Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Hail And Farewell Old Friend…

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Hail And Farewell Old Friend…

Johnny Carson would have been proud of the way Jay Leno continued the legacy of ‘The Tonight Show’. So would Steve Allen, Jack Paar and the man who had the vision to bring it to life in 1954…NBC’s Pat Weaver. On September 24, the show will celebrate it’s 60th Anniversary. Last night’s show was something special and Billy Crystal was the perfect friend to help Jay bring it in for a very sweet and heart felt final landing.


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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…2 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…2 Days

Today, the sound problems. Notice anything missing in any of the Beatles stage photos either in New York or Miami? No? How about the guitar amplifiers…not a single one anywhere. As mentioned here before, “the sound” was a big problem for all three shows, and most of the problems were caused by the hidden amps. There are three areas of concern that intermingled to cause these problems…the band’s ability to hear their music and vocals, the audience’s ability to hear and the audio mix fed along with the pictures on the broadcasts. There was a concerted effort to make the sets really pop on TV and the set designer wanted to keep them clean by hiding the amps, but that meant putting them behind the scrim and miking them for air which would be fine for the broadcast mix, but the stage and house mix would suffer. I’ve been told that the house PA system at the time was not very good. It was quite adequate for audiences to hear dialog from actors, but it was not meant for music. Even Elvis had amps on stage when he performed there in the late 50s and as far as I know, this was the first attempt to hide the amps. The Beatles performances were totally live and in rehearsals, even without the audiences, it took a while to tweak the audio. But then, when the audiences came in, the screaming was so overwhelming that it drowned out that balance so another round of tweaking started. The audience was so loud, the cameramen could not hear anything in their headsets. The band had a #1 record and the performance had to match the sound on the radio. Brian Epstine and John Lennon were so flustered by the sound problems in the theater, even at the closed rehearsals, that he and the band went to the control room a couple of times to hear the playback of the rehearsal tapes just to make sure the broadcast audio was right. It did not help that the audio man’s grease pencil marks from the Sunday morning closed rehearsal had been erased prior to the 2:30 dress rehearsal. That lasted almost till the 4:30 taping of the performances to be inserted into the February 23 show.




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Flashback! Studio 50 Marquee Lives Again!

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Flashback! Studio 50 Marquee Lives Again!

Thanks to our friends at David Letterman’s Ed Sullivan Theater, the famous marquee has been transformed into a replica of the Studio 50 marquee of fifty years ago…at least for this weekend. Not long ago, Paul and Ringo visited the theater with Letterman, remembering the night of February 9, 1964 and that will be a part of the CBS News live webcast at 6:30 Sunday night. Thanks to Letterman’s Rick Scheckman for letting us know about the marquee earlier this week and to CBS Vice President of Late-Night Programming, Vincent Favale for coming up with the idea. There’s much more on this, and this weekend’s events in the article at the link.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/02/06/ed-sullivan-theater-unveiling-special-marquee-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-beatles-performance/


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SURPRISE! NEITHER Paar Or Cronkite Were First To Air Beatles!

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SURPRISE! NEITHER Paar Or Cronkite Were First To Air Beatles!

NBC was the first American television network in the US to run a story on the Beatles. The network’s ‘Huntley-Brinkley Report’ ran a four-minute story on Monday, November 18, 1963, at 6:53 p.m., with Edwin Newman doing the voice-over of film of the group and its fans. Only the audio exists and you can hear it at the link below. NBC’s broadcast was followed by CBS-TV’s five-minute story (in the post below this one), which first ran on the ‘CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite’ on November 21, 1963. There is no record of ABC ever running a story of the Beatles until 1964. The concert footage used by the networks was taken at the group’s November 16, 1963, performance at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens.

