Dave Garroway

David Cunningham Garroway (July 13, 1913 – July 21, 1982) was an American television personality. He was the founding host and anchor of NBC's Today from 1952 to 1961. His easygoing and relaxing style belied a lifelong battle with depression.[1] Garroway has been honored for his contributions to radio and television with a star for each on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as the St. Louis Walk of Fame,[2] the city where he spent part of his teenage years and early adulthood.[3]

Dave Garroway
Dave garroway publicity photo 1950s
Garroway circa 1970
Born
David Cunningham Garroway

July 13, 1913
DiedJuly 21, 1982 (aged 69)
Cause of deathSuicide by gunshot
Resting placeWest Laurel Hill Cemetery
NationalityAmerican
EducationUniversity City High School
Alma materWashington University in St. Louis
OccupationTelevision personality
Years active1938–1982
Known forHost of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1952–1961)
Host of Today (1952–1961)
Host of Wide Wide World (1955–1958)
Spouse(s)
Adele Dwyer (m. 1945–1946)

Pamela Wilde (m. 1956–1961)

Sarah Lee Lippincott (m. 1980–1982)
Children3

Early life

Born in Schenectady, New York, Garroway was 14 and had moved with his family thirteen times before settling in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended University City High School and Washington University in St. Louis, from which he earned a degree in abnormal psychology.[4][5] Before going into broadcasting, Garroway worked as a Harvard University lab assistant, as a book salesman, and as a piston ring salesman.[6] After not being able to successfully sell either, Garroway decided to try his hand in radio.[7]

Career

Early years

Garroway began his broadcasting career at NBC as a page in 1938, he graduated 23rd in a class of 24 from NBC's school for announcers.[8] Following graduation, he landed a job at Pittsburgh radio station KDKA in 1939.[5] As a station reporter, he went about the region filing reports from a hot-air balloon, a U.S. Navy submarine in the Ohio River, and from deep inside a coal mine. His early reporting efforts earned Garroway a reputation for finding a good story, even if it took him to unusual places.[7] The "Roving Announcer", as he was known, worked his way up to become the station's special events director, while still attending to his on-air work.[9][10] After two years with KDKA, Garroway left for Chicago.[11]

Radio

Dial dave garroway wmaq 1951
Garroway at Chicago's WMAQ in 1951 with Connie Russell and Jack Haskell

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Garroway enlisted in the U.S. Navy. While stationed in Honolulu, he hosted a radio show when he was off duty, playing jazz records and reminiscing about the old days back in Chicago.[1] After the war, Garroway went to work as a disc jockey at WMAQ (AM) in Chicago.[8][12] Over time, Garroway hosted a series of radio programs such as The 11:60 Club, The Dave Garroway Show, and Reserved for Garroway.[7][13] One oddity Garroway introduced on his radio shows was having the studio audience respond to a song number not by applauding but by snapping their fingers.[14] Garroway also worked to organize jazz concerts, creating a "Jazz Circuit" of local clubs in 1947, bringing back interest in this music genre.[15][16] His fellow disc jockeys voted him the nation's best in the 1948 and 1949 Billboard polls.[17][18] He won the award again in 1951.[19]

Garroway was the first "communicator" on NBC Radio's Monitor when the program first aired on June 12, 1955.[20] He continued as the Sunday evening host of the news and music program from 1955 to 1961.[21] Garroway worked on the air at WCBS radio in 1964 and briefly hosted the afternoon rush hour shift at KFI in Los Angeles in late 1970 and early 1971.[22][23]

Television

Dave Garroway signoff of Peace
Garroway's signature upraised hand while saying "Peace"
Today show set 1952
Garroway and crew on the Today show set (1952)
1957 wide wide world
Garroway as host of Wide Wide World (1957)

Garroway was introduced to the national television audience when he hosted the experimental musical variety show Garroway at Large, telecast live from Chicago.[24] It was carried by NBC from June 18, 1949, to June 24, 1951.[25][26][27][28]

Garroway's relaxed, informal style when on the air became part of his trademark. In 1960, reviewer Richard F. Shepard of The New York Times wrote, "He does not crash into the home with the false jollity and thunderous witticisms of a backslapper. He is pleasant, serious, scholarly looking and not obtrusively convivial." On television, Garroway was known for his signoff, saying "Peace" with an upraised palm.[29]

Along with Arthur Godfrey, Arlene Francis, Steve Allen and Jack Paar, Garroway was one of the pioneers of the television talk show. Television commentator Steven D. Stark traces the origins of the style to Chicago.[30] Garroway, Studs Terkel, and Hugh Downs all hosted relaxed, garrulous, extemporaneous shows in that city in the early 1950s. Earlier radio and television voices spoke with an authoritative "announcer's" intonation, resembling public oration, often dropping about a musical fifth on the last word of a sentence. Garroway was one of the broadcasters who introduced conversational style and tone to television, beginning some broadcasts as though the viewer were sitting in the studio with him, as in this November 20, 1957, introduction for the Today show: "And how are you about the world today? Let's see what kind of shape it's in; there is a glimmer of hope."

