“Forgotten Hollywood”- Simply Regis…

July 25th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Regis Philbin was a genial host of talk programs and game shows and he was always an open book about his private life while live on screen. His most lingering images are from Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. REGIS PHILBIN ->

“`Regis Philbin grew up in the New York borough of the Bronx. After leaving the Navy in 1955, he talked his way into a meeting with the head programmer at Southern California’s KCOP-TV. He found work parking cars, then progressed into work as a stagehand, newswriter, courier, and producer of a sports telecast. He also briefly served as a page on The Tonight Show.

“`In the early 1960s, KOGO-TV in San Diego began producing The Regis Philbin Show for a national audience.  The program of music and celebrity interviews was taped two weeks before each airing. It was canceled after four months.

“`In 1967, Philbin was hired as announcer and sidekick to comic Joey Bishop on his network show. When he heard that he was going to be fired because of poor ratings, Philbin tearfully announced he was leaving on July 12, 1968, walking off during a live broadcast. He returned three days later after letters of support poured in.

“`After eventually teaming with Kathie Lee, Philbin had finally entered America’s psyche in a big way.  Kelly Ripa would replace Kathie Lee in 2000 and the morning show enjoyed similar success.

“`Philbin’s work as a game-show host cemented his legacy. Forbes reported that two-thirds of ABC’s operating profit in 2000 was due to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He became a regular guest on the late-night talk program circuit, and often was used by David Letterman in his manic sketches.

“`Philbin worked over fifteen thousand hours, earning him recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for most broadcast hours logged in by a television personality; the record previously held by Hugh Downs, who died a couple of weeks ago.

“`The disarming Regis Philbin was eighty-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Back to the Beach…

July 20th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 takes a trip to the beach!  John Coleman, Art Kirsch, and I discuss those great beach movies of the 1950s and 1960s that starred Sandra Dee, James Darren, Frankie Avalon, and Annette Funicello. Do not forget the sun tan lotion…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Freedom Rider…

July 17th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`John R. Lewis was a politician and civil rights leader. He was a United States Representative for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District,  and in his seventeenth term in the House, having served since 1987, and was the dean of Georgia’s congressional delegation.  He was one of the Big Six who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and played several roles in the Civil Rights movement to end legalized racial segregation.

“`In 1955, Lewis initially heard Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio. When the Montgomery Bus Boycott (led by King) began later that year, he followed the news about it. He met Rosa Parks when he was seventeen, and was introduced to King for the first time the following year.

“`In 1961, Lewis became one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders. It initiated pressure on the  federal government in enforcing the Supreme Court decision in Boynton v. Virginia declaring segregated interstate bus travel to be unconstitutional.  Freedom Rides also exposed the passivity of the government regarding violence against citizens of the nation who were simply acting in accordance with the law.  In the South, Lewis and other nonviolent  Freedom Riders were beaten by angry mobs, arrested at times and taken to jail.

“`As part of the March on Washington in 1963, and as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis addressed the same enormous crowd that heard Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.

“` Lewis became nationally known during his prominent role in Selma to Montgomery marches when, on March 7, 1965 – which became known as Bloody Sunday –  Lewis and fellow activist Hosea Williams led six hundred marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. They were met by Alabama State Troopers who ordered them to disperse. When the marchers stopped to pray, the police discharged tear gas and mounted troopers charged the protesters, beating them with night sticks. His skull was fractured, but Lewis escaped across the bridge to Brown Chapel, the movement’s headquarter church in Selma.  Before taken to the hospital, he appeared before the television cameras calling on Lyndon Johnson to intervene in Alabama.

“`In February, 2009, almost fifty years after being bloodied in a Greyhound station during a Freedom Ride, Lewis received an apology on national television from former Klansman Elwin Wilson.  In 2011, Lewis was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. He often referred to the president’s election as a down payment to the message offered by King during his March on Washington speech. His own story was chronicled in the movie, Selma.

“`Lewis also worked for fifteen years to gain approval for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. As he often surmised:  Who’d have thunk it? 

“`John R. Lewis (above) was eighty.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Location Location Location…

July 15th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`If you ever wanted to own a piece of history, this may be a golden opportunity. A listing just went up for The Golden Girls home and it can be yours for the price of three million dollars.  You can own the place where it was filmed.

“`The four bedroom house is located in Brentwood (not Miami), which is a super exclusive locale. 245 North Saltair Ave.  in Southern California has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. You could live very comfortably.

“`It would be neat to tour, just in case you wanted to pick up a mortgage payment of thirteen thousand dollars a month and Home Owner Association fees of five hundred a month.

“`Their wicker furniture is not included and Pier One Imports has filed for bankruptcy. So, expect to decorate the house in your own image.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Come See About Me…

July 14th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`The Detroit building where Berry Gordy Jr. built his music empire reopened its doors to the public . The Motown Museum had been closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“`Gordy Jr. launched Motown in 1959. His late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum in the former Hitsville headquarters in 1985. Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Mary Wells, and many others recorded hits there before Motown moved to California in 1972.

