This first collection of tapes relate to the early history of television
and as such they represent the oldest and most obscure entries in our
archives. Along with the 'Prehistoric Television' volumes which showcase
the oldest of the old, we also feature in this section special volumes
relating to the early productions of the ABC and DuMont networks, who
did not have the big stars and relatively wide distribution of CBS and
NBC, but they represent a wealth of imagination, persperation and in
some cases desperation as they went about filling endless hours with
minuscule budgets and a wing and a prayer!
DON McNEILL VOL. 1Here are some more rare kinescopes of Don McNeill and his 'Breakfast Club' gang, originating live from ABC-TV in Chicago. These rare kines have a slight skew from the transfer, but it does not in any way inhibit your viewing pleasure. This first volume has two hour DON McNEILL TV CLUB programs complete with commercials; Patricia Morrison guest stars on the 11/1/50 program, then the Hoosier comic Herb Shriner guests on the 12/20/50 hour.
DON McNEILL VOL. 2By the beginning of 1951, the DON NcNEILL TV CLUB has changed to a half-hour format and this volume has four of these rare ABC programs complete with commercials; 3/14/51 with guest Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, 3/28/51 with John Payne, 4/25/51 with Cornelia Otis Skinner and 5/20/51 with Fran Allison as 'Aunt Fanny.'
DuMONT VOL. 1THE JOHNS HOPKINS REVIEW (1952), CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS (1949), KAISER-FRASIER ADVENTURE IN MYSTERY with Ellery Queen (1950) AND THE MOREY AMSTERDAM SHOW (1950).
DuMONT VOL. 2THE ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE (1949) with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, KIDS AND COMPANY (1952) and TWENTY QUESTIONS (1952).
DuMONT VOL. 3TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET (1953), CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS (1950), HOLD THAT CAMERA with Kyle McDonnell and THE MOREY AMSTERDAM SHOW (1950).
DuMONT VOL. 440 YEARS OF FINE TUNING (1984) A two-hour retrospective on the 50th anniversary of WABD/WNEW with tons of great clips!
DUMONT VOL. 5Two hours of DuMont's big-time variety series CAVALCADE OF STARS starring Jerry Lester! (5/20/50) features the legendary Jackie Robinson, (6/3/50) John Garfield and Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney help Jerry Lester celebrate the Cavalcade's 1st anniversary!
DUMONT VOL. 6Here are two rare CAVALCADE OF STARS with young host Jackie Gleason and his singing guests Her Nibs Miss Georgia Gibbs and Jane Pickens!
DUMONT VOL. 7Arthur Murray taught me dancing in a hurry and if he can teach me, he can teach anyone! Here's three terrific 1950 DuMont episodes of THE ARTHUR MURRAY SHOW where Arthur and Kathryn dance and entertain with guests like the legendary comedienne Jean Carroll!
LOCAL BALTIMORE PROGRAMMING VOL. 1These two volumes are a compendium of everyday local programming from Baltimore stations from the 1950's and 60's. This volume is a collection of local newscasts, weather reports, local commercials and promos. This is the unglamorous side of the early days, the day after day drek the TV day was comprised of, just fascinating! A volume of early Childrens' programming is available in the Kids' TV section (KIDDIE HOSTS VOL. 1).
LOCAL BALTIMORE PROGRAMMING VOL. 2This volume features local shows from the early 50's, a panel show entitled FAMILY FUN, a game show SHADOW STUMPERS, a morning variety show THE BRENT GUNTS SHOW and other odds and ends!
LOCAL LOS ANGELES PROGRAMMINGHere's two live musical hours from the Golden Age of Los Angeles Television; HARRY OWENS and his ROYAL HAWAIIANS (1957 KNXT) with Harry, Haleoke, Hulas and the Hawaiian Guitar! ARTHUR MURRAY'S MEDAL BALL (1954 KTLA) Stan Chambers hosts this special, live from the Hollywood Palladium. The best dancers from Arthur Murray's Dance Studios all over the Southland compete for the honors of best fox-trot and etc!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 1OKAY MOTHER (1949 DuMONT) daytime fun with host Dennis James, SCHOOL HOUSE (1949 DuMONT) starring 'teacher' Kenny Delmar and Arnold Stang and Wally Cox among the students (the first minute is missing from this rare kinescope), QUIZ KIDS (1949 NBC) the TV version of the famous radio program starring Fran Allison and THE FAYE EMERSON SHOW (1951 ABC) a 15-minute chatfest with Faye!
PRESISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 2MIKE STOKEY'S PANTOMIME QUIZ (1949 KTLA), POPSICLE PARADE OF STARS (1950 CBS) with Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks, THE ALAN YOUNG SHOW (2/8/51 CBS), LET'S JOIN JOANIE (1950 CBS) a pilot for a series starring Joan Davis, WBAL NEWSREEL (1951) a great sales reel full of clips of the Baltimore station's programs and a cute music show from KNBH, Los Angeles REHEARSAL TIME.
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 3FIREBALL FUN-FOR-ALL (1949 NBC) starring Olsen and Johnson, THE BEN BLUE SHOW (1950 CBS), THE MOREY AMSTERDAM SHOW (1950 DuMONT) and THE FAYE EMERSON SHOW (1951 ABC).
