Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Live From Hollywood…Jerry Lewis Takes Over The Camera

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Live From Hollywood…Jerry Lewis Takes Over The Camera

As mentioned in the prior two posts from today, both the CBS and NBC studios in Hollywood were tight on space for television, so that’s why this NBC telethon broadcast for the US Olympic Team on June 22, 1952 was done live from The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.

NBC had two shows with rotating hosts…’The Colgate Comedy Hour’ and ‘All Star Revue’ at this time. Abbott & Costello, Bob Hope and Martin & Lewis were west coast based hosts and their shows came from a small Radio City West studio until Burbank opened in ’52.

In relation to the ticket below, this tells us the NBC’s Color City in Burbank was still not ready yet, but by sometime between here and October 4, it would be operational. If it were, they would most definitely have put this show in Studio 1 there.

FYI, the other Colgate hosts in ’52 were Jack Carter from Chicago, Eddie Cantor, Donald O’Connor and Danny Thomas from New York.

http://youtu.be/7HOL0n3GdrY?t=3m32sDean Martin & Jerry Lewis on Bob Hope Bing Crosby US Olympic team telethon 22 June 1952. A lost treasure! This was filmed (kinescoped) while it was broadcast…
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CBS, NBC First West Coast Homes (With Video)

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CBS, NBC First West Coast Homes (With Video)

Before there was Television City and NBC Color City, there was CBS Columbia Square and NBC Radio City West. Both were originally built for radio and about a third of their radio shows came from Hollywood.

Columbia Square opened in April 1938 and television came there in 1948. The first network television show to originate from the west coast was ‘The Ed Wynn Show’ which came from Studio A…the same stage that would later be used to kinescope the pilot of ‘I Love Lucy’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kuQPbm4FwA
At the link is the Saturday, March 25, 1950 broadcast of ‘The Ed Wynn Show’, (a/k/a Camel Comedy Caravan) with The Three Stooges. The show was done live on the west coast at 9 PM and shown on the east coast, the next Saturday as 9 Eastern via kinescope.

Television came to NBC’s Radio City West in January of 1949 when KNBH was launched. NBC’s Hollywood studios opened in 1938 and served as a replacement for NBC’s radio broadcast center in San Francisco, which had been around since the network’s formation in 1927. Since NBC didn’t own a radio station in Los Angeles, the network’s West Coast programming originated from its San Francisco station (KPO-AM, which later became KNBC-AM, and is now KNBR).



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My Kind Of Weekend! Ultra Rare…Here’s The Back Story

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My Kind Of Weekend! Ultra Rare…Here’s The Back Story

Thanks to our friend David Schwartz, here is a historic pair of tickets from a great weekend of live television in Los Angeles. Most of us never think about it, but CBS’s Television City and NBC’s Color City both went into operation about the same time…in the fall of 1952.

We’ll start with the ticket from October 4, 1952. Although the Burbank studios were not officially dedicated till March 27, 1955, after studios 2 and 4 were completed, the facility began to be used in September of ’52. Studios 1 and 3 were in operation, and ‘All Star Review’ was one of the first shows to come from there with the start of the third season of the show.

When the show debuted in late 1950 as the ‘Four Star Revue’ with four rotating hosts, it was an all NYC production. In the fall of 1951, the first coast to coast broadcasts were done and NBC did a few ‘All Star Reviews’ from their Radio City West studios in Hollywood that second season which lasted into the summer of ’52, It’s sister show, ‘The Colgate Comedy Hour’ had a similar history, but a bigger budget and longer life. Bob Hope and Martin & Lewis did most of the Colgate shows with west coast originations in studio 1.

Over at the CBS Columbia Square studios, the radio hit ‘My Friend Irma’ had come to television and was being produced there starting in January of ’52. This was a weekly series which took up a lot of space with it’s multiple sets. Space was at a premium at the Columbia Square address, so it was decided that they needed to move this show asap as the ratings were climbing. As you will see on the ticket, this was the first show ever to originate from Television City. No one knows exactly when the first episode was done from TVC, but I don’t think it could be more than a month or two before this October 3, 1952 ticket. The official dedication of TVC was November 16, 1952.


