Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

WE GET LETTERS, STACKS AND STACKS ...

MY WIFE BARBARA READING COMMENTS

Perry Como used to sing: "Letters, we get letters. We get stacks and stacks of letters. Dear Perry, would you be so kind, and fulfill our request, and sing the song we like best. " If you have to ask, "Who's Perry Como?" then ... don't ask.

It was 1956, almost a decade before The Lloyd Thaxton Show, but I remember those words so clearly. They announced the segment on the Perry Como Show that acknowledged the many letters he received for requests. I always looked forward to this segment.

As a matter of fact, I remember saying to myself at the time, "If ever I get a blog on the Internet, I'm going to have a letter acknowledgement section of my own." That shows you how foresighted I was back in the 50s.

It's a known fact that more people read blogs than take the time to write a comment. But when they do, it means a lot to me. On one past blog, I had asked the question, "Who would want to buy a Lloyd Thaxton Show DVD?" Here are just a few of the many comments I received. You have no idea how great they made me feel.

Are you ready? Everybody sing: "Comments, we get comments. We get stacks and stacks of comments. Dear Lloydie, would you be so kind and fulfill our requests and lip-sync the song we like the best."

5:21 PM
Blogger Gary said...

Trust me, Lloyd, there ARE enough fans out there still! I'm a serious collector of old footage and I know MANY that are like me PLUS I know plenty of casual collectors as well and then there's the average joe who would buy the dvd because they just plain remember you and have fond memories of the show! They would buy a dvd just to see if they could see themselves on it or somebody they know. The musical guest would just be frosting on the cake. The time is NOW, Lloyd, before the baby boomers are gone!

Gary

9:49 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi, Lloyd! Really enjoy your website and your very entertaining anecdotes. Count me in as someone would love to own a Lloyd Thaxton DVD. Why not advertise on Classmates.com? I'm sure 1960's grads would snatch it up. Sue

9:46 AM
Blogger Robert V. said...

hey lloyd. I'm there with my $$ to buy a lloyd thaxton DVD.

7:07 PM
Anonymous said...

I remember many bits from the show: "Swami Says", "Don't Lose Your Marbles", L-O-N-E-L-Y, Lip-sync greeting cards, "Summer Wind" with all kinds of garbage blowing at you, marvelous! How did you ever think up those things?

I can't wait to buy the DVD!

8:54 AM
Anonymous said...

I hope you do put out a DVD I would like to have one, it would go with one of my favourite sites reelradio.


11:46 PM
Blogger Ol'Rocker said...

Hey Lloyd, listen to these boomers- get your DVD on the market NOW. Make the old ad men eat brass...

7:55 AM
Anonymous zmudville said...

Funny how it all works. I would bet that "Lloyd Thaxton" never, ever, not one time entered my mind from about 1969 till just the other day. All of a sudden for whatever reason I'm googling the name and whaddayaknow: you're not dead yet! (And I mean that in a good way.)

Even before I started reading your blog I remembered parts of your show: cool guests (who cared if they were lip-synching), the lip-synch contests, your "instrument-synching" (when you were banging on piano keys to someone else's record you never missed a note). I was 15 in '65, growing up in Chicago. Your afternoon show was a little after-school party for me every day.

But I had totally forgotten Dawk, fergodsake! And I used to draw him in my school notebooks, writing "Dawk rules!" in his little sign!

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for still being alive, keep up the blog and count me as someone interested in your CD if that project comes together.

8:32 AM
Anonymous Josh Jacobs said...

I was born in 1972 and have read Bill Earl's book Dream House and am currently reading Ben Fong Torres' book on Top 40 radio. I loved the characters you created on Fight Back with David Horowitz. The one I best remember is Dr. Webly Frion (I probably didn't spell it right). I'd love to buy the DVD of the Lloyd Thaxton show.

5:04 AM
Anonymous Frank Monzo said...

Lloyd, I would buy the DVD for sure. I was 15 in 1965 (56 now) and would watch the show just about every day. I lived in Philly and knew some of the American Bandstand regulars, but I always enjoyed the unique humor you brought to the show. I remember seeing Sonny and Cher. I also remember Al Martino not showing up. (Is Al here?)Glad I found your site and hope we'll be hearing about a DVD release soon.

11:15 AM
Anonymous Peter Dhanes said...

I too would like to request a performance that you did on your show if you ever do release something. You lip synched and trumpet synched The point of no return, I still think about it and I am 54 this past Sept.

2:29 PM
Blogger Fred said...

Growing up in SoCal, I remember very clearly being 10 years old in 1966 and watching your show. I would definitely buy your DVD.

