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VINTAGE 1950s: 15 Minute Television Shows of the 1950s by Will Zeilinger

June 3, 2019 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , ,

15 Minute Shows

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.”

 

Here are a few of the fifteen minute programs I discovered:

 

 

Through Wendy’s Window

(1948–1950), began as a short cartoon-sketch program, it evolved into a longer interview series. It starred Wendy BarrieDave DavisMorey AmsterdamRusty Arden

 

 

 

 

The Cliff Edwards Show

(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?

 

 

 

The Gabby Hayes Show

(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.

 

 

 

The Hazel Scott Show

(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.

 

 

 

The Jaye P. Morgan Show

(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.)

 

 

 

The Spade Cooley Show

(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.

 


Books by Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn

 

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

 


 

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Featured April Authors: Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

April 29, 2019 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,
book cover of Game Town shows silhouette of man with gun and a woman in a long gown with palm trees in the backrougnd

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. 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 are still married!

Game Town

Excerpt

Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

Two o’clock in the morning. I’d just left the Emmy Awards ceremony at the NBC Television Studio in Burbank. All of Hollywood and its finest had shown up to honor the best of television for 1956. The winners and losers were either at a party celebrating or hiding somewhere licking their wounds. My partner, Casey Dolan was in the passenger seat. It was pouring rain when we left Burbank, but seemed to be lessening as we headed away from the valley.

We’d been hired by Epic Studios to escort a couple of their up and coming starlets to and from the event. In truth, we were their bodyguards. The motion picture and TV studios weren’t taking chances with their human investments.

The two young ladies in the back seat were passed out cold. I suspected they’d had a little too much Champagne before and during the ceremony.

I drove through one of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Ahead we spotted a lot of activity on the street. Dolan sat up and stared at the mess ahead, “What the Hell?”

Several police cruisers and what looked like government cars were lined up in front of a house. As we got closer, I saw the address. 859 in brass letterabove the front door – the address where I was to deliver the girls.

I parked at the opposite corner. Dolan said, “I’ll stay here and keep watch on the girls.”

When I sprinted up the wet sidewalk and ducked under the yellow police tape, I heard a familiar voice.

“Drake, over here!” It was FBI Agent Olivia Jahns

I followed Jahns into the mansion where the body of a woman in a pure white coat with a white fur collar was sprawled on the hardwood floor at the foot of a marble staircase. Her light blonde hair and fur coat were soaked with blood. The handle of a knife protruded from her waist.

“Who is…?”

“The victim’s name is Silver Brovor-Smith. She’s the mother of Holly Becker, one of the young ladies in your charge.”

We looked out the front door. The press had already gathered on the front lawn which didn’t help the chaos as the street.

The two starlets came running past me, “No!” Holly yelled when she saw her mother’s body on the floor.

Theresa, the other young lady, shouted, “Oh my God. Oh my God!” She struggled to join her friend Holly, but Dolan had his hands full, holding her back from the scene.

I took Holly by the shoulders and turned her away from the bloody scene. She looked toward the stairway.

“What did you do to her?” Holly shouted at an older man wearing a white tuxedo coming down the stairs. Holly broke away from me and ran toward him. She began kicking and punching him, screaming, “What did you do to her?”

Several officers pulled her away, but she continued kicking and flailing, “You killed her!”


The Skylar Drake Mystery Series

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

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Will Zeiling & Janet Elizabeth Lynn April Featured Authors

April 14, 2019 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,
Authors Janet and Will

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. 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, fourth in the series, GAME TOWN is available now and yes … they are still married!

Biltmore Hotel

We started researching our book GAME TOWN, in Hollywood, on Hollywood Blvd. This time we were looking for a nice hotel for our PI and hopefully a future girlfriend to meet for lunch. We checked the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, it was called the Biltmore Hotel in 1957. We visited the historic hotel and were amazed at the fine craftsmanship in the lobby and hallways!