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

The Beatles’ first appearance on American television was on NBC News — the November 18, 1963 edition of the Huntley-Brinkley Report, which featured this rep…
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Paar Or Cronkite? Which One Aired The Beatles First? Part 3

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Paar Or Cronkite? Which One Aired The Beatles First? Part 3

As I mentioned yesterday, before The Beatles appeared on ‘Tonight With Jack Paar’ or ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’, they appeared in on November 21, 1963 on ‘The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite’. This is the original footage that aired without the Cronkite introduction. The narrator is London bureau chief Alexander Kendrick who had worked with Ed Murrow in London during the war and the CBS reporter is Josh Darsa. The performance and interview were shot at Winter Gardens Theater in Bournemouth, England the week before, but the concert sound is not live as it is an overdub of the single version of “She Loves You”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6j5bve7O5E

CBS news about The Beatles Before Ed Sullivan and Jack Paar, first time on U.S. TV http://www.recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/saki/kennedy.html 11/18/63 – N…
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50 years later — A fan recalls watching the Beatles’ American debut

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50,000 Requests For 728 Seats…

Andrea Tibbits got one of them. Here’s Anthony Mason’s story on her night with The Beatles from last night’s CBS Evening News.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-beatles-fan-recalls-the-bands-american-debut-and-her-tiny-part-of-their-history/

50 years later — A fan recalls watching the Beatles’ American debut

The then 13-year-old scored a ticket to famed group’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show; and as the cameras closed in, there she was screaming
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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…3 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…3 Days

This extremely rare photo goes a long way in clearing up some long lost details of the day’s rehearsals on February 9, 1964. This photo was taken at the 2:30 dress rehearsal at Studio 50 for that night’s live show, which was to be followed at 4:30 by the taping of two song sets for insertion into the February 23 show…the third and last Beatles appearance of this visit. With Ringo’s coat off, this photo helps prove that the 2:30 dress was a long and drawn out process. Candice Cushing, who was there, has told me that there were a lot of starts and stops because the sound was just not right. I’d mentioned before that the band had rehearsed that morning, but the story is that someone had erased the grease pencil marks on the audio board before dress rehearsal. The band went into the control room that morning to listen to play backs of the sound check and may have done that again in the 2:30 dress. No one had ever done that before but they did! A full dress rehearsal would have gone till 3:30 with an hour between that and the taping session, but I feel pretty sure that the 2:30 dress lasted until at least 4 or 4:15. The 4:30 taping should have taken half an hour and end by 5 when the day’s first audience would exit. The band left for the hotel after the taping and returned at 7 for the live show at 8. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the sound problems but if you look at all the photos of the band’s Sullivan appearances, even in Florida, you’ll notice something missing that was the root of the problem.


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Mitzi Gaynor…Headline Act For Beatles Miami Show Tells All

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Mitzi Gaynor…Headline Act For Beatles Miami Show Tells All

This is a wonderful five minute clip of Mitzi talking about her appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ on February 16 which would be the Beatles second time on the show. In an earlier post, I mentioned the heat in the Deauville Hotel’s ballroom and how everyone was gleaming with sweat. What I did not tell you was the story Mitzi alludes to here…about her “glistening cleavage”. Sullivan production secretary Barbra Forster was there and told me this story. Even though they were in Miami, so was a CBS censor! The man from the dreaded Program Practices saw the rehearsal and notice Mitzi was sweating as she danced and it was only after seeing the sweat drip into her cleavage that he became concerned that she was showing too much. After a lot of cringing and arguing, more powder was added and a small scarf was tucked in behind the top of her dress to cover the offending extra inch of skin. Now you’ll understand her comments about the catholic church. Thanks to Glenn Mack for the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI-8YxFNArM&feature=youtu.be

See the full interview at http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mitzi-gaynor
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Guess What Else Was Happening 50 Years Ago Today…The Winter Olympics From Innsbrook

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Guess What Else Was Happening 50 Years Ago Today…

