Posts in Category: Broadcast History

‘The Price Is Right’…Episode 8,000 Airs Today, April 7!

‘The Price Is Right’…Episode 8,000 Airs Today, April 7!

Congratulations to ‘The Price Is Right’, daytime’s #1-rated series and the longest-running game show in television history, celebrates its milestone 8,000th episode, today, so set your DVR!

In the special occasion’s honor, the show is looking back at the most memorable moments and games from its past 42 seasons. Contestants will have the opportunity to play pricing games that were featured in the 1,000th, 2,000th, 3,000th, 4,000th, 5,000th and 7,000th episodes, including the fan favorite Plinko, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last fall. In addition, prizes up for grabs include new cars and trips to Thailand and Hawaii.

Since Bill Cullen started hosting the show at The Colonial Theater in 1956, nearly 70,000 people have played the game with 2.4 million fans in the audience, and TPIR has given away more than a quarter of a billion dollars in cash and prizes. Thanks to Randy West, our friend and well know game show announcer who was mentored by the one and only Johnny Olson, for the news tip. Thanks to Fred Wostbrock for the photos.


Source

‘The Perry Como Show’…Zeigfeld Theater, 1961

‘The Perry Como Show’…Zeigfeld Theater, 1961

This is one of my all time favorite photos which I’ve had since Katheryn S. Cole at NBC sent it to me in 1962. After posting this, a few NBC vets have helped me with the crew names, and as best I know, the crew pictured here includes (left to right) on boom, Jerry Caruso, Don Stewart Q cards, Al Camoin on crane camera, Don Mulvaney on boom duty, and Arnie Gold and Carl Marlow on Q cards right. Stewart and Marlo were NBC pages before joining the crew and worked as a team as Como depended on two sets of Q cards to keep the look informal. Not shown is a college student who visited the set a lot and later became a top NBC cameraman, Jan Kasoff.

Source

Perry Como Welcomes Bob Hope, TK41 On Set


The Masters At Work…Perry Como Welcomes Bob Hope

This great video clip starts with Hope “waiting in the wings” in front of at RCA TK41. This was just two months after the debut of The Ziegfeld Theater as NBC’s newest color studio. As you can see, Perry is a cool a customer as you will ever find. He was always relaxed and made his guests feel the same.

Como was so comfortable with live television that on Saturday afternoon at the dress rehearsals, he would often leave for an hour to go to confessional at the catholic church down the street. Unfortunately, they don’t make them like that anymore. He and Andy Williams were two of a kind and missed greatly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwA8MmXq9-E

Excerpts from a November 1956 Perry Como Show featuring Bob Hope, Yvonne De Carlo and eleven-year-old keyboard whiz Glenn Derringer. I’ve posted a separate v…

Source

Remembering Mickey Rooney


Remembering Mickey Rooney

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phlpp7pO4DM

With a look back at their many films together, here is Mickey as Judy Garland’s guest on the first episode of ‘The Judy Garland Show’, taped June 24, 1963. At around the 3:40 mark, they reminisce about old MGM photos of them together. Here are two old friends doing what they do best.

Mickey Rooney first worked with Judy on October 21st 1933 as part of the lineup for the Lawlor’s Hollywood Professional School Recital, and by the end of that decade they were MGM’s main musical team (“Babes In Arms”; Strike Up The Band”; “Babes In Broadway”; “Girl Crazy” and the “Andy Hardy” films). Their movie magic was nothing compared to the amount of love and respect they felt for each other as the best of friends, and Judy knew “the Mick” would keep her relaxed and happy for the videotaping of Show #1.

The star-studded studio audience (including Lucille Ball, Clint Eastwood, Jack Benny, and Natalie Wood) cheered the team’s reunion, and by the time Judy closed the show with the “Born In A Trunk” segment’s “Old Man River” (one of the defining moments of both her career and of television history), everyone felt the series could be Garland’s greatest triumph yet.

The Los Angeles Times so agreed with this assessment, they didn’t wait for the series premiere and reviewed the videotaping of Show #1 : “Judy seemed so assured, so self-possessed, so happy in her work, that it sounds good for the shows.”

Show #1 was not chosen to air as the series premiere telecast, so two of it’s segments that had featured references as being such — Judy’s opening song, and a sketch were deleted, and new ones taped in their place, before the episode with Rooney finally aired months later on December 8th 1963.

“The Judy Garland Show” began videotaping it’s episodes in June 1963 at CBS Television City’s Studio 43, with the just-turned 41-year old superstar in a peak physical and emotional condition.

