MORNING SHOWS

In 1948, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts began to be simultaneously broadcast on radio and television, and by 1952, Arthur Godfrey Time also appeared on both media. The radio version ran an hour and a half; the TV version an hour, later expanded to an hour and a half. The Friday shows were heard on radio only, because at the end of the week, Godfrey traditionally broadcast his portion from a studio at his Virginia farm outside of Washington, D.C., and TV cameras were unable to transmit live pictures of him and his New York cast at the same time. Godfrey's skills as a commercial pitchman brought him a large number of loyal sponsors, including Lipton Tea, Frigidaire, Pillsbury cake mixes and Liggett & Myers's Chesterfield cigarettes.

ARTHUR GODFREY AND FRIENDS (55 min)

A terrific, star-studded hour ARTHUR GODFREY AND FRIENDS, with appearances by Julius LaRosa, The Maguire Sisters, Marion Marlow, and Archie Bleyer. There are also Kinescope segments of Betty Clooney singing, Eddie Fisher appearing on COKE TIME WITH THERESA BREWER, and Jack Parr appearing on THE MORNING SHOW (circa 1950) with Charles Collingwood doing the news. We top off this tape with a short sound bit from Dumont negatives of singer Johnny Angel on the BIG BEAT SHOW (circa 1957). Second season host Richard Hays introduces these wonderful segments. The second show, THIS IS MUSIC, features music by Johnny Mercer. Outstanding tunes.

“QUEEN FOR A DAY” B&W (30 minutes)

Television plumbed the depths of exploitation in this classic series, in which host Jack Bailey carries us through tales of woe delivered by four women in dire need of help in their lives, and come away with household appliances, cars, trips, and elegant clothing. Includes plugs and commercials for Chrysler Imperial, Hartz Mountain Cat Yummies, Ex-Lax, Johnson & Johnson Sta-Puf Laundry Rinse, Borden Star Lac, Bordens' Milk (cartoon featuring Elsie the Cow and her family), the Hamilton Beach Food Converter, Adler Sewing Machines, Arrestin Cough Medicine, Revere Cameras and Slide Projectors, the Hoover Floor Polisher, and a generic coffee commercial.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB - with DON MCNEILL (60 min)

The first installment of The Breakfast Club, Chicago-based radio personality Don McNeill's second attempt at breaking into television, in 1955. Guest singer Eileen Parker does "You Turned The Tables On Me," and the band performs "Jeepers Creepers," Johnny Desmond sings "My Big Little Man"--a song co-authored by a boy later killed in a traffic accident-- "I Dream of Jeannie," and "Pinetree Pine Over Me."

OKAY, MOTHER (30 minutes)

The series, hosted by Dennis James, began on WABD, then aired on the DuMont Television Network weekdays from 1pm to 1:30pm ET, beginning in January 1949.After receiving good ratings and largely positive reviews the show, originally titled Mothers Inc., aired nationally from 1 pm to 1:30 pm ET on the DuMont from early 1949 to July 6, 1951.

OKAY, MOTHER (30 minutes)

The series, hosted by Dennis James, began on WABD, then aired on the DuMont Television Network weekdays from 1pm to 1:30pm ET, beginning in January 1949.After receiving good ratings and largely positive reviews the show, originally titled Mothers Inc., aired nationally from 1 pm to 1:30 pm ET on the DuMont from early 1949 to July 6, 1951.

 

EASTER PARADE 1958 B&W (approx 120 min)

One of the strangest television specials in history. The Easter Parade down New York's Fifth Avenue is a national institution, and in 1958 WABD (Channel 5) in New York planned two hours of live coverage of the parade. But it rained, and there was no parade, so the station had to fill time interviewing celebrities at a VIP lounge at the Gotham Hotel who were obviously completely unprepared for the cameras. The ensuing program is like a '50s gossip column come to life, as host Arthur Van Voren circulates among the likes of Eugenia Shepard (fashion columnist for the Herald Tribune), and a bunch of other journalist/celebrity types.

Flamenco guitarist Fernando Servent performs "Marucca," and the Gotham's chef shows how to make an orange soufflé. All of this is intercut with live shots of rain-drenched Fifth Avenue, and a host trying to make the empty streets seem interesting (and they are today, for the period cars and buses), and footage of sponsor Willoughby's (one of the country's top sporting good stores), with children's show host Fred Scott hawking the store.

