Friday, November 25, 2011

Commercial Break! 1962 Dodge Dart 440

Today - being the day after Thanksgiving in America and also Black Friday - roads will be jammed with cars and stores mobbed with holiday shoppers. In December 1961, you might have been driving around in a brand new, 1962 Dodge Dart 440, or were perhaps considering purchasing one. This vital automobile came complete with a fold-down center armrest, a terrific steering mechanism, and full interior. 

Be brave. Buy one.

1962 Dodge Dart 440 Radio Spot
Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio
December 11, 1962

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks to Our Supporters / Thanksgiving 2011

It's hard to believe that it's been five months since we launched our campaign for Bob Crane's induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Over these last several months, we have entertained you with clips from Bob's radio programs, as well as provided interesting information about his careers in radio, television, theatre, and film. There is still much more to share, and we hope you tune in often! We have also garnered strong support from Bob's colleagues, his friends, members of his family, and not least of all, his fans. As we move into the holiday season, we wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your support in this endeavor. We are thankful for you - because with your help, Bob's extensive work in radio may soon be fully recognized.

We have some pretty exciting events planned for January, including the launch of a new Web site and a strong push in the media. Keep an eye out for these plus other happenings in the early part of 2012.

Remember, there are several ways you can help support Bob Crane's induction into the 2012 National Radio Hall of Fame. You can send a letter of support to the Museum of Broadcast Communications (click here for instructions/deadline March 1, 2012). If you do, simply let us know, and we will happily include your name or business on our list of official supporters.

Secondly, once the ballot has been announced from the Museum of Broadcast Communications, everyone will have the opportunity to cast his or her vote. Information about voting will be released when it becomes available.

Finally, continue to share this campaign with your friends and colleagues. "Like" us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The more, the merrier!

As those of us here in the U.S. prepare to enjoy our traditional Thanksgiving holiday, we would like to extend Thanksgiving blessings to all our friends in America and around the world. Again, many thanks to all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bob Crane Interviews Ruth Waterbury / Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

One of the leading Hollywood reporters of her time, Ruth Waterbury (1896-1982) was the former editor of Photoplay and Silver Screen magazines, and since the 1920s, covered the entertainment industry for more than 50 years. In addition to writing for fan magazines and newspapers (such as the New York Daily News and the Los Angeles Herald), she also served as assistant to Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons.

An expert on Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Ruth Waterbury authored two biographies of the iconic celebrities during the 1960s: Elizabeth Taylor: Her Life, Her Loves, Her Future; and Richard Burton: His Intimate History.

In July 1968, Bob Crane rebroadcast his interview with Ruth Waterbury over the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network. Also present that day was Cecil Barker, producer and director of The Red Skelton Show. Here is a segment from Bob's interview, where he talks with Waterbury about her career, as well as the subjects of her two then-recently published books.

Bob Crane Interview with Ruth Waterbury and Cecil Barker
The Bob Crane Show / U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network
July 1968

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veterans' Day Weekend - 'Operation Entertainment'

Sorry to say, we were hoping to have this up yesterday. Unfortunately, our sound hosting site is currently experiencing a problem with sharing files. We didn't want to wait any longer, and besides, we should be thanking our veterans every day! So while this is just a tad late, we wish all United States veterans a very Happy Veterans' Day weekend! And we THANK YOU for your service in the U.S. military, providing us with your protection so that we may enjoy our freedom. 

Operation Entertainment was a program produced by Chuck Barris and Bill Carruthers for ABC that ran in 1968. Actors, musicians, and other celebrities traveled across the country and around the world to entertain U.S. troops serving in the military. They entertainers performed on location at Navy, Army, and Air Force bases. In addition to Bob Crane, other hosts included Rich Little, George Carlin, Dick Cavett, Dean Jones, Dick Shawn, Tim Conway, Jimmy Dean, Roger Miller, Norm Crosby, Ed Ames, Flip Wilson, Don Rickles, Jim Lange, Phil Harris, and Dale Robertson. Among the entertainers were Vikki Carr, Donna Jean Young, Roy Clark, Louis Armstrong, Richard Pryor, Barbara McNair, Allen & Rossi, Minnie Pearl, Paul Lynde, Florence Henderson, Martha and the Vandellas, Shelley Berman, the Righteous Brothers, the Lennon Sisters, Arethra Franklin, Ray Charles and the Rayettes, Patti Page, Pat Buttram, Rodney Dangerfield, Kenny Rogers, Larry Storch, Stephanie Powers, and many more.

Bob Crane was the host of the November 1, 1968, episode, which was performed and recorded for servicemen and women stationed at Elgin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Performers included Teddy Neeley and his Band, comedian Pat Paulsen, singer Fran Jeffries, and the Lennon Sisters, among others. We have for you here the opening of that program, with Bob performing an opening stand-up comedy routine.

If you are a veteran who served in the U.S. military and would like the entire November 1, 1968, audio recording of Operation Entertainment, drop us an email (see sidebar on right), and we'll send it to you for free on CD. That is our special thanks to you.

Freedom is not free! Thank you for your service!

Operation Entertainment - November 1, 1968
Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Florida
ABC-TV / Bob Crane, Host

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Melancholy Serenade - Theme to 'The Jackie Gleason Show'

Few can compare to legendary actor, comedian, and musician Jackie Gleason, whose extraordinary talents span from the 1940s through the time of his death on June 24, 1987. Born Herbert Walton Gleason, Jr., on February 26, 1916, in Brooklyn, NY, he was baptized as John Herbert Gleason. He started using the name Jackie C. Gleason at the age of 24 in the 1941 Warner Brothers film, Navy Blues

Although perhaps most widely known for his role as Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, Gleason was also an acclaimed musician and composer. even though he could not read or write music. He would "hear" a melody in his head and describe the tune to another musician, who would then write the music for him. Among Gleason's arrangements are the theme to The Jackie Gleason Show ("Melancholy Serenade") and The Honeymooners ("You're My Greatest Love").

Bob Crane performed and recorded his own arrangement of "Melancholy Serenade" on his album, Bob Crane, His Drums, & Orchestra Play the Funny Side of TV. Crane's impersonation of The Great One can also be heard throughout the number.

And away we go!

"Melancholy Serenade" - Theme to The Jackie Gleason Show (Bob Crane on Drums)
Bob Crane, His Drums, & Orchestra Play the Funny Side of TV
Epic Records - 1966