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, originally named the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel is a luxury hotel located across the street from Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. Opened in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel in the U.S. west of Chicago, Illinois.

In 1969 the Biltmore Hotel was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles. The hotel has 70,000 square feet (6,500 m) of meeting and banquet space. Of its original 1500 guestrooms it now has 683, due to room expansion and reorganization.

Walking through the lobby we found a great place for a high priced but fabulous brunch or dinner for that special someone. Instead, we used the lobby for a clandestine meeting between the FBI and Skylar Drake and partner Casey Dolan.


GAME TOWN
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Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger: April Featured Authors

April 7, 2019 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,
The cover of the book Slick Deal and authors Janet Eliabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

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!

In addition to Janet’s and Will’s monthly column, Partners in Crime, each week in April they will share with us some of the research they used to write GAME TOWN.

The Academy Awards

1957

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)

The winners were:

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


DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN
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Vintage 1950s Cocktail Parties

April 3, 2019 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger, Writing tagged as , , , ,
a woman seated at a home bar with a man pouring a cocktail.

My husband Will Zeilinger and I co-write the Skylar Drake Murder Mysteries. A hardboiled detective series that takes the reader to 1950s Los Angeles and other areas of the west. Our next book, GAME TOWN, the fifth of the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series, is available now!         

Cocktail Parties were all the rage in the 1950s and into the 60s. It was a chance to get dressed up, relax with friends, socialize, impress others and gossip. What would the 1950 have been without Cocktail Parties?

Private cocktail parties were held at people’s homes. They would invite the neighbors, friends, business associates, their boss, or co-workers. There were all kinds of reasons for a get together. We call it networking today, but on a much smaller scale.

For the host, the food and drinks served were very important. The beverages and the canapés complimented each other. The rule of thumb was tart and salty blended best with gin, while heartier foods went with whiskey and beer.

Below are suggestions for the hostess:

Champagne:   caviar, chicken l’orange, hearts of palm salad

Highballs:  liver paté, stuffed eggs, cheese balls,

Whiskey Cocktail:   cheese tarts, curried peanut butter rolls

Gin Cocktail:  marinated vegetables, asparagus tips in ham rolls

Beer:  stuffed olives, cheese balls, turnovers

Sherry: Apple, raisin and cream cheese balls, bacon balls, chipped beef rolls with mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms, peanut rolls, peanut butter rolls, peanut butter tarts, nut and stem ginger tarts, ham tidbits, chicken, lobster or liver paste puffs, turnovers, cheese straws, sausage tidbits and smoked hickory cheese balls.

Whiskey cocktails: guacamole, anchovy fillet tidbits, bacon and curried peanut butter rolls, East Indian beef balls, clam spread tidbit, pizzas–miniature, smoked oysters in blankets, Camembert cheese and ham tarts, chicken livers and bacon, roast beef snacks, kippered herring and bacon rolls and meat balls (beef in blankets).

Gin cocktails: guacamole, anchovy ham rolls, artichoke hearts, asparagus tips in ham rolls, onion and cheese snacks, onion egg snacks, stuffed olives, codfish balls with cheese, sardine onion snacks, sausage in blankets, sardine macaroni snacks, stuffed dill pickles and marinated vegetables.

Beer: Anchovy fillet tidbits, stuffed olives, cheese straws, turnovers, cocktail frankfurters and sauerkraut, garlic popcorn, cheese balls, chipped beef and sardine rolls, kippered herring and bacon rolls, and tongue rolls or pinwheels.”

A full-size bar would offer all cocktails. But smaller bars in individual homes usually had only a sampling to offer. Thus, making tidbits easier to manage.

Of course, a fruit and cheese plate was a good finish for all cocktail parties

book cover of Game Town shows silhouette of man with gun and a woman in a long gown with palm trees in the backrougnd

GAME TOWN, A Skylar Drake Murder Mystery, fifth in the series. Available Now.

Vist Janet on her website or blog


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