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#6967E: TONIGHT! STARRING STEVE ALLEN
1956-04-06, WRCA, 25 min.
Steve Allen, Andy Williams, Skitch Henderson, Gene Rayburn, Eydie Gorme, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Pat Kirby, Oscar Peterson Trio, Ray Brown

 September 27, 1954 - January 25, 1957

This broadcasts is joined in progress at 12:30am April 7, 1956.
Highlights:

Andy Williams and Pat Kirby sing "There Will Never Be Another You, " and "I Thought About You."

Steve plays piano.

Eydie Gorme sings, "And The Angels Sing."

Steve Allen introduces Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on Bass. Two numbers by the Oscar Peterson Trio are performed, "Will You Still Be Mine?" and "How About You."

Steve mentions new album by the trio, and that after winding up their act currently at Basin Street, they will be in Philadelphia performing at The Blue Note. 

Steve, who praises Oscar, briefly chats with him about current and future  engagements by the Oscar Peterson Trio (9 minute segment). 
Gene Rayburn signs off with a station break.  

NOTE: One of the very first television appearances by Oscar Peterson, 30 years old at the time, and  of the Oscar Peterson Trio performing together on network TV. 

The first host of THE TONIGHT SHOW, which was then titled TONIGHT!, Steve Allen, began his broadcast career as a disc jockey. On July 27, 1953 Steve Allen began hosting a local show over WRCA-TV which ran from 11:20 P.M. to Midnight , Mondays through Fridays, sponsored by Knickerbocker Beer, developed by station executive Ted Cott to lure a potential sponsor, Rupert Breweries, away from a late-night show on New York's Channel 7 (TALK OF THE TOWN), hosted by Louis Nye, who would later be featured on Steve Allen's Sunday Night Variety Show.  

After a successful fourteen-month local run, THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW became a network show. Beginning September 27, 1954, the show retitled TONIGHT!, and expanded to 105 minutes from 40 minutes. 
 
NOTE: Sound of this Television Audio Air Check is PRISTINE. A rare return to an early TONIGHT! STARRING STEVE ALLEN broadcast when Late Night Television was so informal and relaxed with open ended time dedicated to a person, topic, music, or just impromptu  comedy.  
The basic format of The Tonight! Show was established during Allen's tenure: an opening monologue, a segment involving the studio audience (through interviews or games such as "Stump the Band"), and a simple set (a desk and chair for the host, a couch for the guests), all trademarks of the Allen era. Allen inaugurated the out-of-town broadcast (the first one was done from Miami), the one guest show (Carl Sandburg was the first solo guest), and the one topic show (entire programs devoted to such subjects as narcotics, civil rights, and black music). Allen also established the practice of paying his guests only "scale," the minimum fee required by union-network contract (this practice led to a highly publicized  feud between Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan and later between Jack Paar and Ed Sullivan, as Sullivan paid top dollar for his guests). Though Allen's Tonight! show closely resembled the shows of his successors, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, it was more a musical show; Allen himself was an accomplished musician and composer (he wrote his theme, "This Could Be The Start of Something Big"), and he employed a nucleus of musical regulars on his show. In addition to announcer – sidekick Gene Rayburn, the show featured singers Steve Lawrence (who was only seventeen when he began singing on Allen's local show), Eydie Gormé (who subsequently married Steve Lawrence), Andy Williams (who later hosted several series of his own), and Pat Marshall (who was succeeded by Pat Kirby).  Skitch Henderson led the Orchestra.                                                                                                                                               
1 Results found for Ray Brown
Pages: [1]


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