Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention"

The annual "Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention" is taking place, beginning on Thursday, in Newark, New Jersey.

For more information, please click on this link:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Frank Truatt, and Russell Arms

I enjoyed appearing on “The Frank Truatt Morning Show” on Monday, on WTBQ Radio in Warwick, New York. I was interviewed by Truatt--and also by Rob McLean (who is also the show’s news and sports anchor), and Walt Popailo, who co-hosts the program on Mondays.

A very enjoyable bit of information emerged during the interview. Frank Truatt mentioned that his middle name is “Russell,” and he explained why he was given the name. When he was born, in the 1950s, his mother was a fan of singer Russell Arms, one of the stars of Your Hit Parade.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"The Frank Truatt Morning Show," WTBQ Radio

On Monday morning (10/12), beginning at 7:05, I’ll be a guest on “The Frank Truatt Morning Show,” on radio station WTBQ, in Warwick, New York. I’ll be talking about early television, and The Lucky Strike Papers, for about ten minutes. Frank Truatt’s program airs weekdays from 6-9 a.m.

To learn more about the program, please see:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Your Hit Parade," October 7, 1950

On this date, in 1950, Your Hit Parade (which had aired on radio since 1935), began its weekly telecasts on NBC. There had been four experimental telecasts of the show in the summer of 1950. The show then began its regular TV broadcasts on October 7th.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gisele MacKenzie

A posting a few days ago on “Master of My Public Domain” (, Michael Coston’s very enjoyable nostalgia-oriented blog (referred to previously in this space), concerns the singer Gisele MacKenzie.

Gisele MacKenzie starred on the TV version of Your Hit Parade (along with singers Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, and Russell Arms) from 1953 until 1957.

While interviews with Collins, Lanson, and Arms appear in my book, Ms. MacKenzie is only referred to briefly; the book’s focus on early network television largely concludes in 1952, before MacKenzie joined the show. Yet MacKenzie remains one of the Hit Parade’s best-remembered stars.

Here’s the link to Michael’s posting about her:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"As I Saw It," by Mike Dann

Recently read, and enjoyed, the book As I Saw It--subtitled, The Inside Story of the Golden Years of Television.

The book, by the well-known television executive Mike Dann (as told to writer Paul Berger), is published by Levine Mesa Press. (see, and

It concerns the period Dann worked at NBC-TV, in the late 1940s and 1950s--as well as his more prominent tenure (from 1958 until 1970) at CBS-TV, where he ultimately became senior vice president in charge of programming.

I learned of the book because of Dann's recent appearance on the Internet radio show "TV Confidential," hosted by Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte. (see:, and