Monday, December 31, 2012

A LITTLE MORNING MUSIC - JAZZ ON THE TODAY SHOW - NBC-TV - CIRCA JUNE 22 ,1956



In the mid-1950's, when NBC-TV's TODAY was only a two hour show, produced in silvery monochrome,and musical concerts were performed in the claustrophobic, art-deco confines of ROCKEFELLER CENTER'S FLORIDA SHOWCASE, video visionary Dave Garroway and his production team welcomed a truly eclectic array of guest performers, every morning.

Following the mandate of media mastermind and NBC scion, Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver,  TODAY not only brought immediacy to morning news coverage, but it gave America a crystalline window into the richly textured landscape of  arts and culture.

On June 22, 1956, Garroway welcomed Jazz Pianist Nellie Lutcher and her combo to TODAY, with a clever and expressive introduction.

Watch the classic clip, posted below and you'll  see the engaged, entertained on-lookers peering through NBC-TV's glass and brass window on the world.

From the MUSICOM67 YOU TUBE site, THIS IS TODAY, ON NBC.

Enjoy!!!




Saturday, December 22, 2012

HOLIDAY LOVE- LETTERMAN'S ANNUAL GIFT TO VIEWERS - CBS-TV - CIRCA DEC. 21,2012

                

In the Yuletide landscape of network television, one of the truly anticipated, Holiday traditions is the incomparable Darlene Love's annual performance of CHRISTMAS ( BABY, PLEASE COME HOME) on CBS-TV's LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN.

It is one of most vibrant and electrifying moments of video that you can enjoy, all year long.

Love  has performed the Christmas standard on the Letterman show since 1986, when he was hostingLATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN on NBC. When a writers strike prevented her from performing on the show in 2007, an earlier version was aired.

                        (Darlene Love at Ed Sullivan Theater-2012)

The  emotionally charged  song was written in 1963 by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector ( who is a whole other, less sentimental story, all onto himself). Love's vivid and intense rendition was released as part of a compilation album of Holiday tunes.

It has been part of the soundtrack of the Christmas season in America , ever since.

Here, from the 525WIREMAN YOU TUBE site, under the meticulous musical direction of  Paul Shaffer. is Darlene Love's 2012 , LIVE performance of CHRISTMAS ( BABY, PLEASE COME HOME).

Enjoy and Happy Holidays from KINESCOPEHD!!!







CHRISTMAS BONUS!!!!!!

Here from the CHRISTMASjoy365 YOU TUBE site is Darlene Love's first performance of CHRISTMAS (BABY,PLEASE COME HOME) on NBC's LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN in 1986. ENJOY!!!!




Saturday, December 15, 2012

ARRESTING TELEVISION / DRAGNET DEBUTS / NBC-TV / CIRCA DEC. 16, 1951



It was hazy and monochromatic with heavy static at the dawn of network television.

Television.

It was new , dangerous , addictive and available to the public at only a few places in 1951.

The demand outweighed the supply.

The price was off the charts.

Watch once and you never want to see the end of the broadcast day.

When a video viewer wanted a heavy dose of dramatized police procedure, they called Sgt.Joe Friday.

Friday was working the Prime Time Watch at NBC in Los Angeles.

He carried a badge.

With apologies to, and admiration for, pioneering video visionary and one of the original TV hyphenates, actor-director-producer-writer Jack Webb, we pay tribute to NBC's DRAGNET.

It was, by all accounts, television's first , hit crime drama.

DRAGNET was high caliber TV , in every sense of the term.

One of many successful series that transitioned from radio to television, the story telling was fast paced with clipped dialog. With images framed in tight close-up to compensate for the small screens of early,home receivers, it was photographed in a documentary style, that evoked film noir cinema.

Jack Webb's world weary Detective Friday was a heroic everyman who lived with his Mother. The laconic bachelor confronted the daily tedium of police administrative protocol, that was, once in every episode, punctuated by staccato bursts of danger.

In the pilot outing, Barton Yarborough ( who passed away early in the run of the series ) played Friday's partner, Sgt.Ben Romero, and TV icon Raymond Burr portrayed the LA Police Department's, real-life Chief of Detectives, Thad Brown.

DRAGNET  would run until 1959 and Webb would successfully revive the taught, but sometimes preachy, drama in LIVING COLOR for a second series on NBC-TV from 1966 to 1970, with the versatile, veteran character actor Harry Morgan as Friday's eccentric partner, Bill Gannon.

Here, from the PUBLICDOMAIN101 YOU TUBE site,  is the debut episode of DRAGNET, entitled THE HUMAN BOMB.

Enjoy!!!





Thursday, December 6, 2012

AN AMERICAN TREASURE IN LIVING COLOR - THE JACK BENNY HOUR - NBC-TV - CIRCA DEC. 1, 1966



Chicago-born Benjamin Kubelsky was a violin virtuoso , a master comedian and a television pioneer.

I know.

Benjamin who, you ask?

You know, too.

Jack Benny was his stage name.

He was a celebrated and beloved comic presence in radio, vaudeville, films, nightclubs,theater , concert halls and, ultimately, on television.

If you read KINESCOPE HD,I will assume that you know enough to require only the cliff notes on the meticulous genius who cultivated loads of laughter from small, but sumptuous portions of nuanced comedy.

Jack Benny had timing that made the cesium clock at the US Naval Observatory jealous...on an hourly basis.

According to those who knew him, and have written long and well about him, Benny's on-stage persona of a vain, parsimonious, self-styled bon vivant and confiremd bachelor belied the warm, generous philanthropist and accomplished performer who loved music, comedy and the audience in almost equal measure.

Benny had the most popular radio program in America, in the late 1940's, when CBS Scion William Paley wrested him away from NBC.

The audience followed him around the radio dial.

Benny and his acclaimed writers are credited by many as having perfected the situation comedy format.

Every Sunday night, Americans tuned in as the self-involved cheapskate was assaulted by a comic cadre of eccentrics,who leveled a fusilade of foolishness upon him.

The versatile cast included naive singer, Dennis Day, con-artist butler, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, effervescent announcer Don Wilson, psuedo-alcoholic bandleader Phil Harris and Jack's wry, wisecracking, love interest, Mary Livingstone ( Benny's real-life wife ).

Plus a guest star of cosmic proportions joined Benny, each week, to add fuel to the funny.

He was among the first of the great radio performers to attempt television.

In 1950, Benny,seeing the value in video, agreed to do a regularly scheduled, television series on the Tiffany Network.


THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM was born.

The genteel performer wanted to appear only on a bi-weekly basis, guarding his surgically-honed material and concerned about blatant over-exposure, since he was still on radio , appearing in clubs and making feature films.

The revered performer was a mainstay of the CBS schedule from 1950 until 1964, when CBS cancelled him in cavalier fashion.

