Classic Entertainment, Now Streaming
by Randie Levine-Miller
The 1950s and 1960s was a treasure trove of TV shows with musical and theater entertainment . Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller has uncovered some true classics from these decades, including the Edsel Show (1957), Camelot with Richard Harris, the final episode of the Judy Garland Show and more!
The Edsel Show – 1957
An authentic find! “The Edsel Show” TV Special from 1957 starring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Louis Armstrong, Lindsay Crosby and the 4 Preps…. Show was produced to promote the Ford Motor Company’s new Edsel cars.
Sidebar: Bing Crosby was told by the producers, that Louis Armstrong would not be allowed to be on the show. Bing said, “Fine, but I won’t be on it either then.” Of course, they relented and Bing then started the show with Louis, who he had been friends with since the 1920’s. He wasn’t going to not have him on his show no matter what the racists said. Class act! (Louis Armstrong also performed with Bing in the 1956 hit movie, “High Society”)
Camelot with Richard Harris on HBO Theater
From 1982, Lerner & Lowe’s “Camelot” aired on HBO Theater starring Richard Harris, Meg Bussert and Richard Muenz… This was the cast that appeared in the 1980 revival at the Winter Garden Theater. What a magnificent score..
Sidebar: In 2005, Robert Goulet, Sir Lancelot in Broadway’s original “Camelot” appeared in the Broadway revival of “La Cage Aux Folles” and I got to know him (and his wife, Vera) during that run…He announced the Drama Desk nominations at the Friars Club, which I produced for almost 20 years (our annual schmooze with no booze!) along with Lynn Redgrave (they were old friends and appeared in “Moon Over Buffalo” together) Wasn’t sure how to introduce him, so I blurted out the character Bebe’s immortal line from “A Chorus Line’s” “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love” …. “Robert Goulet, Robert Goulet, Robert Goulet…..oh my God, it’s Robert Goulet!!!”… which got several smiles and laughs…Redgrave and Goulet were adorable together… fun and funny … we all know these announcements can be very boring… but these weren’t!
Sadly, Robert died 2 years later at age 73…
An Evening with Ethel Merman – 1965
My heart be still! I cannot believe that I found this video rarity online… “An Evening With Ethel Merman” filmed at London’s”Talk of the Town” by BBC-TV where it aired in 1965, featuring virtually all of Merman’s hits… As you’ll see, she was still very much in her prime…
Sidebar: I was a huge fan of Ethel Merman..I used to imitate her and sing along to my “Gypsy” album, watching myself in the mirror … and in those days, I had a great set of pipes! Actually used her final Mama Rose speech from “Gypsy” (which goes into “Rose’s Turn”) to audition for the High School of Performing Arts… and I was accepted! But I also got into Music and Art and in those days, M&A was considered the better school, so that’s where I went.
Sidebar too: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” was my favorite song… wherever I went, that’s what I sang. At Camp Geneva, Marvin Hamlisch frequently accompanied me on “Roses”… Years later, fellow Camp Geneva alum Penny Marshall (already well known as both an actress and director) walked into the Russian Tea Room where I was having lunch with a client. She spotted me across the room… and yelled out, “Hey Levine… are you still singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”?? I was, and I still am!!
The Judy Garland Show – final episode
A fantabulous Judy Garland concert… the final episode of her CBS TV “Judy Garland Show” which aired in March, 1964….no guests… just Judy and the Mort Lindsay Orchestra. A must see!
Sidebar: Her show was up against NBC-TV’s “Bonanza” which was a ratings powerhouse for 11 years. No show ever survived that Sunday night time slot…. not even “Perry Mason”!
Randie Levine Miller is Director of Special Events for The Three Tomatoes, and co-produces and hosts the annual Tomatoes Got Talent show. Known around NYC as a modern day “hostess with the mostess, she has performed in and hosted benefits for the Actors Fund, the Actors Temple, Multiple Sclerosis, and Prostate Cancer Research. Randie’s performance venues have included: The Triad, The Metropolitan Room, the Laurie Beechman Theater, and the Friars Club. For many years, she was special events director for the Drama Desk Awards. Randie also had a successful 30-year career as a public relations consultant and handled several major health and medical technology clients.