Having already moved the series out to the West Coast (it had originally been set to be taped in New York), the network began it’s creative tinkering with the very first show when they insisted Garland be given a “second banana” : a series regular, in the form of comedian Jerry Van Dyke (brother of Dick, one of CBS’ biggest stars). Nothing could dilute Judy’s magic though, thanks in part to the show’s personnel, headed by producer George Schlatter, who would later produce “Laugh-In”. It was the first show’s guest, however, who really brought out the best in Judy…her oldest friend and picture partner, Mickey Rooney.

Show # 1. Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland.

Source

‘Happy’? Turn It UP And You Will BE!


‘Happy’? Turn It UP And You Will BE!

From last night’s ‘Saturday Night Live’, this is one of the best new songs around. I love the kid dancing in the break, but this clip came to my attention in a note from Steven Davis who wrote; “It looks like the lighting director at SNL is making excellent use of floor-mounted LED fixtures to provide fill light during music segments, as shown in this clip with Pharrell Williams. I have noticed similar use of floor-mounted LEDs on some of the music segments Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Thanks 2 times!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFHzmDZcL34Pharrell Williams – Happy – SNL 4-5-14

Source

The Sid Caesar – Imogene Coca Split…What Really Happened?

The Sid Caesar – Imogene Coca Split…What Really Happened?

It’s amazing that at the height of their popularity as co stars of ‘Your Show Of Shows’, anyone would even think about tinkering with that kind of success, but…it happened. I’m not sure, but I think this may have been Robert Sarnoff’s handiwork.

In this clip (which starts on this topic) Sid Caesar tells us how NBC essentially raided the show in an attempt to create three entities. NBC’s new Color Spectaculars needed a producer and Max Liebeman would be pressed into service, Coca would be given her own show and Caesar would have a new show…’Caesar’s Hour’.

http://youtu.be/ZhjmuCYi3EE?t=15m37s

‘The Imogene Coca Show’ lasted only a single season and it’s failure was mostly due to the fact that it was a half hour situation comedy which greatly limited Coca. Now she had to become a “character” and could not be the versatile and imaginative comedian she had been with Caesar in their variety show. Coca’s show air from 9-9:30 Saturday night from The Century Theater starting in September of 1954.

Below left is Coca watching the playback of Kinescope of a prior episode as they are continuing on that theme in this episode. Center is the great team together. At the right is a shot from ‘Caesar’s Hour’ which also came from the Century Theater on Monday nights from 8-9, starting September 27, 1954. The sketch is one of the many “Commuters” pieces that was kind of like their own Honeymooners, show within a show.



Source

The Final Four…Behind The Scenes With CBS & Turner

The Final Four…Behind The Scenes With CBS & Turner

http://sportsvideo.org/main/blog/2014/04/live-from-final-four-cbs-turner-a-happy-family-in-massive-three-pronged-production/

A total of 17 cameras fill the inside of AT&T Stadium to cover just the game action, with another 13 are in place to capture two separate on-site studio sets. Included in that arsenal are slash cameras in the lower left and right corners of the court. Super-slow-motion cameras have also been added above the shot clocks on each of the backboard. There are also slow-mos along to floor to grab a more intimate feel on replays. Thanks to Kevin Vahey for the link.

Source

“NBC Studio 1H”…Hurely’s Bar

“NBC Studio 1H”…Hurely’s Bar

As you can see in the photo below, Hurley’s Bar (which opened in 1892) was just a half a block away from NBC’s studio entrance, making it the nearest watering hole for everyone from stars to stage hands. It became the favorite for radio, television, newspaper and sports celebrities as well as tourists and midtown workers.

The old-fashioned saloon atmosphere, as well as the convenient location in Rockefeller Center, made Hurley’s a favorite. Liz Trotta noted “You never knew who would be standing next to your lifting elbow at Hurley’s. Jason Robards, Jonathan Winters, jazz musicians from the local clubs and the ‘Tonight’ show, starlets, football players, the lot.”

Johnny Carson made the Hurley name nationally familiar while he did his show live from Rockefeller Center. It was the bar in all of his Ed McMahon drinking jokes. David Letterman did several on-air visits to the bar. NBC technicians haunted the place so regularly that among themselves it was known as Studio 1-H.

Hurley’s was known as a place where status was left at the door. Mayor John Lindsay stopped in once, only to be hissed by the patrons. When Henry Kissinger and two bodyguards got noisy, they were ejected by the bartender “for rowdy behavior.”

But this is only half of a great “David & Goliath” story.

The bar had been here since 1892 and had always done well, even during prohibition when a florist shop was used to disguise the bar and it’s new back door.

In 1930, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. had begun aggressively buying up a staggering twenty-two acres of midtown property, right in the middle of Fifth Avenue’s most exclusive district, for a seemingly implausible project: Rockefeller Center. One by one he purchased buildings from Fifth to Sixth Avenue between 48th and 51st Streets. In the stranglehold of the Great Depression, none but the city’s wealthiest property owners could resist the offer to convert real estate to cash.

