jack Bailey became the host. A few months into the new show, it was moved back to Hollywood. The show aired five days a week, during the daytime and came to television in 1948. It was simulcast on ABC radio and television from 1948 -1955.

NBC picked up the show for national broadcast from January 3, 1956 to September 2, 1960 and it aired live at 4:30 EST. The show went back to ABC on September 5, 1960 and ran there until the final broadcast on October 2, 1964. Thanks to Chuck Pharis for the photo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao2FXUYpYOY

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‘Person To Person’…Edward R Murrow Visits Robert F Kennedy

‘Person To Person’…Edward R Murrow Visits Robert F Kennedy

Murrow’s fifth season of ‘Person To Person’ debuted the evening of September 13, 1957 at 10:30. His first guest of the new season was Julie London, from her North Hollywood home.

The final fifteen minutes came from the Kennedy home in McLean, Virginia where a four camera crew was set up for the live interview with lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, who was then Counsel for the Senate Rackets Committee. Robert and his wife Ethel, their five children and a number of pets appeared with Morrow.

Here’s a photo from that night taken as Murrow was wrapping up the London interview and about to throw to the Kennedys. The cameraman could be David Brinkley’s twin brother. Enjoy and share!

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July 31, 1995…The Circuit Is Reversed As Disney Buys ABC

July 31, 1995…The Circuit Is Reversed As Disney Buys ABC

Did you know that in the beginning, ABC invested in Disney?

In the early 1950’s, Walt Disney sought corporate sponsorship for his Mickey Mouse themed amusement park. Desperate to trump its more established competitors, the American Broadcasting Company, stepped in as one of Disneyland’s primary sponsors. Following a $500,000 investment to subsidize Disneyland’s construction, the ABC network received a 35% share of park profits and exclusive programming from Walt Disney Studios.

The sponsorship immediately paid dividends. In 1954 the ABC network began televising ‘Disneyland’, a series of hour long specials, which featured old Disney Films, studio documentaries and new Disney Studio features. The extremely popular Davy Crockett debuted on the Disneyland series, when “Davy Crockett, the Indian Fighter” aired in December 1954. The popularity of Disney programming boosted ABC’s ratings, and when Disneyland park opened in July of 1955, ABC aired the special event live.

Walt Disney continued to host the ‘Disneyland’ series, which was renamed ‘Walt Disney Presents’ in 1958. ABC aired the successful programs until 1961. A dispute over Disneyland profits and the ability to broadcast in color, pushed Walt Disney to move to NBC, where Disney hosted ‘Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color’, appearing on NBC until his death in 1966.

On July 31, 1995, Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC Inc. in a $19 billion deal. The rest as they say “is history”. Enjoy and share!

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Sports Television History…April 17, 1965

Sports Television History…April 17, 1965

In the photo, we see Leo Durocher welcoming Jackie Robinson to television in the brand new Shea Stadium. On April 17, 1965, Robinson became the first black network broadcaster for Major League Baseball.

In 1965, ABC provided the first-ever nationwide baseball coverage with weekly Saturday broadcasts on a regional basis. ABC paid $5.7 million for the rights to the 28 Saturday/holiday Games of the Week. ABC’s deal covered all of the teams except the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, who had their own television deals with NBC and CBS. The agreement called for two regionalized games on Saturdays, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Each Saturday, ABC would broadcast two 2 p.m. games and one 5 p.m. game for the Pacific Time Zone. ABC blacked out the games in the home cities of the clubs playing those games. At the end of the season, ABC declined to exercise its $6.5 million option for 1966, citing poor ratings, especially in New York. Enjoy and share!

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How Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight’ Show Theme Song Came About…


How Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight’ Show Theme Song Came About…

Today, singer/song writer Paul Anka turns 73, so in his honor, here is the backstory on a song we all know now as “Johnny’s Theme”

In 1958, Anka wrote an instrumental for Salvatore “Tutti” Camarata’s band which was called Tutti’s Trumpets. Paul named the song “Toot Sweet”. Tutti was actually the head of Walt Disney Records and started the legendary Sunset Sound Recorders studio the same year this was released and this was one of the first sessions ever recorded there.

After a lyric was added in 1959 “Toot Sweet” was re-named “It’s Really Love”, and under that title was recorded by Annette Funicello on her LP, “Annette Sings”. The is a link to the recording below.