Benny went home to NBC for the 1964-65 season, sandwiched between his old friend,Bob Hope, and the volatile Jack Paar on Friday nights.

While the show was cancelled in one season, NBCexecutives ,wisely, knew the value of having Jack Benny on their air and signed him to do a few specials each season.

Jack Benny's place in the pantheon of television's greatest performers and as one of comedy's greatest practitioners is , in my estimation, unequivocal.

Here from THE GENERALARCHIVES YOU TUBE site, in LIVING COLOR and six parts is the December 1, 1966 JACK BENNY HOUR.

Guests include Phyllis Diller, Trini Lopez, The Smothers Brothers, ten beauty pageant contestants and the 1967 American Motors line-up.

Enjoy!!!


PART 1




PART 2



PART 3



PART 4



PART 5



PART 6













Saturday, November 24, 2012

IT'S BEGINING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE XMAS ON TV - THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS SHOW - NBC-TV - CIRCA 1963-71



Once upon a Yuletide ,Johnny Carson,the now departed King of Late Night Television, once joked on NBC's TONIGHT SHOW, that you can tell it's Christmas-time in Hollywood, because the stars are all trying to get custody of their kids, so they can tape their Holiday Specials.

Funny and in some cases, true.

In the 1960's three musical stars collected their respective families,and produced December specials that shone brightly in network, prime time, each year :

Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Andy Williams.

All three verstile and iconic performers hold an honored place in the video vault as Television legends.

But with the unfortunate passing of Andy Williams, some months back, there is likely to be a renewed interest in his vintage, holiday offerings.

THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS SPECIALS were vibrant,energetic, upbeat and nostalgic. A family favorite that showcased new arrangements of favorite tunes, wrapped in a snow-coated vision of Christmas-past.

Produced in vivid, LIVING COLOR at NBC's cavernous Burbank Stages, with intricate musical numbers, dynamic choreography and ,often,complex , studio-based,ice skating sequences, they were a welcome gift from the Peacock network to the Yuletide audience.

These classic episodes meet the test of time,garnering significant audience as a part of PBS pledge week programming, growing in DVD sales and warmly recalled as a television tradition.

Here, from the MUSICGUY64 YOU TUBE site, is a Holiday sampler from Andy Williams and company.

Happy Holidays and Enjoy!!!:)



Thursday, November 15, 2012

FIGHTING THE "WACKIEST" WORLD WAR - MILITARY DRAM-EDY ON WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY - NBC-TV - CIRCA OCTOBER 31,1965


( Cartoonist Drew Friedman's vision of the crew of the U.S.S KIWI for TV GUIDE, FALL 1965)


For the Greatest Generation and their Baby-Boomer progeny, it would appear that WORLD WAR TWO was the last, funny global conflict.

Ask Lt. Commander Quinton McHale or Col. Robert Hogan or the crew of the U.S.S. KIWI.

It must be a matter of perspective.

The mind compassionately dulls memories of muddy foxholes and vicous firefights after two decades, but the lights of a Brisbane street on a weekend pass must have burned bright in the recollection of veterans, some 20 years after the armistice.

In the Fall of 1965, NBC, then America's second place network, was about to launch a strategic battle plan designed to overpower its arch nemesis, CBS-TV.

This was the LIVING COLOR OFFENSIVE, and the tactics were impressive. The PEACOCK NETWORK would air all of it's Prime Time schedule with tinted video.

NBC Executives invested in lavish, opulent production values, that could grow audience while also helping to sell the Color television sets sold by NBC's parent company, RCA.

Each show selected for Fall debut had a rich and vibrant palate.

I SPY was shot in lush locations , like the streets of  Hong Kong and the beaches of Acapulco, around the globe.FLIPPER cavorted in glistening blue,Florida waters. BONANZA captured sprawling,Western vistas with  rich, movie-grade production values.

One of the shows that was supposed to play a key role in this armada of poly-chromatic programs was THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY.

Based on a 1960 Jack Lemmon - Ricky Nelson movie of the same name, and produced for NBC-TV by the Screen Gems unit of Columbia Pictures, this hour-lonG "dram-edy" told the tale of the U.S.S. KIWI, a 70-year old schooner, pressed into military service in World War II as a spy-ship roaming the South Pacific. In the storyline,the decaying vessel was crewed by the Navy, but was actually an Army asset,hence the title. This premise, network and studio execs thought,would yield high adventure, light comedy and exotic locations.

The show had great DNA: Producer Harry Ackerman had shepparded the hit shows, BEWITCHED and HAZEL. Jack Warden, an accomplished and respected New York actor was the leading man, with affable support from TV perennial Gary Collins and the vastly talented Mike Kellin. The balance of the KIWI's crew was made-up of appealing young actors and even a few stand-up comedians.

But what appreared on NBC didn't live up to expectations.

The show was shot mostly on constrained, back-lot locations. The plotlines offered promise, but the execution was off-balance, so the mix of comedy and drama never really achieved an entertaining level of equilibrium.It appeared that comedy spots for the sailing stand-ups were peppered through the script with the subtlety of buckshot.

Like many war machines, THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY, looked great on the drawing board, but it was a battlefield casualty, lasting only 29 episodes.

But, there is a lot to be said in behalf of this series.The show had an optimistic feeling and the players were appealing. It had an energetic pace and , of course, the acting was of  high caliber, given the tasks facing the cast.

It has not been seen in syndication for decades.

Here from the COUNTRYBOY 24564 YOU TUBE site, here is Episode number 7, STOWAWAY, with guest star Ruta Lee, of THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY.

Enjoy!!!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FRIDAY NIGHT STARLIGHT - PAAR & ALLEN - THE JACK PAAR SHOW - NBC-TV - CIRCA DEC.14, 1962



Call it a a near-cosmic confluence of comic stars in the night.

On a December night in 1962, THE JACK PAAR SHOW,the presumed centerpiece of NBC-TV's Friday night,Prime Time Schedule was on the air, LIVE and in LIVING COLOR from 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Erudite, affable and volatile Jack Paar had just abdicated his throne as the King of late night television, when he left THE TONIGHT SHOW to host a weekly comedy , variety and talk program for NBC.

In response the network installed a another career-broadcaster and stand-up comedian, Johnny Carson, as the new Prince of Post-Prime Time TV.

Paar reportedly relished the change.

A visceral performer who wore his thread-bare emotions on his well-tailored sleeves, Paar was tired of delivering five shows per week,over 12 months. He liked the idea of focusing on sixty minutes of high voltage, thought-provoking, laugh-inducing television, and to do it just 26 weeks a year.

Paar was able to introduce the most interesting people on the planet to his audience and along the way brought some of the funniest performers of the Camelot-era to his stage.

The incomparable Jonathan Winters improvised without limits. Tom Lehrer waxed satirically in song about the state of humanity.America was introduced to the wholesome,observational comedy of a young Temple University grad, Bill Cosby.

