TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
It is what it is!
Twilight Zone on DVD
Time Tunnel on DVD
Andy Williams Christmas shows DVD Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD
TV Shows on DVD
Commercials on DVD
TV Show ReviewsTV on DVD Reviews
Christmas Specials
TV DVDs & TV Books

 

Classic TV Blog / TVparty!
* Classic TV Blog *
Your host: Billy Ingram


THAT SOUND YOU HEAR
Mark J. Cuccia writes: I'd read on a broadcast nostalgia discussion/posting site that tvparty.com has added the CBS "Bong" tone at the main page! Nice!

I was born in 1961. My first memories of the CBS hourly "Bong" tone was from the early/mid-1960s, on the CBS Television Network, when I'd hear it each and every weekday morning at 8:00am CT, when WWL-TV-4 would switch into the CBS Television Network, and I'd hear that "BONG" tone fed from Chicago or New York over 5-Kc audio lines from AT&T, and then the bouncy "Puffin' Billy" music of The Captain.
I also then remember hearing that BONG tone almost each and every hour if there would be a CBS-TV program fed down the lines -- Lucy, Andy, Dick van Dyke, Gomer, etc.

I most certainly remember hearing it all throughout the 1970s-era, such as opening up Cannon, Barnaby Jones, All in the Family, Maude, Mary Tyler Moore, etc.

And while the CBS "Bong" was removed from CBS-TV sometime in the early 1980s, and the NBC 700-Hz BEEEEEEP was removed from NBC-TV about the same time, and the ABC 1000-Hz 'bip' was also removed from ABC-TV and ABC Radio at the beginning of American Information News in the early/mid-1980s too... the NBC 700-Hz BEEEEEEP was still being heard at the top of the hour before the hourly news on the NBC Radio Network all the way through August/September 1992;
and the CBS 440-Hz "Bong" (A-above-middle-C) can *STILL* be heard over the CBS Radio Network at the beginning of the hourly CBS Radio News.

I'd read somewhere that CBS introduced the "Bong" back in Summer 1938, on RADIO of course. And I've heard old time radio programs from CBS from the 1940s/50s/etc. and have watched some old kinescopes of CBS-TV programs from the 1950s-era, and the BONG was used at the top of the hour -- and MAYBE even at :30 -- back then.

I "stream" the CBS-owned WBBM-780-am in Chicago through the Internet, since WBBM carries MOST of the hourly newscasts from CBS in New York, while the local WWL-870-am in New Orleans just about always cuts away from the network and goes "local" at 3-min after the hour. The actual CBS Radio hourly newscast runs at least 5-mins long. And twice each weekday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, the CBS Radio hourly newscast is branded the "World News Roundup" and runs TEN minutes long. WBBM-780 Chicago carries the full 10-min WNR, while WWL-870 New Orleans breaks away at 4-min after the hour during the WNR.

While I really do NOT watch current TV programming, I do watch The Price is Right at times, and I try to watch Sixty Minutes. It would be nice if CBS-TV could restore the BONG tone at the top of the hour -- it would be nice to hear it at the beginning of TPIR and 60-Mins! Since CBS Radio still goes "BONG" at the top of the hour, it wouldn't be "difficult" to restore the BONG on CBS-TV!

Friday, March 9, 2007 - 4:29pm
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

MORE ON PUBLIC DOMAIN TV SHOWS
Bob Huggins, an expert in these matters, tells us: I pulled this description on how films (and TV shows) from the web site of Reel Media International, one of the leading suppliers of public domain material. Essentially, most of your explanation was correct; this expands it a bit:

“In the United States a film goes into the Public Domain if:
1. The film was never registered for copyright. Years ago, producers were required by the Library of Congress (LOC) to send in a 35 mm print for registration. This was too expensive for some producers. Many of the producers just forgot to file for copyright, went out of business, or deliberately chose not to file for copyright as the movie was done as a tax write-off. After a “reasonable time” the film fell into the Public Domain.
2. Until the law was changed in 1992, the copyright holder was required to renew the copyright in the 28th year. On January 1st of the 29th year, if a renewal wasn’t filed with the LOC, the film fell into the Public Domain. After the law changed in 1992, any film that had fallen into the Public Domain (which covered all those produced prior to 1964) would remain in the Public Domain forever. All those films registered after 1963 would not be required to renew the copyright before the end of 28th year. The copyright would continue for a full 75 years (later extended to 95 years).
3. The film had to have a copyright notice on the front or at the end of the film, and many filmmakers simply forgot to include the information. It had to read “Copyright 19__, (Name of company or Individual). This occurred quite a few times over the years.
Most of the countries of the world are signatories to the Berne Copyright Convention. Under Berne Rules, if a film is in the Public Domain in the Country of Origin, it is considered to be in the Public Domain in all Berne Countries. Therefore, a film produced in the USA and in the Public Domain would be in the Public Domain everywhere unless it is listed as a co-production with another country (i.e. USA/UK). We do suggest that you always check with your legal advisors, as we cannot know or keep up with changes in each country's laws and regulations.”