Pioneering NBC president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver chose Garroway as the host of his new morning news-and-entertainment experiment, the Today show, in 1951.[31] He was joined by news editor Jim Fleming and announcer Jack Lescoulie when the show debuted on Monday, January 14, 1952.[32] Though initially panned by critics, Garroway's style attracted a large audience that enjoyed his easygoing presence early in the morning.[33][34] His familiar "cohost," a chimpanzee with the puckish name of J. Fred Muggs, did not hurt his genial manner, but his concurrent seriousness in dealing with news stories and ability to clearly explain abstract concepts earned him the nickname "The Communicator" and eventually won praise from critics and viewers alike.[8]

At the same time he did Today, Garroway also hosted a Friday night variety series, The Dave Garroway Show, from October 2, 1953, to June 25, 1954.[35] On October 16, 1955, he began hosting NBC's live Sunday afternoon documentary Wide Wide World, continuing with that series until June 8, 1958. Another Friday evening variety show, Dave's Place, was on the air in 1960.[36] He also hosted a radio show, Dial Dave Garroway, that went on the air as soon as Today wrapped up each morning.[33][37] Dial Dave Garroway had begun in 1946 when Garroway was still working for WMAQ in Chicago.[38]

Garroway took Today to various locations during his tenure: Paris in 1959 and Rome in 1960; car shows and technology expos; plays and movies; and aboard an Air Force B-52 for a practice bombing run. Through television, Garroway gave viewers access to a variety of people that included politicians, writers, artists, scientists, economists, and musicians.[39] In his role as Today host, Garroway acted as pitchman for several of the show's sponsors. Among them were Admiral television sets, Alcoa and Sergeant's dog food. Most of the appearances were in the form of print ads in newspapers and magazines.[40] By 1960, there was also a board game called "Dave Garroway's Today Game".[41][42]

In 1961, Garroway hosted a special filmed program for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that traced Billy Graham's crusades from 1949 to 1960.[43]

Garroway's relaxed demeanor on TV hid his depression. Toward the end of his professional career, he began to have disagreements with staff members; some days Garroway would disappear in the middle of the Today broadcast, leaving colleagues to finish the live program. When Garroway's second wife, Pamela, died of a prescription drug overdose on April 28, 1961, Garroway sank into a deeper emotional malaise.[1][44][45] In late May 1961, Garroway resigned, announcing his intention to leave Today—either at the end of October when his contract was finished or sooner, if possible—in order to spend more time with his children.[46][47] On June 16, 1961, Garroway left the morning show he helped pioneer.[48]

Later career

After leaving Today, Garroway returned to television on National Educational Television (the forerunner of PBS) with a science series called Exploring the Universe in late 1962.[49] Later he went back to working in radio, doing "split shift" shows called Garroway AM (mid mornings) and Garroway PM (mid afternoons) for WCBS (AM), New York.[22] Garroway also started a magazine, National FM-Radio; the venture was a costly failure with Garroway realizing he was not cut out to be a businessman.[50] While he was in the publishing business, Garroway began reading various law books in an effort to try to understand what his lawyer was saying. His attorney told him that he had done enough legal reading to pass the New York State bar exam. On a bet, Garroway sat for and passed the written exam.[51]

In April 1969, Garroway launched a daytime talk show on WNAC-TV, Tempo Boston, which he hoped would be picked up for national syndication. Stations in New York and Philadelphia agreed to pick up the show, but by early 1970, the small-scale syndication ended and Tempo was cancelled. The show had promise, but management instead decided to fill its time slot with old movies instead of more expensive local programming.[4] After leaving the Boston airwaves, Garroway traveled to southern California, hosting a music-and-talk show on KFI radio in Los Angeles.[23] He planned to reenter the television world with a CBS summer replacement show, Newcomers, but the show never made it past the summer of 1971.[5][52] While in Los Angeles, Garroway began to take acting workshops; he had a role in an episode of the western series Alias Smith and Jones as a judge in 1972.[50]

Garroway appeared sporadically on other television programs without achieving the success and recognition levels he enjoyed on Today. He largely remained out of the public eye for the rest of the 1960s and 1970s, although he did reemerge for Today anniversaries. His final such appearance was on the 30th anniversary show, on January 14, 1982.[6]

Other media

Garroway narrated a compilation of romantic songs performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra, Getting Friendly with Music, in 1956. He also served as narrator for special albums, including 1964's The Great Campaigners, 1928–1960 and 1960's Names From the Wars.[53]

In 1960, Garroway wrote Fun on Wheels, an activity book for children on road trips. The book was revised and reissued in 1962 and 1964.[54]

Toward the end of his life, Garroway planned to write an autobiography. The book never made it past the research stage; the surviving notes, manuscripts, audio tapes, and news clippings were sent to former Today researcher Lee Lawrence. Upon Lawrence's death in 2003, the boxes were turned over to the Library of American Broadcasting, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, where they remained as of 2009.[55]

