Johnny Carson on Snare Drum

K.O.

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Just stumbled onto this clip on youtube...very cool!


Johnny playing along with Pete Fountain, Jack Sperling on drum set and Bobby Rosengarden on the other snare. Nice new Rogers drums.

So rare to see anything from this era of the Tonight Show. In the early 70's some Brainiac at NBC decided to trash all the warehoused tapes of the earlier Tonight Shows so very little survives. Such a shame, imagine all the musical performances that disappeared. I wonder how many times Buddy was on during that period of time? or Gene Krupa? Etc. Etc.
 

latzanimal

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I ask Ed Shaughnessy the last time he was at the Chicago show, if and when, NBC would put out a greatest musical performances DVD like the interview DVDs. He replied that it will never happen because of the copyrights associated with each song. He also told of a $10,000 cost for 8 bars of a song, because that is what the copyright holder charged. They (NBC) then started vetting the songs and cost before performances...
 

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Johnny's snare looks like a wooden Rogers Dynasonic with B & B lugs. See the close up at 4:02.
 

cwdrums

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Did I see three extras holes in Johnny's snare? Classic stuff KO thx for posting.
Coy
 

idrum4fun

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Did I see three extras holes in Johnny's snare? Classic stuff KO thx for posting.
Coy
Yes, you did see three extra holes...from the removal of the muffler! This is a really priceless video! I grew up with watching The Tonight Show and all the great musical performers over the decades. Always caught Pete Fountain and all the greats...including Buddy! While I knew that Johnny played drums, you hardly ever got to see his chops in action. I really enjoyed the angle of this video, showing Johnny's sticking. Fantastic! And, really liked seeing Tommy Newsom in this video! Thanks for posting this!

-Mark
 

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Great clip...I love stuff like this, thanks!

I was at most a year old so I don't remember seeing it live, but who knows? Lol

Those three holes on Johnny's Dyna look like tone control holes. At least that's the pattern and position of the tone control on my Powertone.

Also, wasn't that Tommy Newsom on sax behind Pete Fountain?
 

Mongrel

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Yes, you did see three extra holes...from the removal of the muffler! This is a really priceless video! I grew up with watching The Tonight Show and all the great musical performers over the decades. Always caught Pete Fountain and all the greats...including Buddy! While I knew that Johnny played drums, you hardly ever got to see his chops in action. I really enjoyed the angle of this video, showing Johnny's sticking. Fantastic! And, really liked seeing Tommy Newsom in this video! Thanks for posting this!

-Mark
What a trip....

Great minds think....type alike?
 

K.O.

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Yes that's Tommy Newsom back behind Johnny, looking much the same as he did on the show in 1964 as he did in 1974, 1984, and 1993.

So sad to think what was lost when those tapes were disposed of . The show ran 90 minutes back then. Figure 4-5 guests, musical performances and the political and social commentary in the monologues it was a priceless cultural artifact of America in the 1960s....all gone. What survives are segments that were copied and kept apart from the actual full show tapes for whatever reason.

I was faintly aware of the Tonight show during the late 60s. As a little kid it was on well past my bedtime but occasional I'd see a bit of it when something kept me up late enough...not that it really interested me all that much. By the time I was in Junior high in the early 1970's I was staying up late enough to watch the monologues on most nights and by High School I'd watch the whole show if someone like Buddy were on it. In the summer I'd watch the whole show every night as well as the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder. Later I was a huge fan of Late Night with David Letterman and continued to watch Carson as well. I didn't care much about the Jay Leno tonight show though and now, even though I generally stay up until late, I don't much care about any of the current late night talk shows.

Man though, I could really see myself devoting hour upon hour watching episodes of those 60s Tonight shows if they were on Hulu or Netflix. Not only was so much cultural history lost but NBC missed out on a huge potential gold mine of clips and content.
 

Radio King

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Yes that's Tommy Newsom back behind Johnny, looking much the same as he did on the show in 1964 as he did in 1974, 1984, and 1993.

So sad to think what was lost when those tapes were disposed of . The show ran 90 minutes back then. Figure 4-5 guests, musical performances and the political and social commentary in the monologues it was a priceless cultural artifact of America in the 1960s....all gone. What survives are segments that were copied and kept apart from the actual full show tapes for whatever reason.