In 1962, when Johnny Carson took over the NBC “Tonight Show”,
he commissioned Anka for a new theme song, via his company
called “Management Agency & Music Publishing, Inc.”

Anka suggested re-using this old tune and the project was technically a deal under a “work for hire” contract. Carson knew all about royalties and wanted to be listed as an author so, being a drummer, he said he would think of something to put at the beginning of Anka’s tune to “help author it.” That something turned out to be a little drum break before the band joins in. So for 6 – 7 years there was that one-bar drum break at the beginning of the theme. Eventually that little break was shortened even further to just one and a half beats.

So, on September 12, 1962, less than a month before his debut Johnny became an “author” of his theme for copyright purposes, and got not only a piece of the publishing royalties, but a composer’s share of royalties as well.

The co authoring offer must have been worth it to Paul Anka who once said he got $200 in royalties every time the show aired. Over the course of Johnny’s 30 year run, that would give Carson and Anka about $1,664,000.00 apiece. Not bad for an old tune that was re-cycled twice. Happy birthday Paul!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q816rn4Nq94 “Toot Sweet”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d38qNqc8N6k “It’s Really Love”

The Walt Disney company’s record label Buena Vista boasted both Mouseketeer singing star Annette Funicello and veteran composer-arranger Tutti Camarata, who …

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Now THIS Is RARE! NBC Studio 5HN…TK41 Equipped

Now THIS Is RARE! NBC Studio 5HN…TK41 Equipped

This is the only photo that I know of that shows a camera in NBC’s 5HN. I’ve searched my files for this photo for weeks and just found it last night. This is the breaking news studio on the 5th floor at NBC NY.

After the Kennedy assassination in November of ’63 caught all of the networks unable to go to air with a live, on camera report, NBC decided to make Studio 5H a full time, always hot studio and renamed it 5HN. I think it may have originally been equipped with at least one RCA TK30 which was always on and ready.

It was probably sometime after 1965 that the studio got an RCA TK41 color camera which would be replaced around 1967 with one of the two RCA TK43s RCA left behind after their one time use on the November ’66 midterm election coverage from 8H.

Although it’s use on the network was occasional, WNBC used this studio nightly for a 2AM news update. I don’t remember where this photo came from, but there was a note with it that says this was taken in 1973. If that’s true, I would imagine that once the TK43 wore out, it was replaced by one of the many surplus TK41s NBC had in storage. If you know more and are able to add to this, please do! Enjoy and share!

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ULTRA RARE! Inside NBC Radio Studio 6B In 1947…


ULTRA RARE! Inside NBC Radio Studio 6B In 1947…

Thanks to Alex Cumming, here is the only footage I have ever seen that puts us inside Studio 6B as a radio studio. This is our first and only trip into the stage side control room too.

This is the rehearsal, and later the broadcast of ‘The Bell Telephone Hour’. The conductor is Donald Voorhees, and the chief announcer is Floyd Mack. At around 15:45, announcer Tom Shirley steps in for a three minute Bell System spot.

The featured guest are singers Ezio Pinza and Blanche Thebom. This film was made to show in movie theaters as a promotion for the radio show. Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT6BN_GnnWI

See more from the AT&T Archives at http://techchannel.att.com/archives Note that audio problems from 11:25 – 11:40 were present in the original source materi…

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NBC Studio 6A…Before TV And After TV

NBC Studio 6A…Before And After, Side By Side

These two photos were taken from almost the same spot 18 years apart. This is Studio 6A in 1943 as a radio studio and in 1961 as a television studio.

Notice that even after the break of the lighter and darker parts of the stage floor, there is still a lot of room in the darker area which would have usually been behind the main set or a curtain. Barely visible on the back wall is a double door that opens into the back stage storage area. Enjoy and share!


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The Untold Story Of The NBC In House “Mobile Units”

The Untold Story Of The NBC In House “Mobile Units”

As mentioned in the post just before this, NBC was televising shows from a few of their radio studios before they were converted to TV studios.

This photo was taken in Studio 6A on October 5, 1949 during a radio-TV simulcast of ‘Break The Bank’. There were four in house “mobile units”…the red, green, blue and yellow units, and each had three TK30s and a set of portable scoop lights.

The reason “mobile units” is in parentheses is because these were hybrid units that didn’t use a truck. Instead, the cameras were cabled to an existing TV control room there in 30 Rock.