The Winter Olympics From Innsbruck, Austria

The 1964 Winter Games marked the beginning of the ABC era of Olympic broadcasting, encouraged by the man who would pioneer the coverage of sports on television, Roone Arledge. ABC paid $597,000 for the broadcast rights, which produced 17.5 hours of programming. Arledge, who created ‘The Wide World of Sports utilized much of the staff from that show to cover the games including the host, Jim McKay, who was lured to ABC from CBS in 1961. Like the 1960 summer Olympics from Rome, coverage required flying the black and white video tapes back to the U.S. in order to be broadcast. Fortunately, with many of the events taking place in the morning in Austria, the folks in the States often got to see them broadcast on the same day. As an aside, CBS had the broadcast rights to the Rome summer Olympics in ’60 and as they played the air couriered tapes back in New York, Jim McKay was the anchor (as there was no host in Rome) and that started his long run as Olympics host. On the February 8, 1964 TV Guide pages below, notice the 3:30 listing. As you see in the special ad on the left bottom, the Olympics came to an end Monday, February 10 1964. They had started in the last week of January. Thanks to David Schwartz at Game Show Network for the photo.


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Paar Or Cronkite? Which One Aired The Beatles First? Part 2

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Paar Or Cronkite? Which One Aired The Beatles First? Part 2

As I said yesterday…I have found that the deeper I dig into the history of television’s events, equipment and shows, there seems to be more than one correct answer to every question. Take for instance, The Beatles first appearance on US television. As you will see in this clip, Jack Paar takes credit for having them on first..which is true if you only count their appearance on entertainment shows, but if you also count new shows, that’s not correct. They appeared on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite November 21, 1963. Their American debut on an entertainment show happened on ‘The Tonight Show With Jack Paar’ on January 3, 1964. I think this video of Paar describing and playing back tape from that night is from a 1973 episode of Paar’s show on ABC. The Beatles were not there, or live but were on film that Paar had someone shoot at a UK performance. His retrospective is…well…typical Paar! He is much missed by many, including me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ8RfymgO8Q

The Real First Time U.S.A Tv Appearance On The Jack Parr Show, But It Was A Film Clip From England, “Not Live” The Beatles Were Live On The Ed Sullivan Show …
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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…4 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…4 Days

Notice the lady in the glasses behind George Harrison…that is Barbara Forster. At the time, she was Barbra Smith, secretary to Ed’s son in law, and producer Bob Precht. Here’s an interesting story she told me Sunday. Only two production secretaries traveled to Miami for the second Beatles appearance and the work was non stop…she was lucky to get four hours of sleep, but maybe the second part of this story makes up for that. When musical artist appeared on the show, they always had to supply a lead sheet of music with lyrics to aid the director in taking shots at the right time. The Beatles did not have any so, as Barbra took notes in short hand, Paul sang/talked the lyrics of all seven songs to her and sometimes John sang along. They were in living room of the band’s suite where John, George and Ringo and they were calling room service for more “tellys” to be brought up for each bedroom. The camera in the photo is an RCA TK30 owned by long time CBS affiliate WTVJ (my old alma mater). The CBS logo is on a large sheet covering the local call letters. Notice that where the focus knob should be, there is a camera 4 placard which is covering the hole. Why? Because WTVJ’s first cameras were Dumont 124B models with the focus control built into the right pan handle. When they got the TK30s, the cameramen had liked the old way so much that they bought an RCA TK41 pan handle for each camera which attached to the bottom, right of the TK30 camera body.


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Paar Or Cronkite? Which One Aired The Beatles First? Part 1

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Paar Or Cronkite? Which One Aired The Beatles First? Part 1

This is the first part of a story that has two more parts that will follow in the next two days. I have found that the deeper I dig into the history of television’s events, equipment and shows, there seems to be more than one correct answer to every question I have. A few weeks back in a video clip, Walter Cronkite took credit for bringing The Beatles to Ed Sullivan’s attention. But, there is the famous story of Sullivan seeing them arrive at London’s airport to a mob of screaming fans…so, who’s right? This two page article from Bruce Spitzer is the best account I’ve read…it is a very well written, in depth telling of how The Beatles came to the attention of the American public and came to rule the world of music in the sixties and beyond. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.beatlesagain.com/the-beatles-on-ed-sullivan.html

The Story Behind The Beatles on Ed Sullivan – Internet Beatles Album

Internet Beatles Album – The Story Behind The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
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Entire ‘Tonight Show’ Staff Laid Off as Jimmy Fallon Moves Show From Burbank to NYC – TheWrap

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The “Other Shoe” Drops In Burbank

Entire ‘Tonight Show’ Staff Laid Off as Jimmy Fallon Moves Show From Burbank to NYC – TheWrap

All 164 employees are being encouraged to apply for positions in New York
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This Weekend, The Marque Changes!

