VARIETY SHOWS

ALAN FREED'S BIG BEAT  WITH BOBBY DARIN (25 minutes)

Bobby Darin guest hosts BIG BEAT, a Dumont Network program created by legendary deejay Alan Freed. This incomplete edition (which is missing Teddy Randazzo's appearance) opens with Darin interviewing the five contestants (all drawn from the New York/New Jersey area) for the Miss April Showers Contest, sponsored by April Showers cosmetics. The dances include "I'm Comin' Home" by Marv Johnson, "Forty Miles of Bad Road" by Duane Eddy, and "Is It Because" by Ronnie Baxter. The dance competition offers the male winner a Mepa Self-Winding Watch and the female winner a Pony Tail Tolex-covered hatbox (when was the last time that any girl had use for a hat box?). Darin plugs Coca Cola, and the other commercials include Liquid Prell.

SUNDAY IN TOWN 1954 (60 minutes)

Directed by Max Liebman with Steve Allen, Dick Shawn and Judy Holiday. The overall title for two mini-ballets: "The Filling Station" relates one day's incidents at a typical American filling station. In "The Waitress," a waitress's dream becomes a reality when she delivers food to a ballet group during rehearsal and is asked to become part of the troupe.

 

THE OLD AMERICAN BARN DANCE -- 12 shows 50min each (16mm & 35mm prints) -- 11 hours

The Old American Barn Dance is an American country music television series carried by the DuMont Television Network from July 5 to September 13, 1953.

GRAND OLE OPRY (Approx. 55 min.)

A 1955 live telecast from Nashville, featuring Ernest Tubb ("Yellow Rose of Texas" etc.), Carl Smith, Lonzo and Oscar, Little Jimmy Dickens, Judy Lynn (Miss Idaho of 1955, as well as a country singer and yodeler), Minnie Pearl, the Wilburn Brothers, Chet Atkins, Goldie Hill and Justin Tubb, Martha Carson, and special guests Les Paul and Mary Ford ("The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise," "Hold That Tiger" etc.) Sponsored by Purina, whose spokesman Jimmy Hill appears live and hosts commercials for Laying Chow, Milk Replacer, and other Purina farm products, with shots of the Purina Research Farm and other working farms.

BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE Vol. 1 (Approx. 55 min.)

starring Jerry Lester, Dagmar, Milton DeLugg, the Mello Larks BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE is one of the newest, best, and rarest additions to this catalog. Jerry Lester originated the late night network variety show with BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE, a 1951. This show, featuring Lester's established "Stop, Look, and Listen" introduction, has lots of jokes about "hidden" talents (which falls apart comically when the tall, statuesque Dagmar shows up to show off her hidden talent), a very funny gag involving marriage counseling, and an even better prison sketch ("Please, believe me, there's no punch-line," Lester tells the audience). The Mello Larks sing "Yesterdays," and women from the cast and the audience model some beautiful fur coats. The program was done live and unrehearsed, and has a uniquely manic energy behind it. It also includes the original sponsor commercials for Blatz Beer of Milwaukee (the beer that became Schotz Beer on Laverne & Shirley), and Anchor Hocking "one way no deposit glass beer bottles."

 

BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE Vol. 2 (Approx. 55 min.)

starring Jerry Lester, Dagmar, Milton DeLugg, the Mello Larks The second BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE installment opens with Jerry having fun with the audience. He then gets a message about a wild animal being loose in the studio, which leads to a series of sound and sight gags, culminating with Jerry going into the audience to get animal imitations from its members. Dagmar and the Mello Larks have fun with the animal sketch as well, and Jerry ends up hunting the beast, rather unwillingly, in the best Lou Costello style.

​​THE GARY MOORE SHOW with Nancy Walker (60 minutes)

Guest Stars: Nancy Walker, Allen and Rossi, Nancy Dessault, Durwood Kirby Garry Moore was one of the most popular variety show personalities of the late 1950's and early 1960's, the predecessor to Carol Burnett and the real-life equivalent to the Dick Van Dyke Show's Alan Brady--his writers on this Christmas week show included Buck Henry. Moore has a dialogue with "Stanley," a 3-D cartoon figure. Marty Allen and Steve Rossi do a parody of TO TELL THE TRUTH and I'VE GOT A SECRET, with Marty Allen playing Columbus. Allen and Rossi also sing "Cottonfields."        The Garry Moore Fairy Tale Hour has Nancy Walker playing Rapunzel with a certain awareness of television hair-care, and Moore also does a stand-up bit discussing the idea of a zip code for Santa Claus. In "THE WONDER YEAR" sequence, Dussault sings "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" and "Forty Second Street," Steve Rossi plays Baby Face Nelson, and the cast does a comic tap-dance to "Shuffle Off To Buffalo." Commercials include Oldsmobile, Winston cigarettes, and Johnson's Pledge.

ROY ROGERS & DALE EVANS VARIETY SPECIAL (50 minutes)

In 1962-63, years after the voluntary cancellation of his kids western series THE ROY ROGERS SHOW, Roy and his wife Dale Evans hosted this hour-long comedy-variety show. The guests include regulars comic Cliff Arquette (aka Charlie Weaver), the singing group the Sons of the Pioneers, and singer Cathie Taylor, along with western series star Dale Robertson and rodeo rider/singer Kirby Buchanan. The songs include "Empty Saddle" (Roy Rogers), "High Noon" (Dale Robertson), "Anything You Can Do" (Dale Robertson and Cathie Taylor), "Down In the Valley" (Cathie Taylor), "Don't Fence Me In" (Roy Rogers and Dale Robertson), "Buttons And Bows" (Dale Evans and Cathie Taylor), "Cool Water" (The Sons of the Pioneers), "Old Paint Needs A Paint Job" (Charlie Weaver), and "Wagon Wheels" (Dale Evans and the Sons of the Pioneers). Sponsor messages include Rolaids. BONUS: a great half hour Roy Rogers show with all the gang including Pat Bradey and Bullitt the dog saving Roy’s life from being hung. 