At the time this photo was taken, only 3H, 8G and 6B had been converted from radio to television, and by that I mean those studios had their own control rooms, a new staging area with the floor seats removed and overhead light grids. But, 6A, 8H, 3A and 3B did have TV camera cable connectors and were used as television studios with the images routed to other existing control rooms.

With these four in house units, shows could be done from all over the building and remember, many of them were only 15 minutes, so that meant a lot of locations were necessary to go from one to the next. With a rehearsal, some of the units could move between studios and be ready to go on another show in about an hour.

At times, these units were actually in service with a truck doing broadcasts from some of the many NBC theater locations before they were converted to television studios. On event that comes to mind is Bob Hope’s first NBC special on Easter Sunday 1950 from the Amsterdam Theater. Enjoy and share!

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NBC Studio 6A, Circa 1943…New Photos Just In

NBC Studio 6A, Circa 1943…New Photos Just In

Thanks to Alec Cumming, here are three new unwatermarked photos of NBC Radio Studio 6A just after it was built. A I mentioned yesterday in the 6B stories, 6A is a mirror image of B, with the on stage control room, observation deck window and twin double doors on the left wall instead of the right.

6B was converted to television in 1948. It was 1950 when 6A converted, but as early as the fall of ’48, some of the first ‘Chesterfield Supper Club’ television shows were being simulcast from 6A with one of NBC’s in house “mobile units” which each unit made up of three RCA TK30s on tripods and some extra floor mounted scoop lights. There were four units with three cameras each…they were color coded and referred to as the red, blue, green and yellow units with equipment marked with corresponding colored paint. More on that soon. Enjoy and share!



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And Away We Go! Gleason Moving To Miami…

And Away We Go!

Jackie Gleason’s last show from his longtime home at CBS Studio 50 in New York, aired May 23, 1964. After the summer break, the show debuted from The Miami Beach Convention Center on September 26.

Below is a photo of Jackie and well known gossip columnist Hedda Hopper on the train from New York to Miami. Gleason had done another famous train trip/tour from NY to LA, and like this one, it was a non stop party all the way. More to come in the next post!

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Can You Guess Who This Violinist Is? (Goldie Hawn’s Dad)

Can You Guess Who This Violinist Is?

Here are a few clues…

He is a descendant of Edward Rutledge, a signer of The Declaration of Independence. For many years, he was the conductor of Arthur Godfrey’s orchastra on his radio and television shows and conducted orchestras at several Presidential Inaugurations. He’s known Goldie Hawn all her life and even gave her her name. Who is this man?

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The History Of NBC Studio 6B…The Move From Radio To Television

The History Of NBC Studio 6B…The Move From Radio To Television

Before we start, here is a new, unwatermarked image of 6B in 1943 as a brand new radio studio. Beautiful isn’t it?

With today’s earlier post, I wanted to follow up with the history of 6B’s conversion from radio to television. Back in March, I did a 40 part series on the conversion history of all the NBC New York studios. From that series, here is the three part story on 6B.

By the way, 6A was converted May 29, 1950, two years after the 6B conversion which coincides with the June 8, 1948 debut of ‘The Texaco Star Theater’ with Milton Berle. Enjoy and share!

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=651267298244156&id=189359747768249 Part 1

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=651284151575804&id=189359747768249 Part 2

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=651292854908267&id=189359747768249 Part 3

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The Untold Story Of NBC’s 6th Floor Studios…Rare New Photos

The Untold Story Of NBC’s 6th Floor Studios…Rare New Photos

Information is hard to come by on this subject, and much of what I am writing comes from stories told to me by NBC veterans long retired. With the recent discovery of some rare photos from NBC Radio Studio 6B, I thought this was a good time to reveal this little known part of the 6th floor studio history.
Enjoy and share! Bobby Ellerbee

When NBC moved into their new home at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 1933, their radio studios occupied floors 2 through 9, with offices going up to the 30th floor. The executive offices of RCA were on 50 through 59.

In truth though, only five of the seven stories of studio space was in use. The 6th and 7th floors were empty. I think it was a cavernous two story open space and didn’t even have a 7th floor…it was all exposed beams and girders with a few work lights hanging here and there. To enter the space engineers and architects had to either take the freight elevator to the 7th floor, get out on a scaffold and climb down or use the stairs from the 5th or 8th floor.