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This Weekend, The Marque Changes!

This weekend, CBS will recreate the February 9, 1964 theater marque for Studio 50. It’s part of the Sunday night celebration on the web and on the air. The link below will take you to the CBS live stream platform for the show that starts at 6:30 Sunday afternoon from the show’s original home. From 8 till 10, the Beatles tribute concert will air “on the telly”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4jBB_fZHX4



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Anniversary Count Down…5 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…5 Days

There was only thing the Ed Sullivan staff and crew knew for sure…they were on at 8 and off at 9! Everything else…well, it was up to Ed! I’ve talked to about half a dozen people that worked on the Sullivan show, and aside from the opening line above, they will all tell you that Ed did not really understand television…even after all those years on it. Sullivan was an newspaper man and to him, a change just meant editing his column and resetting the typeoliner. He was notorious for rearranging the show even while it was on the air. At the last minute, he would ask acts to stretch out a song or ask comedians to cut one of their routines in half. On stage “keep him on the paper” was the secret instruction to staff and crew…it meant two things. First, it meant keep him from making changes to the final line up sheet, and second, it meant (like a puppy) keep him on stage in his corner as he was bad about wandering off. As a newspaper man, he worked alone and never with a team and he really never understood “team work”. The rule was, to get along with Ed, it’s best to stay out of his way. He had a very short temper and could cuss a blue streak calling you every name in the book, and fired many people on the spot. Below is what I think is the most interesting article I’ve ever read on Sullivan. It’s a 1997 piece in “Vanity Fair” by Nick Tosches. Enjoy!

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/1997/07/ed-sullivan-199707

The God of Sunday Night: Remembering The Ed Sullivan Show

“To be seen with Sullivan Sunday night was to be a star Monday morning. To be called over to shake Ed’s hand was to connect with the Brightest Lights in the Big Room. Still, he was a guy the smarties liked to razz, a Broadway Nixon with sweat streaming down his forehead.”
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THIS IS A HUGE DISCOVERY!!!

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THIS IS A HUGE DISCOVERY!!!

Over the years, I have seen the occasional reference to Saturday rehearsals of ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ and have wondered if that was correct and here’s why…Jackie Gleason. Since signing with CBS in 1952, his live shows always came from Studio 50 and always aired on Saturday nights. Only after Gleason left around ’58 did Sullivan have access to the Studio 50 stage on Saturdays, BUT…September 19, 1962 Gleason returned with ‘Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine’ show. That show aired on Saturday nights from 7:30 – 8:30 and everyone assumed the show came from Studio 50, but there was no record. So…how could Sullivan do camera blocking on Saturday? Did Gleason do his show from another CBS theater? Did they tape the show in 50 and play it back later? Well, now we know that the Gleason show was done live to tape on Tuesday nights in Studio 50! Before now, there was no record of any kind and no mention anywhere that told us where ‘American Scene’ originated or that the show was done on tape. I’ve been asking a lot of people about this lately, but thanks to David Schwartz at Game Show Network and KTLA veteran Joel Tator, we have the proof. This ticket to the October 8, 1963 taping tells the whole story, but had Joel Tater not kept it, we would still be in the dark. Gleason’s last show from Studio 50 was May 23, 1964 as he moved the show to Miami Beach which debuted there on September 26, 1964 and stayed in Miami till the end in 1970. Many thanks to Joel Tater and David Schwartz! This is something you should share with your friends.


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Sullivan/Beatles Schedule, Shows 1, 2 and 3

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Sullivan/Beatles Schedule, Shows 1, 2 and 3

I’ve had this for a few weeks, but until now, I could not vouch for it’s accuracy. The problem has always been the Saturday, February 8 rehearsal for camera blocking. I’ll go into detail in another of today’s posts on why I resisted believing in the Saturday rehearsal and it has to do with Jackie Gleason. In the mean time, take a look. When you look at the song lists, remember they were split up into performances in the first half hour and the second half hour of each show.