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NBC Studio 3B…’The Doctors’, March 1973

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NBC Studio 3B…’The Doctors’, March 1973

Although I have posted this great shot of the RCA TK41s in action on the set of ‘The Doctors’ before, there is something new here…the date!

I just spoke with Glenn Mack again this morning to verify that this photo was taken in March of 1973 and it was. I had heard that NBC loved the pictures the TK41 made and so did Johnny Carson. Even after the TK44s came out Carson wanted to keep the 41s and did until just before the move to California. DeCordova and the director wanted the audience to get used to the different picture the TK44 made, so they went to the 44 about six or eight months before the move.

The TK44A came out in 1968 and the 44B (a better camera) came out in 1971. NBC, to pacify RCA, began to use some of the 44As on shows that had an audience, but kept the 41s in service on productions with no audience till at least 73, and maybe longer.

It would be interesting to know when the last NBC 41s were taken out of service. Anyone know? I’ve heard the ABC kept a TK41 backup sports truck till around 1978. Enjoy and share!


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The Jeopardy! Set…1973, NBC Studio 8G

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The Jeopardy! Set…1973, NBC Studio 8G

You can just barely see Art Fleming over the top of the RCA TK44 lens, but there he is, in about the same spot you would find Seth Meyer’s desk today in 8G.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bClXPNwLeCw
At the link, this the final daytime show hosted by Art Fleming with a great intro from Don Pardo. This was the episode 2,753 and aired on January 3, 1975. This show was done in NBC Studio 6A and I think that after it’s many years in 8G, they moved to 6A in 1973. The original daytime version aired on NBC from March 30, 1964 to January 3, 1975, then spawned a weekly nighttime syndicated edition that aired from September 9, 1974 to September 5, 1975 and Fleming hosted this too with Pardo as his announcer.

At 8:07 there are some favorite clips from the past 11 years and at 20:19 Art Fleming says goodby as “Smile” plays the show out. Enjoy and share.


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Behind The Jeopardy! Board…1973, NBC Studio 8G

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Behind The Jeopardy! Board…1973, NBC Studio 8G

While I’m in the Glen Mack folder, here’s a rare shot a lot of people liked when I posted it last year. There seemed to have been at least three board units like this…A, B and C. At this link, you can see the board in use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AJtYPKNBqg

Notice in the video, there is a closable curtain over the board which makes the change from unit to unit easier for the crew.

This actually quite a complex piece of equipment. In order for the dollar value card of each question to pop up and reveal the answer card, something had to happen with these tabs…I think we have the answer in the comments below from Mark Ogden. Enjoy and share!


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Walter Cronkite’s Desk…A Reproduction Coming Soon

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Walter Cronkite’s Desk…A Reproduction Coming Soon

This fall, Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Cronkite’s alma mater, will open a new exhibit in the Cronkite Museum that will include a replica of his 70’s era ‘CBS Evening News’ set, complete with cameras.

I am helping them with photos (like these rare shots of the set from our friend Glenn Mack), on locating equipment and with information from CBS veterans that were there. If you worked on this set, please message me via Facebook as we need all the help we can get.

In the photo with the green screen, we have determined that the map is a real relief map and, that although two different shades of green, this was indeed the chromakey background which I always thought had to be flat and one color.

The other photo is one of my all time favorite shots. This is what Walter saw as he sat behind the desk. The camera on the right is mounted on a rare German tripod that can be raised and lowered very quickly. You can’t make that adjustment when the camera is live, but you can do it between shots if you need to. We have located one of these tripods and two Norelcos, but need a pedestal.

If you have an old Houston Fearless TD 3, the lead counterbalance model, or TD 7, the pneumatic model, or and early TVP pneumatic pedestal, please let me know.