As I understand it, the reason the space was left unfinished was due to the uncertainty over television’s development. In 1933, television was just moving from mechanical systems to an electronic platform. These were the days of the “Felix The Cat” tests, but those experimental transmissions were never done from 30 Rock.

In 1935, RCA took over NBC radio studio 3H and converted it to a television studio…the first ever “modern” broadcast studio. That’s about the time discussions began for the future of the 6th floor, but they moved as slow a molasses. Finally, by around 1939 television’s future was becoming a bit more focused, and it seemed that soon there would be a need to build studios, but things in Europe had brought some clouds and war seemed inevitable there.

RCA was shifting personnel into work on government projects like radar and many of the engineers came from the fledgling television unit. When the US entered the war in December of 1942, everything changed.

Plans for television were put on an indefinite hold, but radio was now more necessary than ever. Studios were operating around the clock as war news poured in and more space was needed, so in early 1942, construction began on Studios 6A and 6B.

To relieve the stress of war, both NBC and CBS added a lot of new entertainment shows with many of them based in New York. Studios 6A and B were built to handle big shows and both had seating for about 400 people.

It’s not documented or written anywhere that I can find, but photos I’ve posted here before suggest that these were designed as dual use studos. To convert them to television use, all you would have to do is remove the floor seats and add a control room and some lights, but for radios studios, they already had substantial stage lighting.

This brings us to these four new photos of Studio 6B from Life Magazine. Two of these pictures are from ‘The Gertrude Lawrence Show’ (she’s the blond) which started in 1943 and was one of the first shows ever to come from 6B. There is more detail on each photo, so be sure and click through them. Thanks to Snooks Higgins for sharing these.




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Dean Martin & Greg Garrison…A Match Made In Showbiz Heaven


Dean Martin & Greg Garrison…A Match Made In Showbiz Heaven

Thanks to a comment and link shared here yesterday by our friend Andy Rose, we have a unique insight into how Greg Garrison produced and directed ‘The Dean Martin Show’, and later, ‘The Dean Martin Roasts’.
http://www.newsfromme.com/2005/04/01/greg-garrison-r-i-p/

The link above it so an article written by Mark Evanier in 2005. Mark is a writer and from time to time, he would wander into rehearsals at NBC Burbank in the ’60s. Along the way, he got a first hand view of how the show was done and the one-of-a-kind relationship that Dean Martin and Greg Garrison had. It is a fascinating story of trust and ability from both men.

As you will read, Dean’s level of “casualness” goes far beyond what we ever have ever heard before. It seems that the usual modus operandi was for Dean to come in the day of the taping, watch stand ins run through the show. After that, he would put on his tux and do what they did while reading from Q cards. There were guest complaints, but there was a trust that Martin had in Garrison and the writers that made it all work…for nine years.

By the way, this video is of the first ever episode that aired September 16, 1965. The guests that night were Frank Sinatra, Bob Newhart, Danny Thomas, Jack Jones and Steve Allen, plus Diahann Carol and Jodie Heatherton. Jan & Dean were also on the show and sang “Little Old Lady From Pasadena”. Enjoy the article and clip and share this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgcCfMo1HcY

Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra Part.I Show Variety No copyright. Sin los derechos de autor.

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A Leisurely Stroll Down Memory Lane…WBOC, Circa 1964


A Leisurely Stroll Down Memory Lane…WBOC, Circa 1964

This video will start at the beginning of the television studios tour, but for engineering and radio fans, the tour starts at the transmitters and radio studios just before this.

WBOC is in Salisbury, Maryland and this twenty minute video has a very generous helping of RCA TK60 action from here on out. The visit to the control room is just after this segment and will bring back a lot of memories too! I hope you’ll share some of yours.

Thanks to our friend Bryan Durr at ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ for sharing this link with us. Enjoy and share!

http://youtu.be/DXEO37IwBKc?t=6m35sTake a behind the scenes tour of Radio TV Park, and see WBOC-AM, FM, and TV in action in this film produced by the station in the early 1960s.

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The First Color Picture I Ever Saw Of An RCA TK41…I Was Moved

The FIrst Color Picture I Ever Saw Of An RCA TK41

I was almost 13 when I first saw this photo and for a long time, I thought TK41s were light green. This was the front cover of an NBC magazine called ‘Star Time’ that introduced the 1963-64 fall lineup. If you sent them a postcard, they would send you one of these. Naturally, I sent two.