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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…6 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…6 Days

Mayhem in Miami. The photo on the left was shot during the dress rehearsal and is a mirror reflecting the Beatles over the head of the audience of 2,500. One camera is shooting the crowd and one cameraman with his back to us is shooting the band. There were 6 TK30s there for the Miami show, but the only camera on stage was the CBS/Ikegami hand held we saw last week. On the right is a shot of The Deauville Hotel on Saturday, the day before the show and the crowds are already huge. Yesterday Betty Forster who was a Sullivan production secretary told me how hard it was for staff to get into Studio 50 on Saturday and Sunday the week before in New York, but the Miami mob scene was just incredible. The fire department had a hook and ladder at the hotel because girls were literally climbing the walls of the hotel to get inside. Barbara said the one work that would best describe the Miami show is “overwhelming”. Not only for the staff, but so was everything else, including the hotel’s power, air conditioning and security force. Generators had to be brought in to run the production truck as the hotel power source became unstable. Adding all the stage light heat to an unusually hot day and two audiences of 2,500 each, the air conditioning was straining and this was a problem. Mitzi Gaynor who was also on the show was shiny with perspiration in rehearsals and make up people were constantly adding powder to all the entertainers. The owner of the hotel wrote in a telegram to Sullivan that the security force was double the size of the one on hand for a visit from President Kennedy the year before, but as we’ll see later in this week, that still wasn’t enough. At the New York show, the camera crew had learned the hard way to do exactly what they did in rehearsals because you could not hear anything in the headsets because of all the screaming.



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Preparing Studio 6B For The Return Of The Tonight Show (A)

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Preparing Studio 6B For The Return Of The Tonight Show (A)

This is a photo of NBC 6B in mid November looking toward the audience seating end of the studio. This shows the new floor and new walls with a new light grid in place. The walls and ceiling have been redone and the space is now ready for all the things that must come before the show goes on the air. Security is very tight and only the working crew is now allowed inside. Thanks to a friend for this and the photos in Part B below.


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Preparing Studio 6B For The Return Of The Tonight Show (B)

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Preparing Studio 6B For The Return Of The Tonight Show (B)

Several months back, Jimmy Fallon moved to 6A so that crews could do a major overhaul of 6B before the ‘Tonight Show’ moved back to New York. For many years, the column you see in the photo on the right had been a problem. Johnny Carson’s desk sat almost directly in front of it, so it wasn’t that big a problem for that set, but as you know, other shows use the studio too and working around it was sometimes difficult. In the photo on the right, you can see a dark square on the floor where the column used to be as it is now gone and replaced by a cross beam support. If only those walls could talk!



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NewsConference: KNBC-TV makes the big move to Universal

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KNBC Leaves Only Leno At Burbank, But Only Till Thursday

Last night, KNBC did their last broadcast from what we used to call, the NBC Burbank Studios. Today, they are broadcasting from the NBC Universal complex. The last true NBC network show left there is ‘Tonight With Jay Leno’ and as we all know, that comes to an end this Thursday night. ‘Days Of Our Lives’ which airs on NBC is still being shot in Studios 2 and 4, but the production company leases that space. In Studio 1, Carson’s old home, ‘Access Hollywood’ is shot daily, but if you walked onto the set, you would not see the audience seats as the set is circular and it’s pretty dark in the outer boundaries. RIP Burbank!

NewsConference: KNBC-TV makes the big move to Universal

After decades of being headquartered in Burbank, KNBC-TV moves to the Universal lot to a brand new complex. NBC4’s Conan Nolan shares a little history.
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February 1969…The First RCA TK44s Delivered

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February 1969…The First RCA TK44s Delivered

In the first week of February 1969, WBAP took delivery of four RCA TK44As with the serial numbers 001 through 004. These camera were for their new mobile unit and I think near the end of the year, they bought four more for their studios.Three of the cameras had the Varitol 10×1 lens and one has the larger 15×1 lens. Yippie I O Ki A!


