Come on Clay. There's a huge lack of music on the TV and a bigger lack of an entertainer with talent for song, comedy - with a ton of charisma. If anyone can bring back that genre . . . you're the man to do it!
I've been thinking about all the different kinds of music I love. A lot of the music I've come to appreciate was because I had exposure to it when I was young. My parents used to take me to a Broadway show every year for my birthday. My first show was Mr. Wonderful with Sammy Davis Jr. when I was just 6 or 7 - and, oh man, did I fall hard for live theater. But it was the variety shows we watched on television that bring back so many memories. How I learned to appreciate the music my parent's loved. And how they learned to tolerate mine!
I was too young for the first Dinah Shore Show in the early 50s, but I remember the Dinah Shore Chevy Show in the late 50s and early 60's as well as her specials. This video of Dinah with her guest, the fabulous Peggy Lee, really shows how dynamic network television could be. And this is no easy song to pull off -- plus they both look FABULOUS!
My family would watch the Ed Sullivan show together and I can still remember that night I fell in love with George Harrison the first time I saw The Beatles. My American Bandstand memories are really strong -- singing and dancing with my older sister. How hard she tried to teach me the Philadelphia Lindy. And then there was Shindig and Hullabaloo. Wow - how many great pop and rock and roll artists did we get to see from 1964-1966? Here's a rare clip of The Beatles from Shindig when, in 1964, they presented a few shows from London. And look - The Beatles did covers!!!
I adored the Andy Williams Show (1962-1971) where I'd get to hear incredible performers. I remember it was the Andy Williams Show where I first heard the wonderful Brazilian guitarist and composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Now, if you've read some of my other blogs, you know I'm a huge Bobby Darin fan. These two clips are GREAT! The first is also from The Andy Williams Show - with Andy, Bobby and Eddie Fisher performing Do Re Mi from The Sound Of Music. Just listen and watch - the incredible energy, the great singing, the charm - it jumps right off the screen.
PBS is a great place to watch great performers - and this Bobby Darin concert was no different. Recorded before a live audience in March 1973, just nine months before he died from heart failure at 37, the show wasn't aired until many years later -- but it really captures Bobby at the height of his talent.
And, of course, there was the amazing and controversial Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour from 1967-1969, where performers as diverse as The Doors, Glen Campbell and Herman's Hermits took the stage. And . . . the brilliant Pete Seeger, who had been invited to appear on the Smothers' second season premiere to sing his anti-war song, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy." The censoring of Seeger created a public outcry, causing the network to relent and allow Seeger to reappear on the Comedy Hour later in the season to perform the song.
The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour was a fun mix of comedy, music and great Cher costumes. And I adored watching the very funny Flip Wilson Show where Flip mixed in musical guests as diverse as Isaac Hayes, The Temptations, Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash.
So come on Clay . . . how about some musical variety specials? We know you've got the musical chops.
And we know you can bring the funny.
And what could be bad about looking at that face on a big screen tv every once in a while?
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