LIBERACE  (approx 60 minutes)

An unusual 1952 TV show with on of our greatest entertainers hosting a Thanksgiving day show. His brother George leads the orchestra. And don't worry -- atop his Steinway piano rests his trademark imitation Louis XIV candelabra. This is not only a classic show, but a wonderful one as well!

 

STEVE ALLEN: ALLEN IN MOVIELAND 1954 (120 min)

In 1954, Steve Allen was chosen to portray Benny Goodman in The Benny Goodman Story, and this special is built around his journey out to the film capitol to make the picture. Opening with Goodman and his band performing, the focus then shifts to Steve Allen, whose journeys through Universal with snide publicity man Danny Dayton allow him to look in on various rehearsals, supposed scenes in progress, and other events on the Universal lot. The highlights include a seductive Cyd Charisse-style dance number featuring Patricia Crowley and Damnjte de Paolo, Audie Murphy plugging (and showing a scene from To Hell and Back, Keith Andes, Tommy Rall and company doing "The Eagle and Me" from The Second Greatest Sex, Tony Curtis rough-housing with a pair of stuntmen from (including Republic Pictures stuntman legend Dave Sharp), Piper Laurie performing a song, a clip from The Private War of Major Benson with Charlton Heston, and acting class featuring Mara Corday (Tarantula, The Giant Claw ), and Jane Howard, Jeff Chandler, plugging Foxfire starring him and Jane Russell, and introducing a recreation of a dramatic scene from Bright Victory with Rex Reason, Grant Williams, and a young Clint Eastwood, who gets his first television introduction here from Chandler; and Steve Allen dueting with Muriel Landers in "Two Lost Souls."

ALL-STAR REVUE WITH PERRY COMO (Approx. 55 min.)

Perry Como was not a regular host of this 1951-53 NBC series, but ALL STAR REVUE was one of his most interesting television vehicles, with good scripts and fascinating guest stars--this program features Joan Blondell, Ben Blue and Patti Page. The opening chorus (directed by Ray Charles) of "It's such a joy to work with Perry boy" gives way to Como's introduction, and he later sings "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes" in the midst of a chorus of uniformed workmen; Patti Page sings "Doggie in the Window," and Como sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel to his children. Comic Ben Blue mimes his way through a beautifully timed slapstick sketch that features a choreographed cat fight between two women in a Left Bank setting, and Como and his three kids have fun with Joan Blondell (playing Mona Lisa) and Ben Blue (playing Gainsborough's Blue Boy) in a museum sketch. Como also appears in a comedic record store sketch with Patti Page, a slapstick bit with Ben Blue, and duets with Patti Page ("We Ain't Got A Barrel of Money") and a song-and-dance number with Joan Blondell.

CHESTERFIELD SUPPER CLUB (Approx. 55 min.)

(The Perry Como Show) – Barber-turned-singer Perry Como became a major star thanks to this series, which was eventually re-christened in his name. With the Fontane Sisters, Martin Block, and Mitchell Ayres, he and the show move through "I Can Dream," "Begin the Beguine," "Dear Hearts and Gentle People," and "I Want To Go Home With You" on these two shows. The second program of the two also features Raymond Massey portraying Abraham Lincoln, and actress Denise Alexander playing Como's daughter.

CHESTERFIELD SOUND OFF TIME (Approx. 55 min.)

Fred Allen hosts this comedy/variety show, featuring Zeke Manners. Opening with "Sound Off For Chesterfield," an adaptation of an army marching song, Allen does a few parodies of current events as blackout sketches, including one about a future date when presidential candidates have sponsors, just like TV shows, and mercilessly plug the manufacturers backing them during speeches. He also turns up on a set decorated by an apparently "dead" body, which turns out to be Dave Garroway, plugging the upcoming debut of The Today Show.

COKE TIME AND AMATEUR HOUR (Approx. 55 min.)

COKE TIME with Eddie Fisher first aired on April 29,1953. Fresh out of the army, Fisher was at the height of his career when these 15 minute shows aired on NBC. Enjoy these two classic shows: the first (which aired on November 5, 1954) guest stars Florence Henderson; the second (which aired January 28, 1955) follows a winter theme and includes songs by which to stay warm.

Ted Mack, who originally directed the auditions for the radio show "Major Bowes Amateur Hour," took over after Major Bowes death in 1946. Mack later also starred in the direct spinoff, television's legendary talent show TED MACK AND THE ORIGINAL AMATEUR HOUR, which was one of the few shows to have appeared on all the major networks including Dumont/NBC/ABC and CBS. The show allowed amateur performers to display their talent, and that format never really changed. This particular show was filmed at the Miami Beach Auditorium and, as Ted says, he spins the talent wheel for the 1561 time. (circa 1960's)

 

THE FREDDIE MARTIN SHOW (Approx. 55 min.)

Bandleader Freddy Martin hosts this showcase for the talents of his singers, which include a young Merv Griffin (singing "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" and "How About You"), and guest Eddie Arnold ("Deep In the Heart of Texas"). Other numbers include "You're Just In Love," "Toot Toot Tootsie" and "Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe." The show includes sketches and comedy routines, mostly involving Arnold, who plays it loud and boisterous.