But on this night, an insecure intellectual, who was making a national name and his comic bones working some of the country's hippest nightspots, was making a belated appearance on the show.

Long before he was acclaimed by cinemaphiles as an auteur, Woody Allen was a stand-up comedian.

A guest shot on the JACK PAAR SHOW was a career aspiration for Allen.


As often happens on a LIVE show, the clock moves faster than the guests and the 27 year old, Allen had been bumped from the program three times in three weeks.

Paar, who exuded empathy, felt so bad that he yielded the minutes allocated for his weekly monologue to the hip, young comedian.

Here, from the STANDAPARTCOMEDY YOU TUBE site, is Woody Allen's debut on THE JACK PAAR SHOW.

Enjoy!!!!



Saturday, October 13, 2012

IRONSIDE BLOWS AWAY THE AUDIENCE , CRITICS & THE COMPETITION - NBC-TV - CIRCA SEPTEMBER 28, 1967



1960's, conventional television wisdom said that hero detectives were never vulnerable, they worked alone and they rolled up to a crime scene in a hot, new convertible, not a paisley-patterned wheelchair.

But, 1967 was a time of change in society and in network television.

Conventional wisdom on the home screen was quickly being replaced by creative upheaval.

IRONSIDE, the smart and engrossing mystery series that Universal Television produced for NBC-TV proved to be an instant hit, that ran for 8 seasons.

The fast-paced hour helped to blaze new paths in storytelling and in production technique. It was as close as commercial television got to Cinema Verite in style with an occasional pinch of psychedelic, editing sensibility.

The ironic drama broke a lot of rules, and in doing so , it made for fun and fascinating television.

In a season when the Prime Time Schedule had more spies than the back streets of  East Berlin, NBC rolled the dice on a cop show.A genre that was believed to be on the decline. CBS  and Desilu Studios did the same that year with MANNIX. 

Both networks made a smart call.

The bold, but gritty graphic look made a statement about innovation. If television had a New Wave, Thursday night  at 8:30pm on NBC would be the beachhead.


In a high velocity opening scene, the irascible Robert T. Ironside, Chief of Detectives for the San Francisco Police Department, is gunned down during a solitary,drunken weekend at his weekend gataway...a chicken ranch... just scant minutes after the Peacock unfurled his plumage.

The vibrant, pulsating theme by Quincy Jones ( later used in the Kill Bill Films ) set the scene for an arcane tour of  1960's , Haight-Ashbury, Hippie culture as Ironside pulls together a team, comprised of a cynical,veteran detective, an heiress with a conscience who became a cop and a young driver ,with no love for police authority who, himself, will carry  a badge before the series ends, which spends the balance of this two hour , NBC World Premiere Movie searching for the would be assassin.

The lead character doesn't live in a swinging bachelor-pad, like most TV detectives or super spies of the era.The S.F.P.D. Commissioner gives Ironside a store-room  at police headquarters, that could be viewed as a a primitive attempt at providing an accessible living space for the physically challenged.

The former Chief, now head of a special, crime-busting unit of the department, travels in a rebuilt police van that has sophisticated ( by mid-sixties definition ) electronic devices to aid in crime solving.

Along the way , star Raymond Burr, who lept from the epic run of PERRY MASON on CBS-TV, into this pilot film, offers an impassioned , if sardonic,examination of the challenges faced by a stubborn,independent, vital man who is suddenly confined to a wheelchair.

Many viewers and critics were surprised by Burr's emotional and even comedic,range after the years of playing the suave but restrained Barrister Mason on the Tiffany Network.

The  creative DNA behind the show and behind the scenes was impressive.

Producer Frank Price would go on to run Universal Television and to head film studios. Savant series producer , Stephen Bochco, wrote many episodes of IRONSIDE.

NBC brought IRONSIDE back as a movie for television in 1993, starring Burr and much of the original cast.

The  Peacock Network had already revived PERRY MASON, as a mini-series, of sorts. with Burr in the lead.

It was Raymond Burr's death that closed the file on both of these incomparable , crime fighting characters.

Here , posted below, from the SALE GUY You Tube site, is Episode 3 from Season 1 of IRONSIDE. ENJOY!!!!!!



Sunday, September 30, 2012

THE SWEET SOUNDS OF A VIDEO VETERAN - ANDY WILLIAMS PASSES AWAY - CIRCA. SEPTEMBER 25, 2012


Andy Williams passed away, last week.

While most folks under 25 may not know him or his work, he provided some of the softest, sweetest music to the American Soundtrack of the 1960's.

He was a fixture on NBC from his earliest work on THE STEVE ALLEN TONIGHT SHOWto his long-running variety series, THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW.

Many of those meticulously produced shows have been re-purposed for airing on PBS Stations ,airing during pledge drives.

Williams hit recording of Henry Mancini's evocative MOON RIVER, from the 1961's BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S.was Williams signature and his theme song.

Andy Williams easy sound didn't always top the charts , but THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW entertained millions of people week after week, season after season and to me , that's a great epitaph.

Here from the ANDYWILLIAMS 7864 YOU TUBE site, is a sample of Andy Williams affable and relaxed television show. R.I.P.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A VIDEO VISIONARY HAS PASSED AWAY - STEVE SABOL - NFL FILMS



If you love football or television, a man named Steve Sabol has enriched your life.

Sabol was the son of NFL FILMS founder Ed Sabol.He was also the prolific, creative force behind that vibrant production company,which chronicled the weekly, gridiron exploits of American professional football on television, starting in the 1960's.

Steve Sabol passed away at age 69 , this week, after a long struggle with brain cancer.

As a writer, producer, designer and host, he saw poetry and grace in the grimy,bloody,violent, passionate, noble game of inches and inspiration that captives America on any given Sunday in the Fall.

His laudable legacy is printed on reels of celluloid that offer a powerful tableau of the athletic precision and artistic accomplishment that exemplify the National Football League and stand as vibrant testament to the dignity of the sport.

Sabol's rich repertoire included hand-held camera techniques , a rich symphonic score, the stentorian oration of iconic broadcaster John Facenda and expressive narrative that was as much poetry as prose.

Below, from the BRAYAS YOU TUBE site, is a true masterpiece from vision of Steve Sabol and the NFL FILMS portfolio : AUTUMN WIND

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A STELLAR SHOW ABOUT SPACE JUNK - THE RARE, FULL PILOT FOR SALVAGE - ABC-TV - CIRCA 1979


1960's television offered no place so down-to-Earth as Mayberry, North Carolina. This was a bucolic Camelot that was replete with eccentric residents and a sage Sheriff, who could solve the most complex , comic dilemma in 28 minutes, less commercials and credits.

It was a place of innocence in a time of social and political tumult.

In the late 1970's ,American exceptionalism was challenged on a daily basis, the economy was stalled and we faced a national crisis in confidence.

