Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bob Crane's 'Cavalcade of Turkeys' — Thanksgiving Day, 1972 (KMPC)

On November 23, 1972, Bob Crane hosted a special Thanksgiving Day program over KMPC Radio in Los Angeles. During his show, he played segments of a few celebrity interviews from his day s at KNX, including those of Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Lawrence, Hugo Montenegro, and Jerry Lewis. Here is the full recording of that special, split into two parts. The Condition of the tape had unfortunately deteriorated over time, but the slight imperfections in the sound quality do not take away from the joy of being able to hear this broadcast from Thanksgiving 1972!

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Note: This recording was a part of Bob Crane's personal collection of his radio shows and is courtesy of his son, Scott Crane.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Last Time I Saw Paris (Robert Clary — Hogan's Heroes)

In honor of those who lost their lives in last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, as well as for so many others in attacks around the world: Robert Clary's version of The Last Time I Saw Paris, from the album 'Hogan's Heroes' Sing the Best of World War II.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Don't Get Discouraged — Everything Happens for the Best

It was early spring in 1962. and Bob Crane had been working in radio for twelve years, and at KNX-CBS Radio in Hollywood for six of them. He was at the height of his radio career, with his early morning drive-time show commanding the airwaves in Southern California. But he hadn't arrived at this position immediately. With meager beginnings at a jewelry/emporium shop in Stamford, Connecticut, in the late 1940s following high school graduation, Bob had climbed his way out of merchandizing and into radio, and up the proverbial career ladder.

It was only after he finally achieved broadcasting success in Los Angeles, however, when he was able to take a step back and evaluate his journey thus far. And he realized that, despite his own impatience, nothing happens overnight. Everything takes time. He called this the "idea of learning."

Bob's cousin Jim Senich was just starting his radio career in early 1962, and Jim was proud to follow in his older cousin's footsteps. But Jim was also discouraged at the response he was receiving. He saw Bob's success and was eager to achieve similar goals for himself. Bob and Jim were not only cousins, they were friends, and Jim looked up to Bob as a role model. And so, Jim sought his advice.

"Don't get discouraged," Bob told him in an audio letter, hoping to ease Jim's worries. "Eventually, what you're looking for is gonna happen, and by the time it does happen, you'll be that much better along the way to what you should be. Don't get discouraged, and just keep on plugging along, and what you want will eventually be yours. You know, there's nothing to stop it if you just keep on working hard. And by working hard, I mean doing the best job you possibly can. Everything happens for the best, and I believe it completely."

This is very sound advice, and it can be applied to anyone, at any stage of life. Wherever you are right now, I can almost guarantee you you're eager for the next thing, whether it is something new in your career or a personal goal. Whatever it is, if it's not yours yet, it's because you still have work to do to prepare for it. It took me most of my life to finally be able to write Bob Crane's biography, and twelve years to officially research it with Dee Young and Linda Groundwater and then publish it. And only now, as I look back on this journey, can I see and appreciate why things happened in the certain order that they did.

Nothing happens overnight. And Bob's "idea of learning" is something we all must learn. We must figure out how to be patient even though we want something to happen now. We should come to accept that sometimes, things just have to happen in their own way and in their own time, because even though it's difficult, it truly will be for the best.

And I believe that—completely.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hogan's Jacket, Klink's Uniform, Schultz's Overcoat—Off to a Museum!

On September 30, 2015, Colonel Hogan's U.S. Army Air Force bomber jacket that was owned and worn by Bob Crane in Hogan's Heroes (and by Frank Sinatra in Von Ryan's Express) was auctioned off for $22,500. We tried to raise money to win the jacket so we could donate it to a museum. But we were unsuccessful.

However... On October 1, 2015, I received an email from Edward Patrick, the CEO of the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio. He informed me that the museum had bid on and won Hogan's bomber jacket. Further, the museum had also bid on and won Colonel Klink's uniform (as worn by Werner Klemperer) and Sergeant Schultz's overcoat (as worn by John Banner), which were also up for auction in the same lot as Hogan's jacket. These three signature props have now been safely relocated to the museum, where they are now on display for the public to enjoy. Hogan, Klink, and Schultz are all back together again! And we are thrilled!

We are extremely grateful to the Liberty Aviation Museum and humbled by their amazing gesture to preserve these iconic items in television history, and we send them our deepest gratitude and thanks. Please consider donating to/volunteering at the museum, liking them on Facebook, and/or following them on Twitter to show your support.

NOTE: Author Carol Ford will visit the Liberty Aviation Museum on June 11-12, 2016. She will discuss her work on Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography and Bob Crane's life and times, and will sign copies of the book. For more information, contact the Liberty Aviation Museum.

Latest picture of the temporary Hogan's Heroes display.
Sent to Carol Ford from the Liberty Aviation Museum
February 17, 2016.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The 'Hogan's Heroes' Photo that Launched a Book

I first saw this picture when I was just 14 years old. I was in a Borders bookstore, and I was flipping through this big, green, heavy book—The Great TV Sitcom Book. I had recently discovered Hogan's Heroes, and I didn't know anything about the cast. But I knew Bob Crane was my favorite. I turned to the section on Hogan's, and I found this picture.

At first, I was thrilled because in the mid-1980s, there was no such thing as the Internet, Me-TV, or classic TV shows on video tape, DVD, live streaming, or YouTube. I got my Hogan's "fix" on a little 17-inch B&W TV, and finding just one little Hogan's Heroes picture in a random book was like striking gold. But it was what was written under the picture that stunned me. See, this is when I learned of Bob Crane's murder, how and when he was murdered, and that the crime was still unsolved. My heart was broken!

This picture always reminds me of that moment. That's when my little 14-year-old self said, "I'm going to help make this right. I don't know how I'm ever going to do that because I'm just a kid. But I promise I'm going to do something!" So I started researching Bob Crane...and I never stopped. And thirty years and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears later...and with the help of my friends...I wrote and we published a book. 

I'm often asked how and why I decided to write Bob Crane's biography. There is never an easy answer. It's not like I just woke up one day and said, "Hey! Here's a neat idea..." The journey was long, and with many twists and turns in the road. But it's always been a big part of my life to discover Bob's full life story, and now that I have, I will always want others to discover it, too.