Johnny Carson on Snare Drum

K.O.

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Doing a bit of research it appears that the tapes of the 60s shows were being wiped and re-used all along as the show was being produced but Carson himself was unaware of that practice. In the early 70s he asked for certain clips to show on an anniversary show and was told they no longer existed. Carson was livid about that and demanded that, going forward, every show be saved and properly archived.

What does survive comes from various sources including kinescopes provided to the Armed Forces Network for use on that network, although even these were typically destroyed after they had served their purpose. There were also audio edits of the shows that the AFN broadcast as radio shows. These existed as LP records and a fair number did survive although each 90 minute show is edited down to 30 minutes to fit on one side of a record. Certain video clips were saved for specific reasons but most of the shows do not exist in any format. So sad to think about all the great music, comedy, and socially important history that was lost due to shortsightedness.
 

retrosonic

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Yes, the way I understand it, NBC erased most of the early Tonight Show 2 inch Quad Videos and no one informed the Carson team what they were doing, because legally NBC owned the show and could do what they wanted. Carson was supposedly livid when he was told 8 years of his shows were just gone. Cant blame him, either.
He was likely thinking of buying the rights as part of one of his contracts.
 

el_37

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There was no “do what they wanted” it was standard practice to reuse videotape back then.

The networks were spending as much as $4000 per half hour in 1950’s dollars on kinescope production. They were using more film stock than all the Hollywood studios combined.

They had armies of people involved in shooting and processing the kinescopes and most of them were thrown out afterwards. No value existed yet for the material, and very few people had the foresight to see the value.

Ampex debuts 2” quad around 1956 and the draw for the networks is now you can record a 1/2 hour of footage for a 1956 cost of about $150 per reel and you can reuse it at least ten times. It doesn’t require processing and you have now eliminated that army of people needed for kinescope production. En masse they switched.

Nobody except Dumont (which was pretty much dead by 1956) was archiving their kinescopes. So why would anyone start archiving videotape?

WORLDWIDE this happened. Nobody with any real power saw archiving everyday TV material as worthwhile until the 1970’s.

They can say whatever they want to now but I find it highly unlikely anyone involved in TV broadcasting in the 40’s until the 70’s being ignorant to videotape wiping- it was the status quo. Anything important or meant to be repeatably broadcast- was shot on film.
 

Morello Man

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Pete Fountain with his rug and Jack Sperling without his. That, in itself, is unusual as well as vibist Godfrey Hirsch playing drums. The concept isn’t as Fountain put out a record that included several drummers playing at the same time - Sperling, Nick Fatool and others.
 

kdgrissom

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I once got a chance to work with Bobby Rosengarten in the 90's a few times. He said he was the regular drummer in the Tonight Show Orchestra under Skitch Henderson in New York. He said that one show paid for his house in Long Island. Perhaps he couldn't join in up front on the Pete Fountain gig because he was a Slingerland endorsee.
 

mc437

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I'm a relatively young buck (in my early 40s), and while I enjoyed watching this, I have a question: were all of the bands on shows like this so...white? Seriously, not a person of color in sight. 1964--maybe this reflected the racial struggles and difficulty in integrating back then?
 

hardbat

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I'm a relatively young buck (in my early 40s), and while I enjoyed watching this, I have a question: were all of the bands on shows like this so...white? Seriously, not a person of color in sight. 1964--maybe this reflected the racial struggles and difficulty in integrating back then?
It's amazing to me (and was to me then as well) that the big bands were all so segregated. Even up into the 1970s, Basie and Duke's bands were almost entirely black, while Kenton, Woody, and Buddy's bands were almost entirely white. Of course there were exceptions... Basie had Butch Miles and Lin Biviano, Duke had Louis Bellson, Kenton had Kevin Jordan, heck even Lawrence Welk had a black drummer for six years (Paul Humphrey). But it's pretty obvious that the big bands weren't exactly the rainbow connection.
 
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mc437

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It's amazing to me (and was to me then as well) that the big bands were all so segregated. Even up into the 1970s, Basie and Duke's bands were almost entirely black, while Kenton, Woody, and Buddy's bands were almost entirely white. Of course there were exceptions... Basie had Butch Miles and Lin Biviano, Duke had Louis Bellson, Kenton had Kevin Jordan, heck even Lawrence Welk had a black drummer for six years (Paul Humphrey). But it's pretty obvious that the big bands weren't exactly the rainbow connection.
Kudos to Benny Goodman for fronting the first integrated jazz bands.
 

mc437

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First integrated jazz recordings were 15 years earlier: 1923, JRM w/NORK.
Just curious: did they perform publicly or were they just recordings? I obviously don't know that much jazz history, so appreciate your knowledge.
 

studrum

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Those cats were tearin' it up! Rogers City, too, Jack!
 


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