Personal life

Garroway family 1960
The Garroways at home in 1960. From left: Garroway with David, Jr., wife Pamela, daughter Paris and son Michael seated on the floor

Marriages and children

Garroway was married three times and had three children. His first marriage was to Adele Dwyer, whom he married in 1945. The couple had a daughter, Paris, before divorcing the following year.[56][57] He married former actress and ballerina Pamela Wilde in 1956. They had a son, David Cunningham Garroway, Jr., in 1958.[58] Garroway later adopted Wilde's son Michael from her first marriage.[57] Wilde died of a prescription drug overdose on April 28, 1961.[59] Garroway married astronomer Sarah Lee Lippincott in February 1980. They remained married until Garroway's death in 1982.[60]

Interests

Dave Garroway and his 1938 Jaguar SS100
Garroway at the wheel of his favorite car, a 1938 SS Jaguar 100 which he restored

Garroway was very interested in astronomy, and during a tour of Russian telescopes he met his third wife, astronomer Sarah Lee Lippincott. In his final years, he attended astronomy symposia at Swarthmore College and spent time at Sproul Observatory.[5][52]

Garroway was also an automobile enthusiast, and one of his hobbies was collecting and restoring vintage luxury and sports cars. He was especially fond of his 1938 SS Jaguar 100, which he also raced in his spare time.[61][62][63][64] Garroway was featured in several automobile commercials, including the first Chevrolet Corvette in 1953, and the Ford Falcon in 1964.

Garroway, a music lover and amateur drummer, lent his name to a series of recordings of jazz, classical, and pop music released in the late 1950s and early 1960s.[65] Among them were Wide, Wide World of Jazz,[66] 1957's Some of My Favorites and 1958's Dave Garroway's Orchestra: An Adventure in Hi-Fi Music.[67]

Death

In 1981, Garroway underwent open-heart surgery, as a result of which he contracted a staph infection. On January 14, 1982, Today broadcast its 30th anniversary special, which featured all of the important living former and current staff members. Garroway, who had recently undergone rehab for an amphetamine addiction, appeared to be cheerful and in good spirits during the show. He also indicated that he would be present for the show's 35th anniversary in 1987.

A few months later, however, Garroway began suffering complications from the infection he had contracted during surgery. He spent some weeks in and out of hospitals and had an in-home nurse tending to him. On July 21, he was found dead of a self-inflicted shotgun wound at his Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, home. There was no suicide note and Garroway's nurse did not recall him being unusually depressed in the final day of his life.[6][8][29] Garroway's son Michael said that his father had been experiencing complications from his heart operation and he had "unfortunately succumbed to the traumatic effects of his illness."[68] In addition, he was extremely depressed at his inability to resurrect a TV career, saying to friends and family "I'm old hat, old news. Nobody wants old Dave anymore."[68] His family held a private graveside service for him in Philadelphia on July 28.[69] Garroway is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

The July 22 edition of Today was mainly a remembrance of Garroway. His colleague Jack Lescoulie, news editor Frank Blair, and former consumer reporter Betty Furness offered tributes on the show.[70] Garroway's death was noted on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd. Commentator John Chancellor was the man who replaced Garroway on Today 21 years earlier.[71] On NBC News Overnight, host Linda Ellerbee closed the program with "Peace" instead of her usual "And so it goes."[72]

Because of Garroway's dedication to the cause of mental health, his third wife, Sarah, helped establish the Dave Garroway Laboratory for the Study of Depression at the University of Pennsylvania.[55]

Parodies and fictional representations

Robert McKimson's 1960 cartoon Wild Wild World depicts "Cave Darroway" presenting footage from the Stone Age.

Mad spoofed him in one issue as "Dave Garrowunway."

In Robert Redford's 1994 film Quiz Show, Garroway was portrayed by Barry Levinson.

