Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Patti Page…The Singin Rage!

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Patti Page…The Singin Rage!

Here’s a publicity photo for ‘The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show’ that aired on ABC in 1958. I think this originated at the ABC Prospect Studios in Los Angeles. The camera is an RCA TK10.


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RCA Wireless Mini Camera: 1956

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RCA Wireless Mini Camera: 1956

In a publicity photo for 1956 convention coverage, NBC’s Chet Huntley poses with the “Walkie-Lookie” camera, a miniature wireless vidicon camera designed for coverage of the 1952 political conventions.


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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 5 of 5

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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 5 of 5

As a cartoon voice actor myself, I find it fascinating to see what the people behind the characters look like, and hope you will too.

Bob Bruce Frequent narrator in WB Cartoons in the 40s
Howard McNear character actor Flintstones and Floyd the barber on Andy Griffith
Penny Singleton Jane Jetson
Kenny Delmar Commander McBragg, a Jay Ward cartoon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=ZK5mx0uvHyA&feature=endscreen

The fifth and possibly last of our exciting series on famous cartoon voice actors. This installment features players who were all also famous radio personali…
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You Mean It Wasn’t A Real Building?

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You Mean It Wasn’t A Real Building?

Here’s the Hill Valley courthouse from ‘Back To The Future’ as it really was…just a facade on Universal’s “courthouse square” back lot.


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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 4 of 5

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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 4 of 5

As a cartoon voice actor myself, I find it fascinating to see what the people behind the characters look like, and hope you will too.

Wally Maher, as Screwball Squirrel
June Foray, as Rocky and many other voices on Rocky and Bullwinkle
Hal Smith, as Flintstones character voice also, Otis on Andy Griffith
Paul Frees, as Boris of Boris and Natasha on Bullwinkle
Elvia Allman, as Granny in Warner Brothers cartoon…the ”Instructor’ in the famous Lucy chocolate store scene
Julie Bennett, as character voice in Fractured Fairy tales Bullwinkle
David Seville, as Alvin and The Chipmunks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=ZR6q33FNGhA&feature=endscreen

The long anticipated fourth installment of our series on famous cartoon voices, features the following artists who were known not only for cartoon work, but …
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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 3 of 5

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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 3 of 5

As a cartoon voice actor myself, I find it fascinating to see what the people behind the characters look like, and hope you will too.

Bea Benaderet, as Betty Rubble on The Flintstones! Listen for the “Betty” laugh in her spot on Jack Benny
Mel Blanc, as Bugs Bunny and as a guest on Flintstones as Barney’s alter ego
Arnold Stang, as the voice of Top Cat
John Stephenson, as Rock Quarey character on The Flintstones
Walter Tetley, as Sherman on Bullwinkle’s ‘Mr Peabody and Sherman’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoF__Y6gTRg

Ever wonder what the actors who voice your favorite cartoon characters really look like? Well, here’s your chance to find out in this three part compilation …
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The Original ‘Tin Man’…Buddy Ebsen

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The Original ‘Tin Man’…Buddy Ebsen

In the classic 1939 movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the Tin Man was played by actor Jack Haley after Buddy Ebsen got sick from the makeup. The Tin Man’s makeup originally contained aluminum powder which got into Ebsen’s lungs, bringing him to the edge of death. A safer paste was devised for his replacement and they all lived happily ever after.


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Episode 1, Season 1, ‘The Roy Rogers Show’

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Episode 1, Season 1, ‘The Roy Rogers Show’

This is the first ever episode of the TV classic and it aired on NBC as 6:30 (ET) Sunday night, December 30, 1951. The series ran one hundred new episodes on NBC for six seasons and ended on June 9, 1957. Beginning in 1961, CBS broadcast reruns of The Roy Rogers Show for three and a half seasons on Saturday mornings. Reruns also aired in France in 1962.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz59ibhFX2c

http://www.royrogersshow.com The Roy Rogers Show JAILBREAK episode. This is the first episode of this wonderful 1950s western series. Starring Roy Rogers, Da…
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Historic Kinescope Footage and The Machine Itself