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Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun…

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Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun…

Here’s the Chapman built double header that will be on the sidelines for Fox today at the Super Bowl game. Looks like they caught a break with the weather today. Hopefully the commercials won’t be the only entertaining part of today’s broadcast.


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FINALLY! I’ve Found It & Why I Was Looking For It…

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FINALLY! I’ve Found It & Why I Was Looking For It.

It took me forever, but I’ve finally found out the exact dates on Jackie Gleason’s move to Miami. In 1957, Gleason took a break from doing a weekly series but on September 29, 1962 he returned to CBS with ‘Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine’. Like in the old days, the show aired Saturday nights at 7:30 EST. The last show from New York was on May 23, 1964. The first Miami show was on September 26, 1964. One reason I’ve been wanting to know this has to do with The Beatles and Ed Sullivan, who’s live show was less than 24 hours away on the same stage. I have seen a few mentions of a 1:30 Beatles rehearsal at Studio 50 on Saturday, February 8, 1964, but if Gleason’s show was still being done at 50, like his first CBS run, that would be impossible. Gleason’s show was live (episode 16, season 2), and not a rerun. 1:30 would have been smack dab in the middle of the camera rehearsals. I know these Gleason shows were taped, but I think they were live to tape and not a playback of a show done at say 5:30 that day. As I mentioned in the Correction post below, I’ll be taking to long time production secretary of the Sullivan show this afternoon and hope to answer some of these questions. Stay tuned!


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Correcting A Fortunate Error…

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Correcting A Fortunate Error…

A few days ago, I identified the blond lady on the left as Ed’s daughter, Betty Sullivan Precht who’s husband was the show’s producer, Bob Precht. In trying to identify the lady on the right, I have made contact with two ladies that were both production secretaries on the show in the sixties…Lois Ringle and Barbara Forster. The blond is Barbara Forster and I will be talking with her this afternoon. Back then, she was Barbara Smith and was Bob Precht’s secretary. The brunette is Emily Cole and was secretary to the associate producer Jack McGeehan.

In an email from Barbara yesterday, here is a little of what she wrote. “I worked on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York from Sept. 1961 to Feb. 1966, moved to Los Angeles, was called back to work as lead Production Secretary on the Expo ’67 show in Montreal, and upon our return to NY was asked to work out the rest of Sullivan’s live season before returning to L.A. My job during the week was as Secretary to Bob Precht, the producer, and in Studio 50 alternate weekends, I was a production secretary as part of a team of three women who alternated job responsibilities to get the show on the air live at 8.” The other two women were Lois Ringle and Emily Cole. Lois helped me fine Barbara and I will be speaking to Lois again soon and hopefully to Emily Cole as well about their day at the heart of ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’.

In a way, I feel like the curator of a giant art gallery that has to know the who, what, when and where of each painting, but without even knowing who the painter was. Ninety percent of the photos and videos you see here have no dates, places, names or details with them. That is information that I have to research…all of it, every day. I do make mistakes from time to time, but that’s where I’ve come to count on the many of you that worked with these stars, shows, networks and programs to help fill in the blanks and add to the experience. Your help is always appreciated by me and the many others who learn from your comments. Keep up the good work and thank you! By the way, last week, this page had over 28,000 views.


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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…7 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…7 Days