References

  1. ^ a b c Battelle, Phyllis (August 8, 1961). "What's Troubling Dave Garroway?". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  2. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Dave Garroway-Hollywood Walk of Fame". LA Times. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Peace, Old Tiger,. Time. July 18, 1969.
  5. ^ a b c d "Dave Garroway kills self; first host of 'Today' Show". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 22, 1982. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c "First host of 'Today' kills self with shotgun". Boca Raton News. July 22, 1982. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c "Dave Garroway Works Hard To Achieve That Relaxed Manner On Three Network Programs". Wilmington Sunday Star. November 15, 1953. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d Murray, Michael D., ed. (1998). Encyclopedia of television news. Greenwood. p. 336. ISBN 1-57356-108-8. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "No Special Event!". The Pittsburgh Press. July 14, 1939. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  10. ^ "Two Broadcasts Open 'Press Parade'". The Pittsburgh Press. March 21, 1938. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  11. ^ Bianco, Robert (June 14, 1990). "TV/Radio Notes". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  12. ^ Fisher, Marc, ed. (2007). Something in the air: radio, rock, and the revolution that shaped a generation. Random House. p. 400. ISBN 0-375-50907-0. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  13. ^ Just for the Laugh. Time. July 18, 1949. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  14. ^ "Glenn Miller". Tux Junction. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  15. ^ Garroway Hits Jackpot With Jazz Concerts. Billboard. July 26, 1947. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  16. ^ 3-Lounge Jazz Circuit Formed In Middle West. Billboard. August 2, 1947. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  17. ^ The Billboard Third Annual Disk Jockey Poll. Billboard. October 22, 1949. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  18. ^ The Billboard Second Annual Disk Jockey Poll. Billboard. October 2, 1948. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  19. ^ Lester, John (September 16, 1951). "Garroway Chosen By Disk Jockeys". The Miami News. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  20. ^ Hart, Dennis, ed. (2002). Monitor: The Last Great Radio Show. iUniverse, Inc. p. 254. ISBN 0-595-21395-2. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  21. ^ "Monitor's Communicators". Monitor Beacon. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  22. ^ a b New Program Chief Named By WCBS. Billboard. June 27, 1964. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  23. ^ a b "Dave Garroway Switches To LA". Tuscaloosa News. August 28, 1970. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  24. ^ Dave Garroway: Prop Man At Large. Life. October 10, 1949. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  25. ^ TV Turns up a New Comic. Look. 22 November 1949. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  26. ^ The Chicago School With Special Emphasis on Dave Garroway. Time. September 11, 1950. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  27. ^ Video file downloads-The Best of Garroway at Large
  28. ^ Railton, Arthur (October 1951). They Fool You Every Night. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  29. ^ a b "Dave Garroway, 69, Found Dead-First Host of 'Today' on NBC-TV". The New York Times. July 22, 1982. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  30. ^ Samuels, Rich. "Chicago School of Television". Samuels, Rich. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  31. ^ Perrigo, Lucia (November 9, 1951). "Garroway-More At Large Than On TV". Kentucky New Era. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  32. ^ Add 3½ Hours To WWJ Sked. Billboard. January 19, 1952. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  33. ^ a b TV Newspaper. Time. September 15, 1952. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  34. ^ Robinson, Marc, ed. (2003). Brought to You in Living Color: 75 Years of Great Moments in Television. Wiley. p. 236. ISBN 0-471-46921-1. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  35. ^ The New Shows. Time. November 30, 1953. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  36. ^ "Visit to 'Dave's Place' Is All Dave Garroway". Eugene Register-Guard. November 18, 1960. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  37. ^ "Newspaper ad for radio show 'Dial Dave Garroway'". The Spokesman-Review. February 21, 1951. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  38. ^ "Dial Dave Garroway". Original Old Radio. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  39. ^ "President John F. Kennedy interview". The American Presidency Project. January 31, 1961. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  40. ^ "Flexalum Aluminum Awnings/Garroway postcard". CardCow. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  41. ^ "Dave Garroway's Today Game". Board Game Geek. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  42. ^ "Photos of Garroway Today Game". Board Game Geek. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  43. ^ Scott, Vernon (March 15, 1961). "Billy Graham Is To Become TV, Film Star Soon". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  44. ^ "Mrs. Dave Garroway Is Found Dead In Apartment". Gettysburg Times. 28 April 1961. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  45. ^ "Mrs. Dave Garroway Found Dead Early Today at Home". Lawrence Journal-World. 28 April 1961. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  46. ^ "Dave Garroway Resigns From TV Show to Give More Time to Children". Lawrence Journal-World. May 27, 1961. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  47. ^ "Dave Garroway is 'Redecorating' his Life". The Milwaukee Journal. December 3, 1961. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  48. ^ "Summer Video Is Long And Twice-Told Tale". Times Daily. June 19, 1961. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  49. ^ Professor Garroway of 21-inch U. Time. December 28, 1962. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  50. ^ a b Monahan, Anthony (May 27, 1973). "'Maybe I Belong In A Long-Gone Era'". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  51. ^ Anderson, Nancy (March 21, 1972). "Dave Garroway reflects on old 'Today' show". Star-News. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  52. ^ a b Lowery, Cynthia (August 9, 1971). "Dave Garroway will stay in television after summer fling". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  53. ^ "Hot Platters: Personalities". Hot Platters. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  54. ^ "Dave Garroway". Open Library. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  55. ^ a b Lee Lawrence Papers, University of Maryland Libraries, hdl:1903.1/1488
  56. ^ "TV's Dave Garroway to Shed Batchelorhood". The Milwaukee Journal. March 23, 1956. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  57. ^ a b Franklin, Rebecca (November 29, 1961). "A Quiet Time". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  58. ^ "Boy for the Garroways". Herald-Journal. February 19, 1958. p. D2. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  59. ^ "Pill Overdose Kills Mrs. Garroway". Deseret News. 29 April 1961. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  60. ^ "Dave Garroway takes own life". The Bryan Times. July 22, 1982. p. 1. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  61. ^ Garroway At Large (page 36) (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. September 1949. Retrieved July 15, 2010. (PDF)
  62. ^ "Racing at Elkhart Lake, WI". MG Vintage Racers. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  63. ^ "Jaguar-All Results". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  64. ^ House, Kirk W.; Mitchell, Charles W., eds. (2008). Watkins Glen Racing. Arcadia Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 0-7385-5666-1.
  65. ^ Dornbrook, Don (September 14, 1959). "At Home With TV Stars". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  66. ^ "Wide, Wide World of Jazz cover". Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  67. ^ "Dave Garroway's Orchestra: An Adventure in Hi-Fi Music". Musicstack. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  68. ^ a b Smith, Erich (July 22, 1982). "TV Pioneer Dave Garroway Ends Life". Daily Times. p. 22. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  69. ^ "Funeral services held for Garroway". Gettysburg Times. July 29, 1982. p. 18. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  70. ^ NBC News Today rundown, July 22, 1982
  71. ^ NBC Nightly News rundown, July 21, 1982
  72. ^ NBC News Overnight rundown, July 21, 1982

