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When TV Variety Was King

     The following list of Debut Variety Television Broadcasts, originally aired live or on videotape, are lost or unobtainable as video; however, the soundtrack survives in the peerless ARCHIVAL TV AUDIO collection containing 12,000 audio airchecks.

     These pristine quality soundtracks were recorded on 1/4" audiotape at the time of the original broadcast. The networks, local stations, archives and the public failed to preserve most of these programs. In many cases, their historic audio broadcast record survives only because a handful of dedicated individuals audiotape recorded their television set, preserved their collection and willed it not to be discarded.

     Most network and local stations threw out, erased or destroyed 70% of all television broadcasts which aired during the first three decades of television history. Some of the following programs survive but are inaccessible to the public. They can all be found in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc.

( * denotes a non-variety series)

October 9, 1959 The Bell Telephone Hour
August 7, 1975 Ben Vereen Comin At Ya
October 8, 1959 The Big Party
July 27, 1972 Bobby Darin Amusement Company
January 19, 1973 The Bobby Darin Show
September 15, 1968 The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show
January 23, 1973 The Brady Bunch Hour
October 9, 1956 *Break the $250,000 Bank
February 16, 1975 Cher
Februrary 28, 1978 Chuck Barris Rah Rah Show
July 5, 1970 Comedy Tonight (Robert Klein)
December 29, 1969 Dick Cavett Show
September 20, 1978 Dick Clark Live Wednesday
June 5, 1976 Dinah and Her Best Friends
May 1, 1968 Dom DeLuise Show
September 15, 1970 Don Knotts Show
August 25, 1976 Easy Does It
July 5, 1970 Evening at Pops (Arthur Fiedler)
January 21, 1970 Engelbert Humperdinck Show
July 11, 1958 *ESPN
June 23, 1968 The Summer Brothers Smothers Show
January 4, 1959 *GE College Bowl
January 29, 1969 The New Glen Campbell Show
June 19, 1965 Fanfare (Al Hirt)
June 20, 1968 Golddiggers
June 17, 1969 Golddiggers
June 25, 1970 Happy Days (Louis Nye variety show)
June 15, 1969 Hee Haw
September 15, 1968 Here Come the Stars
June 28, 1973 Helen Reddy Show
September 26, 1963 Here's Edie (Edie Adams)
July 31, 1974 Hudson Brothers Show
September 21, 1962 Jack Paar Program
September 29, 1962 Jackie Gleason American Scene Magazine
June 16, 1976 The Jacksons
September 21, 1963 The Jerry Lewis Show (ABC)
September 25, 1969 Jim Nabors Show
September 26, 1969 Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters
June 16, 1969 Jimmy Rodgers Show
July 30, 1975 Jim Stafford Show
October 1, 1962 *Joe Franklin Show
July 6, 1975 Joey and Dad
April 17, 1967 Joey Bishop Show (Late-night)
August 1, 1972 John Byner Comedy Hour
June 6, 1966 John Gary Show
June 22, 1966 John Gary Show
June 7, 1969 Johnny Cash Show
September 13, 1971 Johnny Mann's Stand Up and Be Counted
December 13, 1967 Jonathan Winters Show
September 29, 1963 Judy Garland Show
September 13, 1972 Julie Andrews Hour
June 25, 1963 Keefe Brasselle Show
June 16, 1976 Kelly Monteith Show
July 15, 1972 Ken Berry's Wow
April 18, 1964 *Kiner's Korner (Premiere program from Shea Stadium)
March 12, 1969 The King Family
January 19, 1972 Kopykats
October 8, 1958 Kraft Music Hall Starring Milton Berle
April 24, 1968 Kraft Music Hall: Eddie Arnold
July 3, 1968 Kraft Music Hall: Ed McMahon
June 12, 1968 Kraft Music Hall: John Davidson
September 10, 1962 *Leave it to the Girls
June 15, 1969 Liberace
June 25, 1963 The Lively Ones
June 11, 1974 The Mac Davis Show
March 20, 1958 Make Me Laugh
July 20, 1971 Make Your Own Kind of Music
August 10, 1975 Manhattan Transfer
June 15, 1977 Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Show
September 24, 1978 Mary
June 7, 1972 Melba Moore - Clifton Davis Show
August 18, 1969 Merv Griffin Show (CBS)
September 26, 1976 Music Hall America
September 22, 1969 Music Scene
September 13, 1973 NBC Follies
September 11, 1972 The New Bill Cosby Show
August 3, 1964 *The New Les Crane Show
July 24, 1964 On Parade
January 5, 1968 Operation Entertainment
January 23, 1971 Pearl Bailey Show
September 14, 1954 *Project 20: Three, Two, One, Zero...
September 14, 1970 Red Skelton Show (NBC)
February 2, 1976 Rich Little Show
September 13, 1977 Richard Pryor Show
September 12, 1966 Roger Miller Show
January 7, 1966 Sammy Davis Jr. Show
September 20, 1975 Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell
September 20, 1977 Sha Na Na
January 26, 1958 Sid Caesar Invites You
January 27, 1961 Sing Along with Mitch
June 25, 1962 Steve Allen Show (Syndicated)
September 13, 1965 Steve Lawrence Show
Feburary 7, 1969 This is Tom Jones
April 2, 1962 Tonight Show (Second Interregnum after Paar, before Carson)
October 1, 1962 Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
December 4, 1974 Tony Orlando & Dawn
September 30, 1962 Voice of Firestone (Return Premiere)
September 16, 1962 *WNDT Premiere of Channel 13 (NY) Public Broadcasting
August 2, 1974 Your Hit Parade (Return Premiere)


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(1946 - 1982)


"Preserving & disseminating important TV Audio
Air Checks, the video considered otherwise lost."
-Library of Congress

Vintage Television Audio Broadcasts
22,000 Titles - 20,000 Hours
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UNIQUE in the WORLD audio air check recordings by 20-year-old Phil Gries, archiving the first, second bulletins & initial NBC TV broadcast coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Not recorded by NBC or any other resource in the country.

  1. A&E TV SPECIAL - host Edwin Newman (11-22-1988) introduction - 25th Anniversary of JFK Assassination.
  2. NBC TV "Lost Don Pardo Bulletins" & Lost first 3:53 TV coverage (Phil Gries unique broadcast audio recording) unable to be video tape recorded or audio tape recorded by NBC.
  3. Phil Gries telephone interview with Don Pardo (5-14-1998).
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The Senior Moments Radio Broadcast show interviews Phil Gries about his Archival Television Audio archive and his restored documentary film, "Harlem School 1970"

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Joan Walsh, producer of the documentary "Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show", discusses Phil Gries' TV Audio contribution to the film. (3:51 min.)