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Encore Podcast: Elvis Presley -- Year One

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Jul 2, 2020

Encore Podcast: Elvis Presley wasn't born in 1956, but his career was. He began the year barely known outside the south, but under the management of Col. Tom Parker he spent the year making his mark on TV variety shows hosted by Milton Berle, Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan; and his recordings for RCA, read more

New Podcast: Life According to "Hey, Arnold!"

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Apr 6, 2020

My daughter Nora joins me to talk about what was probably her (and my) favorite Nickelodeon animated series when she was a kid -- "Hey, Arnold!" We talk about the show's philosophy of diversity as strength and review some memorable episodes, including "The Stoop Kid," "The Pigeon Man," "Ghost Bride" read more

Encore Podcast: The Quiz Show Scandals -- "The $64,000 Question"

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Dec 13, 2019

During the summer of 1955, a new TV show kept people in front of their sets on hot Tuesday nights. “The $64,000 Question” was a big-money quiz show that made its contestants instant celebrities and the show even displaced “I Love Lucy” as the nation’s top TV program. Wh read more

Encore Podcast: The World Accordion to Lawrence Welk

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Dec 6, 2019

Encore Podcast: The rise of Lawrence Welk and of rock and roll happened at roughly the same time -- maybe in reaction to each other. Welk's band played classic white-bread tunes -- waltzes, foxtrots and polkas -- and were television favorites for an amazing three decades. Reruns of the show still ai read more

Encore Podcast: The Miracle of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Nov 29, 2019

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" wasn't intentionally created to be timeless, but because of its simplicity and sincerity, timeless it is. Miraculously, it avoids every cliche associated with children's animation and is a perfect blending of music, words and images that clearly conveys one man's vision a read more

Encore Podcast: Orson Welles's Radio Days

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Nov 16, 2019

In 1934, Orson Welles came to Broadway in a production of "Romeo and Juliet" and within a year he was putting his mellifluous voice to use by doing a lot of radio work, including as part of the stock company, imitating famous newsmakers, on "The March of Time." While producing and directing shows on read more

Encore Podcast: In Godfrey We Trust

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Oct 18, 2019

In the late 1940s and early '50s the biggest moneymaker on CBS radio and television was Arthur Godfrey -- at one point he reportedly brought in 12 percent of the network's income. He had an unpretentious style of communicating with his audience, and a smooth manner of selling products that sponsors read more

New Podcast: It's the "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Holiday Special!

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Oct 11, 2019

My daughter Nora joins me to talk about her favorite episodes of the spooky Nickelodeon series from the 1990s -- a show that helped trigger her lifelong love of scary movies. We talk about episodes involving everything from a kid trapped in a dollhouse to a haunted movie theatre to a kid who kills t read more

Encore Podcast: Raymond Burr's Secrets and Lies

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Oct 4, 2019

When Raymond Burr died in 1993, he was eulogized around the world as the star of "Perry Mason" and "Ironside." But the obituaries were notable for what they didn't say as much as for what they did say. None of them mentioned that Burr was gay -- he had been closeted all his life. And most of them me read more

New Podcast: Elvis Presley -- Year One

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Sep 27, 2019

Elvis Presley wasn't born in 1956, but his career was. He began the year barely known outside the south, but under the management of Col. Tom Parker he spent the year making his mark on TV variety shows hosted by Milton Berle, Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan; and his recordings for RCA, beginning with " read more

New Podcast: When Louis Met Dolly

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Sep 13, 2019

When Louis Armstrong first saw the sheet music for "Hello, Dolly," he was in low spirits. It was just 11 days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Armstrong was in a career lull. He also didn't think much of the song. But he recorded it like the pro he was, and while he was off p read more

Encore podcast: What We Saw at the Movies

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Sep 6, 2019

Encore podcast: My brother Steve and I toddle down memory lane and reminisce about movies we saw as kids in the 1960s and '70s. Included are looks at the drive-in cheeseball classic "Eegah," "The Sound of Music," "How the West Was Won," "Mary Poppins," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Blazing Saddles" an read more

Encore podcast: The Jack Benny-Johnny Carson Connection

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Aug 30, 2019

In 1949, Jack Benny took advantage of new capital gains laws and moved his popular program from NBC to CBS, an immense boost to that network in ratings and prestige. At about the same time, a senior at the University of Nebraska named Johnny Carson was putting together his thesis, “How to Writ read more

Encore Podcast: Liz and Dick and Lucy and the Ring

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Aug 23, 2019

In 1969, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were arguably the world's most famous married couple, and they became even more well known when Burton bought his wife a 69-carat diamond ring that cost over a million dollars. At a Hollywood party, their paths crossed with Lucille Ball and an unlikely id read more

The World Accordion to Lawrence Welk

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Aug 16, 2019

The rise of Lawrence Welk and of rock and roll happened at roughly the same time -- maybe in reaction to each other. Welk's band played classic white-bread tunes -- waltzes, foxtrots and polkas -- and were television favorites for an amazing three decades. Reruns of the show still air on PBS station read more

Encore Podcast: When Maude Findlay Had an Abortion

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Jul 26, 2019

In the fall of 1972, the first spinoff from "All in the Family" premiered. It was "Maude," with Beatrice Arthur as Edith Bunker's liberal cousin. And right out of the gate, "Maude" took on controversial topics like psychotherapy, black militancy and modern morality. Then on November 14, in the ninth read more

Encore Podcast: Sid Caesar and His Demons

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Jul 19, 2019

Sid Caesar is one of the comic giants of 1950s TV, but he was also plagued by anxiety, depression, guilt and an explosive temper. In the early 1980s he came to my hometown of Louisville to perform at a dinner theatre, and I reviewed the show. I didn't know it then, but he was in the midst of a battl read more

What We Watched: Cartoons and Kids' Shows

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Jul 12, 2019

I'm joined once again by my brother Steve for a trip down memory lane to recall our TV memories from the 1960s and '70s, specifically Saturday morning shows like "Casper the Friendly Ghost" and "The Banana Splits Hour," with side trips involving everything from "Schoolhouse Rock" to "The Eighth Man. read more

Encore Podcast: Fade to Blacklist, Part 2

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Jul 5, 2019

In our last episode, we looked at the East Coast blacklist triggered by "Red Channels" -- which listed the "Communistic" activities of supposed radicals -- and the lives that were ruined by it. In this episode we look at the pushback -- the positive results of people standing up to a small number of read more

Encore Podcast: Fade to Blacklist, Part 1

The Man on the Flying Trapeze Posted by David on Jun 28, 2019

In the summer of 1950, a booklet called "Red Channels" shook up the East Coast media structure -- radio and TV networks as well as advertising agencies. "Red Channels" listed the "subversive" activities of over 150 writers, directors and performers, from Orson Welles to Lena Horne. If you were named read more
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