By the way, I think in this 1973 photo from Glenn, they techs are changing out the teleprompters from the ones that showed a video image of a long paper roll to the computer based character generated system. Any thoughts on this or any details of the set you can add would be appreciated.



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Wherrrrrrrres Johnny? NBC 6B After The ‘Tonight’ Move…

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Wherrrrrrrres Johnny? NBC 6B After The ‘Tonight’ Move…

The photo I posted yesterday taken from behind Johnny in 6B was from March 8, 1972. These two great shots were taken by our friend Glenn Mack a year later in March of ’73.

In Carson’s monologue of November 13, 1972 he said “this is our first show back in New York, since moving to Burbank”. So, beginning that Monday night, they returned for at least one week. Notice in the photo that shows the audience area, the ‘Tonight’ sound baffle panels are still on the band area wall. In the other photo, behind the camera with the lit tally lights, you can see on the floor, the outline of where the Homebase set was.

In that same photo, you can also see the huge column which supported the dimmer room, which has been removed now that ‘Tonight’ is back in 6B. Like all the other NBC studios at 30 Rock, this is a two story tall structure, except for the back rear third where the dimmer room is. You can see the end of the dimmer room just to the right of the column, but you can’t see the windows in it in this shot. Across the hall in 6A, that studio is a mirror image of B but the column is still there. I wonder if they will remove it too before Meredith Viera’s show starts there this fall?



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David Muir to Succeed Diane Sawyer as ‘ABC World News’ Anchor

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In Case You Missed It…Diane Sawyer Stepping Down As Anchor

Last night, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer announced her departure from the nightly anchor duties to pursue more in depth reporting for ABC. The very capable David Muir will replace her. More at the link.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/business/media/david-muir-to-succeed-diane-sawyer-as-world-news-anchor.html?_r=0

David Muir to Succeed Diane Sawyer as ‘ABC World News’ Anchor

The news division said it would give George Stephanopoulos responsibility for breaking news and elections, while Ms. Sawyer will focus on investigations.
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Johnny Carson In NBC’s Studio 6B…

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Johnny Carson In NBC’s Studio 6B…

This photo is from March 8, 1972. This would be from the last days of the ‘Tonight’ show with Johnny hosting from New York. The show began in Burbank on May 1, 1972, but I think Johnny actually left for LA in early April and had guest hosts and some reruns to bridge the gap. I have heard that Ed McMahon actually hosted the last week of the show from New York, but am not certain. Anyone know more? Any ‘Tonight’ veterans among us? Got stories?


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The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson Era in New York

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Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight’ Show…From Vanity Fair

This is a very fine article from February’s Vanity Fair Magazine written on the occasion of the ‘Tonight’ show’s return to New York. It’s a very intimate and in depth look at Johnny Carson and his years as host of the show in New York and in Los Angeles, but centers on the 30 Rock years in 6B. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did! Read on…

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2014/02/johnny-carson-the-tonight-show

The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson Era in New York

Sam Kashner reports on the New York period of the late-night show, which lasted from 1962 to 1972.
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On A Personal Note…June 25, 2002 – June 25, 2014…My Little Jack Came Home…

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On A Personal Note…

June 25, 2002 – June 25, 2014…My Little Jack Came Home

Twelve years ago today, my then six week old puppy, Jack came home with me and my other dog, Jessie for the first time. I took video that day and the last few seconds are included here. This afternoon, Jack came home with me for the last time. I just picked up the urn and he’s at rest here at home with Jessie and Rascal.

When it’s time for me to exit, I want their ashes mixed with mine and scattered in neck deep water in the Atlantic in front of my former beachfront home at 2030 N. Ocean Drive in Ft. Lauderdale where I lived and swam in the ocean every morning and night for several years. Thank you to the hundreds that liked and commented on Jack’s passing Monday afternoon.[fb_vid id=”694191347285084″]
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Marilyn Monroe’s First Television Appearance…September 13, 1953

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Marilyn Monroe’s First Television Appearance…September 13, 1953

In the Comment section below, you’ll see the gift Jack Benny gave Marilyn for appearing on his show. She was reluctant and didn’t really want to do it because on live television, to many things could go wrong, but the “gift” helped, as did the studio executives who saw this as a great promo for her new movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” which went into general release in August of ’53.