1:59 PM
Anonymous Fat Chuck said...

I'm looking for the "On my back, I want Wilson." routine. And also "They got no right, to push and shove us little kids around" - I think that's how it went. So yeah, make SOMETHING available! Please.

7:34 PM
Anonymous Fat Chuck said...

I'm remembering when Sonny Bono gave Lloyd "the vest off his back". I think it was leopard-skin or something. That might have been when Sonny debuted "Laugh At Me" on the show.

7:41 PM
Anonymous Trish Rozhon said...

Lloyd, I would DEFINITELY buy a DVD of your shows. I spent many enjoyable hours watching! By the way, didn't Sonny & Cher first appear on your show as Anthony & Cleopatra?

7:04 PM
Anonymous Sandy said...

How cool to stumble onto this site. I was born in 1955, and in the early 60s as a little kid I remember my teen-age sister dancing in the family room and lip-synching along to the Lloyd Thaxton show.
Constantly.
One specific memory is Lloyd and the crowd started cheering--in 1962 obviously--when Lloyd announced the Dodgers had won the pennant. Of course, they lost that heartbreaking playoff to the Giants, and then Lloyd had to take it back. Remember that?
Count me in as a DVD buyer. For me and my big sister.

6:33 PM
Anonymous Anonymouse said...

I'm glad I Googled your name, Lloyd. That's how I found this site. My youth was spent in L.A. and your show and Mike Bloggett's show from the beach were two vivid memories that live on.
I listened to 93-KHJ and my favorite dj wasn't Humble Harv, but Sam Riddle. Does anyone remember him?
Now, years later, radio and even TV hardly exist. Life has become one long - lying - informercial.
But they can't molest my memories of Lloyd Thaxton! ... "Keep on dan-cin', dan-cin' and a pran-cin, do the jerk now . . . c'ma, c'ma, baby, c'ma on watch me work."
- Dusty Nathan
www.writesight.com/writers/misterwriter111

11:01 AM
Anonymous Dan Fiebiger said...

From: Portland, Oregon

It was in the early 60s, pre-Beatles, when your show was aired on a local Portland, Oregon station for a time (don't remember which one), and I tuned in regularly. I was about 10-11-12 years old.

The most memorable bit for me that you did was "guitar"-synking an instrumental tune called SCRATCHY by Travis Wammack on something that I vaguely recall looked like a souped-up tennis racket combined with the bow of a bow-and-arrow set. An odd looking thing that wasn't intended to fool anyone into thinking it was a real guitar, but was "played" just for visual fun of it.

Lloyd, do you remember that song and "guitar" thing? 1962 or 1963 or so.

You did a pretty precise job of it, too, as I remember. Fun show. Never knew why the local station dropped it, and I missed it when it disappaeared. Am glad a possible DVD might be available. Hope you find the SCRATCHY "guitar" bit on tape and include it on the DVD.

E-mail me when the DVD ever becomes available.

6:48 AM
Blogger suezz said...

I Would definitly buy your DVD!! I loved your show, I was 13...Everyday I watched it.. i remember one in particular for some reason; a skit you were doing: You were wrapping your arms around yourself as you had your back to the camera.lol It looked so real...i don't know why that one sticks in my head..
Suezz

12:00 AM
Blogger suezz said...

oh i forgot, e-mail me when its available at suzie03@adelphia.net

7:13 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lloyd! Hearing you on Rollye James Show tonight brought back memories of watching your show in the 60's! I have sorely missed it for years. I grew up in St. Pete, Florida and if I remember right you were on WFLA Channel 8?
Anyway, if you put out a DVD, I definitely will buy it!
Hope there are thousands of other "boomers" who will too!

Phil Colaianni - playasong@comcast.net
(Sunshine Internet Radio)

8:58 PM
Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the name of the contest where teens sat in chairs and danced? The silliness of it has always stayed with me. Still makes me laugh.

7:39 AM
Anonymous Frank said...

I remember Lloyd opening one show with a lip-synch of "Cara Mia" by Jay and The Americans. He was wearing a Viking opera singer's outfit,complete with spear and sword -typical Fat Lady outfit belting out Cara Mia- he was hilarious ---

10:46 AM
Blogger Karen said...

the image I have in my head, is you on a swing, on your knees with shoes at your knees, like a little kid. can't recall the song, but you were my favorite show! Watched in Tampa...born in '52...Karen

3:25 PM
Anonymous said...

Lloyd! I'm 55 years old & would love to have DVDs of the show to view with my grandkids! Thank you for being there to entertain me! I truly loved your show! "So what" ;-)

8:50 AM
Anonymous said...