None except John F. Maxwell, grandson of John F. Boronowsky who owned the three story building at the opposite end of the block from Hurley’s and, of course, the feisty Irishmen themselves. In June 1931 Maxwell sent word to Rockefeller that he would not sell “at any price.”

Construction had already began on the gargantuan Art Deco complex of nineteen buildings on May 17, 1930. The block of 49th to 50th Streets, Sixth Avenue to 5th Avenue was eventually demolished, leaving only the two brick Victorian buildings standing on opposite corners of a devastated landscape.

The RCA Building—70 stories tall—rose around Hurley’s, diminishing the bar building only in height. But nothing in New York City is permanent and in 1979 Hurley Brothers and Daly was sold. Journalist William Safire spoke for New Yorkers in an article mourning the loss. The mahogany bar was removed to a Third Avenue restaurant and, as Nancy Arum wrote in her letter to New York Magazine that year “a pretend old-fashioned bar now stands where the real old-fashioned bar once was.”

The pretend old-fashioned bar took the name Hurley’s and, most likely, tourists never noticed the change. But proximity, tradition, or habit still brought the Rockefeller Center workers and celebrities into the bar until September 2, 1999. That night owner Adrien Barbey served the last glass of beer in the bar that had stood at Sixth Avenue and 49th Street for 102 years.

Today, Hurley’s is a bakery and the building at the other end of the block is a 9 West store. The 1931 photo on the right shows 6th Avenue with it’s elevated train (yellow). Hurely’s is in the red circle and 46th Street is in aqua. The other building left standing on the 6th Avenue corner is the space that is now a 9 West store. The 11 story NBC studio building is just behind Hurley’s.


Source

Director Joseph Cates…The Man Who Introduced Ralph To Norton

Director Joseph Cates…The Man Who Introduced Ralph To Norton

A year or so back, I was fortunate meet actor Kevin Kline, and of all things, we talked mostly about television history…and you will not believe his connection to a True Pioneer!

In case you had forgotten, Kevin is married to actress Phoebe Cates, whose father was Joseph Cates. His younger brother was Gil Cates who was probably the top awards show producer of all time. Here’s Joe’s incredible story Kevin told, history I had never known about.

In 1949, Joe Cates was an associate producer on Dumont’s ‘Cavalcade Of Stars’ which was hosted by comedian new to television, named Jackie Gleason. Although ‘The Honeymooners’ was still a couple of years away, Jackie and Joe had been talking about the idea for a while and it was Joe Cates that introduced Gleason to Art Carney. Even before “The Honeymooners’ sketches began, Cates had thought Art would be a good “second banana” and foil to Gleason in other Cavalcade sketches, which he was. According to Kevin, ‘The Honeymooners’ set is a combination of Joe’s apartment where he and Jackie often met for drinks and planning sessions, and of Gleason’s childhood apartment.

Although he wanted to work with Gleason on ‘The Honeymooners’, Joe was made the producer of two other shows…’Buck Rogers’, and ‘The Sammy Kaye Show’! In 1955, Joe became the executive producer for ‘The $64,000 Question’. He’s the one that decided to use an actor (Hal March) as a host instead of a broadcaster to add to the drama. But, we’re just getting started! Let’s backtrack to the days before ‘Cavalcade of Stars’

While working in advertising after the war he got the idea of using television to sell candy, and signed a contract with Dumont to do a high-school talent search program he called ‘Look Upon a Star,’ with Bess Myerson, the 1945 Miss America, as host. Operating on a $100 budget, limited to two cameras and facing the unforgiving pace of live television, Mr. Cates managed to pull it off and emerged as one of the most experienced and skilled variety-show production specialists in a fledgling medium.

While working at Dumont with Gleason and Carney on ‘The Cavalcade of Stars’ he also worked on ‘The Cavalcade of Bands,’ which set off a deep interest in music specials as well as comedy which lead him to NBC to produce the ‘Bob and Ray’ show.

His network experience helped lay the groundwork for his later career as an independent producer, which included a succession of specials with Alan King, Robert Klein, Steve Martin and other comedians, and more than 200 circus programs, not to mention a string of David Copperfield magic shows and a number of musical programs for Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Victor Borge, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole and others.

By his own estimate, from the live high school talent program he staged for the old Dumont network in the late 1940’s to his string of fund-raising specials for Ford’s Theater in Washington, Mr. Cates wrote, directed and produced more than 1,000 television productions.

Joseph Cates, was born Joseph Katz, but interestingly, this native New Yorker was infatuated with country music and did dozens of country music specials, produced with the help of his friend Johnny Cash. Those shows, which used sophisticated lighting and other softening techniques, were credited with making country music acceptable for a mass medium. The country music industry was so grateful that Mr. Cates became the only producer honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Below is Ann Francis with Joseph Cates on the set of one of several movies he directed. This is ‘Girl Of The Night’ from 1960 which dealt with the life of a call girl…quite a taboo subject at the time, but this made way for Elizabeth Taylor to take on a similar role in ‘Butterfield 8’.