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Historic Kinescope Footage and The Machine Itself

From NBC’s KNBH in Hollywood, here’s a look at some early kine images starting with some of the first Iconoscope images from 1938. Also seen here, the first broadcast from the Image Orthicon cameras in 1946, what may be the world’s first “music video” and a look at the operation of the Kinescope. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0HbODxTSDmM


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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 2 of 5

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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 2 of 5

As a cartoon voice actor myself, I find it fascinating to see what the people behind the characters look like, and hope you will too. Bryan, Nelson and Thompson’s famous stage voices make them perfect cartoon voice actors for occasional and regular characters.

Arthur Q. Bryan, as Elmer Fudd
George O’Hanlon, as George Jetson
Frank Nelson, as a Flintstones character
Bill Thompson, as Droopy the dog
Hans Conried, as Snidely Whiplash on Dudley Doright
Julie Bennett, as utility voice on Bullwinkle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnOLkc8uY6I

Ever wonder what the actors who voice your favorite cartoon characters really look like? Well, here’s your chance to find out in this three part compilation …
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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 1 of 5

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Famous Cartoon Voice Actors In Live Action Films: Part 1 of 5

As a cartoon voice actor myself, I find it fascinating to see what the people behind the characters look like, and hope you will do to. Interestingly, the cartoon likeness of the character and voice are occasionally quite similar as you will see with Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Betty Boop. Enjoy!

Mae Questel, as Olive Oyl and Betty Boop
Billy Bletcher, as Bugs Bunny tough guy character
Alan Reed, as Fred Flintstone
Jean Vander Pyl, as Wilma Flintstone
Janet Waldo, as Judy Jetson
Sara Berner, as Bugs Bunny Character voice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3SORdHKmfY

Ever wonder what the actors who voice your favorite cartoon characters really look like? Well, here’s your chance to find out in this three part compilation …
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Sullivan…Most Frequent Guests List

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Sullivan…Most Frequent Guests List

Below is ventriloquist Rickie Layne and his friend Velvel in one of his 39 appearances on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’. In the background is “Ed’s cameraman”, George Moses with a TK11.

For twenty three years The Ed Sullivan Show featured over 10,000 performers from music, comedy, sports, novelty, film and many other genres. Who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show the most number of times? Here is a short list of some of the most frequent guests on The Ed Sullivan Show.

-The Canadian slapstick comedy team Wayne & Shuster were on The Ed Sullivan Show the most times with 58 performances.

-The little puppet mouse Topo Gigio appeared 50 times.

-The multi-talented Jack Carter made 49 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.

-American coloratura soprano Roberta Peters was on the show 41 times.

-Comedian Myron Cohen made 43 appearances.

-Ventriloquist Rickie Layne and his dummy Velvel, made 39 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.

-Actor and comedian Alan King appeared 37 times.

-Husband and wife comedy team Stiller and Meara were on Sullivan 36 times.

-Pop singer Connie Francis appeared 26 times.

-Jim Henson’s Muppets and The Kim Sisters were on the show 25 times.

-The Italian romantic tenor Sergio Franchi and comedian Vistor Borge each appeared 24 times

-The beautiful Jane Morgan – 24 Ed Sullivan Show appearances

-Pearl Bailey, Senor Wences and Richard Hearne – 23 Ed Sullivan Show appearances

-The McGuire Sisters – 22 Ed Sullivan Show appearances

-Shelley Berman, Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham, Smith and Dale, and The Harvest Moon Dancers- 21 Ed Sullivan Show appearances

-The Ames Brothers, Totie Fields, George Kirby, Jackie Mason, Joan Rivers and Kate Smith – 20 Ed Sullivan Show appearances

-Marian Marlowe & Nancy Walker – 19 Ed Sullivan Show appearances

-Singer Patti Page and the unforgettable Louis Armstrong graced The Ed Sullivan Show audiences on 18 occasions.