I was faintly aware of the Tonight show during the late 60s. As a little kid it was on well past my bedtime but occasional I'd see a bit of it when something kept me up late enough...not that it really interested me all that much. By the time I was in Junior high in the early 1970's I was staying up late enough to watch the monologues on most nights and by High School I'd watch the whole show if someone like Buddy were on it. In the summer I'd watch the whole show every night as well as the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder. Later I was a huge fan of Late Night with David Letterman and continued to watch Carson as well. I didn't care much about the Jay Leno tonight show though and now, even though I generally stay up until late, I don't much care about any of the current late night talk shows.

Man though, I could really see myself devoting hour upon hour watching episodes of those 60s Tonight shows if they were on Hulu or Netflix. Not only was so much cultural history lost but NBC missed out on a huge potential gold mine of clips and content.
It's my understanding that NBC (and ABC and CBS) didn't just dispose of the 2" video tapes. They re-recorded over them in an effort to save money, as video tape equipment in the '60s was a new and expensive investment. The beauty was that they could erase and reuse a number of times before quality deteriorated. I can see why it might've made economic sense at the time, but sadly, a whole lot of "disposable" stuff (like talk shows) ended up erased over and lost forever. Same with the '50s: cheaply produced stuff was shot live on a stage - one and done - and in order to show it on the west coat, they would make kinescopes of the live broadcast, which is nothing more than aiming a TV camera at a studio monitor and filming what was going over the airwaves. That's why a lot of the old '50s stuff that survived looks so poor today.
 

K.O.

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Yes, I'm not sure if NBC wiped the tapes for reuse or dumpster-ed them to save on storage costs. The way Johnny told it on one or more of his anniversary shows made it sound like all the shows had still existed on tape at one point and then some suit at NBC decided that they were too costly to store and got rid of them (or maybe had them bulk erased for re-use, would old B&W video tape work for color? I suppose so, it's just magnetic tape) . This was in the mid 1970s and Johnny was explaining why there were so few clips available from the New York era of the show. You could see that he was definitely pissed about it. Many of the older clips that do exist were ones that were culled to use on earlier anniversary shows and so those same few early clips came to be shown year after year. It was around this time that the shows were produced by Carson Productions rather than directly by NBC and all those shows do survive.

YouTube seems to be bringing a lot of heretofore unseen early Tonight show clips out into the public eye and one wonders where they are coming from. No home video taping back then and they all seem to be of higher quality than the earlier 50's style kinescopes you get when filming a broadcast directly off a CRT monitor. I guess we should just be thankful for whatever has survived.
 

el_37

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Yes, I'm not sure if NBC wiped the tapes for reuse or dumpster-ed them to save on storage costs. The way Johnny told it on one or more of his anniversary shows made it sound like all the shows had still existed on tape at one point and then some suit at NBC decided that they were too costly to store and got rid of them (or maybe had them bulk erased for re-use, would old B&W video tape work for color? I suppose so, it's just magnetic tape) . This was in the mid 1970s and Johnny was explaining why there were so few clips available from the New York era of the show. You could see that he was definitely pissed about it. Many of the older clips that do exist were ones that were culled to use on earlier anniversary shows and so those same few early clips came to be shown year after year. It was around this time that the shows were produced by Carson Productions rather than directly by NBC and all those shows do survive.

YouTube seems to be bringing a lot of heretofore unseen early Tonight show clips out into the public eye and one wonders where they are coming from. No home video taping back then and they all seem to be of higher quality than the earlier 50's style kinescopes you get when filming a broadcast directly off a CRT monitor. I guess we should just be thankful for whatever has survived.

It was a different time back then. 2" Videotape was sold to the networks on the fact that it could be reused- it was standard procedure to re-record over it. Nobody thought to archive what was considered "junk entertainment programming" that had no outlet other than "live" television (or radio before that). Almost all of the Tonight Show broadcasts from 1959 to around 1973 were recorded over. Some stuff exists, but most of it is gone.

There was no home playback, cable tv, streaming back then- in short no other outlet for this material so nobody at the time even thought to save it.

What survives is from AFN films or Kinescopes for time delayed broadcasts that weren't destroyed. By the early 1970's efforts were well underway to archive broadcasts. But even in the 1970's stuff was still being tossed- especially when the format went from 2" to 1" tape- anything not deemed "worthy" by the standards of the day was tossed in the dumpster since the format was huge and obsolete.