This was the first show of Benny’s fourth season and having lost thirty percent of his audience in the third season, he was anxious to step up the guest star power. It worked and the ratings zoomed.

As an interesting side note on this clip, which is part of a sketch called ‘The Trip To Honolulu’, the pretty (but chubby) blond we see at the start is Barbara Pepper. Barbara was a good friend of Lucille Ball’s and was the person Lucy wanted to play the part of Ethel Mertz. Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vhQqJXJz-o

On September 13, 1953 The Jack Benny Show episode with Marilyn Monroe aired on CBS. I really enjoy this episode! Marilyn is such a sweetheart and did a great…
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CBS Field Sequential Cameras…Modified RCA TK10 Monochromes

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CBS Field Sequential Cameras…Modified RCA TK10 Monochromes

In a nutshell, the Field Sequential System colorcasts were actually black and white pictures transmitted with a sync code which would synchronize the home receiver wheel with the broadcast wheel. In the color photo, we see a reproduction of the wheel that went in front to the home receiver screen and on the close up of the camera, we see behind the lens the color disc that sort of generated the color picture to be transmitted.

Here is a very simplified description of how this worked. The image is scanned at 144 fields per second. Each field is one complete image of either red, blue and green. As each field scans down the screen, the color wheel places the correct filter in front of the tube. After six fields have scanned, and the wheel has made one complete rotation, a complete color frame has been formed. The color frame rate is 24 frames per second, same as film. The wheel is spinning in perfect time to the video color frame period and is turning 24 times per second, which is 1,440 RPM.

On the original 1949 wheel design from Dr. Goldmark, who invented the system, there were two color wheels with half of it clear so that when black and white programs aired, the clear portion would lock in place on the camera and the receiver. This was too difficult to do, so the system went to a single color wheel that was used in the historic telecast sixty three years ago today. Enjoy and share!




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June 25, 1951…The First Commercial Colorcast Is Done By CBS

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June 25, 1951…The First Commercial Colorcast Is Done By CBS

Sixty three years ago today, the first commercial color telecast took place as CBS transmitted a one-hour special from New York to four other cities.The whole story and 20 rare photos are at this link
http://www.eyesofageneration.com/Archives_CBS_Color.php

Although there is not a lot of information CBS Studio 57, we do know that it was so hot that day, the floors buckled in a few places. The facility was also known as The Pace Theater and was located at 1280 Fifth Avenue. I think this studio was the home of all the CBS Field Sequential Color testing and after the RCA Dot Sequential Color System won, CBS left there around 1953.

As you will see in the article, there appears to have been three modified RCA TK10s in use as Field Sequential Color cameras…more on this in the next post. Enjoy and share!

Television cameras were the Eyes Of A Generation; this is Television history the way they saw it

Television’s living history.
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Just For Fun, A Little Of Me…

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Just For Fun, A Little Of Me…’Squidbillies’ Unveil Major Concert Lineup

Today the line up of this year’s Music Midtown festival was announced on the internet with this little diddy from me and the other characters of my show. ‘The Squidbillies’. I am the voice of Sheriff and our 8th season on Adult Swim starts in September. Yahoo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfD1RVb0BTQ


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History’s First Marriage Of Recorded Sight And Sound…Circa 1894

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History’s First Marriage Of Recorded Sight And Sound…Circa 1894

From the inception of motion pictures, various inventors attempted to unite sight and sound through “talking” motion pictures. The Edison Company is known to have experimented with this as early as the fall of 1894 under the supervision of W. K. L. Dickson with a film known today as the Dickson Experimental Sound Film. The film shows a man, who may possibly be Dickson, playing violin before a phonograph horn as two men dance.