Examples of popular shows with some public domain episodes:
The Dick Van Dyke Show: 6, maybe 7 episodes from season 2
The Lucy Show: 30 episodes (various seasons)
Bonanza: 31 season 1 & 2 episodes
The Andy Griffith Show: 16 season 3 episodes
The Beverly Hillbillies: 55 season 1 & 2 episodes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1954): 39 episodes (entire series)
Bat Masterson: 2 episodes

There are many other shows, mostly from the 1950s and early 1960s, that have one or more episodes that have slipped into the public domain. Some of these shows are quite rare to see and, were it not for their public domain status, there’s a very good chance that we would never see some of these shows again. The downside is that companies releasing public domain material almost never have access to original film elements and, consequently, use 16 millimeter syndication prints as their source material... some of these prints are in fairly bad shape.

In my opinion, the best company for rare public domain television series is Alpha Video; they really have an incredible catalog of some rare television shows from the 1950s at reasonable prices, including 44 (of 52) episodes of “Ramar of the Jungle.” Critics Choice Video’s classic TV line is a good one as well.

Thursday, March 8, 2007 - 7:19am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?


PHILLY HERO
Chief HalftownBob Flannery and Ted Thompson sent in this essay about one of Philadelphia's leading broadcasters / citizens and I thought you might enjoy reading it here (the photo at right is by Bob Flannery): "Chief Halftown was a hero to millions of children and their parents throughout Delaware Valley year after year. Not publicized nor acclaimed was the work he did almost daily with adult mental health agencies, homeless indigents and programs for substance abusers.

"Over more than five decades his dedication and deep devotion to these unfortunate men and women was a compelling, personal effort without financial compensation of any kind. Halftown's concern for the down-trodden emerged from his childhood on the Seneca reservations in New Your and continued through his service in the US Army during World War II.

"After discharge he became a popular 'big band singer' in New York and Pennsylvania. During that time he pledged his talents with countless charitable causes and for the next fifty years followed through in a modest, low-profile second career. His primary concerns centered on alcoholics and substance abusers at the lowest levels of society. The Chief was frequently an honored speaker at Pennsylvania State mental hospitals and outpatient clinics offering encouragement to adult patients and families. A regular at store-front clubs and outreach programs in slum areas, Halftown, offered support and guidance regardless of economic status to residents of Center City Philadelphia, the Main Line, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

"Affectionately known by all as "Chief," Traynor's words of wisdom fit perfectly into the traditions of his Native American people. Although his appearances were never made in native regalia or with tribal fanfare, audiences always responded to him with affection. His native pride and sense of spirituality prevailed and these were the very attributes that endeared him to all children everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of families came to know Traynor as 'a counselor and leader' from 1945 until his passing in 2003.

"Although his charitable efforts were never publicized and he never presented himself as a TV performer to such groups, he was recognized as an outstanding personality wherever he appeared. He termed himself 'just a fellow citizen determined to aid those in need, any way I can.' His was a totally personal effort never discussed with the press or private interests for his own benefit. Consequently, his help to others became a poorly kept secret that endeared "Chief" to all who really knew him. Millions of families remember him in the broadest possible range of loving devotion. There will be none in future times who can walk the Valley in his moccasins!"

This, folks, is why I lament the death of local TV the way it used to be. Personalities like Chief Halftown in Philly, Sheriff John Rovick in L.A. and the Old Rebel where I grew up in North Carolina (to name but a few) worked tirelessly for the communities they seviced. Television stations had a connection to the community (and kids in particular) that just isn't possible to achieve any longer now that their local kid shows have disappeared.

The other day I was watching the local Noon News and they had a pre-school class in the studio watching the broadcast. Trying to connect with the community, you know? But can you think of anything LESS appropriate than kids watching what passes for news these days? Rape. Murder. War. I wonder how many of these kids went home and asked mommy what a "decapitation" is.

That's a long way from the 'Please and Thank You' life lessons we learned from our local heroes each weekday.

Thursday, March 8, 2007 - 6:34am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

PHILLY KID SHOWS
Wow. The mail continues to flow in about that WHYY special on Philadelphia area children's shows. Here are just a couple:

PBS had on a special tonight about kid's TV in Philly. My brothers and I were calling each other all excited to make sure we all didn't miss it.

Just wanted to share in case people might want to catch it as it's on all week I think!

You guys put my all things Gene London letter on the site. I LOVE that man. Nice, nice man and a fierce talent. I will NEVER forget how exciting it was to sit on the fire engine during the Thanksgiving parade and see Mr. London pass. Good stuff.

- Kimmie

Hi Billy,

Being a native of the Philadelphia area, I had to watch our local PBS station's (WHYY) special on the Philly kid shows. In a word, it was terrific, and the station will be repeating it numerous times for the next couple of weeks. The special had numerous clips, some quite rare, from the various shows and there were present day interviews with those hosts still alive, including Sally Starr who will turn 85 this year. In fact, "Our Gal Sal" helped out during the pledge breaks. Anyone needing more information can find it here (there's a promo clip that you can watch):

And, you'll be happy to know that among the web links, TV Party! is included."

Regards, Bob Huggins

Other PBS stations around the country should take note. I'll bet this was a cash bonanza for WHYY.

