Louis Armstrong meets Johnny Cash in 1970 as they perform Jimmy Rogers' "Blue Yodel #9". Armstrong played on the original 1930 Jimmy Rogers recording.
Jeff Beck joins Stevie Wonder onstage to add some blazing guitar licks to "Superstition". Wow! The Jeff Beck Group originally recorded the song, by the way.
When the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they closed with "Be My Baby". Original members Ronnie Spector and Nedra Talley were joined by background singer Trish Scotty, replacing original member Estelle Bennett (Ronnie's sister) who was too ill to perform. But watch at the very end.....they bring Estelle up to take the final bow.
Someone once cornered me at a party and proclaimed that WMMS went downhill in the 1980s when we started to play people like Prince who "was not rock and roll". Is that so? Exhibit A.
This is a clip from a series of TV concerts that WMMS did with Channel 8 featuring various national performers. I don't know who owns the rights or where the original tapes are, but a few clips have surfaced on youtube which were home taped off the air. Here is Todd alone at the piano with "A Dream Goes On Forever" from one of the broadcasts..
On June 25, 1964, the Rolling Stones made their American TV debut on the syndicated "Mike Douglas Show", which was taped at the Cleveland studios of Channel 3 (then KYW-TV, now WKYC) which at the time were at 1403 East 6th Street (now The Calfee Building).
In this election year, I thought it fitting to show an extremely rare kinescope (film from a TV monitor) of NBC television's 1948 election coverage. Pretty crude stuff. Only seven cities were networked at that time (Boston, New York, Schenectady, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC and Richmond VA) with only about 200,000 total TV sets in use. NBC also televised the 1940 Republican convention to three cities but the kinescope was not yet invented, so we only have still pictures.
Jean was just great. One of the best storytellers ever. As a kid, used to listen to his radio show on New York City's WOR, which boomed into Boston at night. Absolutely compelling. Later, wrote the popular "Christmas Story" film. Some of his WOR shows are available here: https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/comedy/jean-shepherd-show
These are pretty cool. Being the New York City flagship station for the NBC network, WNBC-TV always did things first class. Most local TV stations do animated IDs today, but these are among the earliest and in color, yet!
This is an industrial film commissioned by General Motors for their 1956 GM Motorama show at The Waldorf Astoria in New York. It has become quite a cult favorite and you can see why. A really over the top combination of futuristic automobiles, the new GM cars, and a very strange running plot of a "typical 1950s woman" and her dreams of happiness. Really a hoot!
Luciano Pavarotti meets James Brown. It is a wonder the microphones didn't blow up!
Gail Farrell and Dick Dale sing Brewer and Shipley's song "One Toke Over The Line," on The Lawrence Welk Show! Introduced by Myron Floren, who appears to be the only one who knows what the song is about, and seems to be trying to keep a straight face throughout the introduction.
I have seen a lot of rock and roll documentaries, but this three part BBC series is one of the very best. For some reason, the Brits seem to have an uncanny insight into American rock and roll.
From the BBC.
From the BBC.
Peggy Lee meets The Righteous Brothers. Very cool!
The legendary Mae West almost never appeared on TV, but Red Skelton managed to get her to come on his show in 1960. I believe that this is the only time that she ever did sketch comedy on TV and you can tell that all those years on stage prepared her well.
Here's another classic film star who rarely appeared on TV. Bogart made his only sketch comedy appearance with the great Jack Benny in 1953. He was really good with great comic timing. Especially impressive is that this was a LIVE broadcast.
Taped October 3, 1964 at The Granville Studios in London. Broadcast in the USA October 7, 1964 on ABC-TV. UPDATE: A higher quality videotape was just discovered.
A rare, color videotape clip from 1964 of Johnny when they did the show from New York. I prefer the New York broadcasts which were edgier than the highly polished shows from Burbank. Very unusual for a color tape clip this early to survive. Note the muted colors on the set. Most people still had black and white TVs in 1964, so how the show looked in black and white was a priority.