Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Follow The Yellow Brick Road…

Follow The Yellow Brick Road…

In this rare photo from ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ we see one of the huge Techincolor cameras in action. Production on the bulk of the Technicolor sequences was a long and cumbersome process that ran for over six months, from October 1938 to March 1939. Most of the actors worked six days a week and had to arrive at the studio as early as four or five in the morning to be fitted with makeup and costumes, and would not leave until seven or eight at night. Cumbersome makeup and costumes were compounded by the fact that the early Technicolor process required a significant amount of lighting to be used (due to the low ASA speed of the film), which would usually heat the set to over a hundred degrees

Source

Letterman Tribute To Johnny Carson, Part 1


Letterman Tribute To Johnny Carson, Part 1 of 6

A week or so after Carson’s death, Dave did a great tribute show to his mentor. In this part, all the jokes in the monologue were written by Carson and faxed to Dave in the month prior. Dave speaks of this in some later segments that I’ll posting tomorrow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BiHLK5lFvQ

Dave’s opening monologue consists entirely of jokes sent to him from Johnny Carson. Then Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra play Carson’s theme song. This ep…

Source

His Master’s Voice…


His Master’s Voice…

Here’s a rare moment…Johnny Carson as a guest on David Letterman’s show in 1985. Enjoy!

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

Johnny making an appearance on Letterman Show in Burbank CA @ NBC Studios

Source

Q Card Hell!

Q Card Hell!

Can you imagine? Here’s an associate producer working on Q cards for a show at CBS Television City. Can you imagine what chaos there would be on a live show if these were out of order?

Source

Episode 1, ‘Studio One’…’The Storm, November 7, 1948


Episode 1, ‘Studio One’…’The Storm, November 7, 1948

Also known as Westinghouse Studio One, Studio One From Hollywood, Summer Theater and Westinghouse Summer Theater, this series of dramas ran on CBS from ’48 to ’58. ‘Twelve Angry Men’ was one of the many blockbuster presentations in this series that was always among the top rated shows and an Emmy magnet.

Shown here are Margret Sullivan and Dean Jagger. Notice the extended arm on the HF Panoram dolly. More, a few posts below.

Source

53 Seconds Of Fun We Never Saw On The Air! CLASSIC!


53 Seconds Of Fun We Never Saw On The Air! CLASSIC!

Veteran “Pyramid” player Tony Randall takes host Dick Clark by surprise with his pointers on how to play the game. Follow me on Twitter at @CraigShemin Read …

Source

Good For A Laugh…Oldies, but goodies…


Good For A Laugh…

Oldies, but goodies…

Source

CBS, First Color Truck Tour


CBS, First Color Trucks

This is a tour of one of the first CBS color trucks and was probably made in 1965 or 66 as the first Norelco cameras received were were installed in the CBS mobile units so they could cover sports in color. No audio on the first few seconds so don’t adjust your speakers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQalMEtkSS0

CBSMUA2

Source

The Cameras Of The BBC


Quite Interesting

This gives us a look at a lot of the different cameras the BBC used up till 1956, including the new Marconi color camera the BD 848 which is very similar to the RCA TK41 for a reason…Marconi was licensed by RCA to use their technology. Most of the cameras seem to be EMI models. Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G36AaMDFdM

A Panorama programme from June 1956, with Richard Dimbleby, showing a behind the scenes view of technological advances in BBC Television. Showing the studios…

Source

BBC’s Early Video Tape Experiments…


BBC’s Early Video Tape Experiments…

This is very much like the RCA test model built in 1950. I think both systems used 1/2 inch tape but they moved at 200 inches per second and could only record 15 minutes of programming, even though the reels were huge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f1GDQDB0Ss

Early video tape machine developed by the BBC starting in 1952. VERA – an acronym for Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus – used half inch magnetic tape on…

Source

Historically Speaking…History Of Editing


Historically Speaking…

This is a very interesting history of the way television shows were broadcast and recorded first to Kinescopes and later to videotape and how they were edited. Did you know ‘Laugh In’ episodes took over 50 hours to edit? This take us all the way up to Avid systems.