New York City? You should talk with Kevin S. Butler (you can contact him through this site), he knows NYC locals like no other - in fact, I doubt there's anyone in the country who knows more about a specific genre of TV than he does about NYC kid shows (publishers take note!) and Kevin has an unbelievable stash of rare photos, recordings, interviews, etc. just waiting to be shared with the world. Rick Goldschmidt would be the go to guy in Chicago (no shortage of experts on Chicago kid's TV). PBS in Detroit should be on the phone to Ed Golick this morning! Of course, when it comes to local or national kid shows, TVparty is there for you 24 hours a day.

Speaking of NYC kid shows, I'm going to share with you some ultra-rare, never before seen footage from one of the Big Apple's most celebrated kid shows. We'll do that in a couple of days, OK?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 6:39am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 


PUBLIC DOMAIN TV SHOWS

Greg Laughlin asks, "How does a season of a classic television show end up in the public domain? I'm not an expert in copyright law but this condition seems strange to me. Isn't it an all or nothing deal? An explanation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks."

I would have to assume the shows either were never copyrighted to begin with (having to do with the disposable nature of early TV before reruns in syndication became a booming market) or, more likely, they were never renewed when the 28 year deadline hit (copyrights had to be renewed every 28 years at that time - the law has changed, I understand). This may be because conventional wisdom was, for a couple of decades, that black and white shows were worthless because people only wanted to watch programs in color. Anyone have a more detailed answer?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 - 8:55am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

FUNNY STUFF
This is not right! Shirley Q. Liquor's 'Who Is My Baby's Daddy?'

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 - 8:52am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

PHILLY KIDDIES
I got a lot of excited email last night after the airing of a special on Philly Local Kid Shows on their local PBS station, channel 12. It airs again this week, I believe - don't miss it. I also understand you can order a DVD of the program as a fundraising premium.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 - 8:51am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I once saw Al Gore exhale carbon dioxide, which is a known greenhouse gas. HYPOCRITE!!!"
- thepoorman.net

Friday, March 2, 2007 - 11:01am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

DETROIT KID SHOWS
Ed Golick has a wonderful tribute to Detroit kiddie host Marv Welch as Wixie the Pixie at his marvelous detroitkidshow.com site. There is some rare audio and video from the show there as well; check it out if you're looking for more about the Motor City's local TV personalities, it's one of the best written TV Web sites out there.

Friday, March 2, 2007 - 10:58am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

SOUNDIES
I just watched a screener of a wonderful special coming to PBS this month. Soundies: A Musical History chronicles the first 'music videos,' if you will, filmed performances that were available for viewing (for a dime) on a 'Panoram' machine, a massive TV looking device found in nightclubs of the 1940s.

These historically important performances have all been preserved, thankfully, and this hour-long tribute gives us a sweet taste of Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway and many other immortals of the swing era.

The special jumps along at a nice pace, the clips are long enough that you can enjoy them and the commentaries by Hugh Hefner, Wynton Marsalis and Leonard Maltin (among others) are spot on. I really enjoyed this documentary, it will turn up during March pledge time like all the other best PBS specials, consult your locals. Don't miss this, Soundies: A Musical History is loads of fun; more than once my jaw dropped in amazement and joy. There will also be a DVD release, with an added bonus - host Michael Feinstein's favorite Soundies films in their entirety.

A few years after Soundies died out in the mid-1940s, the ball was picked up by Snader Telescriptions which made the same type of musical shorts (with some of the same staff) but this time for broadcast over the new medium of television. You can read about those films here on TVparty!

Kevin S. Butler has more on the Soundies and their unique place in TV history:

In 1952 WFIL (now WPVI) Channel 6, the Philadelphia, Pa. affiliate of the ABC network, acquired the TV rights to the Soundies and were planning to air them on a daily show.

The station execs at Channel 6 wanted a local radio DJ named Bob Horn to host the show but he hated the idea of emceeing a TV program that did little more than screen old musical films from another era. He felt that it would bore the hell out of his viewers and he tried to turn down the job. Station execs insisted.

Knowing that he needed some kind of extra segment to attract viewers, Horn suggested playing swing / jazz records and having kids from the neighborhood dance on the show. Since many jazz bands performed in Philly at the time, he also suggested booking popular groups as guests and having them perform their latest hits on the show. This way he could interview them afterwards.

Channel 6 agreed to this idea and American Bandstand was born. Eventually, the kids liked the live band performances with recorded music and dancing better than watching Soundies on the show. Screening of the Soundies was dropped as the show changed its format to accommodate rock and roll music.

Mr. Horn was ousted from the program in 1956 when Dick Clark took over as host both locally in Philly and in Los Angeles over ABC TV and in national syndication for the next 31 years.

Thursday, March 1, 2007 - 7:32am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?


Daphne's CastleREMEMBER BABY DAPHNE?
Here's a rarity - Stuart Gitlow sends us an audio capture of the groovy theme from Daphne's Castle, a popular locally produced (in LA) kid show that also aired in limited syndication. This was taped from WNEW Channel 5 NYC in roughly 1968. Also heard, a promo for Bob McAllister's Wonderama and a public service announcement starring Kukla and Ollie
.

Stu tells us more: "It came about mostly by chance. I remember that Daphne's Castle was on right after I usually left for school (nursery school or Kindergarten), but for some reason I was home that morning. In the meantime, my dad had just gotten a new Ampex cassette tape recorder, one of the first consumer model cassette players, and was testing it out with the TV set. I asked if he would tape the Daphne theme song (I liked theme songs even at 4) and there it is."