By the spring of 1895, Edison was offering Kinetophones (see photo in Comment Section), which were film projector boxes with phonographs inside their cabinets. The viewer would look into the peep-holes of the Kinetoscope to watch the motion picture while listening to the accompanying phonograph through two rubber ear tubes connected to the machine.

While the pictures and sound appeared together, they were not what we would consider synchronous. Although the initial novelty of the machine drew attention, the decline of the Kinetoscope business and Dickson’s departure from Edison ended any further work on the Kinetophone for 18 years. This was most likely shot at the Edison Studios in Bronx, New York.

In this clip, you will see text that explains the discovery of the lost pieces of this puzzle and how it was restored. Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6b0wpBTR1s

This short film was a test for Edison’s “Kinetophone” project, the first attempt in history to record sound and moving image in synchronization. This was an …
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Follow Up…Inside The RCA A500 Iconoscope Camera

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Follow Up…Inside The RCA A500 Iconoscope Camera

A few days back, I posted a rare color photo of the RCA A500 in use in NBC’s Studio 3H in the early 1940s. Here is the patent application diagram that shows the inside of the camera. On the left is the lens housing and on the right, the rear of the camera with it’s dual viewfinder ports.

The reason it had two viewfinder ports was so that when the camera was high, the operator could still see the image. Notice item 65…it’s a flip up mirror that reflects the image to the bottom viewfinder port when needed. With the mirror down, the image comes to the top optical (non electronic) port and with it up, it acts like a periscope.

You can also see the focus mechanism detail and the Iconoscope tube in the middle. This was filed in November of 1936, just three years after electronic television testing began in Studio 3H and at that time, the cameras there were dark colored, but had the same body style. I suspect this is the first patent on the RCA studio cameras (that were different from the field versions), and incorporates updates to the earlier dark cameras. Most likely, this was done in conjunction with the addition of a higher resolution tube which would have either been the jump to 440 or 525 lines from the old 220 line Iconoscope tubes.



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Live From NBC’s Colonial Theater…’Saturday Color Carnival’, 1957

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Live From NBC’s Colonial Theater…’Saturday Color Carnival’, 1957

After months of searching, I finally know the story behind this fabulous photo array! This is NBC’s ‘Saturday Color Carnival: A Salute To Baseball’! This was done live from the Colonial Theater in the early spring of 1957. I think the cameras are the original four RCA TK40s that arrived in late 1952, but notice that only a couple have the updated TK41 style vented viewfinder covers.

The lineup of star players is astounding! Emceed by Gene Kelly, the 90-minute extravaganza brings together dozens of special guests from Baseball and Showbiz to commemorate in song, sketch and story, the opening of the 1957 baseball season.

Among the special’s many highlights: The introduction of 1956’s MVPs, Mickey Mantle and Don Newcombe; comedy playlets starring the likes of Robert Alda (father of Alan Alda) and Ed Gardner of Duffy’s Tavern radio fame; songs performed by Janis Paige, Tony Bennett, and ventriloquist Paul Winchell (with the help of dummy Jerry Mahoney); a “dream outfield” segment built around Stan Musial, Leo Durocher and Ted Williams; a “baseball rock-n-roll” specialty sung by Bill Hayes; old-time baseball newsreel clips, narrated by radiocaster Mel Allen; and a special closing message, delivered by then-Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick (long before his vilification as the architect behind the “asterisking” of Roger Maris’ 61st homer.


After months of searching, I finally know the story behind this fabulous photo array! This is NBC’s ‘Saturday Color Carnival: A Salute To Baseball’! This was done live from the Colonial Theater in the early spring of 1957. Notice a couple of the cameras are RCA TK40s and a couple are TK41s. The lineup of star players is astounding!