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

Trace the history of modern day film editing – starting with electronic engineers developing solutions for capturing and editing television through to the fi…

Source

Quad Tape Editing


Short Subject…

Here’s a quick look at how manual and electronic videotape editing was done in the early days of the medium.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YtmwB9Ds5Y

Shows how to splice 2 inch ‘quad’ video tape using a microscope and two machine ‘electronic’ video editing from the 1960’s – www.vtoldboys.com

Source

A Real Breakthrough…First Non Linear Editing


A Real Breakthrough…at the time

Very interesting demo of the first nonlinear editing system from 1971.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bNmsKBqFPQ

The CMX 600 was the very first non-linear video editing system. It was introduced in 1971 by CMX Systems, a joint venture between CBS and Memorex. CMX referr…

Source

The Way Back Machine…This is a 1961 tape effects sales demo


The Way Back Machine…

This is a 1961 tape effects sales demo from KTTV in Los Angeles. Quite interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZUbtrZUAY8

1961 demonstration of video based effects by Los Angles based KTTV. Called “Television Tape” as Ampex had trademarked “Videotape” http://www.televisiontape.t…

Source

Back By Popular Demand #2

Back By Popular Demand #2

Source

Back By Popular Demand…

Back By Popular Demand…

Source

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 1

Long before ‘American Idol’, ‘Star Search’ and even Arthur Godfrey’s ‘Talent Scout’ came to television, there was this. As you’ll see below in the other 3 parts, this was the granddaddy of them all. Between the radio and television years, the show discovered the likes of Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, Ann Margret, Gladys Knight, Irene Kara, Tonya Tucker and more.

Not long ago, the longtime television producer of this show, Albert Fisher sent me these photos. I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures and the story that unfolds here as there is REAL HISTORY here!

Before we get to far along though, notice the Dumont Iconoscope camera pedestal. This is the only photo I’ve ever seen where you can clearly see the height adjustment wheel which is just in front of the pan head. I had always wondered how the camera was raised and lowered on what many Dumont cameramen affectionately called this pedestal…”the milk truck”. Enjoy!

Source

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 2

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 2

Like many other shows that moved from radio to TV, this one was a continuation of ‘Major Bowes Amateur Hour’ which had been a radio staple from 1934 to 1945. Major Edward Bowes, the originator of the program and its master of ceremonies, left the show in 1945 and died the following year. He was ultimately succeeded by Ted Mack, when the show was brought into television in 1948.

Despite the program’s title, it was generally only a half-hour show, the only exception to this rule being from March 1956 to June 1957 on ABC, when it was expanded to an hour. The format was almost always the same. At the beginning of the show, the talent’s order of appearance was determined by spinning a wheel. After it was announced how many episodes the current one marked (the final broadcast on CBS being the 1,651st), the wheel was spun. As the wheel spun, the words “Round and round she goes, and where she stops nobody knows” were always intoned. From the late 1950s forward, the wheel was gone. The photo below was taken during a quick rehearsal at the Adelphi Theater and is courtesy of Albert Fisher…the shows longtime producer.

Source

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 3

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 3

The series is one of only six shows to appear on all four TV networks during the Golden Age of Television…the others were The Arthur Murray Party; Down You Go; The Ernie Kovacs Show; Pantomime Quiz; and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. The television debut came on January 18, 1948 on the DuMont Television Network with Mack as the host and was broadcast live weekly, at 7 PM Sunday evenings on DuMont until September 25, 1949. The show then moved to NBC Television in October 1949 where it remained until September 1954.

From October of 1955 till June of ’57, the show aired on ABC, then returned to NBC (July 1957 to October 1958). It then ran from May 1959 to October 1959 on CBS, before returning to ABC for a last prime-time run from March 1960 to September 26, 1960. Even then the show wasn’t finished—it ran for another decade as a late-Sunday-afternoon feature on CBS, beginning on October 2, 1960.

Many long-running CBS shows were cancelled in 1970-71 because they attracted viewers of an older demographic. However, Ted Mack beat CBS to the punch and terminated the Original Amateur Hour of his own volition. The final show was broadcast on September 27, 1970 giving the show a 22 year run. This photo is of the show at NBC and is courtesy of Albert Fisher…long time producer of the show.