Source

‘The Twilight Zone’…The Six Video Tape Episodes

‘The Twilight Zone’…The Six Video Tape Episodes

It’s been a while since we covered this historic variation from the normal way the show was done, but in revisiting the story, we also now know that Television City had Marconi Mark IV cameras as early as 1960. These were thought to have come into service here and in New York a bit later, like around late ’61 or ealy ’62. Thanks to Mike Clark for the new photo that shows one in use on ‘The Long Distance Call’ episode starring Bill Mumy.

Five weeks into The Twilight Zone’s second season, the show’s budget was showing a deficit. The total number of new episodes was projected at twenty nine, more than half of which (sixteen), had, by November 1960, already been filmed in the show’s standard 35MM black and white format.

CBS suggested that in order to trim the production’s $65,000 per episode budget, six episodes should be produced in the cheaper videotape format, eventually transferred to 16-millimeter film. Television City, normally used for the production of live production would serve as the venue. There would be fewer camera movements and no exteriors, making the episodes seem more akin to soap operas (and Playhouse 90), with the videotaped image effectively narrowing and flattening perspective. Even with those artistic sacrifices, the eventual savings amounted to only $30,000, far less than the cost of a single episode. The experiment was thus deemed a failure and never attempted again.

Even though the six shows were taped in a row, through November and into mid-December, their broadcast dates were out of order and varied widely. ‘The Whole Truth’ was the third one shot and was shown on January 20, 1961 as episode 14. The first, ‘The Lateness of the Hour’ was seen on December 2, 1960 as episode 8; the second, ‘Static’ appeared on March 10, 1961 as episode 20; the fourth was the Christmas entry ‘Night of the Meek’ shown as the 11th episode on December 23, 1960; the fifth, ‘Twenty Two’ was seen on February 10, 1961 as episode 17; and the last one, ‘Long Distance Call’ was transmitted on March 3, 1961 as episode 22.

The night of January 20, 1961, ‘The Whole Truth’ aired as John and Jacqueline Kennedy were attending Inaugural balls in Washington. Earlier in the day, he had been sworn in as the 35th President of the United States.

Below left is Bill Mumy in ‘Long Distance Call’ episode and the clap board on the right is marking a scene from the ‘Twenty Two’ episode.


Source

The ‘Home’ Show’s Home…Studio A, 67th Street, “Radio Age”

The ‘Home’ Show’s Home…Studio A, 67th Street, “Radio Age”

At the link, you can see the two page story starting on page 26 of the April 1954 edition of “Radio Age”. Among the set’s 10 work areas is the “weather maker” which can make snow, fog and rain as seen on the right. There are other fascinating gizmos here, including the “aerial camera”. Enjoy!
http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Radio-Age/Radio-Age-1954-April.pdf



Source

David Letterman to Retire from CBS in 2015

THIS JUST IN!

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/david-letterman-to-retire-from-cbs-in-2015-1201152380/

David Letterman to Retire from CBS in 2015

David Letterman is preparing to announce his retirement from CBS next year. Letterman is expected to discuss his plan to retire in about a year on Thursday’s edition of “The Late Show.”

Source

Just For Fun…’The Jonathan Winters Show’ with Art Carney


Just For Fun…’The Jonathan Winters Show’ with Art Carney

On February 28, 1968, Carney took his life in his hands and did a five minute set with Jonathan that was totally improvised. No script…no rehearsal…no problem! Here are two of comedy’s best winging it. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR4m0pO1WRQ

Jonathan Winters is in my opinion the greatest funny man that ever lived !

Source

Jerry Lewis…Comedian and Cameraman?


Jerry Lewis…Comedian and Cameraman?!?

This video should start at 3:45 where Jerry finishes his introduction and wanders toward the camera, only to take it over seconds later.
This is from NBC’s Radio City West at Sunset and Vine and the occasion is the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby hosted telethon to raise money for the 1952 Olympic team. Enjoy and share!

http://youtu.be/7HOL0n3GdrY?t=3m46sDean 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…

Source

Rare Indeed! The Color Photo + The Video! ‘This Is Your Life’

Rare Indeed! The Color Photo + The Video! ‘This Is Your Life’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de00c3ggHLw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqhLOhLruQI

Thanks to Jim Early’s father, who took this from the audience, we see ‘This Is Your Life’ host Ralph Edwards with guest Francis Farmer on January 29, 1958. This show started in 1952 at NBC’s Radio City West at Sunset and Vine, but by now, had probably moved to Burbank. Parts 1 and 2 of the show are at the links above. Francis Farmer’s story is tragic and was the subject of several book and movies. Jessica Lange played Farmer in the 1982 film, ‘Frances’, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and Kim Stanley was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Farmer’s mother.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de00c3ggHLw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqhLOhLruQI

Source

Behind the scenes at NBC Burbank, 1963 With TK60s

Speaking Of Bob Hope…NBC Burbank Studio 1, Behind The Scenes

Short but sweet. Here is a 2 minute video clip from what I think is the beginning of an episode of ‘Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theater’ from 1963. We’ll see great shots of Studio 1 (Carson’s home base) and oddly, a TK60 with a TK41 behind it.

