Friday, September 20, 2013
WHAT TIME IS IT , BOYS & GIRLS?? NO, IT'S ASTAIRE TIME - NBC-TV - CIRCA SEPTEMBER 25, 1960
Network Television in 1960, occasionally, offered optimism and elegance among the endless array of cops and cowboys.
As we entered the kinetic sixties, there were approx.52,000,000 TV sets in a country with a population of 179,323,175.
While weekly Prime Time took us to courtrooms and crime scenes , the sheriff's office and the surgical suite, some special programming could meet the standards of excellence set by video visionaries like Frank Stanton and Pat Weaver.
CBS would showcase Leonard Bernstein's NY Philharmonic concerts for young people.
ABC offered the innovative, if Kafka-esqe ,comedy of Ernie Kovacs.
NBC's Chet Huntley and David Brinkley guided voters and viewers into President John Kennedy's Camelot.
But the apex of television as an art form ,that year, was a vibrant, captivating hour of song, dance, music and comedy in LIVING COLOR called , simply ,ASTAIRE TIME.
The sophisticated hour was the third and final installment in a trilogy of terpsichorean fun
starring and produced by the legendary star of stage, screen, radio and nightclubs, Fred Astaire.
His first effort, 1958's AN EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE, won every major accolade and was the first musical program to be shot in filmic style and edited on COLOR videotape.
The 1959 sequel , ANOTHER EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE was also celebrated by viewers , professionals and critics, alike.
1960's ASTAIRE TIME, featured Astaire's dance partner, Barrie Chase, plus Jazz legends Count Basie and Joe Williams.
It was directed with a by iconic, producer/director Greg Garrison, whose career credits include THE BUICK-BERLE SHOW and THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW.
Choreographer Hermes Pan , one of Astaire's favorite collaborators in cinema, brought a deft and sweeping look to dance numbers.
Here, from the AMPOPFILMS YOU TUBE site, is ASTAIRE TIME.