Category Archives: vintage tv shows
The Exciters was an American pop music group of the 1960s. They were originally a girl group, with one male member being added afterwards. At the height of their popularity the group consisted of lead singer Brenda Reid, her husband Herb Rooney, Carolyn Johnson and Lillian Walker.
Brenda Reid, Carolyn (Carol) Johnson, Lillian Walker, and Sylvia Wilbur formed the group while at high school together in Queens, New York City, in 1961. They were originally called the Masterettes, as a sister group to another group called the Masters, and released their first recording, “Follow the Leader”, in early 1962. Wilbur then left the group to be replaced by Penny Carter, and they auditioned for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, winning a recording contract. Penny Carter then left, and was replaced by Herb Rooney, a member of the Masters; Reid and Rooney later married.
The group’s name was changed to the Exciters, and their first hit record, arranged by George “Teacho” Wiltshire and produced by Leiber and Stoller for United Artists Records, was “Tell Him”, which reached no.4 on the U.S. pop chart in early 1963. The song had previously been recorded unsuccessfully, as “Tell Her”, by Gil Hamilton later known as Johnny Thunder. According to Jason Ankeny at AllMusic, the Exciters’ version of “Tell Him” “…boasted an intensity that signified a sea change in the presentation and perception of femininity in popular music, paving the way for such tough, sexy acts as the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes.”
Dusty Springfield was on a stop-over in New York City en route to Nashville to make a country music album with the Springfields in 1962, when she heard the Exciters’ “Tell Him” playing while taking a late-night walk by the Colony Record Store on Broadway. The song helped Springfield decide to embark on a solo career with a Pop/Soul direction. She’d recall: “The Exciters sort of got you by the throat…out of the blue comes blasting at you “I know something about love”, and that’s it. That’s what I wanna do.”
Other songs by the group included “He’s Got the Power” (written by Ellie Greenwich and Tony Powers), “Get Him”, and Northern Soul classic “Blowing Up My Mind”. The Exciters also recorded “Do-Wah-Diddy”, written by Greenwich and Jeff Barry, in 1963; with a revised title of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” it was covered shortly after by Manfred Mann, for whom it was an international hit.
In 1965, the Exciters left the Leiber-Stoller management team, and the United Artists label, for Roulette Records. There they issued a remake (with revised lyrics) of the Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers’ song “I Want You to Be My Boy.” They continued to record through the 1960s for Bert Berns’ labels Bang and Shout, and later for RCA, but with little success. Ronnie Pace and Skip McPhee replaced Johnson and Walker. The group broke up in 1974.
Watch “Exciters 1963” on YouTube
Blue Moon is the debut studio album by the doo-wop group The Marcels. It was released in 1961 on Colpix Records and included 12 songs. The album was available in mono, catalogue number CP-416. Blue Moon was produced and arranged by Stu Phillips and was recorded in New York at RCA Studios. Blue Moon features a cover version of the Judy Garland hit “Over The Rainbow”. Four decades after the group’s debut album was released, The Marcels were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame
My Little Margie
premiered on CBS as the summer replacement for I Love Lucy on June 16, 1952, under the sponsorship of Philip Morris cigarettes (when the series moved to NBC for its third season in the fall of 1953, Scott Paper Company became its sponsor). In an unusual move, the series—with the same leads—aired original episodes on CBS Radio, concurrently with the TV broadcasts, from December 1952 through August 1955. Only 23 radio broadcasts are known to exist in recorded form.
Set in New York City, the series stars Gale Storm as 21-year-old Margie Albright and former silent film star Charles Farrell as her widowed father, 50-year-old Vern Albright. They share an apartment at the Carlton Arms Hotel. Vern Albright is the vice-president of the investment firm of Honeywell and Todd, where his bosses are George Honeywell (Clarence Kolb) and Todd (George Meader). Roberta Townsend (Hillary Brooke) is Vern’s girlfriend, and Margie’s boyfriend is Freddy Wilson (Don Hayden). Mrs. Odetts (played by Gertrude Hoffmann on TV, Verna Felton on radio) is the Albrights’ next-door neighbor and Margie’s sidekick in madcap capers reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel in I Love Lucy. When Margie realizes she has blundered or gotten into trouble, she makes an odd trilling sound. Michael Richards of Seinfeld cites this as the inspiration for the occasional odd vocal utterances of his character on the program.
Other cast members include Willie Best, who plays the elevator operator, Dian Fauntelle, and silent film star Zasu Pitts. Scottish actor Andy Clyde, prior to The Real McCoys, appears in the 1954 episode, “Margie and the Bagpipes.”
My Little Margie
finished at #29 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1954-1955 television season and, even more impressively, at #6 in Nielsen’s radio estimates for the 1954-55 season. Despite this success, the series was canceled in 1955. Gale Storm went on to star in The Gale Storm Show which ran for 143 episodes from 1956-1960. Zasu Pitts joined Gale Storm in this series too, originally entitled Oh! Susanna.
Watch “(1952) My Little Margie The Missing Link” on YouTube
In each What’s My Line? game, a contestant would enter the stage and sign in his/her name, by virtue of the host saying, “Will you enter & sign in please?” After that, he/she sat down at a desk next to the host. The game would begin by having the home audience be shown what’s his/her line, and the host afterwards told the panel a clue which is usually “deals in a service” or “self-employed”, something like those. Now the panelists in turn asked yes-or-no questions to the contestant which would hopefully lead to the right line. Each time the panelist in control got a yes answer, his/her turn continued, but if at any time the panelist in control got a no answer, he/she loses his/her turn and control passed to the next panelist in line; the contestant will also receive $5. Upon a no answer, the host would say the famous catchphrase “# down, # to go” (Ex: 2 down, 8 to go). Sometimes a question would have the host make a brief explanation which can lead to either a yes or no answer. A panelist can be allowed to pass his/her turn without penalty; other times the panel can call a conference. If the panel can guess the right line, they won the game, but if they got ten no answers, the contestant stumped the panel and won the game and a maximum total of $50. Often, the host would throw the cards over (end the game) when time was running short or any other reason.
In the syndicated run, the contestant would demonstrate or perform the product or service in question.
Maxine Brown (born April 27, 1932) is an American country music singer who was originally a member of the successful 1950s trio, The Browns, before a brief solo career.
Brown was born in Campti, Louisiana, but her family moved to a farm near Pine Bluff, Arkansas when she was a toddler. Encouraged by her parents, she began singing and performing at local venues. Brown signed a recording contract in 1954 with RCA Records as half of a duo with younger brother Jim Ed Brown. They earned national recognition and a guest spot on Ernest Tubb’s radio show for their humorous song “Looking Back to See,” which hit the top ten and stayed on the charts through the summer of 1954.
Their younger sister Bonnie Brown joined them in 1955. In 1959, The Browns scored their biggest hit when their folk-pop single “The Three Bells” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop and country charts. They became members of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee in 1963, and disbanded in 1967.
Brown had a brief solo career during the late 1960s, releasing a single and an album for Chart Records titled Sugar Cane County.
Her autobiography, Looking Back to See, was published in 2005 by The University of Arkansas Press. It delivered a revealing first-hand account of the American country music business in the 1950s and 1960s.