Studios 1 and 3 are next to each other in the front of the building (the two original studios) and 2 and 4 were on the right side of the building. 1 and 3 were built as black and white studios (for later color conversion) and 2 and 4 were built as color studios. I think by ’63, Studio 3 had gone color, leaving 1 as a black and white studio.

I think the TK60 scene actually inside Studio 3 and is being taken with a Studio 1 TK60 (next door) for live insert. I don’t know why, but maybe the Studio 1 opening had a lot of intense set changes that made it necessary. I don’t know how else to explain it. do you?

This ‘Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theater’ show ran from ’63 till ’67 inside various formats. Usually, Hope introduced the show which was either a video tape or film drama anthology type presentation and was paid $25,000 for the intro. Other versions include ‘Chrysler Presents A Bob Hope Special’ in which Bob starred with guests and was paid $500,000 to produce. To save money, Hope usually opted for a black and white show, unless NBC was pressing him for a color show, which they began doing in ’64.

http://aliquippa.tumblr.com/post/34261758536/behind-the-scenes-at-nbc-burbank-1963

Aliquippa • Behind the scenes at NBC Burbank, 1963.

Behind the scenes at NBC Burbank, 1963.

Source

Bob Hope’s First Television Special…The Full 90 Minute Kinescope

Bob Hope’s First Television Special…The Full 90 Minute Kinescope

https://archive.org/details/starspangledrevue

At the link above you can see the Easter Sunday, April 9, 1950 ‘Star Spangled Revue’, which was Bob Hope’s first television special which originated from The New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd Street. The show was covered as a remote by NBC which would take over the theater in the summer of 1951 (see today’s earlier NBC Studios story). The guest stars were Dinah Shore and Douglas Fairbanks.

This was produced by ‘Your Show Of Shows’ producer Max Leibman and has some of that shows actors, including Carl Reiner at the 30 minute mark in a sketch where Hope is being invited to join NBC Television. At 1:27, Hope is prolific in his thanks to, and quite taken by, the staff’s ability to do a 90 minute show with only a week’s rehearsal. Below is Douglas Fairbanks and Hope on stage which occurs at around 14:20 in this video, complete with live Frigidaire commercials. Good stuff…historic! Enjoy!

Source

Happy Birthday WQED TV…Born April 1, 1954

Happy Birthday WQED TV…Born April 1, 1954

WQED was the first community-sponsored television station in the United States as well as the fifth public television station. They were the first station to telecast classes to elementary school classrooms when Pittsburgh launched the Metropolitan School Service in 1955. WQED has been the flagship station for ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ and ‘Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?’. Below is a nice shot from the 1960s of a WQED RCA TK60 with a Zoomar outboard lens created for the TK60 and Marconi Mark IV, which both had turret mounted auto iris hubs in the center of the turret making the side mount necessary.

Source

Studio 6B…Time Lapse Remodeling For ‘Tonight’ Return To NYC

Studio 6B…Time Lapse Remodeling For ‘Tonight’ Return To NYC

If you look closely, you can see that at the start, the column that was forever behind Carson’s homebase set is still there, but not for long. You can see the side entrance and back stage scenery doors being widened too. A busy bee hive with a great result! Thanks to Caz Bielen for bringing this clip to our attention.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7408satgp0

Tonight Show Studio Built in 60 Seconds

Behind-the-scenes footage of Studio 6B being transformed into The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon studio. Subscribe NOW to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy…

Source

1986 Joan & Johnny Remember Her Debut


Joan Rivers Follow Up…1986 Joan & Johnny Remember Her Debut

Joan’s first ‘Tonight’ appearance was February 17, 1965…exactly 49 years later to the day, she made a cameo appearance on the debut of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’. In this clip from ’86, she and Johnny discuss those early days. Here you get a feel for her material, that is still quite similar as you can see in today’s earlier post of her first appearance as a guest since Carson banished her 28 years ago for not telling him about her Fox show, while still a guest host for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lEX6HI4Mew

Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson reminisce about their early careers and she tells hilarious jokes about the Royal Family and Madonna’s wedding. Joan Rivers dis…

Source

Hang Onto Your Hat! Joan Rivers Returns To ‘Tonight’!