I loved your show! You were a funny guy. I enjoyed your lip-synching. I remembered one time in 1964 you played a Beatles song from "The Music Man" with music only from TV & a local radio station played the words only ("Till They Was You")

5:08 PM
Anonymous Terry Mac said...

Hi Lloyd,Your show may have changed but I started watching in 1968 in the D.C. market and I thought it and you were great. Unlike a lot of shows at the time...it felt "real". I also fell in love with one of your audience girls who lip synched to Vicki Carr's "It Must Be Him"! Sigh. I wouldn't mind another day back there Lloyd! All the best.

8:31 PM
Blogger Nantar said...

I was on your show 3 times in the 60's. It was so funny because my grandmother (at home) was watching the show when I was chosen to lip sync to Petula Clark's song "Round Every Corner". She thought I was really singing! I've told my husband and twin daughters about my experiences on Lloyd Thaxton Show and they would love to see a DVD of some of the shows. Of course, they'd love to see me lip syncing but that show may not be available. Anyway, such great memories from those "dancing" days. I'll keep checking this site to see if a DVD comes out. Thank you for putting up this blog.
Bye for now.

5:40 AM
Blogger jasmyme said...

Hi Lloyd,
I was a dancer on your dance show in the 60's. Me and my high school classmates had a great time. And I was on your show 3 times. My children and grandchildren would really enjoy seeing those tapes. Please put them on DVD.It's a lot of us that want to buy them. Thanks for that time in my life.

6:02 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi Lloyd,

Both my brother and I were on your show several times in 1964 and 1965. My brother even won a pair of "Saturday-Nighters" Please bring back the your shows on DVD!

Steve (Long Beach CA back then)

4:07 PM
Anonymous said...

I'd buy your DVD in a heartbeat.

6:08 PM
Blogger Melissa M said...

Loved the reference to MR. BASSMAN and I also remember The Bird Is the Word being really funny, many appearances of the Righteous Brothers, one with you pretending (?) to goose Bobby Hatfield (RIP) to get those high notes, and for some reason April Stevens and Nino??? singing Deep Purple. I also remember Sonny Bono's fuzzy vest on you. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned Famous Hooks. Was he one of the proposed "co-hosts"? I was in San Diego watching the LA station and never realized there was a national show. Thanks for lots of fun and for giving me the feeling I was part of a bigger teenage experience, not to mention showing me some really cool dance moves.

3:54 PM
Blogger Diane said...

Lloyd, I'm so glad I found you!I've been wanting to see re-runs of The Lloyd Thaxton Show for years...Since it was done live does that mean there are no re-runs available?
I was a faithful watcher of your show from 1965 on. My high school class from Santa Ana Valley was on there in 1966 I believe.
I loved the sit down dancers, lip sinking and finger people! What a great show!
Please let me know where I can purchase a DVD of your show. I would love to see it.

Julie

11:51 AM
Anonymous said...

I can't believe that I found you, I have missed you so much. You were such a big part of my teenage life, and for you to just not be there anymore, was really sad. I loved when you would have the kids lip sync, and of course, your lip syncing as well. What great memories. I'd buy a dvd in a heart beat!!

6:46 PM
Anonymous zackzelmo said...

Hi Lloyd,
I was 10 in 1965. I loved your show. The finger puppets were great (we all tried to get the coordination but somehow couldn't quite do it) However the BEST bit that we used to laugh at was your beat up trumpet. Thanks fro so many wonderful memories of growing up. Yes I would buy the DVD!!!!!!!!!!

2:28 AM
Anonymous The King said...

I was born in 1947 and grew up in So Cal. I watched your show regularly and had some high school friends who appeared on the show once. I hope you put out the DVD...it would be a great gift for one 'boomer to give to another. And I have a saying for you. One I use alot. "The older I get, the more I need to be around people who remember me when I was young". And I just downloaded the 'Go Go's' song 'Bikini Beach' which, of course, pays homage to The LT Show. ROCK ON!

John

10:47 PM
Anonymous The King said...

Oops...that's 'Beatnik Beach'...sorry for the wrong info.

John

10:49 PM
Anonymous said...

Dear Lloyd: I watched your show on a New Bedford and a Boston Station. I got to see yesterdays show again. I thought you & the format were low-budget sensational. I looked forward to watching every day after school. I was 15 in '64. As far as wanting to see reruns. I would definately. If I could not get them thru Netflix, I would buy them. Oh hell, I'd buy them if you released them.
Jim, Austin, Texas

6:32 PM
Anonymous JUDYCATS said...