I can tell that this photo was taken at NBC Burbank by the shape of the viewfinder hood. They made their own custom versions in the shop there. The extra side vent is not unusual and some CBS TK41s had this too. This was and RCA aftermarket kit and came with vents for both doors. In the comment’s section is the full cover of the magazine. Did you have one of these magazines? NBC put these ‘Star Time’ magazines out for several years in the 60s and I think this was the first edition.

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You Mean Godzilla Was Just A Guy In A Rubber Suit?

You Mean Godzilla Was Just A Guy In A Rubber Suit?

Yes, but not just any guy! It was Haruo Nakajima who’s now 85. He was considered by most to be the best “suit actor” in Japanese monster movie history. He started in 1954 with ‘Godzilla’ and played the role, and many other monsters for 23 years. Nakajima retired from suit acting upon completion of ‘Godzilla vs. Gigan’ in 1972, Enjoy and share!


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‘ The Dean Martin Show’…September 16, 1965 – April 5, 1974

‘ The Dean Martin Show’…September 16, 1965 – April 5, 1974

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLwHtOzq2M4
If you watch this two minute clip, you’ll get the attitude of the show’s 9 year, 264 episode run, plus…a BIG surprise at the end!

An important key to Dean’s, and the show’s, popularity was the spontaneous, unrehearsed feel of each week’s production. Martin read his dialogue directly from cue cards and usually, if he flubbed a line or forgot a lyric, Martin would not do a retake and the mistake, and his recovery from it, went straight to tape and onto the air.

The show was done from NBC’s Burbank’s Studio 4 and was produced and directed by Greg Garrison. Among his Garrison’s first productions were ‘The Kate Smith Show’ and ‘Your Show of Shows’. He went on to produce and direct many television specials with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Donald O’Connor and many others. He was probably best known for producing and directing this show and ‘The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts’. He also directed one of television’s landmark 1960 presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

During the summer months, Garrison kept Dean’s Thursday night time slot hot with some very good guest hosts. In 1966, Rowan and Martin hosted a few of Martin’s summer shows which were so well received that it put them on the trajectory as hosts of one of television’s most memorable series..’Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In’.

As you see in the photos, the show started with RCA TK41s, but later graduated to TK44s around 1968. Enjoy and share!


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History With A Twist…Dick Clark Debuts A Landmark Song


History With A Twist…Dick Clark Debuts A Landmark Song

This video opens with Dick doing the intro in front of an RCA TK10 at ABC New York. This is August 6, 1960 and this is the first time ‘The Twist’ was performed on television, but this is not ‘American Bandstand’. It’s ‘Dick Clark’s Saturday Beechnut Show’.

‘American Bandstand’ was Clark’s hit weekday show, which aired after school from WFIL in Philadelphia, but on February 5, 1958 ABC gave Clark a 7:30 Saturday night slot on the network for the New York based Beechnut Show, which usually came from The Little Theater on West 44th Street in Manhattan, but for some reason, this night it was done from ABC’s studios on West 66th Street as you can tell by the bleacher seating.

‘The Twist’ was Dick Clark’s second venture with Chubby, and one of his first as a producer. The year before, Clark produced Checker on a novelty single called ‘The Class’ in which the singer portrayed a school teacher with an unruly classroom of musical performers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2zXff_8-6w

The song’s premise allowed Checker to imitate such acts as Fats Domino, The Coasters, Elvis Presley, Cozy Cole, and Ricky Nelson, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian Forte as The Chipmunks trio. Clark sent the song out as his Christmas greeting, and it received such good response that Cameo-Parkway signed Checker to a recording contract. That single became Checker’s first release, charting at #38 in the spring of 1959. Clark’s wife gave Ernest Evans his stage name by reworking Fats and Domino into Chubby and Checker.

Hank Ballard wrote The Twist and had recorded it in late 1958. The song became popular on a Baltimore television dance show hosted by local DJ Buddy Dean; Dean recommended the song to Clark. When the song proved popular with his audience, Clark attempted to book Ballard to perform on the show. Ballard was unavailable, and Clark decided to record the song with a local artist and who better than his friend Chubby Checker, whose voice was very similar to Ballard’s. Exposure for the song on ‘American Bandstand’ and on ‘The Dick Clark Saturday Night Show’ helped propel the song to the top of the American charts. Now you know the whole story. Enjoy the clip and share!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbK0C9AYMd8&feature=related

Chubby Checker – The Twist

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Now This Is Interesting….