Hang Onto Your Hat! Joan Rivers Returns To ‘Tonight’!

In case you missed it, here’s Joan’s return that’s almost “too hot to handle”. The pro that he is, Jimmy handles this with grace (and a red face). The band and Russel Crowe, not so much…they’re in hysterics. This is true must see TV! After 28 years of banishment, it’s good to see her back again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srtES-HebG0

Jimmy welcomes Joan Rivers, who made her first appearance on The Tonight Show 49 years ago, and Joan explains why she was a little late. Subscribe NOW to The…

Source

The Great Kate Smith…Some Unusual Video Clips


The Great Kate Smith…Some Unusual Video Clips

In two of these, she performs with cameras as props, including a TK41. In the third…a real rarity, Jackie Gleason conducts the orchastra as Kate sings his theme song “Melancholy Serenade” which he also wrote. FYI, these are not from her NBC days, but from the early 60s when she had a show on CBS. The color clip with a real TK41 (and a fake TK11) is from a 1969 Screen Gems special which was shot at NBC as you can tell by the NBC exclusive sound baffle mod on the top of the small high voltage door. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU-LCbNhULg (color)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMGp6Cfa1Jk (CBS TK30)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rpYzWxam8o (Gleason)

Songs include: I’ll Be Seeing You / Fine and Dandy / How Deep is the Ocean / The Last Time I Saw Paris / Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone / Didn’t We…

Source

Me And Rosie…My RCA TK41C

Me And Rosie…My RCA TK41C

November 16, 2006 was one of the happiest days of my life. On that day, I finally had an RCA TK41 of my very own. I think I had wanted one of these since 1961 when I was 11 years old and just becoming fascinated with television. If you want to know why I named her Rosie, just click on the link below. Enjoy and share.

http://www.eyesofageneration.com/Bobby_Collections_TK41.php

Source

‘The Voice Of Firestone’…Clearing Up Some Confusion


‘The Voice Of Firestone’…Clearing Up Some Confusion

Grand opera and classical works were the heart of this program that began on NBC radio in 1928. It is reported that this program came to television in 1943, but…that was a whole different show.

That was ‘Voice Of Firestone Televues’ which was a presentation of films on various subjects like dairy farming, vocations and football with live opens and closes which aired first locally on WNBT. This would be one of NBC’s first network series when they began feeding their Monday night schedule to Schenectady and Philadelphia in April of 1944.

The video clip here is from the second month of the real, ‘Voice Of Firestone’ which debuted as a simulcast (FM and TV) from NBC’s 8H on September 5, 1949. When that first season ended, so did it’s 16 years in 8H which was about to begin the conversion construction. The second season debuted from it’s new home at The Center Theater.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k1zlnoWwpk

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY HOWARD BARLOW

Source

A Game Show Debut 50 Years Ago Today? What is Jeopardy!?

A Game Show Debut 50 Years Ago Today? What is Jeopardy!?

Below left is a very rare photo of Jeapordy’s first birthday. Bringing the cake is creator Merv Griffin. On the left, announcer Don Pardo is shaking hands with host Art Fleming (who bears a striking resemblance to Hugh Downs). On the right, a shot of the game in play from the early 70s. I think the show started in 8G and later moved to 6A.

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 was later revived as ‘The All-New Jeopardy!’, which ran from October 2, 1978 to March 2, 1979. The program’s most successful incarnation is the daily syndicated version, which premiered on September 10, 1984.

Both NBC versions and the weekly syndicated version were hosted by Art Fleming. Don Pardo served as announcer until 1975, and John Harlan announced for the 1978–79 show. Since its inception, the daily syndicated version has featured Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer. Trebek is expected to retire from the program in 2016, at which point his tenure as host will have lasted for 32 years.

With close to 7,000 episodes aired, the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy! has won a record 30 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. Game Show Network (GSN) ranked the show number 2 on its 2006 list of the 50 greatest game shows, and TV Guide ranked it number 1 in its 2013 list of the 60 greatest game shows ever. The program has gained a worldwide following with regional adaptations in many foreign countries. The 30th season of the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy! premiered on September 16, 2013. Thanks to David Schwartz and Glenn Mack for the photos.


Source

NBC Studios Thumbnail List

For You To COPY & PASTE…NBC Studios Thumbnail List

Many have asked for this and I wish I could post the PDF version, but Facebook won’t do PDF files. The best way I know to save this is to copy it and paste it into either an email to yourself, or into Corel or Microsoft Word document. Enjoy and share.

NBC Television, New York:
Radio City Studios & Theaters 1935 -1956

This is the first ever, known, chronological listing of the conversions of NBC’s Radio City studios. Included in this exclusive Eyes Of A Generation time line, are the outside performance theaters and their conversion dates to NBC Television theaters. This compilation gives us the clearest and most concise guide yet to the production and technical operations of television’s early days and the network that pioneered so much of the new medium.