DEAR LLOYD
I WAS ON THE SHOW EVERY WEEK FOR A LONG TIME. WE WERE FROM MARK KEPPEL HIGH SCHOOL. I REMEMBER LIP SYNCING ON A LADDER TO THE KINGSTON TRIO. I WOULD LOVE TO BUY YOUR DVD FOR MY FAMILY. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
JUDY

2:10 PM
Anonymous Larry said...

Hi lloyd
I talk about your show anytime someone brings up music videos.
I loved it --- my favorite was when you had the cardboard cutout of a car for the song "Last Exit to Brooklyn" by Gene pitney. I too would buy a copy!
We miss you!!!!

6:56 PM
Anonymous Edgar F. said...

Hey LLoyd:
Oh I'd love to buy your DVD's. It brings me back great memories of my childhood. Boy did I have fun.
I was in my early teens in those days, I come from a numerous latino family out in Pasadena,CA I had to sneak out
to a neighbor's house in order to watch your show since no one was interested in my family. We barely
spoke English then!
Please le met know when I can purchase your DVD's.
Edgar

3:43 PM
Anonymous Arnold Faber said...

You were a huge part of us in Toronto Canada in those days. I went on to become a pro musician and your show was a big influence. I loved the way you lip-synced Roger Miller's "Trailers For Sale Or Rent"(amongst many others). You exposed us to so much great music!

Why don't you give us a few utube gems to test the waters for DVD interest.

Keep well, all the best!

5:12 AM
Anonymous said...

We miss you Lloyd, I grew laughing at your antics as I was a funny kid that was became a comedy actor and then evolved into becoming a highly sought after comedy Casting Director (department head). In High School the kids said I looked like you which would prompt me doing you. Thanks for the laughs and what you taught us, we remember....stay well.

Mike Hanks
W. Los Angeles

1:58 PM
Anonymous Pete said...

Lloyd, you have to release that DVD! There are thousands of fans who would love to see your show again. I believe in NYC You and Clay Cole had the top two teen shows! Thanks

6:11 PM
Anonymous lordueno37 said...

Hi Lloyd,

I was on your show approximately 5 times during the 60's. One of the things that stands out in my mind was having Donovan sing live. He did Universal Soldier and Catch the Wind. Bo Diddly was on the same show. It was the "Gidget Era"
and So Cal was the place to be. I went to reunion show a few years ago and it sure brought back great memories. Please get that DVD out. It would be super popular. I'd buy a box set. Wayne from Taft High

11:00 AM
OpenID aikenjf said...

Dear Lloyd,

Like another writer in this queue, I too, was wondering what happened to you. Thank God for Google.
What a great story about the brass. So true.
I grew up in Philly, and KYW, then a Westinghouse station, aired your show at 5p every day. As a kid whose sister used to dance on American Bandstand when it was a local show, I can appreciate the story you told about Jimmy Dean.
My brothers and i used to watch your show and really enjoyed the lip-synchs, and I recall you were a big hit in our High School.
No offense to the folks from SOCAL, but Bandstand went downhill when it left Philly, for the same reasons you outlined about your own show. Your show became a replacement for Bandstand for us a a lot of our friends.
I think these comment should tell you -- there's a market for you on DVD. Thanks for the memories and all the laughs/
Jonathan

9:14 AM
Blogger jamingram said...

Hi Lloyd -
Thank you for this web site!!! Your show was a "trail blazer". I would love it if you had DVD's available. I danced on your show many times. A group of us from Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra used to go frequently. My grandkids would love to see the good ol' days. Please make them available. Forever grateful for those days.
Luv to you,
Betty

Stay tuned

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MY VISIT TO FLORENCE

I keep moving this up on my list. Why? Ain't it obvious? Florence was a real (reel?) trip.

video
If you haven't seen this, click on the arrow and enjoy.
If you have seen it, just scroll down ... and ...

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 15, 2008

THE YouTube GENERATION GAP (UP-DATE)

Tuesday, February 19th, I lectured before the “Music, Television and American Culture” class at the University of Southern California (USC). It was my third appearance in an equal amount of years and, as before, it was a great experience. I learned how wonderful students can be when I did my show in the 60s. This talk was no different, enforcing my theory that if you give respect, you get respect back. These students were awesome (to borrow their own phrase).


The class is taught by Jon Burlingame, the nation’s leading writer on the subject of music for films and television. Jon writes regularly for The New York Times and Daily Variety and has written several best selling books on the subject. He is also the owner of 5 Lloyd Thaxton Dawks. What a guy.