“`Before entering the building,  guests are asked to complete a health questionnaire and undergo a temperature check. Once inside, only ten visitors at a time are offered a guided tour of the historic building.  To help maintain the recommended social distance, record-shaped decals are scattered on the floor throughout the museum. Still photography, which had been forbidden inside the museum, is now permitted.

“`As expected, visitors are flocking to Hitsville U.S.A.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What About Bob…

July 10th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Big Boy is a restaurant chain where the mascot may be better known than the eatery itself. If you have never visited one of Big Boy’s seventy-plus locations, you certainly have seen the checker-clad kid who has been the face of the company since it was founded in the 1930s. But after all those years, Big Boy is finally getting a respite. Though the name will still be Big Boy, the company’s mascot will be a little girl:  Dolly.

 

“`Removing Bob is not a forced move. Rather, this change to a female logo is a pre-planned promotional idea tied to a new menu item… a chicken sandwich. It is an effort to compete in the ongoing Popeyes chicken sandwich wars, Whether this is a permanent change or just a promotional stunt is not entirely clear. McDonalds ran a similar campaign with Mac Tonight replacing Ronald McDonald in the 1980s.

“`In 1936, Bob Wian sold his prized DeSoto Roadster to buy a hamburger stand in Glendale, California. He named it Bob’s Pantry. One day, Bob sliced a bun into three pieces, added two hamburger patties, and the very first double-decker burger was born. It became so popular, he changed the name of his restaurant.

“`Dolly was originally introduced in Adventures of the Big Boy comic book series as Big Boy’s girlfriend. So, after a century of service, Bob is out. Is it trite to simply say:  Hello Dolly!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Work Work Work…

July 8th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`For the moment, things are shut down due to Covid 19. When will Hollywood productions be up and running?  Art Kirsch, John Coleman and I discuss the possibilities on another edition of Celebrating Act 2.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Television Mainstay…

July 2nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Hugh Downs was a genial, versatile broadcaster who was one of television’s most familiar faces with over fifteen thousand hours on news, game, and talk shows. He was a host on NBC’s Today, the game show Concentration, and co-hosted ABC’s magazine show 20/20 with Barbara Walters.                          HUGH DOWNS –>

“`Downs began his broadcasting career as a twelve-dollar-a-week announcer on a small Ohio radio station. He was an announcer in Chicago, which was a television incubator in the 1950, for Kukla Fran and Ollie and Hawkins Falls, which was the small screen’s first soap opera. In 1954, he went to New York for The Home Show.

“`Downs became a bona fide television personality as Jack Paar’s announcer on The Tonight Show from mid-1957,  when he replaced Franklin Pangborn, until Paar’s sudden departure in 1962. Downs also appeared as a panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth and played himself in an episode of NBC’s sitcom Car 54 Where Are You?.

“`Downs was certified by Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for greatest number of hours on network commercial television, though he lost the record for most hours on all forms of television to Regis Philbin in 2004. Downs was one of the initial inductees into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

“`The ubiquitous Hugh Downs was ninety-nine.

We’re in touch… So, you be in touch…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Comedy Royalty…

June 30th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Carl Reiner was the versatile writer, actor, and director.  He was the dependable co-star to Sid Caesar, and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show and straight man to Mel Brooks 2000 Year Old Man comedy skit. One of his sons is Rob Reiner.

“`Reiner was born in the Bronx. After graduating from high school, he attended drama school, and then joined a small theater group. During World War II, he joined the Army and toured in GI variety shows for a year and a half. Carl later received stage roles, debuting on Broadway in Call Me Mister. He stayed busy on stage throughout the 1940s.

“`Reiner joined the classic comedy revue Your Show of Shows in 1950. He lent able support of Caesar. The comedian added his talents to a writing team that included Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart.

“`The Dick Van Dyke Show remains one of the most popular television series of all time and a model of ensemble playing, physical comedy. He was originally cast to star in the sitcom, but he and CBS decided that Van Dyke was the correct person to be the lead in the program.

“`Reiner’s movie roles include  Gidget Goes Hawaiian, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Russians are Coming The Russians are Coming, History of the World Pt. 1,  and the Oceans 11 series of films. He co-starred and directed The Comic, Oh God!, The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, and Summer School. On television, Reiner guest-starred in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Night Gallery, The Carol Burnett Show, Frasier, Mad About You, Two and a Half Men, and Hot in Cleveland.

“`His books include Enter Laughing, an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show. In 2000, he received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor. He was also inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

“`Carl Reiner (above) was ninety-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Johnny Mandel…

June 29th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Johnny Mandel was one of the country’s top composer / arrangers in jazz, pop, and film music. The breadth and quality of his work made it possible to be recorded by a wide variety of jazz musicians and singers including Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Shirley Horn, Anita O’Day, Tony Bennett, Diane Schuur, Barbra Streisand, and Peggy Lee.                            JOHNNY MANDEL –>

“`He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard School.  In 1943, he played the trumpet with jazz violinist Joe Venuti. The following year, he worked with Billy Rogers and in the bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Rich, Georgie Auld, and Chubby Jackson. He also wrote tunes for Woody Herman, Stan Getz, and Chet Baker.