In the creative community, network executives, producers and performers tuned their eyes to the heavens and searched for answers.

Just above the horizon, ABC-TV enjoying it's first few seasons as America's most watched network, found BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, a futuristic tale about an armada of endangered nomads seeking a storied home in a far off galaxy and the fanciful story of an Earth-bound, but inspiried junk man with designs on lunar travel, called SALVAGE, starring Mayberry's favorite lawman, Andy Griffith.

( ANDY GRIFFITH WITH SALVAGE ONE CO-STARS, JOEL HIGGINS AND TRISH STEWART )

The pilot film was a hit on THE ABC SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE and the series was commissioned.

Produced by Columbia Television, it offered a wholesome, yet wondrous story of an all-American entrepreneur and his enthusiastic team. The initial reviews were glowing, but the lustre soon faded.

SALVAGE ONE, as the series was labeled, debuted on January 20, 1979, as a mid-season replacement show, but lasted only 19 episodes.

Here from the MUSICLOVER 1966 YOU TUBE SITE is the full pilot for SALVAGE. Enjoy!!!



Monday, September 3, 2012

WHEN TELEVISION ROCKED THE MOVIES - THE T.A.M.I. CONCERT - AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURES - CIRCA 1964



What was the best television show you ever saw in a movie theatre?

Think back to the sixties, before boxing matches or the METROPOLITAN OPERA were shown LIVE and in HD at the local cineplex.

In 1964, televisionary Steve Binder, who would go on to produce and direct major comedy and variety programs that ran the gamut from HULLABALOO to PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE to ELVIS '68 to the EMMY AWARDS, used inventor Bill Sargent's experimental, ELECTRONOVISION TV system to shoot a ground breaking, rock & roll event, which targeted the teeenage audience.

(EMMY WINNING, PRODUCER-DIRECTOR, STEVE BINDER)

The ELECTRONOVISION technology used specially developed, monochrome cameras,which shot over 800 scanlines at a 25 frame per second resolution, to
record a high quality film version of the landmark musical program.

It was then duplicated and sent to theaters, here,and around the globe.

It was called THE T.A.M.I. CONCERT, and the acronym stood for teenage American music international.

The all-star, rock show, shot in Los Angeles, may have been the first tremor of the youth-quake that would overtake American media in the decades ahead.

In our opinion, the show is still an incredible testament to the ability of television to capture the exuberant and , sometimes provocative,message in the Rock & Soul music of that era.

Here , from the DOWOPPERS51 YOU TUBE SITE is a clip of Lesley Gore on THE T.A.M.I. CONCERT.

ENJOY!!!!!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

THE LAST AMERICAN HERO IS LOST - THE DEATH OF ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG - NBC NEWS VIDEO



There is not a person on this planet who was alive on the night of July 16, 1969 who doesn't know where he or she was on that warm,anxious summer evening at 13:32:00 UTC.

While some small percentage of the global populace had their eyes on the skies, most of us were focused on a television screen.

My family gathered around a 24 inch Admiral, B&W console model in our living room. We ate pizza and drank Coca Cola, as the NBC News troika of space coverage, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Frank McGee, calmly and clearly explained the wondrous story that was unfolding some 238,857 miles away on the moon.

They offered an occasional wry and prosaic aside about the electrifying adventure at hand, and the almost unfathomable scale of the historic event that we would soon witness.

We were hoping for a moment of celebration, in a time of anger and violence, marked by social upheaval in the streets.

And then it happened:

Every person on Earth with access to a television could see the same fuzzy, monochrome image, captured on a barren rock in the sky that was as old as human memory, and sent home by the most amazing television technology that mid-twentieth century engineers could devise.

The world watched as Astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon.

Television took us along for the incredible ride.

As he climbed down the ladder the APOLLO 11 Lunar Module,he uttered the simple, but enduring phrase, "THIS IS ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN AND A GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND."

Those words have resonated with every person who dreams of traveling to the stars, ever since.

Today, Neil Armstrong passed away of complications from recent heart surgery.

He was 82 years old, a devoted Family man, a respected educator , an accomplished engineer, and ,perhaps, the last , true American hero.

There are no reports of embarrassing escapades. No scandals.No reason to place an asterisk next to his name in the history books that record his extraordinary accomplishments.

Armstrong , it is reported, always was uncomfortable with fame. It is said that he never used his celebrity to enhance his own personal wealth or social standing.

He declined the spotlight, but , it seems, that moon glow just doesn't fade.

Here from HULU, Metacafe and NBC News is the story of Apollo 11's amazing journey to the Moon.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

WHEN ABC GOT ON TRACK WITH MOVIES FOR TV - SCALPLOCK - ABC-TV - CIRCA APRIL 10, 1966


The Fall of 1966 was a time of inspired innovation in network television and while CBS was then, as now,Amercica's most watched television network and ABC cultivated unaffilated,youthful viewers, NBC lead the league in creative programming concepts and technological advancement.

The Peacock's decision to take it's full broadcast day to LIVING COLOR in 1965, propmted the competition to do the same, in September of 1966, taking their silvery black and white schedules to vibrant ,vivid color.

NBC also crafted a new genre of story telling in partnership with future COMCAST corporate sibling, UNIVERSAL TELEVISION , in a groundbreaking inititaive called PROJECT 120. The landmark strategy was to produce original, feature length films, specifically for television distribution. Some productions would be sold to foreign broadcasters, some would be released theatrically around the globe, and many, if not most, were designed to serve as pilot episodes for proposed series.

While CBS looked on with curiosity about the prospect of partnering with a film studio to make movies, ABC-TV and COLUMBIA PICTURES' television subsidiary, SCREEN GEMS, best known for producing sitcoms like HAZEL, THE MONKEES AND I DREAM OF JEANNIE, moved into high gear.

On Easter Sunday, April 10, 1966, a sprawling, adult, western adventure with comic overtones called SCALPLOCK premiered on the ABC SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE. It was the pilot for a proposed series called THE IRON HORSE which starred Dale Robertson, who was one of NBC's most bankable cathode ray cowboys of the 1950's, having been the lead in TALES OF WELLS FARGO.

SCALPLOCK told the two-fisted tale of gambler Ben Calhoun who won the Buffalo Pass, Scalplock, & Defiance Railroad in a poker game.The problem was that the actual railroad has yet to be completed.Along the way there are the requiste romantic encounters,double-dealing villans and ubiquitous dynamite blasts,all unfolding with an easy grin and a good-natured giggle.

The fast-paced,engaging script was written by Stephen Kandel and James Goldstone ( who also directed ) and produced by Herbert Hirschman.The film had rich production values on a limited budget and a television shooting schedule. It was picked-up by ABC-TV and THE IRON HORSE series ran from September 12, 1966 to January 6, 1968.

Here from the CLASIC TV GUY YOU TUBE site,is the full pilot film, SCALPLOCK.