As we have only recently learned, many shows were done as “remotes” in NBC radio studios with in-house mobile camera units, and predate the official conversion date which signifies when each studio had a major overhaul to install lights and control rooms.

For instance, it is known that ‘The Voice Of Firestone’ was telecast locally from 8H as early as 1943. It was first seen on the NBC Television Network in April 1944 and continued occasionally until January 1947 as an in-house remote as 8H was not converted till 1950, and with the size of the orchestra and audience, that was NBC’s only studio big enough to handle the show.

Eyes Of A Generation, would like to offer a huge thanks to the many past and present NBC people that helped, but most especially to Frank Merklein (NBC 1947-1961) Joel Spector (NBC 1965-2001), Dennis Degan (NBC 2003 to present), historian David Schwartz (GSN) and Gady Reinhold (CBS 1946 to present) for their first hand knowledge and help. Bobby Ellerbee

1st Television Facility and 1st Studio Converted

Studio 3H…1935 (Became 3K September 12, 1955):
3rd Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(Converted from Iconoscope cameras to Image Orthicon summer of 1946)

2nd Television Facility

5F… Film/Telecine 1936 : 5th Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza

2nd Conversion and 2nd Studio

Studio 8G…April 22, 1948 : 8th Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(First broadcast May 9, 1946 when it was still a radio studio, show was ‘Hour Glass’)

3rd & 4th Conversion and 3rd & 4th Studios

Studios 3A and 3B… Summer of 1948 : 3rd Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(3B used before 3A. ‘You Are An Artist’ with Jon Gangy, and ‘Television Screen Magazine are possibly the first shows from 3B in November of 1946)

5th Conversion and 5th Studio

Studio 6B… June 8, 1948 : 6th Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(First broadcast June 8, 1948, ‘Texaco Star Theater’)

6th, 7th & 8th Studios

Uptown Studios December 1948 : 105 E 106th St
(NBC announced the Dec 48 opening in a “year end wrap up” press release)

9th Studio

International Theater…January 29, 1949 : 5 Columbus Circle
(First regularly scheduled broadcast of ‘Chesterfield Supper Club’ with Perry Como, September 8, 1949. January 29,1949 debut of ‘Admiral Broadway Review’)

6th Conversion and 10th Studio

Studio 6A…May 29, 1950 : 6th Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(First use December 24, 1948, fifteen minute simulcast ‘Chesterfield Supper Club’ with Perry Como)

7th Conversion and 11th Studio

Studio 8H…January 30, 1950 : 8th Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(November 29, 1943, ‘Voice Of Firestone’, covered as a remote with Iconoscope filed cameras, local WNBT. NBC Television Network did April,1944 VOF remote here)

12th Studio

Hudson Theater… Sept 25 1950 : 145 W 44th Street
(First broadcast, ‘Kate Smith Show’ debuted Sept 25, 1950)

13th Studio

Center Theater…November 25, 1950 : 1230 Sixth Avenue
(Simulcast of ‘Voice Of Firestone’, new home debut after move from 8H for conversion)

14th Studio

New Amsterdam Theater…September 19, 1951 : 214 W 42nd Street
(First broadcast April 9, 1950, Bob Hope’s first NBC special covered as a remote)

15th Studio

Colonial Theater…November 8, 1952 : 1887 Broadway
(‘Your Show Of Shows’, one time event November 8, 1952. First live use of NBC’s first color facility, no color burst on broadcast, back and white only except for closed circuit engineering loop. Historic colorcasts did not start till August 30, 1953.

16th Studio

NBC 67th Street Studios (A, B, C, D) 1953-1961 : 101 West 67th Street
(First use, WNBT’s local broadcast, ‘Steve Allen Show’ fall of 1953, pre ‘Tonight’)

17th Studio

Studio 5H…December 1953 (Control Center) : 5th Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
(Built for use as an assignable control room and ingest of feeds from multi remotes)

18th Studio

NBC Brooklyn Studio I… November 12, 1954 : 1268 East 14th Street
(First use, ‘Satin And Spurs’ color spectacular starring Betty Hutton)

19th Studio

The Century Theater…June 1, 1954 : 932 Seventh Avenue at West 58th Street
(Broadcasting Magazine date. First show may have been ‘Mr. Peepers’. First known broadcast was October 2, 1954 with debut of ‘Imagine Coca Show’ here.)