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Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como (May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001)

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Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como (May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001)

Perry Como had a career spanning more than half a century. He recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943. “Mr. C.”, as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history. Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, then continued hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program on a monthly basis until 1967. His television shows and seasonal specials were broadcast throughout the world. Como’s record sales were so high the label literally stopped counting at Como’s behest.

Perry Como made the move from radio to television when NBC initially televised the Chesterfield Supper Club radio program on December 24, 1948. The experimental simulcast was to continue for three Friday “Supper Club” shows, but had gone so well, NBC decided to extend the televised version through August 1949. On September 8, 1949, it became a weekly half-hour offering on Sunday nights, directly opposite Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town.

In 1950, Perry moved to CBS and the show’s title was changed to The Perry Como Chesterfield Show. Como hosted this informal 15 minute musical variety series on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, immediately following the CBS Television News. The Faye Emerson Show was initially broadcast in the same time slot on Tuesday and Thursday.

Como’s CBS contract was to expire on July 1, 1955. The year before, he had been asked to be the master of ceremonies and narrator of the NBC Radio 35th anniversary special. That April, Perry Como signed a 12 year “unbreakable” contract with NBC.

He moved back to NBC with a weekly hour long variety show featuring additional musical and production numbers, comedy sketches and guest stars called The Perry Como Show, premiering Saturday, September 17, 1955. This version of his show was also so popular that in the 1956 – 1957 television season, it reached ninth in the Nielsen ratings, the only show on NBC that season to land in the top ten.

Perry’s announcer on the broadcasts, Frank Gallop, became a foil for Como’s jokes. When the television show began, there was not enough room for Gallop to appear on stage; he was an invisible “voice from the clouds” until the show’s 1958 – 1959 season. There was as much fun at rehearsals as on the show itself. Como’s relaxed and fun-loving manner at rehearsals put many nervous guests at ease. It was common for Como to leave the Saturday afternoon rehearsal for about a half-hour to go to confession. He managed to save some time by asking his music publisher, Mickey Glass, to wait in line for him at the confessional. Glass, who was Jewish, was most agreeable to this, but wondered what to do if his turn came before Como arrived.


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NBC 75th Anniversary Opening

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NBC 75th Anniversary Opening

This short clip is a lot of fun, but the number of famous faces in the crowd is just amazing! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnE1sXCVgxc

Kelsey Grammer’s segment of the NBC 75th Anniversary Special.
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EXTREMELY RARE ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ COLOR FOOTAGE

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EXTREMELY RARE ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ COLOR FOOTAGE

Sara Karloff shared this, the only known color footage of her father in costume as the Frankenstein monster. It is shot by a crew member with a home movie camera during a makeup test. The man Karloff clowns around with is Makeup Director, Jack Pierce. “The makeup had this greenish tint,” she explained, because “in black and white film, on the screen, it would translate into a deathly gray.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g3f-zm2jyFo

This is not a “color test” — this is from a reel of 16mm home movies belonging to the Karloff family. There WAS a Technicolor test shot on the film but it’s still hidden in some vault in New Jersey.
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A Very Interesting History: The Chaplin Studios

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A Very Interesting History: The Chaplin Studios

In 1919, construction was completed on the land bought in 1917 by silent screen icon Charlie Chaplin, including his personal residence on the site. Many of Chaplin’s classic films were shot at the studios, including The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952).

In 1953, a New York real estate investor bought the studio from Chaplin, who had left America permanently in October 1952, for $650,000. The new owner had planned to tear down the studio, but it was leased to a television production company and became known as Kling Studios. Starting in 1953, the property went through a succession of owners who used the studios to shoot television series. In 1953, ‘The Adventures of Superman’ television series starring George Reeves was shot there.

Beginning in 1959, Red Skelton shot his television series at the facility, and in April 1960 Skelton purchased the studio. Skelton also purchased three large mobile units for taping color television shows, making a total investment estimated at $3.5 million. Skelton had a large “Skelton Studios” sign erected over the main gate on La Brea Avenue.

Skelton sold the studio to CBS in 1962, and CBS shot the Perry Mason television series there from 1962–1966.

In 1966, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss purchased the studio from CBS to serve as a headquarters for A&M Records.