Emceed by Gene Kelly, the 90-minute extravaganza brings together dozens of special guests from Baseball and Showbiz to commemorate in song, sketch and story, the opening of the 1957 baseball season. Among the special’s many highlights: The introduction of 1956’s MVPs, Mickey Mantle and Don Newcombe; comedy playlets starring the likes of Robert Alda (father of Alan Alda) and Ed Gardner of Duffy’s Tavern radio fame; songs performed by Janis Paige, Tony Bennett, and ventriloquist Paul Winchell (with the help of dummy Jerry Mahoney); a “dream outfield” segment built around Stan Musial, Leo Durocher and Ted Williams; a “baseball rock-n-roll” specialty sung by Bill Hayes; old-time baseball newsreel clips, narrated by radiocaster Mel Allen; and a special closing message, delivered by then-Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick (long before his vilification as the architect behind the “asterisking” of Roger Maris’ 61st homer.
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A Half Hour Behind The Scenes Of Television…January 1952

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A Half Hour Behind The Scenes Of Television…January 1952

If you ever wondered how different, or the same, television production was back in the ’50s, here’s your chance to find out. This is a very thorough look at how ‘The John Hopkins Science Review’ program was done at Baltimore’s WAAM.

The tour starts in the control room with ample demonstrations and moves to the studio where RCA TK30s are capturing the scenes we see now on this 62 year old kinescope recording.

I saw this years ago and then…it disappeared only to recently reappear.

https://archive.org/details/TheJohnsHopkinsScienceReview-AVisitToOurStudio1952Another example of the early DuMont program The Johns Hopkins Science Review. The episode A visit to our studio was originally shown on January 7, 1952.
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Ultra Rare Backstage Footage…’I Love Lucy’

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Ultra Rare Backstage Footage…’I Love Lucy’

What you will see here is an expertly edited combination of actual production footage and 8mm color home movie footage that was somehow shot by an audience member.

This all takes place the evening of October 12, 1951, at Sound Stage #2 of General Services Studios in Hollywood. The episode filmed that night was the sixth episode the first season, titled “The Audition”.This show was a remake of the “I Love Lucy” pilot episode, which was presumed lost until 1990.

Photography on the set was forbidden,but somehow this got done and I’m glad it survived. Enjoy and share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxsiItd1iN8

A Request from an “I Love Lucy” fan who lives in New Jersey, United States. This short 8mm Color film Footage was fimed by an audience member of “I Love Lucy…
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Rare Layouts Of NBC’s First Studios…711 5th Avenue

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Rare Layouts Of NBC’s First Studios…711 5th Avenue

In 1925, RCA spent $1 million to buy New York’s WEAF Radio from AT&T and shortly after bought WJZ . In late 1926 RCA announced the creation of a new division known as The National Broadcasting Company. The new division was divided in ownership among RCA (50 percent), General Electric (30 percent), and Westinghouse (20 percent). NBC officially launched on November 15, 1926 when control of the stations moved from RCA to NBC.

In 1927, NBC moved from their offices at WEAF and WJZ to a specially designed space at 711 5th Avenue. The studios occupied the 12th and 13th floors and as you can see in the images below, most of the large studio were two story affairs. There were seven studios labeled from A to G. Thanks to Joel Spector for these rare artifacts. Enjoy and share!




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“Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!”

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“Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!”

Just for fun, here is a rare production shot from the 1951 classic ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’. Peeking out of the forty pound Gort costume is 7′ 7″ Joseph “Lock” Martin. Before the film rolls, wardrobe will add his visor and gloves. Martin could only handle a half hour at a time in the suit because of it’s weight and inflexibility. There were two versions of it…the one he is wearing here has the lace up on the back for front shots, the other laced up the front for back shots.

Principal photography for the movie was done on the 20th Century Fox sound stages and on its studio backlot, with a second unit shooting background plates and other scenes in Washington DC and at Fort Meade in Maryland. The primary actors never traveled to Washington.


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‘All In The Family’…A Rare Shot On The Set

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‘All In The Family’…A Rare Shot On The Set

Oddly, there are very few pictures of this show in production and this is one I just recently found. I think this is from the first or second season which came from CBS Television City Studio 31. Starting with season three, the show began to alternate between studios 31 and 41. The cameras are early Norelco PC60s as you can tell by the original zoom servo cable on the side of the camera on the left, and the double cables on the other. Enjoy and share!