20th Studio

Zeigfeld Theater…Sept 22, 1956 : 1347 Sixth avenue and 54th Street
(‘Perry Como Show’ debuts in color from this newly converted for television theater)

21st Studio

NBC Brooklyn II…Fall 1956 : 1268 East 14th Street
(First use, ‘Ester Williams Aqua Spectacular’, November 29, 1956. The famous buried swimming pool, built just for this special was under floor of Studio I)

Source

Bob Newhart Roasts Don Rickles


Just For Fun…Bob Newhart Roasts Don Rickles

It’s hard to believe that Don Rickles had any friends, but in real life, he and Newhart were indeed dear friends and, with their wives took many trips abroad. This is funny! Enjoy and share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MCdlgPZFJ4

Source

The History Of Clarabell In A Nutshell

The History Of Clarabell

Even after all these years, this picture is still a shocker for all of us that grew up watching ‘Howdy Doody’. To see Clarabell (Bob Keeshan) taking off his makeup is like “seeing mommy kissing Santa Claus”. I can’t imagine what that little boy is thinking but feel fairly sure that he grew up to be a mass murderer ;>).

Being born in 1950, the only Clarabell I would have seen would have been Lou Anderson who played the roll from ’54 till the sign off September 24, 1960. I remember I cried when Clarabell said ‘Goodbye kids’.

Between Keeshan, who left in ’52 and Anderson, was Robert “Nick” Nicholson, who also supplied the voice of Cornelius J. Cobb. Both Anderson and Nicholson were jazz musicians.

Our friend Frank Merklein who was a cameraman on the show, from the first day till the last, told me how Keeshan came to be Clarabell. Although the show debuted December 27, 1947 in 3H as ‘Puppet Playhouse’, Clarabell did not become a character till a few weeks later when the show changed it’s name to ‘Howdy Doody’, which is also when Smith started wearing his Buffalo Bill inspired wardrobe.

Keeshan was the NBC page assigned to the show and had a habit of using hand signals he had picked up the service. Smith quickly realized he needed a sidekick but there was no money for another speaking role so he hired Keeshan to be his “silent partner”. After a few days as Clarabell, Keeshan came up with the idea of a belt box with two horns, one for yes and one for no. The rest, as they say, is history.

Whether Keeshan was let go or quit remains a mystery as there are several versions, but by September 21, 1953, Keeshan was back on the air on WABC-TV, in a new children’s show, ‘Time for Fun’. He played Corny the Clown, and this time he spoke. Later that same year, in addition to Time for Fun, Keeshan began ‘Tinker’s Workshop’, a program aimed at preschoolers, with him playing the grandfather-like Tinker.

Developing ideas from ‘Tinker’s Workshop’, Keeshan and his long-time friend Jack Miller submitted the concept of ‘Captain Kangaroo’ to the CBS network, which was looking for new approaches to children’s television. CBS approved the show, and Keeshan starred as the title character when it premiered on CBS on October 3, 1955. The show was an immediate success, and he served as its host for nearly three decades leaving nine months shy of the 30th anniversary in December of ’84.

Source

‘Snap Judgement’, NBC Studio 8H

‘Snap Judgement’, NBC Studio 8H…10, 11 & 12 of 12

Thanks to Bob Batsche, here are the final photos from ‘Snap Judgment’ hosted by Ed McMahon taken in early 1969. In the left photo, we see the floor director in position with Ed at the helm. In the center is cameraman Peter Basil taking a look at the new Fairchild audio board. On the right, the one and only Johnny Olson ready to announce.

Many thanks to Bob Batsche for the fifty of or so photos he has shared with us including the great color pictures from Apollo coverage, ‘The Match Game’, ‘The Doctors’ and ‘Snap Judgment’.



Source

Behind ‘The Admiral Broadway Revue’ Debacle…

Behind ‘The Admiral Broadway Revue’ Debacle…

Yesterday, in discussing the history of NBC’s International Theater, we discovered that despite high ratings, Admiral had pulled the plug on it’s own ‘Admiral Broadway Revue’ starring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca which debuted on January 29, 1949.

Out of curiosity, I dug a little deeper into Admiral and now I better understand their position. It seems that the show’s popularity had generated too much demand for their factory to keep up with. Admiral’s reputation was based on quality…not low prices and quantity. In order to maintain that quality, they took more time in crafting their lines of radio and televisions.

Below are two 1948 ads that show what we would now call a home entertainment center with a phonograph, a radio and what looks like a 12 or 14 inch television receiver. This unit was priced at around $390, which is equivalent to around $3,920 today.

Continental Radio and Television in Chicago was the maker of the Admiral band and to them, speeding up production meant sacrificing quality. To keep up with the demand the show had created, they would have had to build a new plant, but although doing well, were not willing to do that. The only other option was to pull the plug on the show.

Congratulations to Continental and Admiral! It’s not often that corporations take the high road of quality at their own expense. Admiral remained a top electronics brand until the flood of mass produced appliances from Japan hit in the late 1960s.


Source

Scroll Up