Read more about the witchy Baby Daphne here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 8:07am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

SAD PASSING
Kevin S. Butler on the passing of an early-TV kiddie show host: Marv Welch - veteran vaudeville, nightclub, radio and TV performer and broadcaster - was best remembered by Detroit, Michigan's youngsters as Wixie The Elf on WXYZ TV 7's Wixie's Wonderland. He passed away on Thursday, February 22, 2007 at the Autumn Nursing Home in Warren.

Mr. Welch was 81 and in failing health. The son of vaudeville entertainers, Marvin Welch Jr. began his career as a boy soprano performing with his parents at local piano bars during the depression. Welch attended Wayne University where he studied liberal arts while performing at Earl Gremel's bar as a singer and comedian to help pay for tuition. He soon added lip syncing to popular recordings to his act and obtained the nickname of "The Michigan Mirthquake."

Following his service in the US military, Marv returned to performing in Detroit's most popular nightspots like The Gay Haven where he co-headlined with The Platters, Jerry Vale and Frank Sinatra.

He made his TV debut in 1952 on a local musical/variety program titled Musically Speaking for station WWJ. The show only lasted one year. His next TV venture became a much more successful project when the station execs at WXYZ-7 hired Welch to host their daily kid's show Wixie's Wonderland.

Debuting in 1953, the broadcast was set against the backdrop of an enchanted fairyland where Wixie (Welch) and the inhabitants of "The Wonderland" - Diane Dale, Gee Whiz the Clown (played by cartoonist and pantomimist Ken Muse), Harry Elton and Gramps (played by the late Frank Nastasi) - engaged young viewers with songs, stories, games, craftmaking, informational segments, comedy skits and interviews with in-studio guest personalities. These live segments were wrapped around reruns of Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes and Woody Woodpecker movie cartoons.

Wixie's Wonderland was produced without a script but it was done with charm, whimsy and with the kind of gentle care one would see today on PBS's Sesame Street.

"We were a very popular show," Frank Nastasi recalled in an interview that I did with him back in the 1980's. "We beat out Captain Kangaroo in the ratings. We entertained but we also educated the children. We were gentle and fun but we were not saccharine like Sesame Street.

Nastasi's "Gramps" was also able to do segments on animals and conducted an interview with the Sicilian Marionettes and even got a chance to perform with one of the giant puppets on the show.

Wixie's Wonderland aired from 1953 until 1957. Following the cancellation of the show, Marv Welch returned to performing in clubs; he also cut several party disks in the 1960's & '70's which utilized his very raunchy comedy routines and hosted a local radio program The Voice Of Macomb County on station WBRB in the 1970's, playing music from the golden days of swing-era jazz.

After his radio show left the air Welch was unable to find work and for a time performed at his daughter's restaurant Marvin's Bistro and Piano Bar where his Wixie memorabilia was displayed. Unfortunately the restaurant was not a success and, despite his best efforts, was forced to close after one year of business.

During his last years, Marv Welch appeared at some nostalgia conventions in the Detroit area with the city's other popular kid's TV MC's Art Cervi (Bozo the Clown), Johnny Ginger and Soupy Sales.

He made only two television appearances during the latter part of his life. During the 1960's, he did a series of TV commercials for Proctor and Gamble promoting Wizard Of Oz hand puppets and puppet stage that children could obtain by having their parents buy Downey Fabric Softener or Oxydol. (The puppets were packaged with the products. Kids could get the Wizard Of Oz puppet theater by sending a check and proof of purchase.)

Welch also appeared on WXYZ TV 7's 50th Anniversary tribute in 1998 and was interviewed for books that recalled his best days at WXYZ TV - From Soupy To Nuts by Tim Kiska and the TV Land Book.

I was lucky enough to correspond with Marv and he was just as generous with his info about his career in kid's TV with me as he was with other writers.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 6:25am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

PHILLY KID SHOWS SPECIAL
From a press release: WHYY-TV explores the bygone era of local children's television programs in Philly's Favorite Kids Show Hosts, a new documentary premiering Monday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m. on WHYY TV12. The hour-long program reminisces about Philadelphia's rich history of children's television through in-person interviews with local stars, and archival footage from classic shows. Dick Sheeran, longtime Philadelphia broadcaster, and South Philly native, narrates.

Sally Starr. Chief Halftown. Pixanne. Bertie the Bunyip. Captain Noah. Gene London. For two generations of Delaware Valley children, these colorful personalities brought a new brand of entertainment to daytime television - a place where worms could talk, fairies flew, an ark came to life and imaginations ruled.

"People enjoy revisiting their childhoods, and for many, these TV characters were a big part of that," said WHYY's Ed Cunningham, producer of Philly's Favorite Kids Show Hosts. "This documentary gives us an opportunity to catch up with many of the people who ignited so many imaginations, and also introduce them to a new generation of fans."