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Tonight’s The Night At ESPN…DC 2 Goes Live

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Tonight’s The Night At ESPN…DC 2 Goes Live At 11

Tonight at 11, the brand new 194,000-square-foot, five-studio media center called Digital Center 2 goes live. ESPN’s current studio was built in 2004…it’s just a decade old and already is being treated as outdated. There’s more at the link to this Boston Globe story and at the ESPN link below. Thanks to ESPN’s Ray Balton for the heads up.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/06/19/sportscenter-makeover-promises-enormous-changes-for-espn/qB2C4CSjXNjjoBdUv7kIgK/story.html

http://frontrow.espn.go.com/2014/06/serious-new-sportscenter-set-seriously-debuts-sunday/


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“TODAY” Show’s New Revolving Set

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The ‘Today’ Show’s New Revolving Set…September 2013

In the last post on The Center Theater, I was reminded by not only the location, but also the theater’s turntable of the new ‘Today’ set, which has a 360 degree turntable too.

Dylan Dreyer and her co-anchors showed off the new look of studio 1A last fall, which also includes new TV screens and the special Orange Room. Enjoy and share!

http://www.today.com/video/today/53068473

TODAY anchors show off new studio

Video on Today: Check out our new digs! “We really give you a three-dimensional view of what’s happening,” said TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer. Dreyer and her co-anchors showed off the new look of studio 1A, which includes new TV screens, the special Orange Room and an anchor desk that rotates 360 degrees.
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Goodby Center Theater…Hello US Rubber Building

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Goodby Center Theater…Hello US Rubber Building

In 1950, The Center Theater became an NBC television theater and was heavily used till it closed and was demolished in 1954 to allow US Rubber to expand their Rockefeller Center offices. Thanks to Jodie Peeler, here are couple of interesting photos from 1959 that show the new 19 story US Rubber headquarters.

In the lower left of the wide shot, you can see the sign for New Yorks famous Hurley’s Bar. At the corner on the other side of 49th street is where the Center Theater was. It was about half the size of it’s sister Radio City Music Hall which is a block north on 50th Street. The Center Theatre was located at 1230 Sixth Avenue, the northeast corner of West 49th Street in Rockefeller Center.

In the close up, you can look down 49th street and see where the ‘Today’ show started in 1952. The space just over the Hurley’s sign was the RCA Exhibition Hall where the show originated. The show now comes from the space just behind that TV antenna in Studio 1A.

Seating 3500, The Center opened as an RKO theater in 1932 and later achieved fame as a showcase for live musical ice-skating spectacles. After only twenty one years, The Center Theatre became only building in the original Rockefeller Center complex to have been torn down.

Bob Jones University purchased the stage lifts and turntables from the Center Theatre and reassembled them in its Rodeheaver Auditorium, where the mechanisms are still in use today.



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A Little Local Color…WSB TV, Atlanta December 16, 1965

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A Little Local Color…WSB TV, Atlanta

On Thursday, December 16, 1965, WSB broadcast it’s first local color show with one RCA TK42. The show was ‘Today In Georgia’ hosted by television and radio veteran Ruth Kent. TIG aired at 9AM weekdays and was on for many years…I remember it well. By the way, I think WSB could transmit network color as early as 1957, but did not have local color origination ability till ’65.

WSB was Georgia’s first broadcaster of radio and television and an NBC affiliate until 1980, so they were on board with NBC’s decision to go all color in ’65. I think RCA may have helped this along. Because ‘The Popeye Club With Officer Don’ (Kennedy) was the top afternoon kids show outside NYC, RCA wanted to use the TK42 on it and the video tape of segments as a sales tool and demonstration.

I think this was the first field test of the new TK42 so WSB got a couple of the first ones off the line. The color of the kid’s clothes and the new set would be a perfect, hour long daily test of the camera but the camera was not the only thing tested. So were many nerves. It took months to get the color right and a couple of RCA techs stayed in Atlanta till they got the bugs worked out. Thanks to Bob Foreman for the picture and clipping.



