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#5893a: TONIGHT! STARRING STEVE ALLEN
1954-12-09, WRCA, 54 min.
Steve Allen, Hoagy Carmichael, Steve Lawrence, Skitch Henderson, Johnny Mercer, Eydie Gorme, Rockefeller Center Choristers

           September 27, 1954 - January 25, 1957
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. 

This rare early December 9, 1954 TV Audio Air Check recorded only nine weeks after the debut of TONIGHT! STARRING STEVE ALLEN, profiles composer Johnny Mercer at his natural best. 

In this informal broadcast Steve Allen, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme give tribute to Johnny Mercer. Over 20 songs are sung written by Mercer including "Lazy Bones,"  co-written with Hoagy Carmichael, a;nd "I'm An Old Cow Hand."

Eydie Gorme sings "P.S. I Love You." Steve sings "Love is the Face in the Misty Light."

In a separate segment Steve Allen introduces. from Rockefeller Center in New York City, the melodic strains of the one hundred voice Rockefeller Center Choristers. It is the 16th year that they have sung Christmas music  beneath the Rockefeller Christmas tree which was erected today. 

Steve asks Mercer how he got started, and to state how he first met Hoagy Carmichael. 

With Skitch Henderson at the piano. Steve and Johnny sing "You Have To Accent The Positive." Steve Lawrence sings, "Angel Eyes."
Johnny Mercer sings "Watcher  Gonna Swing Tonight, " "Rain or Come Shine," "Old Black Magic," "You Must  Have Been a Beautiful Baby," and "One For My Baby." Eydie sings, "When the Angels Sing."

In a separate skit Steve Allen and Johnny Mercer play Interrogator and defendant...Mercer questioned as to what is the one necessary  integrity that a composer has to have to be a song writer...searching for imaginary lyrics reflecting LOVE through its lyrics. 

Back at the piano, Steve and Johnny sing "Too Marvelous For Words," "Pardon My Southern Accent," Skylark."  "Dream,"  "Fools Rush in," " Goody Goody," "Blues in the Night," with the NBC orchestra. 

Johnny Mercer sings himself off with lyrics thanking Steve Allen for the tribute and inviting him to be a guest on his show tonight. 

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 or topic.  
THE ONLY EXTANT BROADCAST RECORD IN THE COUNTRY.                                              
1 Results found for Rockefeller Center Choristers
Pages: [1]


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