“`Mandel was in demand in Hollywood and worked on scores for I Want to Live!, The Americanization of Emily, The Sandpiper, Harper, The Russians are Coming The Russians are Coming, M*A*S*H, The Last Detail, Summer Wishes Winter Dreams, Being There, Caddyshack and The Verdict. The Shadow of Your Smile, which he co-wrote with Paul Francis Webster, won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. He also wrote Suicide is Painless, featured in the screen and small screen adaptations of M*A*S*H.  He also won a Grammy for his arrangement of the Natalie and Nat King Cole duet of Unforgettable.

“`Johnny Mandel was ninety-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrating B-Movies…

June 28th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Who does not love a great popcorn flick! I join Art Kirsch and John Coleman on Celebrating Act 2 to discuss the all time great “B” Movies.

======================================

“`Linda Cristal was an Argentine actress. She appeared in a number of Westerns during the 1950s. She was best known for her recurring role in High Chaparral. Her films include The Alamo, Two Rode Together, Panic in the City, and Mr. Majestyk. On television, she guest-starred in Rawhide, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Love Boat,and Police Story.

“`Linda Cristal was eighty-nine.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- In Full View…

June 25th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`NASA is to name its headquarters in Washington D. C. after its first black female engineer, Mary Jackson. Her story was shared in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. The move comes at a time of introspection across our nation over historical injustice suffered by African Americans.

“`NASA began recruiting college-educated African American women in the 1940s as human computers, but they experienced both racial and gender discrimination at work. Jackson was picked in 1951 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. She worked under Dorothy Vaughan – whose story was also told in Hidden Figures – in the segregated West Area Computing Unit at Langley, Virginia. Jackson helped to break down barriers for African Americans and women in engineering and technology.

“`Just last year, the 300 block of E Street SW, in front of NASA’s Headquarters building, was designated as Hidden Figures Way to honor Katherine Johnson, Vaughan, Jackson, and every woman who dedicated their lives to honorably serving their country, advancing equality, and contributing to the space program of the United States.

“`Jackson died in 2005. In 2019, she was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. Now, her name will be etched above NASA, an enduring symbol of her lifelong intent to reach for the stars.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Back with a Breeze…

June 24th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Gone With the Wind has returned to HBO Max, having been restored to the streaming service’s library with a new prologue about the movies problematic themes and depiction of the antebellum South. Here to offer perspective is Jacqueline Stewart, host of TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights and professor in Department of Cinema and Media Studies at University of Chicago. In addition to Stewart’s opening, an hour-long panel discussion, The Complicated Legacy of Gone with the Wind, appears as a special feature with the movie on HBO Max.

                              JACQUELINE STEWART

“`After offering the obligatory achievements by the epic, Stewart acknowledges that it paints the picture of the antebellum South as a romantic, idyllic setting that is tragically been lost to the past. Producer David O. Selznick assured the NAACP at the time that he was  sensitive to the feelings of minority peoples, yet proceeded to depict a world of grace and beauty without acknowledging the brutalities of the system of slavery as well its legacies of racial inequality.

“`Understanding that this was literary fiction should not allow us to ignore realities of a time when a race of people were routinely sold as property, and left to fend for themselves while under the harsh scrutiny of their so-called owners. HBO’s prologue at the very least offers a measured explanation that resembles historical context.

“`An honest question… Is it enough? 

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- We’ll Meet Again…

June 18th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Vera Lynn was a British crooner, songwriter, and entertainer whose musical recordings and performances were largely popular during the Second World War. The songs most associated with her: We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, and There’ll Always Be an England.

“`Lynn’s wartime contribution began when she sang to people who were using London’s tube station platforms as air raid shelters. During the darkest days of World War II, she began her own radio program, Sincerely Yours, sending messages to British troops serving abroad. She was known as The Forces’ Sweetheart, and gave outdoor concerts for troops in Egypt, India, and Burma during the war.

After the war, Lynn had a prolific recording career. Plus, she appeared on Tallulah Bankhead’s radio program, The Big Show. Lynn hosted her own variety series on BBC1 in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Her visit to the Burma front during the Second World War was featured in a British television documentary series The World at War in 1974

“`She was appointed as a Dame for her charity work during the 1975 Birthday Honours. Lynn sang outside Buckingham Palace in 1995 in a ceremony that marked the golden jubilee of VE Day. A street named in her honor, Vera Lynn Close, is situated in Forest Gate, London.

“`In January 2020, a portrait of Lynn was unveiled at Royal Albert Hall in conjunction with the seventy-fifth anniversary commemoration of the Allied victory in Europe. On April 5, 2020, We’ll Meet Again was echoed by Queen Elizabeth II in a television address she delivered addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“`Her life bookmarked by global battles, Dame Vera Lynn (right) was 103.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hooray…

June 17th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 is back with a look at Hollywood scripts when the subject is Hollywood. Join John Coleman and Art Kirsch as we examine the love affair.

Until next time>                               “never forget”