​THE GARRY MOORE SHOW (60 minutes)

Guest Stars: Nancy Walker, Allen and Rossi, Nancy Dessault, Durwood Kirby Garry Moore was one of the most popular variety show personalities of the late 1950's and early 1960's, the predecessor to Carol Burnett and the real-life equivalent to the Dick Van Dyke Show's Alan Brady--his writers on this Christmas week show included Buck Henry. Moore has a dialogue with "Stanley," a 3-D cartoon figure. Marty Allen and Steve Rossi do a parody of TO TELL THE TRUTH and I'VE GOT A SECRET, with Marty Allen playing Columbus. Allen and Rossi also sing "Cottonfields."        The Garry Moore Fairy Tale Hour has Nancy Walker playing Rapunzel with a certain awareness of television hair-care, and Moore also does a stand-up bit discussing the idea of a zip code for Santa Claus. In "THE WONDER YEAR" sequence, Dussault sings "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" and "Forty Second Street," Steve Rossi plays Baby Face Nelson, and the cast does a comic tap-dance to "Shuffle Off To Buffalo." Commercials include Oldsmobile, Winston cigarettes, and Johnson's Pledge.

 

THE MILT GRANT SHOW (Approx. 55 min.)

Produced in Washington, D.C. at the same time that Dick Clark's American Bandstand was coming out of Philadelphia, THE MILT GRANT SHOW was less slick and a lot funnier, more spontaneous, and warmer than Clark's program. The one-hour program features dancing teens (to "Bye Bye Love" by the Everly Bros., "I Just Don't Know" by the Four Aces, "Love Letters In the Sand" by Pat Boone, "Pink Champagne" by the Tyrones, and "Suzie Q" by Dale Hawkins), special guest rhythm-and-blues legend LaVerne Baker ("Jim Dandy" "Let's Play the Game of Love") and Johnny & Jo ("Over The Mountain and Across the Sea") lip-syncing to their records, and a Rate-a-Record sequence featuring the Cellos' "Rang Tang Ding Dong" and Johnny Mathis's "It's Not For Me to Say."

 

THE KATE SMITH EVENING HOUR (Approx. 55 min.)

In this November 1951 Thanksgiving show, the guests include Ann Sheridan, playing in a dramatic/romantic sketch entitled "Beginner's Luck"; Myron Cohen, who does an extended monolog; Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce in the continuing comedy series "Ethel and Albert," about a bickering married couple who can't even get through a car ride without an argument in this sequence; and Akim Tamiroff, Vinton Hayworth (the general in the later episodes of I DREAM OF JEANNIE), and Tige Andrews (Captain Greer from THE MOD SQUAD) in a short drama written by Arch Oboler called "Mr. Citizen," about a guilt-ridden immigrant who nearly gives up his chance at citizenship. Smith sings "It's a Lovely Day Today" and "Bless This House."

THE RAY ANTHONY SHOW Vol. 1 (Approx. 55 min.)

Bandleader (and one-time husband to Mamie Van Doren) Ray Anthony hosted his own TV show at the end of the 1950's, sponsored by Plymouth ("the car that dares to break the time barrier"). This installment features guests the Four Freshmen and Debbie Kaye, with Don Durant and Jimmy Henderson. Anthony didn't spend a lot of time on comedy on his show, devoting most of his time to music, and there is a lot of it here, including "The Lady Is a Tramp," "It Ain't Necessarily So," "Cindy, Oh Cindy," "Autumn Leaves," "Don't Be Cruel" (hey, like Elvis was moving up the charts, and he was just another kind of pop musician to these guys), "Limehouse Blues," "Stella By Starlight," and "The Best Things In Life Are Free." The show was directed by Rudy Behlmer and choreographed by Marc Platt.

 

THE RAY ANTHONY SHOW Vol. 2 (Approx. 55 min.)

Guests on this show include Molly Bee and Connie Haines. The songs include "Bushel and a Peck" (Molly Bee)," "Crazy Rhythm," "This Could Be the Night," "Accentuate the Positive" (Connie Haines), "Hernando's Hideaway" from PAJAMA GAME, "Singin' In the Rain," "Getting To Know You," a MY FAIR LADY medley by the band, "Vaya Con Dios" (Connie Haines), "Who Needs You" (Four Savoys), "Music to Change Razor Blades By," "Three Little Words," "Wish You Were Here," "My Heart Belongs To Daddy," "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life," "Almost Like Being In Love," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "You're Just In Love." But the real surprise and highlight of this show is Anthony's next-to-last number, the title track from THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, performed live.

 

TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD SHOW (Approx. 55 min.)

Two installments from near the end of the run of Tennessee Ernie Ford's daytime ABC musical/comedy series from the mid-1960's, featuring future DATING GAME host Jim Lang as one of the supporting players. The first show, from February 1965, features Ford singing "I Can't Stop Loving You," and--joined by his two lady support singers--performing "Personality." Ethel Ennis is the guest star, singing "The Boy From Ipanema." Sponsor commercials include Lysol, Clairol's Loving Care Hair Color Lotion, Metrical, and Action chlorine bleach (the famous ad featuring the big, muscular hand popping out of the top-loading washer), Rose Lotion Vel, and the Colgate Palmolive Pot of Gold sweepstakes.

The second show features Phil Ford and Mimi Hines as guests, and the song "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You." Comedy includes some examples of zany Valentine's Day cards. Cathy from the regular cast sings a very funny version of "The Name Game." Sponsor commercials include Lustre Creme Shampoo, Borden's Ice Cream, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, and Sara Lee finger rolls, but the best ad is for Ajax Power Cleaner, and features people doing some surprising things with the cleaner in their hand.

