Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Friday, July 06, 2007


******EDITED BLOG******

All you Mouse Cliquers did well on my CELEBRITY IDENTIFICATION test. However, as expected, no one identified all eleven. I'm going to identify them under each picture. Please do not forget these talented people again. If you do choose to forget them, it will make me a little queezy about my own survival.

If you can't wait to find out, scroll down FAST.

This is me, Lloyd

When I was a kid my mother warned me that if I kept crossing my eyes, they would someday stick like that. I didn't believe her. I kept testing her theory. Much to my mother's relief, my eyes did not stick. However, they did get me my own TV show.

It has always been my way to not completely trust the claims of others. When I was producing "Fight Back! with David Horowitz" on NBC, we were always putting commercial claims to the test. These tests and the results were mainly the reason for the shows success. Unless you are a high school student, people love tests.

That brings me to the test I was conducting in my last Blog. I wanted to see if I just MENTIONED the name of Paris Hilton, how many people would automatically find my blog by just googling her name. I did this even though I was advised it was a stupid test. They were right. I didn't get one result.

Paris Hilton has 75,000,000 mentions on Google. Combined with the fact that Paris is also one of the most beautiful and famous cities in the world, and Hilton is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, AND one of their hotels is called THE PARIS HILTON, it is easy to see why my test got lost in this crowded mass. It would be an interesting test to find out if any of her fans ever made it a goal to stay at the Paris Hilton.


Are you ready for another test?


The Lloyd Thaxton Record Shop ran five days a week (sometimes seven) for three years on KCOP in Los Angeles. It was the forerunner to The Lloyd Thaxton Show and we did close to a thousand one hour programs. They were all live, never taped and are lost forever. That is except for eleven photos I found in a trunk in my garage (I have no idea who took these picture or why more were not taken).

I would like to share them with you to see how many of these celebrities you are able to recognize . At the time, the late 50s and early 60s, they represented some very influential people in music and entertainment. THIS IS A TEST!

I'm going to display the pictures to find out how many you can identify. Some are quite easy. Others are not. Have fun.

A legend. A great satirist of popular music. A writer/producer of off-the-wall commercials. A famous cartoon voice. My favorite recording of his: “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”

Married to actor Charles Laughton. Made many movies but is best remembered for her role as the monster's wife in Bride of Frankenstein (1935). She was a great guest. Told all kinds of funny intimate stories about Charles Laughton.

#1 jazz pianist in the 50s. Wrote the song "Misty" (lyrics added by Johnny Burke). Misty was a pop hit for five different artists between 1959 and 1975. In 1971 Garner re-recorded "Misty" for the Clint Eastwood directorial debut, "Play Misty For Me." One of my all-time favorite guests. Besides being on The Record Shop, his live jazz performances wowed the kids on "The Lloyd Thaxton Show."

Maureen's first love was always singing. In 1960 she starred on Broadway in the musical "Christine" and released two successful recordings, Love Letters from Maureen O'Hara and Maureen O'Hara Sings her Favorite Irish Songs. Once named one of the world's most beautiful women, O'Hara's beautiful face and thick red hair blowing in the wind as she waves from a gate in the John Ford's Academy Award winning film "How Green Was My Valley" will remain one of the most iconic images ever preserved on film. I think I was in love with her.

In 1955 he recorded the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard magazine's popular music charts: "Autumn Leaves." While many other records of this song have been made since it was composed in 1945 by the composer Joseph Kosma, Roger Williams' version is easily the best known and most played. In 1966 he had another Top Ten hit with the song "Born Free" from the motion picture soundtrack of the same name. Also became a favorite guest on the LTS. He even gave me a practice piano keyboard so I could better learn to finger-sync his records.

Known for his suave manner, Barry starred on television in Our Miss Brooks, Bat Masterson, The Name of the Game, and Burke's Law (for which he won a golden globe). Take it from me, he did have a suave manner.

BILL DANA (on the left)
In the NBC sitcom The Bill Dana Show (1963-65), a spin-off of "The Danny Thomas Show," his José Jiménez character became a bumbling bellhop at a posh New York hotel. His snooty, irritable boss was played by Jonathan Harris. The cast also included Don Adams as a hopelessly inept house detective (an early incarnation of what was to become his "Maxwell Smart" character on Get Smart). Bill produced the ABC "Milton Berle Show" in the 60s and booked me as a guest.

BARNEY KESSEL (on the right)
GREAT JAZZ GUITARIST OF THE 50s and 60s and a famous studio musician who played on 100s of top recorded hits.

Star of 35 Films, 8 Hit records and married to Cyd Charisse (what a life). Tony is 95 years old today and still performing (That's because he's married to Cyd Charisse).

He is Jerry Lewis

Composed music for over 200 TV and feature films as diverse as True Grit, Walk on the Wild side, My Left Foot, Animal House and To Till A Mocking Bird. He was nominated 10 times for an Oscar and won for “Thoroughly Modern Millie." Another frequent guest. I loved movie score composers. Made for great behind the scene stories.

Composed the music for 100s of movies, like The High and the Mighty (1954), Giant (1956), Friendly Persuasion (1956), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Rio Bravo (1959), The Alamo (1960), The Guns of Navarone (1961), Town Without Pity (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), The War Wagon (1967), and many more. A real Hollywood character. I was fortunate to be one of his table guest when he won the Golden Globe for "The Guns of Navarone."

Hope you all enjoyed the test. I'll try to think up some more.

Stay tuned


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here goes...
1. Stan Freeberg
2. Elsa Lancaster
3. ???
4. Maureen Sullivan...mama mia!...I mean...Mia's mama
9. The comedic genius---Jerry Lewis.
How'd I do Professor Thaxton?
Brandon in L.A.

1:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brandon in LA:

You did great. You got three right. I won't say which as there are some who are still trying.


1:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to these boards so don't know if you got the chance to read my other posting...
Mr Thaxton....I am a 55-year old guy who remembers coming home from high school in the 60s and watching your TV show...IT WAS THE BEST!!
I absolutely loved it and it is some of my favorite memories from back all-time favorite was seeing The Supremes perform on your show!
Thanks for some great memories and I hope you stay well.
Brandon in L.A.

1:29 PM

1:50 PM

Blogger Gary said...

1. Stan Freberg
4. Maureen Sullivan (O'Brien?)
5. Roger Williams
6. Gene Barry
7. Robert and Richard Sherman
9. Jerry Lewis


2:06 PM

Blogger Mike Barer said...

For once I'm a little too young. I did catch Jerry Lewis.

2:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thaxton,

No. 3 is the jazz pianist Earl Gardner, most famous for his rendition of Misty.



12:00 AM

Blogger Jim Hilliker said...

Hi Lloyd! I was born in 1955, but I'll do the best I can and guess what I think may be correct, others I simply do not recognize.

1. Stan Freberg
2. Elsa Lanchester
3. Don't know
4. Maureen O'Hara ("How Green Was My Valley", "The Quiet Man", "The Parent Trap", etc.) Didn't know she sang on a record album!

5. Roger Williams (my other guesses woulda been Ray Coniff or Percy Faith, lol

6. Gene Barry
7. The man on the left looks to me like comedian and TV writer Bill Dana, the other man I don't know

8. No clue, don't know
9. Jerry Lewis
10. Don't know
11. Don't know

If they were all from TV, maybe I would've done better...But, thanks for the fun game!

Jim Hilliker
Monterey, CA

7:48 PM

Blogger William F. Earl said...

1. stan freberg
5. roger williams
6. gene barry
7. bill dana and don hinckley
9. jerry lewis

Bill Earl
(When Radio Was BOSS Vol 2 E-Book)

PS i'll buy your DVD as soon as it is available.

12:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking my test. Some good stuff here.

However, unlike horse shoes and hand grenades, close does not count.

Keep trying. I'll give you a few more days before I give out the list. You might be surprised.

So ...

Stay tuned.


2:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just to pick up the ones no one else got:

7. (Dana and) Kessel
8. Tony Martin
10. Elmer Bernstein
11. Dimitri Tiomkin

11:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lloyd Thaxron.. the Mr. Fight Back with that David guy dude... you have a blog?? And when in heaven's earth were you going to tell me??

Karen (Patterson) Oliver from KNBC and Fight back show...

PS: and How is Gil??

2:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have sworn that #11 looked like Pat Buttram.

9:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lloyd!

I have to chuckle---I didn't google in "Paris Hilton", but I did google in "Fight Back with David Horowitz", and here I am! Just wanted to tell you how much I loved that show as a kid, and I'd give anything to see it come back to air. Have you considered a DVD set of Fight Back? Also, why did the show go off the air?

Steve Bier

3:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wow! A Fight Back fan. Fight Back was a very good show. Although there is no plan to release a DVD. Too dated, I would think. The commercial challenges were quite clever and funny. Maybe we could put those on a DVD. I will have to check with David Horowitz.

Why did it go off the air? All shows go off the air sooner or later. Fortunately for Fight Back, it was later. It had a great run. 18 years. It was on long enough.


6:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to ask, Lloyd...having done Fight Back for as long as you did, what were some of your favorite commercial challenges?

10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Steve Bier (again?)

Timex (They take a lickin' and keep on Tickin") commercials were our favorites. We did so many that Timex would send us new commercials before they were released. We dropped them from airplanes, buried them in the sand at the beach, dropped wrecking balls on them, and Dr. Freon froze them. They always passed the test.

My all time favorite was having David stand within three feet of a speeding freight train to test the commercial that showed a bean stew so thick that a spoon would stand up regardless of any vibrations it would be subjected to.

This was scary. But, the stew passed the test.

9:24 AM

Blogger craig h said...

Lloyd: I arrived late to the blog, but the contest party was over. Pity, since (in all honesty) I would have recognized all but Kessel (he of pre-James Burton Ricky Nelson fame), Bernstein and Tiomkin, even though I have them all on record. So glad you're blogging, if only to see the cool photos of your LP laden TV set! Good luck on the DVD release!

7:56 AM

Blogger quick85 said...

Lloyd, it's good to run across you again (and better than running over you, I'd imagine). Going thru
your blogs was quite interesting,
and I'm glad you're not afraid to
speak your mind.

The other day I was going thru music I had taped as a kid from
radio and tv back in the mid to late '60's. One of those tunes was
from your show, done by a duo I have down as Mike & Lynn. They
were doing the old folk song
"Freight Train", and in typical
Lloyd Thaxton fashion you can be
heard in the background stomping
your foot and adding little comments. That was one of the great
things about "The Lloyd Thaxton
Show", you had fun, you had fun with your guests and it made it
fun for us. For some reason I think
that Mike and Lynn were part of
your production crew and you let
them come out and show what they could do. Is it possible that I'm
correct on that?

Take care.
Mitch in Joliet, Il.

1:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lloyd, myself and another supervisor at work (MTA Rail) were talking about you tonight. So, when I got home I began checking and great to see and read such a funny site and good memories. I very much appreciated the picture with Erroll Garner. I remember watching your show one day and you asked Erroll to watch you "play" the organ, lip synch style. He was roaring with laughter so I imagine you were in all the wrong keys. You never missed a beat though!

11:28 PM


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