Enjoy!!!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

THE THRILL OF VICTORY ... AND OF TELEVISION EXCELLENCE - ABC'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS - ABC-TV - CIRCA 1977



After these 17 extraordinary days of the 2012 London Summer Games, it is almost necessary to take a moment to recall and ,in my opinion, revere the true Templar in network television coverage of athletic competition : ABC's WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS.

It is hard to watch the Games of the XXX Olympiad without reflecting on the myriad contributions and manifold innovations of Roone Arledge, a true televisionary in the fields of , both,sports and news.

From the 8thMOTIVE YOU TUBE site, here is the 1977 version of the iconic opening titles to ABC'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS.

Enjoy!!!!!!!!


Monday, August 6, 2012

EYES IN THE SKY FOCUS ON EARTH FOR THE FIRST TIME - OUR WORLD- ABC-TV (AUSTRAILIA) - CIRCA JUNE 25, 1967


As we marvel over the incredible technological achievement and the extraordinary images that have already been transmitted from NASA's CURIOSITY ROVER , newly arrived on Mars, home to Earth...Kinescope HD thinks it might be fun to flashback to a more innocent, but still inventive, attempt to link continents on this planet by some of the earliest, commercial communications satellites.

On June 27th, 1967 broadcasters in Australia, the UK, Japan, Canada and more, exchanged signals , in what we now view as a primitive effort,to share programs using two spinning satellites, "parked" some 22,000 miles above the Earth.

Russia and other ,so-called, Eastern Block nations were supposed to participate, but dropped out of the project , to protest Western support of the 1967 Mideast War.'

Here , from the WATVHISTORY You Tube site, is the amazing presentation of OUR WORLD.Enjoy!!!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A BROADWAY STAR SHINES ON T V - THE BUICK-BERLE SHOW - NBC-TV-CIRCA 1954




One of the brightest lights on Broadway, while truly incandescent, doesn't shine from the marquee of a theatre, but radiates an electrifying and exuberant brilliance while standing at center stage.

Her name is Carol Channing and she is the 91 year old subject of an engaging and entertaining documentary on SHOWTIME called CAROL CHANNING:LARGER THAN LIFE.

While always a vibrant presence on screens , both large and small, the theater is her native habitat and she is the benevolent mistress of her domain.

One of her earliest and most enduring theatrical successes was her starring role as Lorelei a gold digger with a heart ... and hair ...of platinum in the 1949 stage version of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES,by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields.

This role was the defining portrayal of her early career, while her kinetic starring role in 1964's Broadway production of David Merrick's Hello Dolly has shaped her image,ever since.

Here, from the MATTTHESAIYAN YOU TUBE site, is an excerpt from a 1954 edition of NBC's BUICK-BERLE SHOW,in which Carol Channing performs two of her show stopping numbers from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE NIGHT TV TOOK US OUT OF THIS WORLD - MAN LANDS ON THE MOON - ABC,CBS,NBC - CIRCA JULY 20, 1969


At least once in Television history, you could honestly say that THE WHOLE WORLD WAS WATCHING.

In the summer of 1969, it seemed that the whole world was coming apart.

It took a true flight of fantasy to bring billions of people on Earth together, if only for a brief and sublime moment.

43 years ago,this country was tested by social unrest, political upheaval and an unpopular war in Viet Nam. The tumult seemed endless.

Yet, when three American astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins,were sealed in the compact Apollo 11 spacecraft, they carried with them the hopes of a tired and tormented people, who needed an epic demonstartion of human ingenuity to restore their faith in America and in themselves.

The men who flew through space on the Apollo 11 mission were fulfilling the promise of a martyred President, validating the vision of thousands of aerospace professionals, setting a new standard for American exceptionalism and achieving a dream that had eluded human beings since the dawn of life on this planet.

It was a landmark night for television,as well, which allowed people all over the globe to share the most daring adventure in recorded history. In America, the NBC, CBS and ABC networks also naviaged the night sky to bring home the story of MAN ON THE MOON.

Here, posted below, from the WDTVLIVE42 You Tube site, is a documentary produce by NASA, the National Aeronautics And Space Administration,to chronicle humanity's
most amazing journey. Enjoy!!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

A FLIGHT OF FANTASY IN LIVING COLOR - PETER PAN - NBC-TV - CIRCA 1960


There are moments in television that defy description.

They are simply sublime in execution and satisfying to watch.

Even in a high velocity medium like TV, sometimes it's best to let the story ,the music, the production values and the performances stand on their own.

I think that's true in the case of NBC-TV's vaunted, vibrant,1960 presentation of PETER PAN.

This was the Peacock Network's second time bringing Sir James M. Barrie's classic tale to a mass, television audience, having first staged it in 1954, to wide acclaim.

Posted below, from the MJC545 YOU TUBE site, is a lofty and lively production that starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard as the villainous Captain Hook.

It was staged on Broadway and for NBC by Jerome Robbins, while it was Directed by Vincent J. Donohue.

This production is evocative and entertaining, and that may the best we can ask of network television, even today.

Enjoy!!!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A DEATH IN MAYBERRY - THE PASSING OF ANDY GRIFFITH


The kind, quaint town of Mayberry was more a mindset than a place for many of us who grew up in the big cities that were rocked by the social upheaval of the turbulent 1960's.

We knew there wasn't really a Mayberry, but we hoped that it could be real.

The death of video virtuoso Andy Griffith , at age 86, gave many of pause to recall and relish his extarordinary legacy in television, films,recording and music.

It also reminded us that Griffith, along with televisionary executive Sheldon Leonard, uber-producer Aaron Ruben and some of the medium's most accomplished and proflific comedy writers, created a place of safety and sanity, that like a bucolic Brigadoon, only existed on your 21 inch Magnavox every Monday night on CBS.

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW ran on the TIFFANY NETWORK from 1960 to 1968 and routinely was the most watched sitcom on television. It offered simple,human tales of small town life, that were usually solved in 22 minutes, plus titles and commercials, by the moral and methodical Sheriff Andy Taylor.

(THE FORMER DESILU-CAHUENGA STAGES - NOW RED STUDIOS)

As you would imagine, the key to this kind of gentle comedy is hard work.

While the fabric of the nation was tested in the 1960's, in the writer's room, on Stages 1 & 2 at Desilu-Cahuenga and on Desilu's, Culver City Back Lot, a sweet, funny tapestry of rural American life was being expertly woven.

Here,in an interview done some years back for the vast and voluble ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION, Griffith explains the attendtion to character and storline that helped to make THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW an American Television Classic.

Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

KING OF THE DUMONT NETWORK - CLASSIC MIX OF COPS & COMEDY - DUMONT - CIRCA 1952



Long before Lt. Columbo donned a wrinkled trenchcoat while methodically trapping monied murderers in Los Angeles, decades before Detective Lenny Briscoe persistenly solved crimes on the streets of Manahttan, and years before Five-O's Steve McGarret nabbed Hawaii's most wanted with a steely combination of foresight and firepower,a henpacked homicide specialist was bringing down bad guys with steadfast police work and self-deprecating humor.