THIS IS YOUR MUSIC: A SALUTE TO JOHNNY MERCER (30 min)

An all-singing, all-dancing celebration of Johnny Mercer's work, featuring Byron Palmer and Joan Weldon. Presented as a rehearsal for a musical called "Words By Johnny Mercer," the beautifully staged and sung production numbers include "Jeepers Creepers," "Skylark," "Fools Rush In," "Dreams," "That Old Black Magic," and "G.I. Jive," several performed with Mercer present and accompanying the singers at the piano.

​THIS IS YOUR MUSIC (30 minutes)

 A SALUTE TO JOHNNY MERCER. An all-singing, all-dancing celebration of Johnny Mercer's work, featuring Byron Palmer and Joan Weldon. Presented as a rehearsal for a musical called "Words By Johnny Mercer," the beautifully staged and sung production numbers include "Jeepers Creepers," "Skylark," "Fools Rush In," "Dreams," "That Old Black Magic," and "G.I. Jive," several performed with Mercer present and accompanying the singers at the piano.

 

JAZZ PARTY Vol. 1 (30 minutes)

Art Ford hosted and produced this series of live jazz performances from the mid-1950's, featuring some of the top talent in the world performing in an open-ended, unrehearsed settings. Volume one features ex-Ramsey Lewis vocalist Bill Henderson (who later worked with Oscar Peterson) and trumpet player Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge (a genuine musical giant best remembered in popular music as a star of Gene Krupa's band during 1941-42, in tandem with Anita O'Day), with Buck Clayton on trumpet, Herbie Green on trombone, Ossie Johnson on drums, Buster Bailey on clarinet, Stuff Smith on piano, and Johnny Guarneri playing the piano. The content of this and the other installments of JAZZ PARTY is so well played and special in its nature, that anyone with even a partial interest in music will want to see at least one of the shows, and all of them are a gilt-edged priority for reasonably serious fans.

 

JAZZ PARTY Vol. 2 (30 minutes)

This volume of JAZZ PARTY is a salute to Storyville, live from New Orleans and featuring singer Sweet Emma Barrett (aka The Bell Gal--so-called because she wore garters with bells on them that jingled as she moved around the stage), Bob Crosby Band co-founder Eddie Miller on clarinet, pianist Armand Hugg, Dukes of Dixieland alumnus Harry Shields, also on clarinet, and New Orleans legend Alfonse Picou.

 

JAZZ PARTY Vol. 4 (30 minutes)

Coleman Hawkins leads an all-star group including Duke Ellington/Louis Armstrong alumnus Tyree Glenn on trombone, violinist-turned-clarinetist Hank D'Amico (who also played with Benny Goodman, Red Norvo, and Tommy Dorsey), and guitarist Mary Osborne (seen more recently at the 1981 Kool Jazz Festival). The rest of the band that includes Charles Mingus/Sarah Vaughan veteran Sir Roland Hannah on piano, former Benny Goodman drummer Morey Feld, Alec Templeton on piano, Johnny Windhurst (a veteran of Eddie Condon's and Sidney Bechet's bands, and the Jazz At Town Hall concerts by Art Hodes and James P. Johnson) on trumpet, and Art Goldberg on bass.

 

JAZZ PARTY Vol. 5 (30 minutes)

A salute to the birth of jazz in New Orleans, featuring a ton of history about the music and the city, and a band led by Sweet Emma Barrett on piano, Bunk Johnson alumnus George Lewis on clarinet, Paul Barber on drums, Punch Miller (a veteran of Jelly Roll Morton's band) on trumpet, and Alfonse Picou. Songs include "When The Saints Come Marching In."

TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD SHOW (Approx. 55 min.)

Two installments from near the end of the run of Tennessee Ernie Ford's daytime ABC musical/comedy series from the mid-1960's, featuring future DATING GAME host Jim Lang as one of the supporting players. The first show, from February 1965, features Ford singing "I Can't Stop Loving You," and--joined by his two lady support singers--performing "Personality." Ethel Ennis is the guest star, singing "The Boy From Ipanema." Sponsor commercials include Lysol, Clairol's Loving Care Hair Color Lotion, Metrical, and Action chlorine bleach (the famous ad featuring the big, muscular hand popping out of the top-loading washer), Rose Lotion Vel, and the Colgate Palmolive Pot of Gold sweepstakes.

The second show features Phil Ford and Mimi Hines as guests, and the song "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You." Comedy includes some examples of zany Valentine's Day cards. Cathy from the regular cast sings a very funny version of "The Name Game." Sponsor commercials include Lustre Creme Shampoo, Borden's Ice Cream, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, and Sara Lee finger rolls, but the best ad is for Ajax Power Cleaner, and features people doing some surprising things with the cleaner in their hand.