My lecture was “Making Recorded Music Visual For Television.” One thing that fascinates me about this class is that the average age is 21 years, which means that the oldest student in the class was born 20 YEARS AFTER my show went off the air. They had no idea who I was (unless their parents mentioned me) and it was great fun trying to win them over. My favorite comment from a student after my first talk was, “I hope when I graduate I will get a job as fun as yours.” There is a comment below, left by a student who was at the lecture, that made my day. The reason why, just like the Energizer bunny, I keep going and going.

This is the Internet generation we’re talking about (and talking to) here. The same kids who kick-started YouTube’s success with their amateurish lip-syncing to records. Not unlike the amateurish lip-syncing I started out with on my show. The difference is these YouTube performances were viewed by more people than any of my attempts on my first show. However, lucky for me, videotape was invented (Al Gore?), national syndication followed and television career opportunities, including mine, grew to enormous proportions.

And, lucky for these students, the Internet is going to do the same thing for them, opening up an exciting future for all in the communication arts. I loved being able to discuss these future possibilities with these young show business entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Actually, when you come to think about it, there is no generation gap here at all.


SORRY THAT THIS WON'T PLAY.
IT'S JUST A MOCK-UP FOR THINGS TO COME

But ...

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 08, 2008

ELVIS IS ALIVE ... ALIVE!


In my last posting, I delved into the "Where were you when..." subject; people remembering exactly where they were when a momentous event happened in their lives. The subject of the posting was the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. If you missed it, scroll down and read it before you tackle this one. There is a tie-in.

A few days ago I got an invitation from a long-time friend, television producer and director, Steve Binder. When I was doing The Lloyd Thaxton Show back in the 60s, Steve was directing The Soupy Sales Show. My show was on from 5 to 6 in the afternoon and Soupy's show was on from 5:30 to 6. Needless to say, we were both fighting for the same audience and when Soupy came on at 5:30, he cut into my ratings.

I came up with a way of fighting back. I would schedule my biggest name guest artists at 5:25 and carry the segment through to 5:35. I figured that once I lured my audience past the opening of Soupy's show, they would stay with my show. Sneaky? Well, it worked.

It was a friendly rivalry and Steve and I would meet now and then at a local watering hole and discuss our day to day careers. It is amazing to me that those conversations all took place over 40 years ago.

What has this to do with Elvis? The invitation I got from Steve was to attend the 40th Anniversary showing of The Elvis '68 Comeback Special on March 14th, which Steve had produced and directed for NBC Television.

As soon as I read the invitation my mind immediately flashed back to 1956. At the time I hosted a TV show at WSPD-TV in Toledo, Ohio, Leave It To Lloyd. Elvis was scheduled to do a concert at the city's Sports Arena. It was THE momentous event for our city.

Where exactly was I on that date? I was on stage introducing ELVIS PRESLEY. Can you ever forget something like that?

"Lloyd, what was it like to be chosen the one to introduce the King?" Glad you asked that question, because I have been waiting 52 years to tell you.

The first thing that happened was meeting Elvis back stage just before he was to go on.


The air was filled with electricity. The arena had put up ten foot high partitions around the back stage area to keep the crowds away. While speaking to Elvis, I couldn't help but notice the security guards using their batons to swat the fingers of teen-age girls as they tried to climb over the partitions. You could hear the crowd growing restless in their seats. It was really bazaar; like the sound the wind makes before an approaching tornado. Elvis seem completely oblivious to the situation. He was in his element.

When the time finally arrived, I walked up the stairs and on to the stage. As soon as my head popped into view ....

PANDEMONIUM!

The crowd went crazy. I had never heard screams so loud. Over 10,000 girls were screaming at the top of their lungs. It didn't take long for me to figure it out. They did this to EVERYONE who walked out on that stage. They thought (hoped) that it was ELVIS.

I stood there soaking it all in and then made my brilliant introduction that absolutely no one ever heard. Elvis jumped out on stage, started his act and the screaming continued for the entire two hour show. No fireworks, no dancers, no costume changes, just Elvis and his band. It was absolutely unbelievable.

My two young sons, Lee and Robin, were sitting in the audience and told me later how much they HATED it. For two hours they couldn't hear anything but screaming girls (and you know how much young boys love screaming girls). "The screaming youngsters frequently bordered on hysteria," a Blade reporter wrote in the next day's paper.

But to a girl, the 10,000 screamers (even the ones with sore fingers), it was the most exciting event of their young lives. And, Toledo had made it to the big time. As for me , I not only remember the exact date, I remember exactly where I was standing; next to the KING.

It was November 22, 1956, exactly seven years, to the day, before that other "where were you" date, November 22, 1963.

Stay tuned.