The more I dig into the details, the more interesting this story becomes. Most of us never knew George Harrison was very sick with the flu and up till the last minute, it was 50/50 on whether he would be able to perform. As I had posted before, Beatles road manager Neil Aspinall (left photo) stood in for Harrison at the short Saturday camera rehearsal (Feb 8, 1:30) and again at the 9:30 AM rehearsal, BUT…there was a “stand in” for “the stand in”! During the Sunday morning rehearsal, manager Brian Epstein rushed Aspinall back to the hotel to deal with a crises. Harrison’s sister, Louise, who’d been taking care of him, couldn’t get past security back into the Plaza Hotel with medicine she had just picked up. It was a mob scene and, the band was in danger of being booted out of the Plaza due the arrival of thousands of teenagers outside. In the center and right photos, we see Sulliavn’s 29 year old Vince Calandra standing in for Aspinall and Harrison. Vince started in the mail room, moved to Q cards and at this point, was an associate producer. He later said in his 14 years with Sullivan, no one had ever asked to go into the control room to see a playback of their rehearsal, but The Beatles did. Years later, Ringo recalled how bad the sound was and how hard they had to work with the audio people to improve the sound they started with. That’s the reason the 2:30 dress rehearsal lasted almost 2 hours and nearly pushed back the 4:30 taping of the February 23 show.




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Very, Very Cool Tribute To NBC Burbank! Then & Now!

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Very, Very Cool Tribute To NBC Burbank!

Some wonderful soul has inserted a present day video trip down the same path of Steve Allen’s original 1958 singing stroll through the halls of NBC Burbank. The original clip was part of a Steve Allen special taped at NBC Burbank and is performed to an Allen composition, “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big”. In this clip he is joined by Ann Sothern, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Dinah Shore and a special mystery guest. In one great long shot, they sing and stroll from Studio 1 (Steve Allen Show, & Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show Studio) and end the song over at Studio 4, (Dinah Shore Show, Laugh In, Dean Martin, Midnight Special), today it is home to ‘Day’s of Our Lives’. Many thanks to Bob Z, who ever you are for shooting this and to Richard Wirth for sharing the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbxoF4F0TrY

This is a special version of a YOUTUBE clip uploaded by goldenvmedia of This Could Be the Start of Something Big-Steve Allen Show clip as video taped at NBC …
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This Is The RCA TK44 Prototype Camera

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Ever See One Of These In Person?

This is the RCA TK44 prototype camera in action at the 1967 NAB. It used an Isocon tube in the luminescence channel and three lead oxide tubes in the chrominance channels. The TK44A dropped the luminescence channel and replaced the lead oxide tubes with Plumbicons and new optics. It cost $74,800 and in January of 1969, the first four were shipped to WBAP in Dallas/Ft Worth for use in their new mobile unit.

There may have been a mock up of this camera made for static display in another part of the ’67 RCA exhibit, but sadly, neither were saved. Actually, none of the RCA prototype cameras exist. I was told by Lou Bazin, (who was the main development engineer on the TK44A and B, TK45, TKP 45, TK76 and many others), that once a camera went into production, the prototypes were picked over for parts in use on other projects. A TK48 was built, but was trashed along with a lot of trade in cameras and new, unshipped and unfinished cameras at Camden when the sale to GE went through and the broadcast division closed.


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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…8 Days

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Beatles 50th Sullivan Anniversary Count Down…8 Days

On February 9, 1964, The Beatles were not the only British singing stars to make their American television debut. As you’ll see in the screen shot from the same night, Davie Jones was there too, but not as The Monkey’s lead singer. He was playing the roll of the Artful Dodger in ‘Oliver’ which was a huge hit on Broadway. He had also played the part in London before the show came to the US. Posing backstage with The Beatles is his co star, Georgia Brown who played the roll of Nancy. When The Beatles hit the stage, Davie watched from the left side of the stage and later said to reporters, “I watched the Beatles from the side of the stage, I saw the girls going crazy, and I said to myself, this is it, I want a piece of that.” He got it too! I met him a few times and have to tell you, he is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Rest In Peace Davie.



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Introducing The RCA TK30: October 1946, “Broadcast News”

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Introducing The RCA TK30: October 1946, “Broadcast News”

This is the entire edition of RCA’s “Broadcast News” magazine that features this brand new camera in a very detailed, multi page story. The cover page photo is in relation to the first ever use of this camera at the Joe Lewis – Billy Conn boxing match held at Yankee Stadium. Even after taking in the TK30 story, it’s fun to browse the rest of this issue for an interesting look back at audio boards, transmitters and more technology that, at the time, was “state of the art”.

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RCA-Broadcast-News/RCA-44.pdf

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