YOUR HIT PARADE – Vol. 1 (Approx. 55 min)

From May 2, 1953: Return to the Golden Age of popular music with this installment of Your Hit Parade, featuring Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, June Valli, Virginia Conwell, and Russell Arms with Raymond Scott conducting the orchestra. The numbers and performers featured include "Song from Moulin Rouge" (June Valli), "Your Cheatin' Heart" (Dorothy Collins), "April in Portugal" (Hit Parade Dancers), "That Doggie In the Window" (Snooky Lanson), "Singin' In the Rain" (Dorothy Collins and the Raymond Scott Quintet), "Till I Waltz Again With You," "Pretend" (June Valli), "Five Foot Two" (Snooky Lanson), and "I Believe." Program was sponsored by the American Tobacco Company and features several commercials for Lucky Strike. Also includes a spot from Smokey the Bear on preventing forest fires. From April 16, 1955: Featured numbers include "Tweedlee Dee" (Dorothy Collins), "Easter Parade" (Snooky Lanson), "Cherry Pink and Ap0ple Blossom White," "Sincerely" (Giselle McKenzie), "Powerhouse" (Raymond Scott Quintet), "How Important Can I Be?" "Melody of Love" (Dorothy Collins), "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (Snooky Lanson), "Ballad of Davy Crockett" (Giselle McKenzie). Sponsors were the American Tobacco Company, which includes several spots for Lucky Strike, and Richard Hudnut, whose Quick Home Permanent and Enriched Creme Shampoo are plugged by celebrity Julie Meade. Note: "Powerhouse," which is featured in a live performance, is one of conductor/composer Raymond Scott's most popular and well known works, having been featured in innumerable Looney Tunes cartoons, courtesy of Carl Stalling.

YOUR HIT PARADE Vol. 2 (Approx. 55 min)

November 12, 1955: Featured songs include "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (Snooky Lanson), "Suddenly There's a Valley" (Dorothy Collins), "Tiger Rag" (Raymond Scott and the orchestra), "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" (Giselle McKenzie), "Love and Marriage" (Dorothy Collins), "Shifting, Whispering Sands" (Snooky Lanson), "Moments To Remember (a truly zany version, sung by Giselle McKenzie, who is standing inside a cannibal's dinner pot as she sings, before being rescued by a Tarzan-like figure who leaves her male companion behind), "A Romantic Guy I" (Russell Arms), "Autumn Leaves." Sponsor commercials include Quick Home Permanent, hosted by Julia Meade, and Lucky Strike cigarettes. Also, note the vocal arrangements, which are credited to none other than Ray Charles.

June 2, 1956: Songs featured include "Standing On the Corner" (Snooky Lanson), "Picnic" (Dorothy Collins), "South Rampart Street Parade" (Raymond Scott and the orchestra), "The Street Where You Live" (Giselle McKenzie), "Heartbreak Hotel" (Snooky Lanson, singing the Elvis Presley hit on a set made up as a subway station), "Hot Diggity" (Dorothy Collins), "Ivory Tower" (Russell Arms), "June Is Busting Out All Over" (Giselle McKenzie), and "Moonglow." Also includes commercials for Quick Home Permanent and Lucky Strike cigarettes.

 

YOUR HIT PARADE – Vol. 3 (Approx. 55 min)

December 31, 1955: Featured songs include "Memories Are Made of This" (Russell Arms), "White Christmas" (Dorothy Collins), "Hot Times In the Old Town Tonight," "Autumn Leaves" (Giselle McKenzie), "Love and Marriage" (Snooky Lanson), "He" (Dorothy Collins), "Moments To Remember" (Russell Arms), "Rise and Shine" (Giselle McKenzie), "Sixteen Tons" (Snooky Lanson, in 1905 tavern setting), "Auld Lang Syne" (entire cast). Also features commercials for Quick Home Permanent, hosted by Julia Meade, and Lucky Strike cigarettes. December 24, 1955: A special Christmas show, partly shot at New York's Rockefeller Center skating rink. Songs include "Deck The Halls" (Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, Russell Arms, Giselle McKenzie), "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing," "Autumn Leaves" (danced to by champion skater Andra McLaughlin at the Rockefeller Center skating rink), "Memories Are Made of This," "Love And Marriage" (Russell Arms), "Moments To Remember" (Dorothy Collins), "He" (Giselle McKenzie), a Christmas cong medley by Raymond Scott and the orchestra (including "Deck The Halls" and "Winter Wonderland"), "Sixteen Tons," "O Holy Night" (Dorothy Collins). Also has commercials for Quick Home Permanent and Lucky Strike cigarettes.

YOUNG PEOPLES' CONCERTS: "WHAT IS CLASSICAL MUSIC?" (approx. 60 min)

with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic – One of the best specials ever done by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, live at Carnegie Hall in 1960. Bernstein begins by debunking the various ways of referring to classical music, including the term "classical" itself, and then defines the real meaning of the term classical and the Classical Era, from Bach (who, today, is categorized as a Baroque composer) to Beethoven, using the New York Philharmonic and the piano to illustrate his lecture.

A lesson taught in front of 3000 people at Carnegie Hall turns into one of the funniest, most intimate, and inspiring hours of television ever devoted to music, as Bernstein runs through a gamut of musical jokes and statements in a lively, entertaining manner, covering 100 years of European history and taste, comparing it with American history, and analyzing the musical personalities of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven in the process. Musical excerpts and complete pieces include: Handel's Water Music, Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade," Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major (multiple excerpts), Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Mozart's Overture to The Marriage of Figaro (complete), Haydn's Symphony No. 102, and Beethoven's Egmont Overture.

STUDIO PARTY (25 minutes)

 hosted by future WONDERAMA emcee Herb Sheldon with special guest athlete/actor Bob Mathias (plugging his then new movie, CHINA DOLL), also features a teenaged studio audience and dances (Johnny Otis's "Willie and the Hand Jive"). Less dedicated to rock 'n roll than Freed's BIG BEAT, Sheldon's show mercilessly plugs albums of re-records of recent hits (even a 78-rpm version was available) and other merchandise. The Good Humor spot is cool, though, because of the toy Good Humor trucks that are featured. Other sponsors include Green Mint Mouth Wash, which helps romance "that stops at the kissing line").