Philly's Favorite Kids Show Hosts starts off where it all began: the early days of the television industry in the 1940s and 50s, when Philadelphia became a major player in children's program production by filling a void left by the young national networks. During this time, local broadcast talents - think Gene Crane and Phil Sheridan - spawned new programs for children and adults, and distributed them nationally to the networks.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 5:36am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

MORE ON THOSE DOLLAR DVDS
Kevin S. Butler hips us: Bob Keeshan did indeed play Clarabelle on Puppet Playhouse Presents (this was the original title of NBC/ Roger Muir/ Ed Kean and "Buffalo Bob" Smith's Howdy Doody.

Some kinnie films of Puppet Playhouse with Keeshan as Clarabelle do exist, I don't know if this particular kinnie film is a part of the DVD package that Bob described but I did see Mr. Keeshan's Clarabelle on one early episode of the series dressed in an oversized polka dot clown suit. His striped clown suit and august clown make up didn't appear until later in the series' run.

The Shari Show that Ms. Lewis and her other puppeteers did for the NBC TV network on Tuesday afternoons for the 1975 season was not the best of her efforts in kid's television. The plots were too adult and the new characters lacked the charm and whimsy of her better known puppets. Ms. Lewis was essentially trying to do a kid's version of The Mary Tyler Moore Show as she played a television producer for programs that aired on "The Bearly Broadcasting TV Network."

The Shari Show only lasted one season on NBC TV. The program was rerun in syndication and on the USA and Nickelodeon cable networks but The Shari Show's screenings were short lived. Ms. Lewis didn't make her comeback on TV until 1992 when she debuted on PBS TV with Lamb Chop's Playalong and with her last kid's TV show Charlie Horse's Music Pizza.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 5:35am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

NETFLIX VS BLOCKBUSTER PART TWO
A few months back, I compared my Netflix service with Blockbuster.com. One of the guys at tvshowsondvd.com has done his own comparison and he and I came to the same conclusions. I wrote my review before Blockbuster redesigned their site and, like Robert Chynoweth found in his experience, it's a nightmare for a Mac user. I've even considered dropping Blockbuster.com because the site is so buggy. For instance, you can only delete one selection at a time and it takes about a minute or two each to process. Inexcusable! \His experience with Netflix vs Blockbuster's product availability matches mine as well.

Also - did you know if you're an aggressive renter who gets their DVDs in and out quickly (as I do) both Netflix and Blockbuster will slow down the process to limit the number of DVDs you can receive?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 9:25am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

CALLING BUSHIT
This whole talk of looney, irrational Bush haters on the left is pure poppycock and so easily disproven that it points out just how shallow the media is - and just how eager some people are to embrace the idea.

Remember 9/11? Right after that event President Bush's approval rating jumped to something like 90%. If we were a nation of irrational Bush haters, or even had a predilection to despise the guy, that couldn't have happened. What you had instead was essentially the entire nation giving him the benefit of the doubt and unconditional support.

The millions of Americans (and billions of people the world over) who despise Bush came by it honestly, as a result of his words and deeds, not some media Kool Aid they've been drinking (if the media was really doing its job Bush's approval rating would be somewhere around 10%). That's why it will be difficult for the guy to rebound - once people get sick of a person and start seeing through their bullshit, let's face it, it's over.

And now we find the administration is (once again) supporting the same people who attacked us on 9/11? Not surprising. Remember the Bush Administration gave $43 million to the Taliban shortly after taking office, something a truly liberal media would never let us forget.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 8:29am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

MORE DOLLAR DVDS
From Bob Huggins: A visit to my local Wal-Mart this weekend yielded some good dollar TV-on-DVD finds from Digiview Entertainment.
Lassie/Mr. Ed
Two episodes from each series are included. The two “Lassie” episodes are both with Tommy Rettig, from the show's early years and have been previously released on Diamond Entertainment's "TV's Lost Shows." Also previously appearing on the "TV's Lost Shows" set is a U.S. Department of Treasury promotional film featuring the cast of “Mr. Ed.” The film extols the virtues of buying U.S. savings bonds at your workplace. Finally, the main reason to obtain this disc is the unseen TV pilot for "Mr. Ed" titled "The Wonderful World of Wilbur Pope" with different cast members in the lead roles. Scott McKay plays Wilbur (later portrayed by Alan Young as "Wilbur Post") with Sandra White playing his wife Carlotta (later portrayed by Connie Hines as "Carol Post"). The pilot is so-so and it's easy to see why the starring cast members were later changed, but it's a very worthwhile addition for TV collectors. Incidentally, the pilot was financed partly by George Burns.

Howdy Doody
This is actually a fairly important disc for anyone interested in early television history. Why? The disc contains two episodes that date back to 1948 when the show was titled "Puppet Theater." These old kinescope recordings provide a glimpse into both live television production and children's programming from television's earliest days. I believe that it’s Bob Keeshan who later was “Captain Kangaroo” playing “Clarabelle” in these early episodes. There are two other episodes contained on the disc from other periods during the show’s 13 year run (1947-1960); one episode was originally broadcast in color but, unfortunately, saved only through a black & white kinescope. Finally, the DVD has a 10 minute “Howdy Doody Christmas” short from Castle Films that was originally produced in color, but is presented here in black & white. While I know that other early (pre-1950s) television shows have been saved via kinescope or film, the Digiview disc -- priced at $1.00 -- makes it affordable for just about anyone to own a slice of TV history.