In 1985, the hit single and video “We Are the World” was recorded in A&M’s Studio A.

From 1981 to 1985, Soul Train taped at The Chaplin Stage.

In February 2000, Jim Henson’s children purchased the studio for $12.5 million to serve as the new home of The Jim Henson Company. The lot was used in November of 2010, as the set for the abandoned Muppet Studios in ‘The Muppets’ film.


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Flying Blind…Can You Imagine?

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Flying Blind…Can You Imagine?

This is the first ever televised Rose Parade on KTLA in Los Angeles. The date is January 1, 1947 and shows two, brand new RCA TK30s in use without their viewfinders and the RCA meatball logo… more on that below. By the way, notice the logo still says W6XYZ…22 days later, it became KTLA.

The TK30 (and TK10) had just become available in late 1946 and, except for those going to NBC, many TK30s were shipped without their viewfinders. I’m not sure of just what it was, but there was a shortage of some element used in the VF that was difficult to obtain for a few months due to the fact that the military had bought up all of whatever was missing. It was possibly the 7″ CRT tubes they needed for radar.

All the cameramen could do was watch a monitor and take cues from the TD on focus. The saving grace that there still were not many TV sets in use at the time. Within a few months, the VFs were available. Notice in this photo, the RCA logo has been removed…remember, KTLA was owned by Paramount who was also a partner with Dumont!


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Zoomar 1

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Zoomar 1

In early 1947 the Zoomar lenses became available with the Field Zoomar being the first of the three sizes to be offered. It was a 27 element lens designed for outside broadcasts, but the crew at Chicago’s WBKB had a different idea and began using it on a new puppet show which we now know as ‘Kukla, Fran and Ollie’.

Burr Tillstrom was the creator and only puppeteer on the show, which premiered as the hour-long ‘Junior Jamboree’, seen locally on WBKB in Chicago, Illinois, on October 13, 1947. The program was renamed ‘Kukla, Fran and Ollie’ (KFO) and transferred to WNBQ (the predecessor of Chicago’s WMAQ-TV) on November 29, 1948. The first NBC network broadcast of the show took place on January 12, 1949. It aired from 6–6:30 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday from Chicago. The use of the Zoomar Filed lens continued from start to finish through the shows migration from WBKB to NBC and the 1954 move to ABC where it ended in 1957.


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Zoomar 2

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Zoomar 2

After seeing the results of the use of the Field Zoomar on NBC’s Kukla, Fran and Ollie, CBS began to use the outdoor lens on some inside productions as well.


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Zoomar 3

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Zoomar 3

This image from the June 1949 issue of American Cinematographer, shows Zoomar lens creator Dr. Frank Back (pointing) with Kukla, Ollie and puppeteer Burr Tilstrom. Zoomar lenses first appeared in 1947. This is the Zoomar Field Lens.


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NBC Sports, Behind the Scenes at Players Tournament

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Re Posting: NBC Sports Video

This was posted Wednesday, but the next day the link went dark so here is a new link. Thanks to John Boeddeker, veteran NBC cameraman, here’s a great look behind the scenes of the 2013 Players Championship. This 7 minute clip includes five of the key cameramen on this 60 camera shoot, including John. Enjoy!

Golf Channel and NBC Sports Offer Unparalleled Players Coverage | Golf Channel

See behind the scenes as Golf Channel and NBC Sports used the latest technologies to bring you the most advanced coverage of any golf tournament to date.
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A Genuine Rarity!

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A Genuine Rarity!

This is the only photo I have ever seen that shows part of the regular ‘Huntley-Brinkley Report’ individual studio sets. All the other “set” photos I’ve seen of them show them together on sets at special events like space shots or political conventions. This is David Brinkley at his WRC-TV Washington desk. Both the floor manager and Brinkley have monitor and clock carts to see the New York feed with Chet Huntley shown in the monitor.


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Goodbye Stefon!

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Goodbye Stefon!

At the end of the season, Bill Hader is leaving SNL after eight years on the show. I love his Stefon character and Hader’s great voice and range. We’ll miss him.