 

THE EDSEL SHOW with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra  (Approx. 55 min.)

 A pity for Ford's sake that the Edsel automobile couldn't have proved as fine as this program promoting it. Bing Crosby stars with Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Rosemary Clooney, and the Four Preps in this 1958 program, which opens with Crosby, the band, and Armstrong doing a swinging live version of "Now You Has Jazz" from the movie HIGH SOCIETY, featuring Edmund Hall on clarinet and Billy Kyle on piano. Sinatra sings a medley of "When Somebody Loves You," "Love & Marriage," and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home."  A Hawaiian sketch features a special guest appearance by a certain top comedy personality of this century, and Sinatra and Armstrong sing "Birth of the Blues." A medley of songs by Crosby and Sinatra include "There's Nothing Like a Dame," "Nature Boy," "Goody," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," "I'm An Old Cowhand," "It's Been a Long, Long Time," "Accentuate the Positive," "Hound Dog," and "S' Wonderful."

​THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION Vol. 1 (Approx. 55 min.)

Two 1958 Sinatra shows. In the first, Sinatra opens singing "South of the Border" to a group of admiring showgirls. Later, he's joined by British singer Jeanne Carson in a record shop sketch, where she and regular heckler Clifford (Jesse White) compete to get Sinatra's autograph, and he agrees to teach her how to sing like him and sound American. Meanwhile, Clifford keeps bothering Sinatra, mistaking him for "Sol Mineo." Sinatra sings Cole Porter's "From This Moment On" in an outstanding rendition, as well as "Witchcraft" and "Wishing On a Star."  In the second show, special guest Ethel Merman opens with "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart."          . Sinatra sings Harry Warren and Al Dubin's "Getting To Be A Habit With You" from 42nd STREET and "You're The Top," Merman sings "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows." Commercials include Budd Colyer plugging Bulova watches with help from VOGUE magazine, and Chesterfield spots showing Coast Guard men enjoying a smoke while their ship plunges through stormy waters, and an army missile crew enjoying cigarettes after a successful launch.

 

THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION Vol. 2 (Approx. 55 min.)

TIMEX PRESENTS AN AFTERNOON WITH FRANK SINATRA was filmed in Palm Springs on a rainy day during 1960, hosted by Sinatra with Peter Lawford (who makes a plug for his brother-in-law Senator John Kennedy), and featuring dancer Juliet Prowse (who worked with Sinatra in CAN-CAN), Ella Fitzgerald, the Hi-Los, and Hermoine Gingold. Songs include "I've Got the World On a String" (Sinatra), "Just Too Marvelous For Words" (Sinatra), "I'll Never Smile Again" (the Hi-Los with Sinatra), "Puttin' On the Ritz" (Lawford and Gingold), "Love Walked In," "Our Love Is Here To Stay." Prowse dances to a series of numbers, including Cole Porter's "Too Darn Hot." John Cameron Swayze hosts commercials for Timex watches, one of which features a pair of mimes acting out the virtues of the watch.

 

THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION Vol. 3 (Approx. 55 min.)

Timex Presents Frank Sinatra with guests stars Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Mitzi Gaynor. Sitting side-by-side on a set of giant monkey bars, Crosby, Martin and Sinatra sing "Wherever You Go." Mitzi Gaynor dances to "Here Comes That Hurricane Mitzi." Songs include "Cheek To Cheek" (Sinatra with Gaynor), "High Hopes" (Sinatra and cast), "Just One of Those Things" (Sinatra), "The Lady Is A Tramp" (Sinatra), and, in a salute to Jimmy Durante with a surprise finish, "Inka-Dinka-Do," and "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey." John Cameron Swayze hosts three commercials for Timex watches.

 

THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION Vol. 4 (Approx. 55 min.)

"WELCOME HOME ELVIS" Frank Sinatra is joined by Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., and Nancy Sinatra in a welcome home salute to Elvis Presley, just out of the army. Songs include "It's Very Nice To Be Here" (Sinatra), "Witchcraft" (Sinatra), "Gone With the Wind" (Sinatra), "Fame and Fortune" (Elvis), and "Stuck On You" (Elvis), but the highlight is when Sinatra and Elvis, side-by-side, start doing each other's songs, Sinatra performing "Love Me Tender" while Elvis does "Witchcraft." Sammy Davis Jr. does a series of celebrity impressions (including Nat King Cole doing "When Somebody Loves You," and Cary Grant at the Oscar presentations) and he and surprise guest Peter Lawford square off in a dance competition. John Cameron Swayze hosts a group of Timex commercials. Frank and Nancy duet together, and Nancy dances to "Young At Heart."

 

THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION Vol. 5 (Approx. 55 min.)

TIMEX PRESENTS FRANK SINATRA in a salute TO THE LADIES, an hour-long variety show featuring singing/acting legend Lena Horne, opera singer Mary Costa, comedienne Barbara Heller, dancer Juliet Prowse, and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Songs include "I've Got You Under My Skin" (Sinatra), "By Strauss" (Heller), "From This Moment On" (Horne), "Quarter To Three" (Horne), "Accentuate The Positive" (Sinatra), "Stormy Weather" (Horne), "Get Happy" (Sinatra), "My Heart Stood Still" (Sinatra), "Afraid of Love" (Heller), "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" (Horne). Sinatra and Horne give a birthday greeting to songwriter Harold Arlen, and Juliet Prowse gives an ballet recital, as well as singing and dancing to "Do the Cha-Cha-Cha."And former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt talks with Sinatra about hope and, at his coaxing, recites the words to the song "High Hopes" from the Sinatra movie A HOLE IN THE HEAD. John Cameron Swayze hosts commercials for various Timex watches, and puts them through endurance tests including an underwater agitator and a dishwasher.