The Shari Show
Four episodes from puppeteer Shari Lewis' 1975-76 children's show that was produced in Chicago. I highly suspect that this is NOT public domain material, but probably licensed to Digiview, which has been releasing more and more licensed material as of late. It's a rare and a worthwhile look at one of her later children's shows, with excellent visual quality throughout.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 7:23am
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?


OFF THE SUBJECT
If you read my Punk Rock diary from the early-eighties you may know the name Red Wedding, they were, I believe, LA's first openly gay rock band but beyond that, they were an inspiration to groups that came after like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction. Red Wedding LPs (when you can find them) fetch a fortune from collectors all over the world. Michael Ely and Spider Taylor, the core of that group, have gone on to critical raves with new sounds under the name Smoke & Mirrors. Now recording under the name Michael and Spider, they're finally releasing a Red Wedding compilation CD. If you're into old school punk/ new romantic music (roots of modern day punk & rock) or even gay history for that matter, this will be a fantastic new release.

By the way, if you're choosing music for TV or radio shows, you should check out the Smoke & Mirrors CDs (especially White Roses Painted Red) for some knockout material for backgrounds and transitions. They can be found at auralfixationrecords.com. Don't believe me, read the reviews for yourself.

Look for Michael and Spider: Iridescent Garden this spring. I don't know the release date for the Red Wedding CD. You can check it out their new, still under construction Web Site at: michaelandspider.com

Monday, February 26, 2007 - 7:43pm
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

YOU TUBING - COCKTAIL TIME
The Dean Martin Show
hasn't made it on to DVD in any substantial form, but there are some brilliant clips on You Tube from that seminal variety program. In this sketch, Foster Brooks plays the part of a drunken airline pilot.

Here's another one starring the perpetually inebriated Foster Brooks, this time roasting Don Rickles from one of the many Dean Martin Celebrity Roast specials that aired both during the run of The Dean Martin Show and after the series ran its course. (These clips are followed by some lengthy ads that you can ignore.)

Speaking of Don Rickles, here's a bit from one of his 1970's specials and he's actually singing and dancing. Catch the cool guests stars that turn up on stage, including Otto Preminger and Bobby Riggs.

Don Rickles on a Dean Martin Roast of Bob Hope.

Finally, Don Rickles introduces another roaster, Orson Welles, who somehow manages to be sober enough to get through the thing. You see, Foster Brooks only pretended to be drunk...

Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 8:25pm
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

LUCY SHOW DVD?
Bob Huggins tells us: "I don’t necessarily think that all of the public domain releases of "The Lucy Show" mean that we won’t see some sort of official release of the series, either in season sets or a "Best Of" package. Here’s why:

Despite the proliferation of the public domain releases, there are only 30 episodes of the series (out of a series total of, I believe, 156) in the public domain (and only two of the public domain episodes are from the show’s early black & white years). The PD companies are releasing the same material over & over.

Shout! Factory’s recent announcement of "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" on DVD comes in the wake of numerous public domain releases of the show, including the dollar DVDs. Yes, Shout! is taking a bit of a risk on O&H, but the extra features coupled with the best quality episodes will make their release the one to own and has the full involvement of David Nelson and Sam Nelson (son of Ricky).

Incidentally, Shout! is using the same formula for this release that they used for their "Here’s Lucy" release... 24 episodes spread across four discs and great extra features. If "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" can get an official release, despite numerous PD releases, why not "The Lucy Show?" Also, you may remember that 16 episodes from season 3 of "The Andy Griffith Show" (half of that show’s third season) were public domain and released by numerous companies (including the usual dollar store releases)... but that didn’t stop Paramount from releasing season 3 in its entirety with these same episodes.

Arguably, "The Lucy Show" is the best known Lucille Ball series after "I Love Lucy" and had a comparatively long run (1962-68). I would not be surprised, in the least, if Paramount decides to release this once they feel they’ve done as much as they can sales wise with "I Love Lucy."

Now for the bad news... apparently Shout! Factory’s release of "Here’s Lucy" did not sell as well as expected. This set is currently in liquidation for $10 or a little higher at several companies specializing in closeout merchandise (which represents a great opportunity for anyone who doesn’t have it yet). Click here or here for examples.

I don’t believe that Shout! Factory has any plans for additional releases of this series but, I have to agree with you, the extras (produced by the great Paul Brownstein) are incredible... some might argue, better than the series itself.

Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 8:45pm
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

TV ON DVD
Bob Huggins writes: The Timeless Media Group "Timeless TV" collection is, mostly, a very good collection, though some of the series included have had the same episodes released by other companies like Alpha Video, Critics Choice Video, and a few others. That said, there are some outstanding finds in the mix, including:

The Third Man – Inspired by the classic 1949 classic film, this series is extremely rare on DVD; in fact, there’s only one other DVD release. Michael Rennie stars along with (in some episodes) Jonathan Harris of "Lost in Space" fame. This was a co-production between NBC and the BBC and, consequently, some episodes were filmed in the U.S. and others in England.

Decoy – TV’s first "Police Woman" was aired nearly two decades before the Angie Dickinson series. Timeless’ set includes five episodes not seen on other DVD releases of the series. Filmed in New York City.

Northwest Passage – This late 1950s series, set in colonial times, was produced by MGM in color and features Buddy Ebsen as "Hunk Marriner" several years before he was "Jed Clampett" in "the Beverly Hillbillies. This was made in the wake of Disney’s successful "Davy Crockett" limited series.

Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans – Another frontier series, this was a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation series (the pilot was shot in Hollywood) that starred Americans John Hart (who replaced Clayton Moore for a year on TV’s "The Lone Ranger" during a contract dispute) and Lon Chaney, Jr. Filmed in Ontario, the Winter scenes really do look like Winter.

Lock Up – One of the very few series from Ziv Television to find its way to DVD.

The Mickey Rooney Show – Say what you will about the show itself, this is the only commercial DVD release of this rare series to see (and is currently ranked at #8 at Timeless' site among their top sellers).

Classic Television – This is really a great collection with episodes from a few shows that are rare to see. Charlton Heston is featured in a live teleplay on "Studio One." The "Riverboat" episode is another extremely tough series to find on DVD. There is some opening narration at the beginning of each show to provide viewers unfamiliar with the shows a little background.

I’ve done some reviews that are a little more in-depth for a few of these releases at Amazon (click to read).

The Third Man
U.S. Marshal
Classic Television

There are a few misfires in the "Timeless TV" group . . . both "The Lucy Show" and "One Step Beyond" have been released by multiple companies specializing in public domain material, making these releases mostly superfluous, i.e., if you are collecting episodes from either of these series, there's nothing new here. But the good news is that all of the series (generally, ten half-hour episodes spread across two DVDs) in the "Timeless TV" line retail at around $10 and, with a little searching online, can be found for even less making these a great bargain for a number of hard-to-find series.

Thanks, Bob - speaking of, I enjoy watching The Lucy Show, junk food for the brain you might say. I don't mind a bit watching scratchy prints on the Dollar Store DVDs because that's what it looked like when I first watched the show in morning reruns. Unfortunately, all of these public domain releases of The Lucy Show will make it more unlikely we'll see season by season DVDs. That's a shame, The Lucy Show was one of the top-rated programs of the 1960s. The first couple of seasons (in black-and-white) it was a well-written show and progressive seasons still provide some creamy sitcom goodness.

Which reminds me of the excellent Here's Lucy compilation released a few years ago by Shout! Factory (read about it here). I doubt (but could be wrong) that it was a huge seller but it still stands as one of the best TV on DVD collections of all time just on virtue of the fabulous extras. I'd like to see more Here's Lucy on DVD even though most folks find it an overall weak series. It deserves another look, Here's Lucy was surreal as Green Acres (GA was a much better show, admittedly) and every week there was a different guest star.

Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:38pm
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESPOND?

 

Read more Blog entries here!



Billy Ingram is one of the nation's
top Pop Culture experts!
Seen on VH1, Trio & Bravo.

Your Classic TV Blog!

Classic Commercials on DVDMothers in Law on DVD

Latest TVparty
Classic TV Blog Entries

TV BLOG - 107
TV BLOG - 106
TV BLOG - 105

TV BLOG - 104
TV BLOG - 103
TV BLOG - 102
TV BLOG - 101
TV BLOG - 100

TV BLOG - 99
TV BLOG - 98
TV BLOG - 97
TV BLOG - 96
TV BLOG - 95

TV BLOG - 94
TV BLOG - 93
TV BLOG - 92
TV BLOG - 92
TV BLOG - 91
TV BLOG - 90
TV BLOG - 89

TV BLOG - 88
TV BLOG - 87
TV BLOG - 86
TV BLOG - 85
TV BLOG - 84
TV BLOG - 83

TV BLOG - 82
TV BLOG - 81
TV BLOG - 80
TV BLOG - 79
TV BLOG - 78

TV BLOG - 77
TV BLOG - 76
TV BLOG - 75
TV BLOG - 74
TV BLOG - 73

TV BLOG - 72
TV BLOG - 71
TV BLOG - 70
TV BLOG - 69
TV BLOG - 68

TV BLOG - 67
TV BLOG - 66
TV BLOG - 65
TV BLOG - 64
TV BLOG - 63

TV BLOG - 62
TV BLOG - 61
TV BLOG - 60
TV BLOG - 59
TV BLOG - 58

TV BLOG - 57
TV BLOG - 56
TV BLOG - 55
TV BLOG - 54
TV BLOG - 53
TV BLOG - 52
TV BLOG - 51

TV BLOG - 50
TV BLOG - 49
TV BLOG - 48
TV BLOG - 47
TV BLOG - 46
TV BLOG - 45
TV BLOG - 44
TV BLOG - 43

TV BLOG - 42
TV BLOG - 41
TV BLOG - 40
TV BLOG - 39
TV BLOG - 38
TV BLOG - 37
TV BLOG - 36
TV BLOG - 35

TV BLOG - 34
TV BLOG - 33
TV BLOG - 32
TV BLOG - 31
TV BLOG - 30
TV BLOG - 29
TV BLOG - 28
TV BLOG - 27
TV BLOG - 30

TV BLOG - 29
TV BLOG - 28
TV BLOG - 27
TV BLOG - 26
TV BLOG - 25

TV BLOG - 24
TV BLOG - 23
TV BLOG - 22
TV BLOG - 21
TV BLOG - 20

TV BLOG - 19
TV BLOG - 18
TV BLOG - 17
TV BLOG - 16
TV BLOG - 15

TV BLOG - 14
TV BLOG - 13
TV BLOG - 12
TV BLOG - 11
TV BLOG - 10

TV BLOG - 9
TV BLOG - 8
TV BLOG - 7
TV BLOG - 6
TV BLOG - 5

TV BLOG - 4
TV BLOG - 3
TV BLOG - 2
TV BLOG - 1

Superman season 2 on DVD


Best-selling
Classic TV DVDs


Holiday
specials on DVD

Cartoons on DVD

TV Specials/
Miniseries on DVD

Kid Shows on DVD


 