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The All Important “Wings”: Studios 33 and 31, TVC

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The All Important “Wings”: Studios 33 and 31, TVC

The side stage wings of CBS Television City’s Studio 33 and 31 were great ideas that helped greatly in production. The designers wanted to create a theatrical feeling, but needed to accommodate cameras, so the wings were built into their design. Many times, when live set changes were occurring, the action would move to the wings for simple transition scenes. This was a dream job too!


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CBS Television City: Original Configuration Of Studio 33

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CBS Television City: Original Configuration Of Studio 33

When Television City was first built, the center camera ramps went all the way to the control room in both 33 and 31. The ramp actually has a T shape to it, as there is room for cameras on each side of the ramp at the control room. Over the years, this has disappeared and reappeared several times in various forms. Today, the ramp is gone and curtains cover the whole back wall.


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Did You Know? Lorne Green & Michael Landon…

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Did You Know? Lorne Green & Michael Landon

Lorne Green: He is the original inventor of the count-down clock and his patent was the source of some of his personal wealth. He founded Toronto’s Academy of Radio Arts and was commemorated on a stamp in Canada. He was invited to play Ben Cartwright after a well-received performance as Big Brother in a CBS production of ‘1984’ on ‘Studio One in Hollywood’.

Michael Landon: He and Johnny Carson were best friends. In 1954, he was the top high school javelin thrower and set records as USC, Los Angeles. He lost the starring role of Dobie Gillis to Dwayne Hickman in a close decision, but beat Robert Blake and Robert Fuller in the competition for the role of Little Joe.


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NBC’s ‘All Star Review’: 1950-1953

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NBC’s ‘All Star Review’: 1950-1953

This show began as ‘The Four Star Review’ and later became ‘The Martha Raye Show’. When it started, this weekly variety show was hosted on a rotating basis by Jimmy Durante, Ed Wynn, Jack Carter and newcomer Danny Thomas, thus the “four star” name. In 1951, other hosts were added including Tallulah Bankhead, George Jessel, Jackie Gleason and Martha Raye and was renamed “all star”. The one hour show cost a whopping $60,000 per episode and originated in the Center Theater in NYC which seated 3,500 people. In late ’52, the west coast was connected to east coast and production rotated weekly between NYC and Los Angeles. In the last couple of years of the show, Raye, with the help of Nat Hiken and later Norman Lear became a bigger part of the show and it morphed into ‘The Martha Raye Show’ and ran from ’54-’56. Below is a shot from the New York rehearsal with Raye as host.


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‘Hallmark Hall Of Fame’ NBC Brooklyn

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‘Hallmark Hall Of Fame’ NBC Brooklyn

This is from ‘The Hallmark Hall of Fame’ presentation of ‘Eagle In A Cage’. The actors pictured are Trevor Howard and Pamela Franklin. The photo was taken in the Brooklyn studios in 1965. The series started in December of 1951 and was done at NBC Hollywood as Burbank did not open till September of ’52, but moved there as soon as the paint dried. The show went color in 1954 and was done live till 1960 when it went to video tape. The first four seasons, the show aired weekly but beginning with the ’55-’56 season, the series went to a schedule of 5 to 7 specials a year, usually airing around holidays. I suspect production moved to Brooklyn in 1960 and stayed there till ’66 when it moved back to Burbank. Any one have and information on this?


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The Shure ‘Vagabond’ #1

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The Shure ‘Vagabond’ #1

This is from the 1953 Shure Brothers catalog and show the first wireless mic. In ’53, the Vagabond 88 cost $700…in today’s dollars, that’s over $6000.


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The Shure ‘Vagabond’ #2

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The Shure ‘Vagabond’ #2

Below, Marilyn Monroe is introduced to the first wireless mic at CBS in 1954. She is actually holding two body transmitters with the one on the right connected to a black mic (pinned to her sweater) that is also a ‘hands free’ version. As you see in the next post, it can be used with a ‘hidden’ mic or a hand held, cable fee mic. My guess is that she is being shown both and given a choice on which one she would like to use.


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