The story you seem to have sounds like the fate of the Dumont Network archive- they were the only network with the foresight to archive their programming (on Kinescope). The story is the thousands of reels were dumped into the East River in NYC in the early 1970's. What survives was in private hands already or sitting in the backrooms of affiliates and was never thrown out.
 

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It was a different time back then. 2" Videotape was sold to the networks on the fact that it could be reused- it was standard procedure to re-record over it. Nobody thought to archive what was considered "junk entertainment programming" that had no outlet other than "live" television (or radio before that). Almost all of the Tonight Show broadcasts from 1959 to around 1973 were recorded over. Some stuff exists, but most of it is gone.

There was no home playback, cable tv, streaming back then- in short no other outlet for this material so nobody at the time even thought to save it.

What survives is from AFN films or Kinescopes for time delayed broadcasts that weren't destroyed. By the early 1970's efforts were well underway to archive broadcasts. But even in the 1970's stuff was still being tossed- especially when the format went from 2" to 1" tape- anything not deemed "worthy" by the standards of the day was tossed in the dumpster since the format was huge and obsolete.
Yes, all of is what I know to be true about early TV broadcasts as well. Thanks for providing the clarification.
 

Radio King

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Just stumbled onto this clip on youtube...very cool!

Johnny playing along with Pete Fountain, Jack Sperling on drum set and Bobby Rosengarden on the other snare. Nice new Rogers drums.
Great find, K.O. I finally got a minute to look at it, and I believe the person on the other snare is actually Godfrey Hirsch, who was a member of Pete Fountain's band at the time. Bobby Rosengarden was indeed playing as well, though mostly unseen (he was up on the bandstand). I suspect that's who Johnny kept turning around and grinning at.

closer_pics_24.jpg

Jack Sperling (the one on double bass) was also under contract with the NBC Orchestra. His drumming lives on in TV syndication: he was the drummer for both the Peter Gunn theme as well as Hogan's Heroes, among others. A lotta talent in that video!
 

K.O.

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Great find, K.O. I finally got a minute to look at it, and I believe the person on the other snare is actually Godfrey Hirsch, who was a member of Pete Fountain's band at the time. Bobby Rosengarden was indeed playing as well, though mostly unseen (he was up on the bandstand). I suspect that's who Johnny kept turning around and grinning at.

View attachment 422033
Jack Sperling (the one on double bass) was also under contract with the NBC Orchestra. His drumming lives on in TV syndication: he was the drummer for both the Peter Gunn theme as well as Hogan's Heroes, among others. A lotta talent in that video!
I wondered about that, the video description said Bobby Rosengarden so I repeated that but I remembered that he was one of the guys who would sub for Ed in the 70s and I didn't remember him looking quite like that, but it has been a loooong time, now it makes sense.

I have Sperling's "Fascinating Rhythm" record album which is ,IMO, one of the best drum records ever done.
 

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I find myself a bit jealous of that generation. Musicians back then could simply play to express a happy mood and the audience would come right along for the ride. There could be an element of "delight" in what they played. Now, much of it must be musically politically correct.
 
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gkrk

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I wondered about that, the video description said Bobby Rosengarden so I repeated that but I remembered that he was one of the guys who would sub for Ed in the 70s and I didn't remember him looking quite like that, but it has been a loooong time, now it makes sense.

I have Sperling's "Fascinating Rhythm" record album which is ,IMO, one of the best drum records ever done.
Bobby Rosengarden eventually led the band for The Dick Cavett Show.
 

Fullerton 9/72

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There is only one daily show from that era, that ran from from June, 1967 to April ,1971, that I watched religiously as a small child, where all but one of its 1225 episodes survives on tape - the soap opera Dark Shadows! The missing episode, however, was audio taped by a fan, and using that, and stills from other episodes, they were able to reconstruct it! They are all available on DVD.
 

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I find myself a bit jealous of that generation. Musicians back then could simply play to express a happy mood and the audience would come right along for the ride.
That was also back when drummers were perceived to be important contributors to the band, if not the big deal in a band. Kit drumming, sadly, is a dying art.
 

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