Listen to

External links

Preceded by
None
Today Show Host
January 14, 1952–June 16, 1961
Succeeded by
John Chancellor
1953–54 United States network television schedule

The 1953–54 United States network television schedule began in September of 1953 and ended in the spring of 1954.

Despite hit filmed programs such as I Love Lucy, both William S. Paley of CBS and David Sarnoff of NBC were said to be determined to keep most programming on their networks live. Filmed programs were said to be inferior to the spontaneous nature of live television. Thus, NBC and CBS continued to schedule many live programs, including two new 1953 fall NBC series The Dave Garroway Show and Bonino. According to Brooks and Marsh (2007), Garroway's show "was faced with overwhelming competition from Mama and Ozzie & Harriet, which were running opposite on CBS and ABC, and it only lasted a single season". Bonino did not even last the full season. CBS had more luck with new live programs Person to Person and My Favorite Husband (which would later make the switch to film).

ABC, perennially in third or fourth place among the four U.S. television networks, had been on the verge of bankruptcy, but the February 1953 merger of United Paramount Theaters with ABC had given ABC a $30 million cash infusion. ABC revamped its schedule for Fall 1953 with big-budget programs. New ABC programs included Make Room for Daddy, and an ABC version of NBC's popular Kraft Television Theatre; the strategy was designed to "take on CBS and NBC with a strong schedule".In contrast to ABC's revamped schedule, DuMont's Fall 1953 prime time schedule looked weak, with programs that were "doomed from the start by third-rate scripts and cheap production." The 1953–54 season would be the last year DuMont was able to schedule nearly 20 hours of programming in prime time. By the 1954–55 season, DuMont would be forced to cut back its schedule, while the other three networks continued to expand.

During the 1953 season, both DuMont and ABC "made sporadic efforts to compete for the daytime audience, but faced so many problems just filling prime time that they found it much more efficient to focus primarily on weekend sports". DuMont paid $1.3 million in 1953 for the rights to broadcast National Football League games in prime time; starting December 12, DuMont also broadcast a series of NBA basketball games, the first time pro basketball was seen regularly on network TV. Both DuMont and ABC "were especially aggressive in pursuit of sports broadcasts because they were desperately in need of special attractions to bring in viewers".Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.

Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.

Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.

Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

1954–55 United States network television schedule (weekday)

These are the daytime Monday–Friday schedules on all three networks for each calendar season beginning September 1954. All times are Eastern and Pacific.

Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.

1956–57 United States network television schedule (weekday)

These are the daytime Monday–Friday schedules on all three networks for each calendar season beginning September 1956. All times are Eastern and Pacific.

Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.

Betty Madigan

Betty Madigan (born 1928 in Washington, D.C.) is an American traditional popular singer and actress.In 1954, she was rated "the newer female vocalist [with] the greatest chance to become one of the top female vocalist names" in a poll of disc jockeys conducted by Billboard. That year, Madigan appeared on The Red Skelton Hour, The Dave Garroway Show, and The Colgate Comedy Hour. In 1956, she portrayed Martha Cratchitt in a 1956 episode of The Alcoa Hour called "The Stingiest Man in Town." She performed on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957, and on The Dick Clark Show on 1958.

A description of Madigan in a 1959 issue of Gramophone said that she sounds like Alma Cogan and also resembles her.Madigan currently lives in Bal Harbour, FL, where she is socially active.

