Saturday, January 31, 2009


It was a show that was supposed to define Ford's future, not set a milestone in CBS-TV's history.

Like thousands of programs staged, over the years, by CBS-TV at its sprawling,west coast studios, this musical/variety special was star-studded, had a big budget , boasted lavish production values, and started with an announcer proclaiming the now-historic line:


As it turned out, CBS-TV's telecast of The Edsel Show, sponsored by The Ford Motor Company,on October 13th, 1957 made not automotive, but television, history. This program was the very first to be recorded at the CBS Hollywood facility on videotape for replay across America's four, continental time zones:Eastern,Central, Mountain and Pacific.

While a traditional Kinescope ( film of a live show shot from a television screen) was prepared as a back-up by CBS engineers,the program was actually rebroadcast from a reel of 2 inch videotape, played back on an original, Ampex videotape machine in the technical area at CBS Television City.

The special was commissioned by Ford to capitalize on the promotional buzz generated around the September 4, 1957 ( E-DAY! )introduction of it's new,full-sized, car line, the Edsel. Ford spared no expense in mounting the so-called spectacular.

Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby,Louis Armstrong and Rosemary Clooney lead an all-star, musical ensamble.

The program was produced in black and white, aired LIVE to the east coast and mid-west affiliates and then was repeated on tape to other time zones.The tape editing you'll see,below, in this clip from the opening titles is quite sopisticated for the time. Enjoy!!!!

The Edsel was ,almost, universally rejected by the car-buying public, while The Edsel Show , which was , fortunately, preserved in the vault at CBS Television City, quietly holds an honored place in the history of television .

To find out more about the CBS-TV special, early videotape and the Edsel, itself, please visit Kris Trexler's excellent website at this URL:

Now ,here's a bonus clip of Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong on The Edsel Show, singing Birth of The Blues.The subtitles are free:) Enjoy!!!!!

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