Now This Is Interesting….

In all the photos I’ve seen of CBS Studio 50, I’ve never seen these “Stand By” and “Applause” signs on the proscenium as we see in the Western Union ad photo. Nor have I ever seen the audio control booth this close to the stage. There is a wide shot for comparison. Note Ray Bloch’s Orchestra is where this audio booth seems to be.

In the Lucy picture, you can see the booth where it was built in 1936 when CBS used this for a radio studio center. It looks to be at the end of the stage wing on the north wall, a good twenty or so feet from the proscenium. Anyone know when they moved the booth up? Enjoy and share!



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A Rare Bit Of Red Skelton History…September 27, 1960

A Rare Bit Of Red Skelton History…September 27, 1960

The marque on CBS Studio 52 in New York had intrigued me for a while. Red Skelton’s shows came from Hollywood so what was this all about? Well, with some digging, I’ve found out and it’s quite an interesting story!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5wFawVYeSs
At this link it the full half hour Season 10 debut of ‘The Red Skelton Show’ which is titled “Laugher, The Universal Language”. This show was done in New York as a salute to the United Nations fifteenth anniversary. Skelton was invited to perform as part of the celebration and the audience at Studio 52 is made up entirely of UN delegates.

To overcome language barriers, the show consists of several of Red’s top pantomime routines. As you watch, you’ll hear announcer Art Gilmore’s comments translated to French, because to add an even more international flavor, this was also broadcast in Canada over the CBC.

This gives us a rare glimpse into Studio 52 and I’m pretty sure that everyone is in the balcony, as all of the ground floor theater seats were taken out when CBS made this a television facility. Enjoy and share!

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45 Years Ago Today…Apollo 11 Splashdown: Day 9

45 Years Ago Today…Apollo 11 Splashdown: Day 9

Here is the final article of the Apollo 11 series written for Eyes Of A Generation by Jodie Peeler on this historic event, complete with videos. Our thanks to Jodie for a job well done! Enjoy and share!
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The conclusion of what was not only the most elaborate flight ever undertaken by humans, but the most complicated television programs ever aired, started around lunchtime EDT on July 24. The networks began their special coverage about an hour before the Apollo 11 command module would separate from its service module and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

Although the networks had their correspondents arrayed around the nation and world for reaction, in one area they had to pool their resources.

While competition was elsewhere, cooperation was the watchword aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, on station about 900 miles southwest of Hawaii, a gallant World War II veteran awaiting the arrival of three men back from the Moon. This was no ordinary splashdown, either: not just the return of the first lunar landing mission, but President Richard Nixon was aboard, taking a quick detour during a diplomatic trip around the world, ready to deliver a personal welcome home to the three astronauts.

Deployed with Hornet were dozens of technicians, camera operators, engineers and journalists whose job it was to relay the events back home. Underneath a 22-foot inflatable radome on Hornet’s flight deck was a portable satellite earth station developed by General Electric and Western Union International, beaming live color television pictures from Hornet to Jamesburg, California via Intelsat III. For the Apollo 11 deployment, ABC was selected to provide cameras and remote units.

Although the television pool aboard recovery ships was typically a two-man team, for this deployment all three television networks had newsmen aboard: Dallas Townsend of CBS, Ron Nessen of NBC, and Keith McBee of ABC. Mutual correspondent Don Blair handled the radio pool.

Experience with live recovery transmissions from deep in the Pacific during the Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 missions had taught the networks, GE, Western Union and the Navy a great deal. While the live broadcasts from USS Yorktown during Apollo 8 had numerous glitches and dropouts, increased cooperation and troubleshooting meant the live telecasts from Hornet went beautifully. Although Apollo 11 splashed down too far away from the ship to be caught on television, correspondent Ron Nessen relayed the happy words “They’re back from the moon!” to the audience at home. A giddy Walter Cronkite exclaimed, “Hot dog! There they are and they’re all right! Hot dog! Apollo 11 has made it!”