Source

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 4

The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack: Part 4

‘The Amature Hour’ originated from The Adelphi Theater in NYC which is most remembered as the place where the classic, 39 episodes of ‘The Honeymooners’ was shot using the Dumont Electronicams. The Adelphi was located at 152 West 54th Street in New York City, with 1,434 seats. It was owned by Dumont from around 1950 till 1957. In this photo of the show in progress, we see the two Dumont Iconoscope cameras that were used to shoot the show. Photo courtesy of Albert Fisher…the show’s producer.

Source

Even From The Back, You Know Who This Is…

Even From The Back, You Know Who This Is…

If you grew up in the 50s, you’d know Roy Rogers from any angle! Here’s Roy and Dale doing an interview in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1961. I suspect they were there for an appearance at the state fair.

Source

Ellerbee Camera Collection Video Tour


Ellerbee Camera Collection Video Tour

For those of you that have never seen this, here it is again. I shot this a couple of years back with a small 35mm photo camera and it shows all of the 16 cameras I have on display here in my home. At the time, I had about 25 cameras, now, with the addition of the 70+ ENG cameras, there are about 100 cameras in the collection. Enjoy![fb_vid id=”10200462127141865″]

Source

Marconi Mark IVs and RCA TK60s In Action!


Marconi Mark IVs and RCA TK60s In Action!

From Jerry Lewis’s ‘The Patsy’ from 1964, this clip captures two great TV studio scenes. The first shows the Marconis in action and the second shows the TK60. Had the camera uses been reversed, it would have been correct as Sullivan never had TK60s, but did have Marconi Mark IVs. Since KTLA was owned by Paramount at the time, the Marconi cameras were theirs and that scene was probably shot there.[fb_vid id=”10200462085660828″]

Source

See Anything “Interesting” In This 1907 Photo?

See Anything “Interesting” In This 1907 Photo?

Yes…a microphone! Believe it or not, Thomas Edison had been working on adding sound to film as early as 1895 with the Kinetophone. Basically it was a wax cylinder recording that was not synchronized with the images and debuted in the peep show style, single viewer, flip book consoles that predated the projection of film.

Experimentation with sound film technology, both for recording and playback, was virtually constant throughout the silent era, but the twin problems of accurate synchronization and sufficient amplification had been difficult to overcome. In 1926, Hollywood studio Warner Bros. introduced the “Vitaphone” system, producing short films of live entertainment acts and public figures and adding recorded sound effects and orchestral scores to some of its major features. During late 1927, Warners released The Jazz Singer, which was mostly silent but contained what is generally regarded as the first synchronized dialogue (and singing) in a feature film; but this process was actually accomplished first by Charles Taze Russell in 1914 with the lengthy film The Photo-Drama of Creation. This drama consisted of picture slides and moving pictures synchronized with phonograph records of talks and music. The early sound-on-disc processes such as Vitaphone were soon superseded by sound-on-film methods like Fox Movietone, DeForest Phonofilm, and RCA Photophone. The trend convinced the largely reluctant industrialists that “talking pictures”, or “talkies”, were the future. A lot of attempts were made before the success of the Jazz Singer,

Source

The Edison Studios…Home Of The First Motion Pictures

The Edison Studios…Home Of The First Motion Pictures

In 1907, Edison had new facilities built on Decatur Avenue and Oliver Place in the Bronx and the photo below was taken there in 1908. This was the third studio Edison built. Its first production facility, Edison’s Black Maria studios in West Orange, New Jersey, was built in the winter of 1892–93. The second facility, a glass-enclosed rooftop studio built at 41 East 21st Street in Manhattan’s entertainment district, opened in 1901.

Edison Studios was the original American motion picture production company owned by the Edison Company of inventor Thomas Edison. The studio made close to 1,200 films as the Edison Manufacturing Company (1894–1911) and Thomas A. Edison, Inc. (1911–1918) until the studio’s closing in 1918. Of that number, 54 were feature length, the remainder were shorts.

The first commercially exhibited motion pictures in the United States were from Edison, and premiered at a Kinetoscope parlor in New York City on April 14, 1894. The program consisted of ten short films, each less than a minute long, of athletes, dancers, and other performers. After competitors began exhibiting films on screens, Edison introduced its own Projecting Kinetoscope in late 1896.