 

 

 

 

 

what's Happening!! season three on DVD

Sonny & Cher Show 1971 on DVD

 

TV on DVD
Find classic TV Shows
on DVD here!

 

CHIPS on DVD

 

TV on DVD catalog

 

 


Alex Toth Book
TVparty's Billy Ingram and James Counts produced a new book that animation and comic book fans will want to own - 'Dear John: The Alex Toth Doodle Book.'

It's a bit different - a collection of correspondence and sketches from the reclusive master artist Alex Toth's last 25 years.

Click here for more info about the book. There are very few copies left and I haven't heard any serious talk of a second printing; it was released only through comic book stores in August of 2006.


John Wayne / John Wayne on TV / John Wayne's Death / Bob Keeshan / Andy Griffith TV Shows / Mayberry / TV Blog / Classic TV Blog / 2007 New Fall TV Shows / Classic TV / I Love Lucy / Television Shows / TV on DVD / TV Shows on DVD / Prime Time TV / Television Blogs / TV Show Reviews / TV Shows on DVD Reviews / TV DVD Reviews / John Wayne Movies / John Wayne Films / John Wayne TV Shows / John Wayne / Duke Wayne Movies / Westerns / John Ford Films / Classic TV / War Movies / Classic TV / 1960s / Lung Cancer / Dean Martin / Lucille Ball / John Wayne on DVD


Latest TVparty
Classic TV Blog Entries

TV BLOG - 107
TV BLOG - 106
TV BLOG - 105

TV BLOG - 104
TV BLOG - 103
TV BLOG - 102
TV BLOG - 101
TV BLOG - 100

TV BLOG - 99
TV BLOG - 98
TV BLOG - 97
TV BLOG - 96
TV BLOG - 95

TV BLOG - 94
TV BLOG - 93
TV BLOG - 92
TV BLOG - 92
TV BLOG - 91
TV BLOG - 90
TV BLOG - 89

TV BLOG - 88
TV BLOG - 87
TV BLOG - 86
TV BLOG - 85
TV BLOG - 84
TV BLOG - 83

TV BLOG - 82
TV BLOG - 81
TV BLOG - 80
TV BLOG - 79
TV BLOG - 78

TV BLOG - 77
TV BLOG - 76
TV BLOG - 75
TV BLOG - 74
TV BLOG - 73

TV BLOG - 72
TV BLOG - 71
TV BLOG - 70
TV BLOG - 69
TV BLOG - 68

TV BLOG - 67
TV BLOG - 66
TV BLOG - 65
TV BLOG - 64
TV BLOG - 63

TV BLOG - 62
TV BLOG - 61
TV BLOG - 60
TV BLOG - 59
TV BLOG - 58

TV BLOG - 57
TV BLOG - 56
TV BLOG - 55
TV BLOG - 54
TV BLOG - 53
TV BLOG - 52
TV BLOG - 51

TV BLOG - 50
TV BLOG - 49
TV BLOG - 48
TV BLOG - 47
TV BLOG - 46
TV BLOG - 45
TV BLOG - 44
TV BLOG - 43

TV BLOG - 42
TV BLOG - 41
TV BLOG - 40
TV BLOG - 39
TV BLOG - 38
TV BLOG - 37
TV BLOG - 36
TV BLOG - 35

TV BLOG - 34
TV BLOG - 33
TV BLOG - 32
TV BLOG - 31
TV BLOG - 30
TV BLOG - 29
TV BLOG - 28
TV BLOG - 27
TV BLOG - 30

TV BLOG - 29
TV BLOG - 28
TV BLOG - 27
TV BLOG - 26
TV BLOG - 25

TV BLOG - 24
TV BLOG - 23
TV BLOG - 22
TV BLOG - 21
TV BLOG - 20

TV BLOG - 19
TV BLOG - 18
TV BLOG - 17
TV BLOG - 16
TV BLOG - 15

TV BLOG - 14
TV BLOG - 13
TV BLOG - 12
TV BLOG - 11
TV BLOG - 10

TV BLOG - 9
TV BLOG - 8
TV BLOG - 7
TV BLOG - 6
TV BLOG - 5

TV BLOG - 4
TV BLOG - 3
TV BLOG - 2
TV BLOG - 1

 

 

Video Vault / Holiday Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!

Television's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the Seventies / The Eighties / TVafterparty / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments

Carol Burnett special  DVDs Honey West on DVD Match Game on DVD Route 66 season 2 on DVD Soupy Sales DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Kid's TV Commercials
Looking for classic TV on DVD? See below:
Back to the menu
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites

TVparty! Television Blog
TVparty! Television Blog