In November 2018, Jasmine Records released a two-CD compilation of her singles recorded between 1953 and 1961, totaling 58 songs,. Sepia Records also released a CD containing two of her albums, "Am I Blue?" and "The Jerome Kern Songbook"

Bob Acri

Robert R. "Bob" Acri (October 1, 1918 – July 25, 2013) was an American Jazz pianist. Bob graduated from Austin High School in Chicago. While at Austin High, he began his career at the NBC Orchestra on the Dave Garroway Radio Show. He was a classically trained pianist, studying with Rudolph Ganz and Fred Euing. He also studied composition with Dr. Karel Jirak and Bill Russo. During his career he played in the radio orchestras of NBC and ABC, as well as in the House Band of the Chicago nightclub Mister Kelly's. He toured with Harry James and accompanied Lena Horne, Mike Douglas, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Buddy Rich, and Woody Herman. He earned his Bachelor's of Music and Master's of Music degree from Roosevelt University when he was in his late 70s. He ended his career as the leader of the house band at the Cantina Room of the Continental Plaza Hotel.

Acri released two solo albums of instrumental tracks in 2001 and 2004. "Sleep Away", a composition that appeared on his 2004 self-titled album, was used as sample music for the Windows 7 computer operating system.

Caesar Giovannini

Caesar Giovannini (February 26, 1925 – September 23, 2017) was an American pianist, band arranger and composer.

Born in Chicago Illinois, Giovannini began piano studies at the age of five. He attended the Alfred Nobel Grammar School in Chicago and the Lane Technical High School. He graduated from the Chicago Conservatory of Music in 1948 with a Bachelor of Music and a master's degree in composition. During World War II he was appointed pianist for the US Navy Band in Washington, DC. From 1949 to 1956 he joined NBC in Chicago and gained fame through appearances on the Dave Garroway and Ransom Sherman shows. During 1956 and 1957 he was music director for the Kukla, Fran and Ollie television show. In 1958 he joined ABC Chicago. His instrumental compositions for Concert Band include Alla Barocco, El Torero, Overture in B-Flat, Overture to a New Era, and Chorale and Capriccio (with orchestrations by Wayne Robinson).

From 1961 to 1976, he played piano on many movie soundtracks including The World of Henry Orient (1964), Wait Until Dark (1967), The Fox (1967), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Shaft's Big Score (1972) and Raid on Entebbe (1976).

Garroway at Large

Garroway at Large was an experimental American musical variety show program with the host Dave Garroway in the Golden Age of Television. It was telecast at 10pm on Saturday (and later on Sundays and Fridays) on NBC from April 1949 to 1954. Garroway at Large aired with a full symphony orchestra conducted by Joseph Gallicchio. There were two female singers, Betty Chapel and Connie Russell and a male singer, Jack Haskell. In addition, the Hamilton Trio, a contemporary dance group, appeared each week, along with comedian Cliff Norton.

The show had only one local Chicago broadcast on April 8, 1949 before becoming an NBC Network program.The series is notable for introducing an innovative presentation and staging to television. When television began in New York City, the shows adopted the familiar theatrical proscenium concept, separating the stage from the audience area. After World War II, several programs originated from Chicago, where Garroway was a disc jockey on radio station WMAQ.When Garroway was assigned to host on television, he abandoned the usual conventions for a more casual approach in which the reality of the studio was acknowledged. Followed by a single camera, he walked around the entire large studio space and simple abstract sets as he talked to guests and the TV viewer directly. This live staging technique, known as the "Chicago Style", was developed further on Garroway's next show, Today.

J. Fred Muggs

J. Fred Muggs (born March 14, 1952) is a chimpanzee born in the African colony of French Cameroon that forms part of modern day Cameroon. Brought to New York City before his first birthday, he was bought by two former NBC pages and eventually appeared on a host of television shows on that network including NBC's Today Show where he served as mascot from 1953 to 1957. Muggs worked in several television shows including a short-lived eponymous series, toured the world and worked at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. He officially retired at age 23. As of January 2012, Muggs was still alive. Chimpanzees have been known to live up to 70 years, though 50 is more commonly the animal's lifespan.

Jack Haskell

John Thomas Haskell (April 30, 1919 – September 26, 1998) was an American singer and announcer in the era of old-time radio and later in television.

Lily Pons

Alice Joséphine Pons (April 12, 1898 – February 13, 1976), known professionally as Lily Pons, was a French-American operatic soprano and actress who had an active career from the late 1920s through the early 1970s. As an opera singer she specialized in the coloratura soprano repertoire and was particularly associated with the title roles in Lakmé and Lucia di Lammermoor. In addition to appearing as a guest artist with many opera houses internationally, Pons enjoyed a long association with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where she performed nearly 300 times between 1931 and 1960.

She also had a successful and lucrative career as a concert singer which continued until her retirement from performance in 1973. From 1935–37 she made three musical films for RKO Pictures. She also made numerous appearances on radio and on television, performing on variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, and The Dave Garroway Show among others. In 1955 she topped the bill for the first broadcast of what became an iconic television series, Sunday Night at the London Palladium. She made dozens of records; recording both classical and popular music. She was awarded the Croix de Lorraine and the Légion d'honneur by the Government of France.