A little while later Hornet was close enough to the scene for cameras to capture distant pictures of the astronauts being hoisted aboard the famous helicopter 66 for the short ride to the ship. The cameras aboard Hornet captured it all: the helicopter landing, being lowered to the hangar deck, and then being wheeled back alongside the Mobile Quarantine Facility. Briskly the astronauts, clad in suits meant to quarantine them, walked across Hornet’s hangar deck into the MQF. About an hour later, after each had an initial medical exam and enjoyed a quick shower, the astronauts were welcomed home by President Nixon during a brief ceremony.

With the astronauts safely aboard Hornet, it was over – not only the epic journey of Apollo 11, but also the epic television programs that brought the journey to the people. The closing paragraphs of the CBS book “10:56:20 P.M. EDT 7/20/1969” sum up the final moments of the greatest television epic ever broadcast:

“At 3:25 p.m. the final credits began to roll on the television screen – a visual record of the people who had contributed to making television history during the coverage of the Apollo 11 astronauts’ epic adventure. It took seven minutes to complete the honor roll – the longest roster in television history.

“At 3:32 p.m. EDT, [executive producer Robert] Wussler and [CBS News Vice President Gordon] Manning shook hands around the control room, with [Clarence (Red)] Cross, [Joel] Banow and [Richard] Knox, their producer, director and associate director, then with CBS President Frank Stanton and CBS News President Richard S. Salant, both of whom had been in the control room throughout the four hours of splashdown coverage.

“There was an air of celebration in the studio and editorial area. Then everyone started to drift away. The most memorable week of television in their lives had come to an end.”

As this series of essays ends, I’d like to add a personal note: the opportunity to relive these historic days, and examine them through the prism of television history, has been its own journey for me. It’s brought challenges, but it’s also been a lot of fun. I’m grateful to Bobby for letting me share these little essays with you each day, and grateful to all who have read them, liked them, and made their own contributions. To all of you, my thanks.

Now, here’s some links with video. A Western Union International commercial from prior to splashdown, showing the satellite system deployed aboard Hornet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjJKSpF10GM

Re-entry and recovery as broadcast by ABC, with Tom Jarriel and Jules
Bergman:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNAcHNsZ57g



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At One Time, This Space Was Home To CBS Studios 41 and 42

This was the space formerly occupied by CBS Studios 41 and 42. I think this photo is from the early 80s and was probably taken when Donald Trump took over this space and re built two tennis courts here as the Vanderbilt Athletic Club. In 1966, a man from Hungary took over this space and installed a tennis court and an astroturf ski jump.

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CBS to Keep Colbert’s ‘The Late Show’ in New York

JUST IN! CBS/Colbert To Keep ‘Late Show’ At Sullivan Theater

First Story
http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/stephen-colbert-to-keep-late-show-in-new-york-1201267630/

Second Story
http://www.thewrap.com/colberts-late-show-staying-at-lettermans-ed-sullivan-theater/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=contactology

CBS to Keep Colbert’s ‘The Late Show’ in New York

CBS’ “Late Show” will remain in New York at the Ed Sullivan Theater with Stephen Colbert takes over hosting of the show next year, under an agreement announced on Wednesday by the network’s CEO Les…

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Follow Up…The CBS Mini Camera Strikes Again

Follow Up…The CBS Mini Camera Strikes Again

Here’s Walter Cronkite in a great 1957 publicity photo related to the upcoming inauguration of President Eisenhower. CBS would be deploying several of it’s new Intercontinental Electronics mini cameras at the event. As we saw yesterday, CBS first used these cameras for floor interviews at the 1956 political conventions.

After some digging, I’ve come to the conclusion that this camera was built in the US by Intercontinental using a 1954 design from France’s CSF Electronics, which was created in the late 1890s as the French subsidiary of General Electric. What we know today as the Thomson brand of electronics sprang from CSF. Enjoy and share!

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Classic! ‘Sammy Davis Jr. Show’ With TK41s From NBC Brooklyn


Classic! ‘Sammy Davis Jr. Show’ With TK41s

From NBC Brooklyn, here’s a clip from April 26, 1966 that opens with Sammy in front of a crane mounted RCA TK41. Behind the camera is NBC veteran Frank Gaeta.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXjKNl0C-AU

from April 22, 1966. thanks to fromthesidelines and wmbrown6 for the great comments and info on this clip.

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