Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Photograph from January, 1952

This is a photograph of a rehearsal for the January 5, 1952 telecast of Your Hit Parade, on NBC (sixty years ago this week).  In the picture (which, unfortunately, contains various scratches and other imperfections), my mother, Sue Bennett, is singing the #6 song on the Hit Parade survey that week: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."  (The #1 song that week was "Slow Poke.")

According to the script she was joined in the song by the show's vocal chorus, The Hit Paraders (who appeared both on-camera, and off-camera, during Hit Parade broadcasts), though I am guessing that the performers in front of her are three of the show's dancers.  The performer to the left looks like dancer Virginia Conwell; the performer at the right looks like it might be Bobby Trelease.  Both Conwell and Trelease were prominent dancers on the program.  (They were both, in addition, routinely featured in key non-speaking acting roles, during Hit Parade production numbers.)

The script, by the way, notes that the images behind my mother are to be seen "by means of the vue-graph rear projection."  I find the phrase "vue-graph" interesting, but am unsure what it means.  Perhaps it was simply another name, at the time, for the rear-projection process, or perhaps it referred to a specific kind, or specific brand, of rear-projection device; I have not come upon the phrase elsewhere.

(Photo above, copyright Lost Gold Entertainment, Inc.)