ROCKY KING,DETECTIVE, starred the venerable and verstaile film actor Roscoe Karns,as a big city cop, who threw more punchlines than punches, in wry, self-referential tales of murder with a side serving of marital mayhem.

(Roscoe Karns as ROCKY KING,DETECTIVE )

The show, which ran from 1950 to 1954, was a staple of the innovative, if impoverished, DUMONT Network schedule, airing LIVE on Sunday nights from 9 to 10Pm Eastern time. The show garned respectable ratings in the face of CBS's Sunday night powerhouse, GENERAL ELECTRIC THEATER, hosted by Ronald Reagan.

You'll note that in moments where other cop dramas belabor plot points, Rocky King would detour to a confab between the world-weary detective and his ditzy wife, Mable, who was never seen on camera.

The technical and creative staff improvised in the face of limited facilites and low budgets to create a satisfying and engaging crime story with comic overtones.

Here, from the FOXEEMA YOU TUBE site is a 1952 edition of DUMONT network's ROCKY KING, DETECTIVE. Enjoy!!!!!!!!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

PICKING A PRESIDENT LIVE AND IN LIVING COLOR - CONVENTION PROMO - NBC NEWS - CIRCA AUGUST 26-29, 1968


As we approach the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions, it's time for KINESCOPE HD TO offer a LIVING COLOR flashback to 1968's tumultuous, presidential election cycle.

America's so-called Summer of Love was also a super-charged season of anger, in a nation polarized by the divisive war in Viet Nam and turbulent social upheaval at home.

Violence claimed two beloved, American leaders, The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy.

Poverty and drugs offered challenges that overwhelmed the middle class and elected officials.

President Johnson , pressured by the left and the Right about the war, choose not to seek reelection.

In the end, Republican Richard Nixon, who spent much of the 1960's as a political pariah, was elected in a landslide, defeating Johnson's Vice President, Democrat Hubert Humphrey.

There was a less volatile, but equally vibrant revolution going on in television, as the three major commercial networks of the era, prepared to cover the political conventions in Miami ( G.O.P. ) and Chicago ( Democrats ) in color for the very first time.

The Anchor Booths,built in each arena, which were occupied by NBC's Huntley & Brinkley, CBS's Walter Cronkite and ABC's Howard K. Smith would be constructed for the new, technical requirements of colorcasting, with added lighting and power demands.

This meant dramatic changes in the use of newly developed, highly portable technology to cover stories as they unfolded on the convention floor or on the streets of the host cities.

In the end, while the Republicans were confronted with significant protests, the Democrats confronted carnage in the streets, as police and demonstrators engaged in a bloody, protracted battle.The protestors shouted the refrain, THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING over and over again.



And thanks to nascent satellite distribution, viewers around the globe saw it all LIVE and in LIVING COLOR.

Here is a short clip that reflects the editorial vision and the production values at play in NBC NEWS. It features the Peacock Network's impressive , reporting team and showcases sponsor GULF OIL.


Posted below, from the TV DAYS YOU TUBE site, is a short video which , when paired with appropriate voice/over narrative, served as a promo and program opening for NBC News coverage of the 1968 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION.

Enjoy!!!


Friday, June 8, 2012

RETRO-VISION OF 1960'S AMERICA - MALCOLM X ON CHICAGO'S CITY DESK - WMAQ-TV - CIRCA MARCH 17, 1963




As Americans cope with the partisan, political division that has factionalized the country,perhaps it's illuminating to reflect on one of this country's most turbulent chapters: the 1960's.

It was a volatile time when the struggle for racial and gender equality at home, plus the expanding war in Southeast Asia divided the nation , even threatening to unravel the very fabric of American society.

At the time, Television news held up a high-buff mirror up to society, which allowed viewers to assess the challenges that confronted them every day.

One of the most controversial voices to emerge from the civil rights movement was that of Malcolm X, a Black Muslim Minister and activist.

The ANTIHOSTILE YOU TUBE SITE has unearthed a rare and penetrating 1963 interview with Malcolm X on a Chicago public affairs program, WMAQ-TV's CITY DESK.

Questioners include respected WMAQ-TV anchorman,Floyd Kalber,and Chicagoland broadcast legend, Len O'Connor, who was the editorial voice of the NBC Owned & Operated Television Station for many years.

Host and moderator Jim Hurlbut also produced the March 17, 1963 panel program.

Enjoy this execeptional video artifact!!!!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

GENIUS IN LIVING COLOR - THE ENTIRE BROADCAST OF AN EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE - NBC-TV - CIRCA OCTOBER 17, 1958



Fred Astaire was an incomparable performer.

He was also a video visionary.

The slim and stylish Astaire was a dazzling entertainer who helped define dance as an accessible art form for millions of fans. A vaudeville "song & dance man, " who won acclaim performing with his sister, the facile performer achieved stardom on Broadway, on Radio, on Records and on the Silver Screen.

The affable Astaire was one of the multi-talented performers who shaped MGM's musicals into the stuff of dreams for generations of moviegoers.

In the fall of 1958, he proved himself to be a television pioneer ,when along with choreographer Hermes Pan and Producer/Director Bud Yorkin(who in the 1970's, with partner Norman Lear, would revolutionize American situation comedy), Astaire offered a challenge to NBC-TV's, Burbank-based production and technical teams.

NBC programming executives asked him to star in a LIVING COLOR, music and dance special to air on October 17,1958.

The show was to be an NBC television event, entitled AN EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE and below, you can watch the entire program, sponsored by Chrysler Corpoation, in LIVING COLOR, thanks to YOU TUBE.

He could do it LIVE, as had been the practice since the birth of network television, or record it on a new technology with which the network and it's parent company, RCA, had been experimenting: COLOR VIDEOTAPE.


MONOCHROME VIDEOTAPE, developed by Ampex Laboratories with funding from performer Bing Crosby, made it's debut at CBS Television City in the mid-1950's. Production specialists viewed it as a utilitarian tool.

The TIFFANY NETWORK, used VIDEOTAPE to support it's news division. At CBS's Los Angeles facility, technicians would record DOUGLAS EDWARDS WITH THE NEWS, when it aired on the East Coast at 7:00pm eastern time, and replay it three hours later , to the Western leg of the CBS Television Network, at 7:00pm Pacific Time.

No editing. No updating. Just the here to fore, impossible option of simply replaying a program, in tact, within hours to another timezone.

But Astaire and his colleagues wondered if COLOR VIDEOTAPE would allow them the latitude to produce their complexly structured program much like a film, so that sequences could be recorded in multiple "takes," until Astaire, a legendary perfectionist,was satisfied with the quality of the performance.