 

THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION Vol. 6 (Approx. 55 min.)

Ol' Blue Eyes is back, in black-and-white (natch) for this late 1950's ABC show, with guests Bob Hope, Peggy Lee, and Kim Novak, performing "I Get a Kick Out of You," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Autumn Leaves," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," and "All the Way." This program features numerous references to PAL JOEY and other then-contemporary movies, but the funniest moment comes during a conversation between Sinatra and Hope on stage where the comedian mentions JOHNNY CONCHO as one of Sinatra's notable movies. In addition to each other, Sinatra and Hope also rib motion pictures, in a sketch that is highlighted by the sudden appearance of one of the hottest male leads of the late 1950's, in a very funny walk-on. Chesterfield cigarettes sponsored this show, and Sinatra plugs them throughout. Former radio Superman Bud Colyer makes an appearance hawking Bulova watches, and Nelson Riddle is the music director.

 

THE FRANK SINATRA SHOW Vol. 7 (Approx. 55 min.)

Frank Sinatra has made numerous forays into television over the last 44 years, but this series, sponsored by Bulova (and plugged shamelessly by Sinatra throughout the show), was his first. The singer was still youthful and lanky, but rapidly developing an engaging stage presence as we see in these two episodes. The first show features Jackie Gleason and June Hutton & the Heartaches. Sinatra sings "It Had To be You" and "Take My Love," and Hutton and the Heartaches perform "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah." But the really special part of this show is Sinatra's work with Gleason, who dominates the show and makes Sinatra his foil. Gleason plays a con artist in an extended sketch about selling Sinatra a broken down hunting lodge (sound like a Honeymooners sketch?), with vignettes involving a confused bear, a card game, and June Hutton and the Heartaches. In the second show, Sinatra's guests are Perry Como and Frankie Laine, and the songs include "I Get A Kick Out of You," "If They Made Me a King," "Lucky Old Sun," and "Sonny Boy," the latter done by Sinatra, Como, and Laine in Andrews Sisters' style drag, with a surprise conclusion. Sinatra's longtime music director Axel Stordahl is the show's orchestra conductor.

 

THE FRANK SINATRA SHOW Vol. 8 (Approx. 55 min.)

Sinatra throwing a dinner party and not a servant to be found. First Sidney Fields (of Abbott and Costello fame) deprives Frank of the maid he thought he was going to have at the party, and then Frank makes the mistake of hiring vaudeville star Ben Blue as a butler. Including Georgia Gibbs, who does a sizzling rendition of "Takin' A Chance on Love" from CABIN IN THE SKY). And then Lew Parker (Ann Marie's father on THAT GIRL) shows up to give his impression of various radio shows, including "Music to Eat By." And future variety show host Garry Moore moves around in the background with his own brand of off-the-wall comedy.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN Frank Sinatra didn't become a "respected" actor until almost a decade after this 1945 short, but THE HOUSE I LIVE IN was Sinatra's first Oscar-winning film. The song was a hit for Frank as a record, too, and remains one of his most moving 1940's recordings.

FRANK FONTAINE'S SHOWTIME (30 min)

Frank Fontaine's 1950s variety show, "Showtime." He was an actor, known for Hit Parade of 1951 (1950), The Jackie Gleason Show (1966) and The Jack Benny Program (1950).

 

THE BING CROSBY SHOW (approx. 60 min)

With Frank Sinatra as special guest, with Peggy Lee, and Louis Armstrong. The show opens with Crosby, Sinatra, Lee, and Armstrong singing “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore” from Gigi, with special new lyrics. Peggy Lee is scintillating in a performance of “Baubles, Bangles & Beads” from Kismet, on a set surrounded by . . . baubles, bangles and beads. The highlight of the show, however, is a double trio that turns into a triple duet, featuring George Shearing, Paul Smith, and Joe Bushkin at the piano and Lee, Sinatra, and Crosby, doing Irving Berlin’s “I Love A Piano.” A “beatnik” ballet based on Cinderella follows, and Florence Henderson is seen singing and dancing as she plugs Oldsmobile’s newest models. Crosby and Armstrong duet on “Basin Street Blues” and “Everybody Loves My Baby,” Peggy Lee sings “Some of These Days,” and Lee and Sinatra perform “Up A Lazy River.” And Louis Armstrong closes the show with “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South.” The program also includes a commercial for the series Love That Bob, starring Robert Cummings.

 

THE JAMES MELTON SHOW (approx. 55 min)

James Melton was a genial, big-voiced Irish tenor with a big grin and an outgoing personality, and as a variety show host was sort of a quieter Jackie Gleason, with classier performers than the June Taylor Dancers surrounding him. His guests here, including actress Joan Bennett (who gets a plug in for her husband Walter Wanger), singer Dorothy Worenskjold, pianist Victor Borge, and comedy trio the Wiere Brothers. The whole program is built around a thematic salute to Paris, complete with dancers, sketches, a fashion show, and music performances, all of which appear layer-upon-layer on top of each other, with Victor Borge breaking up the salute with his comedic take on classical music.

