Throughout the 1950s, short local television programs popped up all over the airwaves. The majority were only fifteen to thirty minutes in length. Some of the programs were musical, comedy, or children’s radio programs that were ported over to the TV screen.
As in the transition from silent movies to talkies, moving from radio to television wasn’t always easy. The talent sometimes did not possess “screen appeal.” Unless a program was sponsored by a large corporation, the cost to produce a program was prohibitive. Studio time, talent and crew were all expenses that had to be worked into the budget, so most early television programs were limited to fifteen minutes in length.
Who knows? Maybe that was the seed for Andy Warhol’s famous statement, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
(1949– ) Television pioneer Cliff Edwards,also known as “Ukelele Ike,” hosted and began with his own radio program in the 1930s. He brought his musical talents to the new tiny screen in 1949. You may have heard his voice in many cartoons. Remember Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio?
(1950–1954) was a western television series that showed clips from old westerns, or told tall tales for a primarily children’s audience. The star and Roy Rogers sidekick, George “Gabby” Hayes hosted the show that ran on NBC at 5:15 p.m. Eastern for fifteen minutes.
(1950– ) Classical pianist turned jazz pianist Hazel Scott hosted the music series. She was the first African-American woman to host her own TV show. It starred Hazel Scott, and featured Gloria Lucas.
(1956– ) Her first big hit song, “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” in 1951. She made her debut as a regular vocalist on Stop the Music (1949). She was a consistent guest performer on all the best variety showcases, including Perry Como and Ed Sullivan‘s shows, and managed to hostess her own variety program, The Jaye P. Morgan Show, accompanied by her singing siblings “The Morgan Brothers” (Duke, Bob, Charlie and Dick.)
(1957– ) Beginning in June 1948, Cooley began hosting a variety show on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, California. It was broadcast from the Santa Monica Pier Ballroom. The show became a mainstay of television in the area, and won local Emmy awards in 1952 and 1953. Some notable guests included Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore.
Other well-known stars had their own short television programs as well, including Dinah Shore, Patti Page, Jonathan Winters, Walter Winchell, Jo Stafford. Tony Martin and, Vaughn Monroe.
Gradually, the most popular programs grew in length to thirty-minutes and ultimately, to the sixty-minute format we know today.
Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn wrote individually until they got together and created the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1956-57. Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.
The next Skylar Drake Mystery, fifth in the series,GAME TOWN is available now and yes . . . they’re are still married!
We started researching our new book GAME TOWN, in Hollywood, on Hollywood Blvd. Since we are keeping the story in Hollywood, we decided to include the Award Ceremonies of 1957. The Academy Awards were at the RKO Pantages. Since ceremonies were only ten days apart and we couldn’t decide which one to use—we decided to include both! So, the book begins with the Emmy Awards and ends with the Academy Awards
The 29th Academy Awards-Oscars was held on March 27, 1957 at RKO Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. The ceremony was hosted by Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holms.
To enjoy the humor of that night, go to (Lewis’ monologue begins at 7:25)
Best picture – Around the World in 80 Days
Best actor – Yul Brenner for King and I
Best actress – Ingrid Bergman for Anastasia
Best Song- Que Ser Sera in from the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much
Best Short Cartoon -Mr. Magoo-Puddle Jumper
for an Author Party & Book Signing
Saturday, April 21, 2018
3:00 to 5:00 PM
5535 E. Spring St
Long Beach, CA 90808
For more information see Gatsby Books
A Slice of Orange is an affiliate with some of the booksellers listed on this website, including Barnes & Nobel, Books A Million, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. This means A Slice of Orange may earn a small advertising fee from sales made through the links used on this website. There are reminders of these affiliate links on the pages for individual books.
Sarah Blair gets an education in slicing and dicing when someone in culinary school serves up a main corpse in Wheaton, Alabama . . .More info →
When missing turns to murdered, one woman's search for answers will take her to a place she never wanted to go…More info →