Pons was also savvy at making herself into a marketable cultural icon. Her opinions on fashion and home decorating were frequently reported in women's magazines, and she appeared as the face for Lockheed airplanes, Knox gelatin and Libby's tomato juice advertisements. A town in Maryland named itself after her, and thereafter the singer contrived to have all her Christmas cards posted from Lilypons, Maryland. Opera News wrote in 2011, "Pons promoted herself with a kind of marketing savvy that no singer ever had shown before, and very few have since; only Luciano Pavarotti was quite so successful at exploiting the mass media."

Max Miller (director)

Max Leeds Fest Miller (March 1, 1918 – October 26, 1992) was an American film director. Miller worked at NBC in New York City, where he directed the original Today show hosted by Dave Garroway, and the NBC documentary series Wide, Wide World. He later worked for CBS and ABC. Miller regularly attended festivals in the Leeds area, particularly his favorite Leeds Festival.

After moving to California in 1964, Miller created a series of documentaries on social issues via his companies Avanti Films and Motivational Media. He recruited Robert Culp for the piece on racism, Sal Mineo for one on LSD, Dick Van Dyke for one on smoking, and Sonny Bono for Marijuana. He won an Emmy Award for directing the series piece on teen suicide narrated by Milton Berle.He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at North Hollywood Medical Center in Studio City, California.

Monitor (radio program)

Monitor is an American weekend radio program broadcast from June 12, 1955 until January 26, 1975. Airing live and nationwide on the NBC Radio Network, it originally aired beginning Saturday morning at 8am and continuing through the weekend until 12 midnight on Sunday. However, after the first few months, the full weekend broadcast was shortened when the midnight-to-dawn hours were dropped since few NBC stations carried it.

The program offered a magazine-of-the-air mix of news, sports, comedy, variety, music, celebrity interviews and other short segments (along with records, usually of popular middle-of-the-road songs, especially in its later years). Its length and eclectic format were radical departures from the traditional radio programming structure of 30- and 60-minute programs and represented an ambitious attempt to respond to the rise of television as America's major home-entertainment medium.

The show was the brainchild of legendary NBC radio and television network president Sylvester (Pat) Weaver, whose career bridged classic radio and television's infancy and who sought to keep radio alive in a television age. Believing that broadcasting could and should educate as well as entertain, Weaver fashioned a series to do both with some of the best-remembered and best-regarded names in broadcasting, entertainment, journalism, and literature taking part. Monitor and the Sunday-afternoon TV documentary series Wide Wide World were Weaver's last two major contributions to NBC, as he left the network within a year of Monitor's premiere.

NBC page

The NBC Page Program is a 12-month paid fellowship at the National Broadcasting Company (NBCUninversal)'s studios in New York City and Universal City, California. Over the course of one year, pages gain exposure to various areas of the NBCUniversal portfolio. Pages contribute to various teams while on business, consumer and content assignments. East Coast pages also give tours and work in audience services at NBC Studios in New York City. The internship is extremely competitive and prestigious; notable people who began their careers as NBC pages include Regis Philbin, Michael Eisner, Ted Koppel and Aubrey Plaza.

Otto Luening

Otto Clarence Luening (June 15, 1900 – September 2, 1996) was a German-American composer and conductor, and an early pioneer of tape music and electronic music.

Luening was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to German parents, Eugene, a conductor and composer, and Emma (nee Jacobs), an amateur singer. When he was 12, his family moved to Munich, where he studied music at the State Academy of Music. At age 17, he moved to Switzerland and attended the Municipal Conservatory of Music in Zurich and University of Zurich, where he studied with Ferruccio Busoni and Philipp Jarnach, and was also an actor and stage manager for James Joyce's English Players Company. He returned to the United States in 1924, and appeared mainly as a conductor of operas, in Chicago and the Eastman School of Music.His conducting premieres included Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium, and his own Evangeline.Luening's 'Tape Music', including A Poem in Cycles & Bells, Gargoyles for Violin & Synthesized Sound, and Sounds of New Music demonstrated the early potential of synthesizers and special editing techniques for electronic music. An October 28, 1952 concert with Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City introduced Fantasy in Space, flute recordings manipulated on magnetic tape, and led to an appearance on The Today Show with Dave Garroway. Luening was co-founder, along with Ussachevsky, of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in 1958. He also co-founded Composers Recordings, Inc. in 1954, with Douglas Moore and Oliver Daniel.

He died in New York City in 1996. His notable students include Chou Wen-chung, Charles Wuorinen, John Corigliano, Harvey Sollberger, Faye-Ellen Silverman, Dave Soldier, Sol Berkowitz, Elliott Schwartz, Bernard Garfield, and Karl Korte. See: List of music students by teacher: K to M#Otto Luening.