The earliest productions were brief “actualities” showing everything from acrobats to parades to fire calls. But competition from French and British story films in the early 1900s rapidly changed the market. By 1904, 85% of Edison’s sales were from story films.
Some of the studio’s notable productions include The Kiss (1896), The Great Train Robbery (1903), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1910), the first Frankenstein film in 1910, the first ever serial made in 1912 titled What Happened to Mary, and The Land Beyond the Sunset (1912). The company also produced a number of short “Kinetophone” sound films in 1913–1914 using a sophisticated acoustical recording system capable of picking up sound from 30 feet away. The studio also released a number of Raoul Barré cartoon films in 1915.

In December 1908, Edison led the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company in an attempt to control the industry and shut out smaller producers.[2] The “Edison Trust,” as it was nicknamed, was made up of Edison, Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Productions, Lubin Studios, Georges Méliès, Pathé, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph Studios, and dominated distribution through the General Film Company. The Motion Picture Patents Co. and the General Film Co. were found guilty of antitrust violation in October 1915, and were dissolved.

The breakup of the Trust by federal courts under monopoly laws, and the loss of European markets during World War I, hurt Edison financially. Edison sold its film business, including the Bronx studio, on March 30, 1918 to the Lincoln & Parker Film Company of Massachusetts.

Source

First KFO…Two Points Of Interest

Two Points Of Interest…

Before it was renamed ‘Kukla, Fran And Ollie’ in October of 1948 when it moved to WNBQ and NBC, the show was called ‘Junior Jamboree’ and debuted on Chicago’s WBKB in November of ’47. Although WBKB was able to buy the new RCA TK30 IO cameras, it could not afford new pedestals and put the cameras on their two home made dollies that used a barber’s chair for the base. The dollies were built during WWII and had formerly supported Dumont Iconoscope cameras.

Source

CBS Uses Thomson Cameras…1985 NCAA Championships


CBS Uses Thomson Cameras…1985 NCAA Championships

Yesterday, veteran cameraman Kevin Vahey mentioned in a note his surprise to see CBS using Thomson cameras on a remote in 1977 in Los Angeles. Kevin wondered if that was just an LA truck or if there was more to it. I think there was more to it and this video from 1985 is part of the reason. I think CBS did a lot of trials after the Norelco cameras began to age and the mobile units were good places to test new cameras. This video is was shot in Louisville Kentucky.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf1F_YLtp4c

From CBS, the sports segment of a film for affiliates showing behind the scenes of the CBS Television Network. You see the heads of the divisions, talent and…

Source

Vintage Video Collections

America’s Camera Collections

My friend Richard Wirth recently published this article “Vintage Video Collections” that shines a light on the custodians of what’s left of the vintage television equipment, and where it is now. Enjoy!
http://provideocoalition.com/pvcexclusive/story/the-collections

Vintage Video Collections

In 1953, color television became a reality in the US.  At the time, the cameras weighed over 300 pounds and were referred to as “coffins” because they were so huge.

Source

KTLA Behind The Scenes, 1960…Even Rose Parade Is Included!!!

KTLA: Behind The Scenes…January 1, 1960 14 Must See Minutes!

From 3:14, where we meet the Color Unit, this is full of in studio and Rose Parade shots. Incredibly, what is not mentioned here is that on this day, KTLA in had already broadcast the Rose Parade in black and white from near the start, and after these two shows (30 minuets each) would broadcast the Rose Parade again in color from near the end of the 5.5 mile route. Thanks to Paul Duca for the video…more on this tomorrow!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vI-Y_nMs8gA

Television Serves Its Community – 1960 Social Guidance / Educational Documentary

A look at how television programs are prepared for transmission, includes details of planning, rehearsals and the final televised shows. Examples are used to…

Source

‘All Star Review’, 1952…One Of The First Camera Mounted Teleprompters

‘All Star Review’, 1952

In the last year of so of this NBC show, Martha Raye was the host of this popular show as it morphed from a rotating host format to a single host. Soon after, it became ‘The Martha Raye Show’. In this shot, Martha is rehearsing a spot for Kellogs with Arthur Treachur who played many a butler role and a few years later, went on to become Merv Griffin’s side kick and straight man. Notice the huge teleprompter being held onto the TK10 with a strap. Thanks to David Zornig and Jim Young for the photo.

Source

Scroll Up