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Ultra Rare Closeup…The RCA A500 Iconoscope Camera

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Ultra Rare Closeup…The RCA A500 Iconoscope Camera

This magnificent color photo was taken in NBC Studio 3H in the early 1940s. (Be sure and see the Comment Section of this post for more pix and video.) More on the cameras in this studio in a moment, but first…let’s take a good look at this. Starting at the front bottom we see dual green tally lights which were the “camera ready” lights and a few inches above them are smaller ruby red lights which are the “camera on” lights, meaning the camera with the red tallies was on the air. Between the red tallies is the camera’s number and this is 1 of only 3 A500s ever made. I wonder what happened to them?

For the first time, we can see that the interchangeable lens rack is held in place by two thumb screws in the lower left and upper right corners with several guide pins to help in quick changes, and changes were made while on the air. The only zoom available was to move the camera in and out on it’s pedestal or dolly, but there were close up, wide angle and other lens pairs available that the utility man could quickly change out during a broadcast.

The top lens feeds the ground glass optical viewfinder and the bottom lens feeds the Iconoscope tube (more on this in the comments section below). The dual lens frame is attached to the focus mechanism and focus is controlled by the pan handle you see the cameraman holding. The pan handle on the other side was just for stability and had no demand function.

Just under the lenses, you can see the hinge and along the side of the camera a line with rivets above and below it. This camera opens from the back and the top flips up much like the cabs of the old style transfer trucks and the line we see is where the top and bottom come together. I think the round object to the left of the bottom lens is a peep hole that you can look in to see the image on the face of the Iconoscope tube, and you could see it clearly while the camera was in operation.

As I mentioned above, there were only three of these A500 cameras ever made and used, and they were all in Studio 3H. On the outside, these cameras are identical to their predecessors for which we have no name. The cameras used before this were painted a dark color and may have been the first pieces of equipment RCA painted with their now famous umber gray. It is quite possible that these silver cameras are in fact the same camera bodies with different insides.

Resolutions for electronic television changed several times before they got to the 525 lines that these cameras used. I think the first 3H cameras (the dark colored ones) started with 220 lines and went to 440 lines. I think the camera overhaul and chais color switch came with the move from 440 to 525. The A500 name may be a shorthanded designation.

As for the history of the cameras in NBC’s 3H, they went directly from this camera to the RCA TK30s in the summer of 1946. Although the RCA Orthicon cameras debuted June 8, 1939, they were never used in 3H. Below in comments, I am posting photos from the July 1, 1945 broadcast of “Copperhead” which shows the A500s in use in 3H. Also posted below is a shot of the upside down viewfinder set up which must have driven operators crazy because left was right and up was down. This photo was so great that I wanted you to see it in all it’s glory so that’s why the other photos are in comments. Enjoy and share!


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The Famous Casey Kasem Rant…XXX Rated Audio

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The Famous Casey Kasem Rant…XXX Rated Audio

I first heard this in 1982 when I was on the air at Atlanta’s 96 Rock. Our morning man was the person the ‘WKRP’ character Dr. Johnny Fever was based on…Skinny Bobby Harper. Bobby played it for me in the production studio and we laughed till we couldn’t breathe.

Most radio people have copies of this we’ve had for years on reel to reel and cassettes. Usually on the same tape are the incredible outtakes from ABC’s Ernie Anderson. If you think Casey can cuss a blue steak, wait till you hear Ernie!

This is cued to start at the now famous “Snuggles” bit, but the five minutes before it are action packed too! In all honesty, I too have a pretty salty vocabulary and have been known to lay it out like this, but if you are sensitive to hard core cussing, you should skip this as it covers about 5 of the 7 “forbidden words”.

http://youtu.be/seCkv_aqSF8?t=5m22sUnlike the other extended compilation on Youtube, this one is without anyone talking or laughing over it. Seems like a lot of people were ticked off about th…
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