The production team, shooting with mid-1950's technology, including the enormous RCA TK-41 COLOR CAMERAS , which weighed hundreds of pounds, did an excellent job.

The result was exhilarating to the audience and to astonished television professionals, who came to realize that COLOR VIDEOTAPE was more than an early time shifting technology.Programmers and producers, alike, now viewed VIDEOTAPE as an efficient and economic production tool which allowed almost infinite creative options and would be key to any content preservation strategy.

This show was recorded on 2 inch wide, high band , color, reel to reel VIDEOTAPE, which had to be edited with a razor blade,a microscope and transparent,adhesive tape.Years later, it was preserved on a digital format.The exceptional quality of the program, as you are about to see, is striking.

The program garnered formidable ratings, glowing reviews, manifold awards for excellence and a commitment from the PEACOCK NETWORK for ANOTHER EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE.

Here, courtesy of the VOLTERRIFFIC YOU TUBE site, is AN EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE in its entirety, including commercials from sponsor Chrysler Corporation, during which announcer Art Gilmore introduces the 1959 line of new cars " with the Forward Look. " Enjoy!!!!

PART ONE:



PART TWO:



PART THREE:



PART FOUR:



PART FIVE:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

GIVE US 30 SECONDS AND WE'LL GIVE YOU A VINTAGE PROMO - NEWSRADIO SPOTS - GROUP W RADIO - CIRCA MID-1970'S


Having spent many years of my professional life in the service of the Blood Red "W" (aka GROUP W , WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING COMPANY), I was privileged to be an eyewitness to the growth and development of one of the most successful radio stations on earth, Philadelphia's KYW NEWSRADIO 1060.

KYW TV & RADIO came to Philly on June 19th, 1965 as part of a station trade with rival NBC. How NBC forced Westinghouse to switch stations in the mid-1950's is another story for another day ( or two !!:).

Think Godzilla meets Rodan.

KYW premiered the all-news radio format in Philadelphia on September 21st, 1965. And,as they still say on air, The Newswatch Never Stops on KYW NEWSRADIO 1060.Today, KYW is a CBS Owned and Operated Radio station and is still the dominant force in local, radio news.

Here is a flight of classic promos for KYW and it's sister,NEWSRADIO outlets, KFWB98 in Los Angeles and 1010WINS in NYC. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FOUR KINGS OF COMEDY: HOPE, CROSBY, MARTIN & LEWIS - THE U.S. OLYMPIC TELETHON - NBC & CBS - CIRCA JUNE 21/22, 1952


As the clock counts down to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London,KINESCOPE HD flashes back to 1952, as amateur athletes from across this country trained to compete in the Games of the XV Olympiad in Helsinki. Finland.

In one of the television's earliest, and most successful, fundraising efforts, an all-star, coast-to-coast telethon was produced in living monochrome to help support the USA team's bid for the gold.

Simulcast on NBC AND CBS, and originating LIVE from the EL Capitan Theater in Hollywood, the variety rewiew was hosted by the two biggest stars in comedy and music, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

This night marked Bing Crosby's television debut, but the evening... and the audience... belonged to the tumultuous young comedy team that exploded onto the stage, that night.The dapper pair made their reputation in night clubs, but were just starting conquer radio , television and films. In a few short months, they would achieve a rare status in show business: global domination.





Their names : Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

The performance captured in this clip, from the SOAPBOXPROD YOU TUBE site, can only begin to show the high velocity, high voltage,manic comedy that brought them iconic status in American entertainment.

Enjoy!!



Friday, April 20, 2012

GOLDEN GIRL IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF TV - THE BETTY WHITE SHOW - NBC-TV - CIRCA DECEMBER 1954

In the Fall of 1954, a multi-talented broadcaster, who would ,decades later,become America's most beloved Golden Girl, was already a major player in what we look back upon nostalgically, as televsion's Golden Age. The Betty White Show on NBC-TV starred the versatile actress,host and singer in a daily 30 minute talk show , accompanied by musical conductor Frank DeVol. The breezy, informal offering was produced LIVE in living monochrome at the NBC Studios in Burbank. Her producer was Don Fedderson, who brought American television viewers a wide range of cathrode ray tube confections, ranging from MY THREE SONS to FAMILY AFFAIR and THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW. By 1954, Ms. White was a video veteran, having hosted one of the first,LIVE, unrehearsed and unstructured shows on Los Angeles Television. In this rare episode, from the FOXEEMA YOU TUBE site, the affable Ms. White sings, talks, leads to commercials and introduces a canine cameo by one of early, network television's most beloved stars.ENJOY!!!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

WOODY ALLEN PLAYS AT PARR - THE KING OF NEW YORK COMEDY DOES STAND-UP - NBC-TV - CIRCA DEC. 14, 1962




Almost a decade before Woody Allen became American cinema's king of New York, he was a clown prince on network television, doing stand-up on every major , prime time variety show and late night talk show.

In the years prior to finding his voice as an auteur,Allen cultivated his hip, comic persona as the embodiment of New York neurosis.

While he learned to deftly weave ironic, if understated, tales of Manhattan in vivid, silver nitrate, he was pumping out punchlines in Living Color on NBC.

Below is a rare clip showing one of King's earliest appearances on NBC-TV's prime time JACK PAAR SHOW from the STANDAPARTCOMEDY YOU TUBE site.Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

PLAYBOY IN THE DARK AGES OF TELEVISION - PLAYBOY'S PENTHOUSE - SYNDICATION - CIRCA 1959



In 1959, when television was starting to emerge from the dark ages, Playboy Magazine's founder and publisher, Hugh M. Hefner, inadvertently turned his burgeoning empire into a vertically integrated, multi-media company.

Hefner, who was urbane, erudite, and a shameless self-promoter, realized that the best way to bring new readers to the pages of his controversial men's mag was to create a video version of his publication and the lifestyle it espoused.



But, with the magazine's nude images of voluptuous women ,provocative social commentary and literature for adults only, it was unlikely that a local television station would put its reputation or F.C.C. license on the line to carry a show, rooted in the glossy publication, that was fraught potential community problems.

Hefner was undeterred and assembled a team of television pros to create PLAYBOY'S PENTHOUSE, a syndicated talk/variety show that was taped at the ABC television station in Chicago.

The free-wheeling , star-studded show was the living embodiment of the Playboy Philosophy and offered late night viewers a glittering glimpse into a sophisticated, world of hipsters where politics,promiscuity and performance were mixed to create a potent,cultural cocktail in living black and white.

Here from the DJJULIA YOU TUBE SITE is the opening segment from the debut of PLAYBOY'S PENTHOUSE.Enjoy!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

DANNY MAKES ROOM FOR JACK - THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW ( MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY ) / CBS TV / CIRCA 11/17/58


In the late 1950's ,Danny Thomas, celebrated night club performer,virtuoso story-teller,protean TV producer, and selfless philanthropist, was America's favorite family man and network television's King of Situation Comedy.

