Saturday, April 24, 2010
MIKE MADE OUR DAY & SHIRLEY BASSEY'S WEEK - THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW - GROUP W SYNDICATION/ KYW-TV PHILA. - CIRCA 1972
One of the great privileges of my career was working as a production/desk assistant for KYW-TV's EYEWITNESS NEWS, right out of Temple University, at a time when the GROUP W-owned, Philadelphia station was home to the nationally syndicated, MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW.
Not only did I have the opportunity to learn my craft as a television news producer from some of the mediums most accomplished, broadcast journalism professionals, but I worked there in 1976 and 1977, when the recently demolished, low-slung brick bunker on Independence Mall rocked to the beat of major musical artists like Donna Summer Cher, Tony Orlando, Sammy Davis Jr.,"Little" Stevie Wonder and more.
( MIKE & SAMMY DAVIS JR.)
By the time I got to work in the KYW building, where space was at a premium from it's opening in 1972 to it's closure in 2007, Mike's 4 piece band performed in a tiny Plexiglas booth, suspended above the 100 people who comprised the audience in a small studio that looked large on TV , thanks to mirrored walls.
Comedy was the true king of the Douglas program, which was recorded on weekdays at noon and 7pm without breaks, "LIVE" on tape.
Don Rickles, Bill Cosby, Joan Rivers, Shecky Green, a young Billy Crystal, and Bob Newhart kept the audience and the KYW staff laughing, while the incomparable studio crew moved lots of scenery and bulky, color cameras at high velocity.
(THE KYW BUILDING)
While most observers would classify the program as talk/variety, music and comedy were key ingredients in the shows mix and it's madcap producer, Woody Frasier, was the mix master.The members of his team were like creative commandos.
THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW , which debuted in Cleveland, Ohio in 1961, and moved to Philadelphia in 1965 , after an arcane, federally mandated station trade, always featured a special guest star as Mike's weekly "co-host."
During that week of shows, candid photos of the co-host and Mike were snapped and would be assembled into a musical montage,that would roll as Mike sang a song of thanks to that week's partner-in-performance.
Here, posted below, from the DAANEMARTINA YOU TUBE site, is Mike offering his gratitude to his co-host, the vibrant, vivacious ( now,Dame )Shirley Bassey.
Come back to visit KINESCOPE HD , sometime,and I'll tell you about the day that Lynda Carter , star of WONDER WOMAN was in THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW green room, wearing her costume, and why EYEWITNESS NEWS AT NOON almost went down in flames :)
Right now, Enjoy the clip!!!!!:)