Friday, August 22, 2014

Television Advertisement, 1949

This advertisement, for a television set, is from a May 9, 1949 issue of Playbill magazine.  The Playbill was for Love Life: A Vaudeville, which starred Nanette Fabray and Ray Middleton.

The Broadway play, which would have its final performance five days later, had its premiere in October of 1948. Its book and lyrics were by Alan Jay Lerner, and its music by Kurt Weill; the director was Elia Kazan, and Michael Kidd was the choreographer.

One of the play's performers was the dancer Tony Charmoli.

In 1949, while performing on Broadway, Charmoli became the choreographer for the ABC television show Stop The Music.  Then, in 1950, when NBC's Your Hit Parade came to TV, Charmoli was hired as the program's choreographer.  He was also the show's stager; he staged all of the performances of the singers and supporting actors/performers in each of the show's musical numbers. The program featured dramatizations of each week's hit songs.

In addition to his quick rise to prominence as a television choreographer--he received an Emmy nomination in 1955 for his choreography on Your Hit Parade, and was awarded an Emmy the following year, for his work on the program--Charmoli later became a noted television director.  From the 1960s to the 1990s, he received eleven Emmy nominations, for both directing and choreography.  Two of those nominations, in the 1970s, led to Emmy Awards, for choreography; one was for Gypsy in My Soul, the 1976 special which starred Shirley MacLaine (which he also directed).  Charmoli was also the director of the much-admired 1977 television production of the American Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The above advertisement, from the 1949 Playbill, is for an Emerson TV.  I enjoy its name--that it was a "Long Distance" television set.  (As the ad noted:  "No matter where you live--city, suburb or country, you'll get finer reception with an Emerson Long Distance Television Receiver.")  I also like the name of the store where the television could be purchased.  Television, in 1949, was still a new entity in American life; the Emerson TV set was available at "Willis Radio Stores," in the Bronx.