 The really weird moments occur when the cameras focus on someone utterly unprepared to speak, like musician Sammy Kaye, who is so rattled that he calls HOLIDAY INN (the movie that introduced the song "White Christmas") as a major flop, when it was actually one of Paramount's top grossing films. Jane Keane (THE HONEYMOONERS) and film star Wendy Barrie also appear, the latter sounding very bitter over her career. And Michael Flynn, a long-time driver on the Fifth Avenue bus line, who reminisces about his 45 years on the line. Where else could one get a live performance of David Rose conducting his most well-known piece, "Holiday for Strings"? And that's only some of what's on EASTER PARADE 1958, which has everything but the Easter Parade.

TV AWARD SHOWS (50 minutes)

The first "TV GUIDE AWARD SHOW OF 1960" is a campy look into the effect television's first full decade has had on a typical American community, acted and hosted by Robert Young (stepping in and out of his "Father Knows Best" character), Fred MacMurray, Joe Besser of the Three Stooges, and Nanette Fabray, directed by Bud Yorkin and written by Norman Lear. Montage scenes include clips from the top shows of the era, and Chrysler commercials are also featured. Music is provided by David Rose and his Orchestra. Quality of the print is good, not great, but the show is historically important. The second show is of fair to poor quality, but again historically fascinating: The Look magazine awards for the best TV shows of 1953, hosted by Paul Winchell. Meet up with Ed Sullivan and his production staff on Toast of the Town, Miss Francis of Ding Dong School. Jack Webb is presented with the best director award for his show Dragnet by legendary director George Stevens, and Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca receive the award for best comedy team, for their work on Your Show of Shows.

                 

THE GEORGE GOBEL SHOW Vol. 1 (Approx. 55 min.)

From the gag-laden opening credits to the usually abrupt sign-off (sketches often ran long), this live comedy/variety program was one of the funniest and most intelligent series of its period. These two early shows include special guests Angela Lansbury (playing Gobel's wife, tied to a chair by their son) in a sketch) and boxer-turned-actor Buddy Baer (uncle of Max Baer Jr., of The Beverly Hillbillies), along with regulars Peggy King and orchestra leader John Scott Trotter. Peggy King sings "Mountain Greenery" and "Mambo In the Moonlight" in these two programs, and Buddy Baer gets to toss Gobel around as part of a sketch.

 

THE GEORGE GOBEL SHOW Vol. 2 (Approx. 55 min.)

Guests include screen actress Faye Emerson and monologist Julius Tannen, who plays a stuffy interior decorator who gets the best of Gobel in the opening sketch. Peggy King performs "Teach Me Tonight" and Faye Emerson does a sketch with Gobel. The second show features Gobel using a guitar as a prop for almost 10 minutes of comedy, as he starts to sing a song ("I Just Can't Ride Old Paint Tonight, Because He's Shellacked Again"). Peggy King performs "Somebody Loves Me" in a sketch, made up as a marionette and joined by a toy elephant.

 

OH KAY Vol. 1 (Approx. 55 min.)

Chicago TV personality Kay Westfall starred in this short-lived series set in her apartment and produced by the same people who were behind SUPER CIRCUS. Actually, OH KAY is a sort of distant antecedent to the MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, although the resemblance may be lost on anyone born much after 1955--both shows are about young, single career women and the rather eccentric men and women who people their lives. OH KAY is a supposedly candid look at Kay Westfall's daily life and the unpredictable events that can unfold in her apartment, which include her witty pianist friend David LeWinter (always good for a show tune on Westfall's piano), her sometime love interest Jim Dimitri, and various musical guests, along with minor domestic crises such as the party that Kay is having trouble preparing for etc. Note: The cast of SUPER CIRCUS shows up, playing themselves, at her apartment in one of these two shows.

 

OH KAY Vol. 2 (Approx. 55 min.)

Kay Westfall and her guests David LeWinter and Jim Dimitri entertain guest Ennio Polonini, a concert cellist, who presents a piece by Albeniz and some pop tunes with cello backing. On the second show, singer Betty Chappell of the Dave Garroway Show does "I've Got a Crush On You."

PEOPLE ARE FUNNY (approx. 50 min)

Art Linkletter hosted this long-running program, which was sort of a tamer and more elaborate version of Beat The Clock crossed with You Bet Your Life (the same man produced that show and this). His guests include Natalie Solomon, whose task is to keep actor Vincent Price on the phone for two minutes; a hypnotist, Prof. Richard Spurney, who convinces a young woman subject that an empty tank is filled with water; Ray Peabody, who has to get into the Los Angeles Times without committing a crime; Erna Mormon, who has to match the weight of her prizes with her own; Nancy Galloway, in a variation on To Tell The Truth and I’ve Got A Secret, trying to guess whether an elderly woman judo expert or a middle-aged head-shrinker are telling the truth; and theater manager Fred Gephardt trying to keep a friend on the phone.

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