Patricia McQueeney

Patricia Noonan McQueeney (born Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 16, 1927; died Santa Monica, California September 4, 2005) was an American actress, television personality, and talent agent perhaps best known as Harrison Ford's manager.At the age of seventeen, she married fellow Bridgeport native and actor Robert McQueeney, and they had three children together. Their marriage was annulled in the mid-1950s, and Robert later became a Roman Catholic priest; he died in 2002. Patricia never remarried.After early work as a model and actress in television commercials under the name "Patricia Scott", McQueeney was hired for The Today Show by first host Dave Garroway and appeared frequently on the show until 1964. In 1970, McQueeney met Harrison Ford and began to work for him, first as his agent and later also as his personal manager. In 1973, she launched her own agency, which represented many rising Hollywood stars, including Teri Garr, Mackenzie Phillips, Cindy Williams, and Candy Clark. She continued to represent Ford until her death in 2005. She served on a California state commission tasked with recommending changes in the laws governing talent representation. She has been memorialized by the Talent Manager's Association with a service award in her name.

The Dave Garroway Show (TV program)

The Dave Garroway Show is an American television variety program that was broadcast on NBC from October 2, 1953, to June 25, 1954.Vincent Terrace's Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 described the show as "A casual program of music, songs, and chatter." The 30-minute program was broadcast on Friday nights.As the title indicated, Dave Garroway was the host. For the nine months that the program aired on Friday evenings, he was also host of the Today morning program. Other regulars on the program were Jack Haskell, Jill Corey, Cliff Norton, and Shirley Hammer, along with dancers Ken Spaulding and Diane Sinclair.

The Dave Garroway Show (radio program)

The Dave Garroway Show is an American old-time radio variety program. It was broadcast on NBC from 1947 to June 17, 1955. The title is a generic name that can refer to programs that had other titles including Reserved for Dave Garroway, Dial Dave Garroway, and Fridays with Dave Garroway.

Wide Wide World

Wide Wide World was a 90-minute documentary series telecast live on NBC on Sunday afternoons at 4pm Eastern. Conceived by network head Pat Weaver and hosted by Dave Garroway, Wide Wide World was introduced on the Producers' Showcase series on June 27, 1955. The premiere episode, featuring entertainment from the US, Canada and Mexico, was the first international North American telecast in the history of the medium.

It returned in the fall as a regular Sunday series, telecast from October 16, 1955 to June 8, 1958. The program was sponsored by General Motors and Barry Wood was the executive producer. Nelson Case was the announcer. In March 1956, Time magazine reported that it was the highest-rated daytime show on television.Garroway was the host of the series which featured live remote segments from locations throughout North America and occasional reports on film from elsewhere in the world. The series carried live events into four million households. The October 16 premiere, "A Sunday in Autumn," featured 50 cameras in 11 cities, including a college campus, the fishing fleet at Gloucester, Massachusetts, rainswept streets in Manhattan and Monitor broadcasting in NBC's Radio Central studio. An appearance by Dick Button ice skating at Rockefeller Center was canceled because the rain had washed away the ice, and a curious coverage by a nervous Ted Husing of an attempt by Donald Campbell to break a speed record showed nothing more than his boat, on the other side of the lake, failing to take off. Time reviewed:

NBC's Wide Wide World whisked its audience all over the map. The camera lazed its way down the Mississippi, poked into a New Jersey lane where lovers walked and old men raked autumn leaves, wandered around Gloucester harbor as fishermen mended nets. There were vivid contrasts between the chasm of the Grand Canyon and the topless towers of Rockefeller Center, the swaying wheat fields of Nebraska and the money-conscious hubbub of the Texas State Fair, an underwater ballet from Florida and the overwater speed trials of Donald Campbell's jet racer at Arizona's man-made Lake Mead. Always there was the immediacy of things happening this very minute, but the real brilliancy of Wide World may lie in its avoidance of the TV interview. The only one attempted, at the Texas Fair, proved again that—given a microphone and someone to interview—an announcer can turn any subject into a crashing bore. The words needed in Wide World were supplied by Dave Garroway and kept to a literate minimum.Other episodes: "New Orleans" (February 2, 1958), "American Theater '58" (March 16, 1958), "Flagstop at Malta Bend" (March 30, 1958) and "The Museum of Modern Art" (April 27, 1958).

Wild Wild World

Wild Wild World is a Warner Bros. cartoon released in the Merrie Melodies series in 1960 and directed by Robert McKimson. It's a parody of the television series Wide Wide World hosted by Dave Garroway. In this cartoon, "Cave Darroway" presents a recently discovered film taken during the Cro-Magnon era. The stone age gags in the "film" predate and possibly inspired The Flintstones which made its debut in 1960. The final gag in this cartoon depicts a modern elevator utilizing the primitive operational methods of the stone age elevator shown in the "film." Because of the long lead time in producing an animated cartoon, the TV program which inspired this cartoon had already been canceled when this cartoon was released. This cartoon is available on DVD as a bonus short on disc four of Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6.

The documentary was filmed in the "Geo-Goshical Year 75,000,000 B.C." (satirizing the International Geophysical Year 1957-'58), in breathtaking Cromagnonscope. Cromagnonscope last appeared in the cartoon Pre-Hysterical Hare.

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