Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Singer Bobby Freeman

The New York Times ran a story Monday night about the singer Bobby Freeman.  He died on January 23rd, at age 76.


Though Mr. Freeman was undoubtedly best known for his 1958 hit record "Do You Want to Dance," which he wrote, and which came out when he was seventeen (it was subsequently recorded by a number of other artists, including The Beach Boys, John Lennon, and Bette Midler), his 1964 hit, "C'mon and Swim," was a particular favorite of mine, during childhood.  It was released in 1964 (I was eight), and I played it endlessly, as I recall, on the very small, portable record player I had.  Though I still have the 45, it got warped, somewhere along the way, and is unusable.  In recent years, I've enjoyed listening to the song, periodically, on YouTube.


There is a nice photo, in the above New York Times story, of Mr. Freeman performing in 1964 on the ABC show Shindig.  The video, below, is clearly from the same telecast. 


"C'mon and Swim," incidentally, was produced (and co-written) by Sylvester Stewart--who later became better known as Sly Stone, of Sly and the Family Stone.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Photo, after visiting The Salvation Army store

I went to The Salvation Army store today, to donate some books.

I currently have a rather long beard, which has a decent amount of gray in it.  As seen in the picture above, I was, while at the store, wearing a somewhat festive-looking winter cap.

A customer at the store said to me (I thought this was pretty funny):  "You look like Santa Claus."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore

CBS-TV will be airing a special on Thursday (9-10 p.m., Eastern time), about the incomparable Mary Tyler Moore.

Here is a nice scene from The Dick Van Dyke Show, from 1961 (the show's first season).  It features Ms. Moore and Mr. Van Dyke singing and dancing to the song "You Wonderful You."


Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last speech

This is a video of the remarkable and powerful conclusion of the last speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

His closing remarks--among his best-known--were hauntingly prescient.  He delivered the speech in Memphis, on the night of April 3, 1968; he was killed in Memphis the next day.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dick Gautier

I read, a little while ago, that the actor Dick Gautier died on Friday, at age 85.

He was so darn funny on Get Smart, as Hymie the Robot. 

Here's a story about his death, and life, from the Daily News in New York. The story includes a brief, and very funny, excerpt from a Get Smart episode.


In 1960, on Broadway, Mr. Gautier originated the role of Conrad Birdie, in Bye Bye Birdie, for which he received a Tony nomination.

He made a great many television appearances during his career, which included lending his voice to a number of animated programs; he was also seen, periodically, in films.  I was surprised to learn, however, from looking at his IMDB page, after reading about his death (this is also mentioned in the Daily News story, above), that he made only six appearances on Get Smart, the show with which he is certainly most associated.  Yet his appearances on the program were so memorable, and so entertaining--I can still laugh, decades later, just thinking about his affectless/deadpan portrayal of Hymie--that (for me, at least) it feels as if he had been on the program a lot more.

Here is the IMDB page about Mr. Gautier's television and film career:


Friday, December 30, 2016

"New England Broadcasting History," and "TV Radio Mirror"

There's a Facebook page that, for some time, I've enjoyed a great deal; it is titled "New England Broadcasting History."

I was delighted to see a nice recent item on the page (Dec. 5th) about my mother: it featured scans of a July, 1960 article about her, from the magazine TV Radio Mirror. At the time, she was the host of a weekly movie program, Cinema 7, on Boston's WNAC-TV (Channel 7).



As part of the TV Radio Mirror article, there were pictures of our family. In the top right picture, above, I'm sitting on my father's lap, and my mother is holding my brother. I was four, when the story came out; my brother was seven. 

In addition to the mostly national television and radio personalities the magazine covered (Jack Paar was featured on the cover of the July, 1960 issue, as seen here), TV Radio Mirror typically ran a handful of regional stories each month, geared to the different geographic editions of the magazine. The article about my mother appeared in the magazine's "Atlantic Edition." The same issue featured stories about Washington, DC television reporter Morna Campbell, who wrote and delivered a weekday morning newscast on station WTOP ("the only woman news reporter in Washington TV, and one of the few in the country," the article about her noted); host/performer/comedian (and a producer/director) Richard Belkin, of Albany TV station WAST; and New York City's Ted and Rhoda Brown, hosts of the long-running morning program Ted Brown and the Redhead, heard on radio station WMGM-AM.  

(Ten years earlier, when my mother was singing on Kay Kyser's television show, on NBC, Ted Brown had been the show's announcer, for its second season. Brown was affiliated with other early television programs, as an announcer and performer--yet is best remembered, certainly, for his work as a New York radio host--which included many years spent at the prominent music station WNEW.)

One of the regular posters/contributors to the New England Broadcasting History Facebook page, Jofus Jones (whose posts I have enjoyed, over time), wrote a response to the item about the TV Radio Mirror article--kindly mentioning this blog, for which I am appreciative.