 

THE BOB CROSBY SHOW 1950s  (approx 30 min)

THE BOB CROSBY SHOW – Bandleader Bob Crosby, younger brother of Bing, had been very popular in the 1930's, and made his first appearance on television in 1939. His 1953-57 series on CBS was broadcast nightly, and featured the Modernaires with Paula Kelly, Joan O'Brien, and Steve Dunne. A musical/variety show with some audience participation, it featured Crosby as host and master of ceremonies. Songs include "It's Only a Paper Moon" (Crosby), "Crying in the Chapel" (Joan O'Brien), "Let the Rest of the World Go By" (The Modernaires), "Dream" (Crosby), and "I Want A Full-Time Job (Makin' Love To You)," acted and sung by Allan Copland. The limited audience participation takes the form of a game show in which two couples selected after writing in play a game of musical charades for prizes. The kinescope for this program comes from KNXT-TV in Los Angeles.

​THE KATE SMITH SHOW 1950s (approx 30 min)

The ubiquitous Kate Smith, from THE KATE SMITH EVENING HOUR television series (officially an hour long, but here only comprising two 15-minute segments), featuring the five DiMarco Sisters and Myron Cohen. Smith at the piano does "If Someone Had Told Me," the DiMarco Sisters mime and ride their way through "Goin' On a Hay Ride," and back up Smith in a bluesy "I'm Sorry (What Can I Say)." Myron Cohen, introduced as a dialect story-teller, does a set of ethnic humor playing off various aspects of Jewish life. Commercials (including some introduced by Smith) are for Bab-O detergent, with "twice the cleaning power," to "cut sink smog," including an animated spot in which a cartoon Pocahontas saves John Smith, all because of Bab-0.

 

THE DINAH SHORE/CHEVY SHOW 1961 (Approx 60 minutes)

This rare 1961 variety show has Dinah Shore and guest Art Carney doing a series of campy skits as various types of rich, poor, and average married couples celebrating Thanksgiving. Great tunes with Dinah singing her hit from “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Special guest star singer Patti Page sings love songs with Dinah about boys – both were popular singers and entertainers, and really the quintessential female pop-culture figures of their era, pretty, soft-spoken, and funny, who were especially appealing in the midst of the last reasonably peaceful time that America thought it ever had.  

 

THE DINAH SHORE SHOW 1960s (Approx. 30 min.)

The DINAH SHORE SHOW features guests Wayne and Schuster (in a really good comedy sketch) and trumpet player Al Hirt, and songs include "I Ain't Down Yet."

 

THE  PATTI PAGE SHOW 1956 (Approx. 30 min)

Features Page and the Page Five Singers, with the Jack Rael Orchestra, performing "All Of Me," "Sentimental Journey," "Down In the Valley," "My Prayer," "Jim," "Rose of San Antone," and (natch) "Doggie In the Window."

 

 

COKE TIME & THE GEORGE JESSEL SHOW (Approx. 55 min.)

COKE TIME STARRING EDDIE FISHER – THE GEORGE JESSEL SHOW "Coke Time is anytime, anywhere" says the slogan at the opening of this Coca Cola sponsored network music/variety series, which ran from 1953 thru 1957 on NBC and gave Eddie Fisher his first prime-time network show. The opening show features Fisher celebrating his recent discharge from the U.S. Army, and celebrating his network show with his guest and friend Don Ameche, and clowning with special guest star Anna Maria Alberghetti. Another show features Florence Henderson, fresh from the Broadway cast of FANNY, performing "I Have To" while Fisher does "Papa Loves Mambo."

Other songs include "If I Ever Needed You," "My Own Favorite Anytime," and "Downhearted." THE GEORGE JESSEL SHOW features America's "Toastmaster General" in a savagely funny burlesque of Arthur Godfrey, and pitchman Sid Stone in a very funny on-the-street sketch (reminiscent of Abbott and Costello's tie-selling routine from BUCK PRIVATES), and Teresa Brewer sings "Baby" and "Ricochet."

 

LAWRENCE WELK    (approx 60 minutes)

Lawrence Welk was a famed bandleader, and a long-running fixture on network television. NEW TUNES AND NEW TALENT, which dates from 1957, is somewhat unusual in that some of the tunes featured, such as "I'm Walking" (performed by Speedy West on steel guitar), rock 'n roll or r&b tunes, even if they're not performed in that manner. Performers include Joe Feeney, Maurice Pearce, Jimmy Fields, and the Lennon Sisters. Other material performed includes Chopin, Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Sigmund Romberg. Commercials include Plymouth (with a boy and girl at a drive-in).

YOU WANNA BE IN PICTURES? Vol. 1 (Approx 60 minutes)

If you ever had dreams of becoming a big movie star, you'll enjoy this retrospective of the Forties, a time when Warner Brothers created movie shorts designed to enhance audience appreciation of the movie business. We start off with CALLING ALL GIRLS and a casting call for beautiful girls wanting a part in a Warner Brothers spectacular. We also include highlights from such Busby Berkeley musicals as 42ND STREET and GOLD DIGGERS. Best known as George Jetson's voice on THE JETSONS, George O'Hanlon stars in SO YOU WANNA BE IN PICTURES? as the boy who wants to break into the movie business "in the worst way." This clip also includes a bevy of cameos from Ronald Reagan, Robert Hutton, and Alexis Smith, to name but a few. Meet up with There is also a beautiful print of HOLLYWOOD STEPS OUT, a classic Warner cartoon which caricatures Hollywood stars such as Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Jimmy Cagney, Grouch and Harpo Marx, Laurel and Hardy, Hedy Lamarr, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Mickey Rooney, Johnny Weissmuller, Henry Fonda, Edward G. Robinson, and many more. You also get some surprise Luster Crème Commercials which feature Joan Bennett, Rhonda Fleming, Arlene Dahl, among others.

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