Thomas, who was born Amos Jacobs in Deerfield,MI,faced and overcame two great challenges in Prime Time Television History: His Emmy-winning series, MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY, was one of the very first hit shows on the struggling ABC-TV network, running from 1953 to 1957.

Next,when the show ,rechristened as THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW, defected to CBS-TV in 1958, it moved into the time slot vacated by mega-hit,I LOVE LUCY, and continued to dominate the CBS Monday schedule.

The series was a Monday night tradition until Thomas took it off the air in the 1964 television season.Along the way it spawned many, enduring sitcom spinoffs, including THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, GOMER PYLE U.S.M.C., THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW & THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW.

With visionary producing partner,Sheldon Leonard, Thomas was one of network television's most prolific producers of the 1960's.Their company, T&L PRODUCTIONS, helmed Bill Cosby & Robert Culp's landmark, NBC-TV, action series I SPY.

THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW was a comic confection that was alternately sweet and tart, but which always offered a moral lesson born of good natured tumult. It is , in my humble opinion, the true progenitor of THE COSBY SHOW.

Here, from FOXEEMA YOU TUBE site, is a classic 1958 episode, with CBS superstar Jack Benny guest starring.Enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SIXTIES TEEN IDOL PASSES AWAY - THE DEATH OF DAVY JONES - CIRCA FEBRUARY 29, 2012



For every American teenager of the swinging sixties,who fancied him or herself to be a Daydream Believer, this day offered a sobering reminder of Baby Boomer mortality.

It was a bitter moment of realization that evoked sweet memories of a mod youth in a kinetic time.

Davy Jones, the true, teen heartthrob of THE MONKEES, NBC-TV's genetically engineered response to the Beatles, died , suddenly, at age 66 today.

It's hard for millennial's to understand our generation's fascination with a group that was originally derided as The Pre-Fab Four, because they were cast by Screen Gems Studios and The Peacock Network to star in a television series that would capture the energy of youth and to record music that others wrote.

But, I suspect that anyone who loves Justin Bieber can understand why Baby Boomers had a special appreciation for the diminutive , British export , who was the object of Marcia Brady's affection.


He traded a career as a jockey for the showbiz rat race. He was appearing on Broadway in OLIVER , when the cast was invited to perform on CBS's ED SULLIVAN SHOW, the same night that the Beatles made their American, TV debut. It is written that what he saw on the stage of the Sullivan Theater changed his mind and his career path.

We're all glad it did.

He will be missed. Davy R.I.P.

Here, from the LOOMYAIRE YOU TUBE site is a rare clip of the Black & White audition film for the cast of THE MONKEES.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

REACHING FOR THE STARS - THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOHN GLENN'S FLIGHT INTO ORBIT - NASA FILMS - CIRCA FEBRUARY 20, 1962



In the sixth decade of what came to be known as The American Century, adolescent Baby Boomers dreamed of colonizing distant planets, while the disicplined members of the Greatest Generation did the heavy lifting required for human beings to escape the bonds of Earth's atmosphere.

At the NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, insightful scientists and industrious technicians were building the groundbreaking flight systems that would allow American Astronauts to take the first halting steps in a fabled journey to the Moon.

On February 20, 1962, the whole world was watching, as Marine war hero, John H. Glenn, rode in a confining Project Mercury space capsule, atop an Atlas Missle, into low Earth orbit and into the history books.

It was a global media event, as Television and Radio networks around the planet carried the LIVE images and sounds of Glenn's oddessey in space.

Here, from the USNATIONALARCHIVES YOU TUBE site, is a film produced by NASA , introduced by President John F. Kennedy and narrated by DRAGNET'S Jack Webb, chronicling an amazing chapter in American history,entitled THE JOHN GLENN STORY.Enjoy!!!!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

THE MADE FOR TV PRESIDENT - ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE - NBC NEWS - CIRCA NOV.8, 1960



If you ever have wondered how the ballot you cast,behind the curtain of a voting booth in your hometown, winds up as one digit among millions on a television network's, election night,graphic display, I suggest that you click on the video posted below.While it details the process of gathering election night data circa 1960, the premise has not changed , even if the protocols have evolved for news in the digital age.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



I posted that video, from MSNBC, as a way to help bring the conventions of election coverage into sharp, if monochromatic, focus.

The 1960 race for the Presidency of the United States was a Templar of the challenges we faced as America entered a new and hopeful decade, that was viewed my most to be filled with promise and fraught with problems.

Two young candidates , Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon, representing almost diametrically opposed visions for this country's future, would engage in ground-breaking debates. These contentious confrontations were not distinguished by the eloquence of the exchange or the substance of the ideas advances, but because it all unfolded on LIVE television for the first time in history.

On election night, two accomplished and aggressive, television news divisions faced-off in a high voltage, high intensity battle for the hearts and minds of American TV viewers.

It took until the morning of Wednesday, November 9th to determine that John Kennedy , son of an affluent Massachusetts family and war hero, would serve as the 35th President of the United States.We now know that his time in office, referred to by many as Camelot,would end in the angry retort of gunfire on a November day in Dallas, Texas, 3 years later.

NBC NEWS won a mandate from the television audience on election night, as well. A virtual, ratings landslide set the course for NBC NEWS to dominate political coverage for years to come.


Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, NBC's weeknight anchor team, head the election night team. Supported by the latest television technology that NBC's parent company, RCA could supply and an incredible team of correspondents, producers and technicians, NBC's smart, engaging and literate coverage stands as the model for election night production to this day.

From the DAVIDVONPIEN1 YOU TUBE site, enjoy NBC NEWS coverage of Election Night 1960!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

PEACE, LOVE & SOUL - WHEN AMERICA RODE THE SOUL TRAIN - SYNDICATION - CIRCA 1973



Don Cornelius was an entertainer and entrepreneur, who took millions of television viewers on the "Hippest Trip in America" each weekend, aboard the SOUL TRAIN.

He created and hosted a vibrant, exuberant show that introduced some of the greatest performers in R&B to a loyal and diverse audience from its inception in 1971 until he retired in 2007.



Yesterday,at age 75, in poor health, he killed himself. His final years were marked by an ugly divorce and charges of domestic violence.

It's sadly ironic that a man who did so much to bring so many people together in happy celebration of music, fashion and culture would end his life in a lonely,violent act.

The syndicated show that he launched on a Chicago, UHF station changed careers, lives, style and attitudes among all of us who made sure we were in front of a TV set when the SOUL TRAIN came roaring into our homes.

We hope that Don Cornelius will rest in peace, love and soul.

Here , from THE SOUL TRAIN YOU TUBE CHANNEL, is a montage of the teens, the talent, the music and the fashion that made SOUL TRAIN an American institution