Monday, February 16, 2009


One of network television's earliest programing strategies was to launch the primetime schedule with a 15 minute, musical variety program.

Dinah Shore, Nat King Cole and Perry Como all hosted quarter hour shows in the mid-1950's. Some of the series, like the one's hosted by Shore and Como, ran three nights per week.

From 1954 to 1956, singer and actor, Tony Martin hosted a fifteen minute songfest that ran on NBC-TV, Monday nights at 7:30PM Eastern time. It preceded The Camel News Caravan with John Cameron Swayze at 7:45PM and Caesar's Hour,starring comic icon Sid Caesar, at 8PM.

Born Alvin Morris,Martin sang with Woody Herman's big band, was a cast member on the Burns & Allen radio program and starred in several MGM films.Over the years, Martin was married to two of Hollywood's most beautiful and talented women, Alice Fay and Cyd Charisse.

He made a guest appearance on NBC-TV's Colgate Comedy Hour to critical raves and ratings success. Programmers quickly installed him in his own musical-comedy show.

The three clips posted below comprise a 1954 episode of the Tony Martin Show, shot LIVE at NBC's studios in Hollywood. This show has a New Orleans theme and was produced by the multi-talented Bud Yorkin, who went on to partner with video visionary Norman Lear. Together, their company, Tandem Productions,made 1970's television history producing shows like All In The Family, Sanford And Son and Maude. The clips are from the hollywoodclassics2, You Tube site.Enjoy!!!!!

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