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 4ARMCHAIR DETECTIVE (1949 KTLA), PUBLIC PROSECUTOR (1948 NBC) the first TV series filmed exclusively for television, THE ADVENTURES OF ELLERY QUEEN (1951 DuMONT) and two 15-minute episodes of the obscure and intriguing series, MEET THE VICTIM.
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 5First, two of those great 15-minute musical shows so common in the early days of TV! On THE JANE FROMAN SHOW (CBS) Jane take a musical tour of Bonnie Scotland, the MAKE MINE MUSIC (1949 CBS) with Tony Mottola and his band! Finally, THE BUICK CIRCUS HOUR (1950 NBC) starring Joe E. Brown and singer John Raitt!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 6Jack Carter headlines this early variety hour, live from Chicago, THE SATURDAY NIGHT REVUE (1950 NBC) with Jack's guest, Don Ameche! This show was the early lead-in for the legendary YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS. Next, Bob Hope stars in an early COLGATE COMEDY HOUR honoring AGVA (American Guild of Variety Artists) along with Marilyn Maxwell, Bob Crosby, Toni Arden, Frank Faylen, The Skylarks and many more!.
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 7Meet me tableside at THE STORK CLUB (1950 CBS) with host Sherman Billingsley and all his fabulously interesting guests! Then it's over to DAGMAR'S CANTEEN (1952) where the big-busted ingenue will bust a move with some of our boys in uniform! Finally let's call it a night at DON McNEILL'S TV CLUB(1950 ABC) where Don and the 'Breakfast Club' gang have a fiesta with 'The Cisco Kid''s Leo Carillo!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 8More treasures from the earliest days of TV; BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE (1950) TV's earliest late-night show starring Jerry Lester, bandleader Milton DeLugg and the buxom Dagmar! Dagmar returns to entertain our servicemen at DAGMAR'S CANTEEN (1951) and finally DOWN YOU GO (1955 CBS) one of the wittiest of the early panel shows!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 9Here's two more early kinescopes from the dawn of television! THE FRED WARING SHOW (10/8/49 CBS) stars Fred and the Pennsylvanians in a musical hour. A warning though, this program contains an extended minstrel show segment that should have been considered grotesque even in 1949! WESTINGHOUSE STUDIO ONE presents 'TWO SHARP KNIVES', a tense live drama starring Stanley Bridges and Wayne Gibson.
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 10THE DOODLES WEAVER SHOW (1951 NBC) a loose and funny summer show with Doodles and his comedy cohorts, THE HANK MC CUNE SHOW (1950) an early ad primitive syndicated filmed sitcom with jug-eared comic McCune and the great Hadley Stafford, 'HEY MULLIGAN' (1954 NBC) starring Mickey Rooney as a page at NBC's Sunset & Vine studios and a rare episode of THIS IS SHOW BUSINESS (CBS) with host Clifton Fadiman and his panel of show-biz vets George S. Kaufman, Sam Levenson and Betty Furness!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 11THE ED WYNN SHOW (9/9/49 CBS) The Perfect Fool meets Carmen Miranda! LUM AND ABNER (1949 CBS) A pilot for a tele-version of the long-running radio classic with Lum & Abner and featuring Andy Devine and the divine Zasu Pitts! TED MACK AND THE ORIGINAL AMATEUR HOUR (1952 NBC) An hour of not quite professional fun featuring Ted, announcer Dennis James and the famous Old Gold Cigarettes dancing cigarette pack!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 12Another volume of rarities from the early days of television! Here's a generous and rare excerpt from the 1951 DuMont variety show STAR TIME, then Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy star in the live CBS comedy STAR OF THE FAMILY, two live 15 minute musical shows from NBC, THE TONY MARTIN SHOW (8/23/54 & 11/8/54) and finally from ABC the 1951 THE DAGMAR STORY, a bizarre biographical TV show on the origins of the famed blond bombshell of early TV!
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 13Jerome Cowan stars in NOT FOR PUBLICATION (1951), a rare DuMont newspaper series that includes a rare WABD station ID where you actually see someone wipe the monitor screen while the show is being kinescoped! Then two live episodes of the NASH AIRFLYTE THEATER , 'A Kiss for Mr. Lincoln' (2/22/51 CBS) with Richard Greene and Grace Kelly and 'The Professor's Punch' (3/15/51 CBS) with John Beal. Quality of these rare programs is just fair.
PREHISTORIC TELEVISION VOL. 14The latest volume of KineVideo's signature series featuring the rarest and earliest programs available. NBC NEWS ROOM(3/49) Live from Chicago, Clifton Utley reports the news; Italian Communists riot, Truman gives his views of Congress, the Pullman porters are set to strike and more! THE CHICAGO ACADEMY SHOWThe first local Chicago Emmy presentation show from the mid-50's hosted by Ed Sullivan with Jack Benny, Dave Garroway, Mike Douglas, Mayor Richard J. Daley and more! NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH(11/56) The original CBS unaired pilot for the long-lived panel show TO TELL THE TRUTH, hosted by Mike Wallace (!) with panelists Polly Bergen, John Cameron Swayze and Dick Van Dyke! THE BETTY WHITE SHOW(11/29/54) after Betty made her bones by slaving in the live daytime television vineyards at KLAC (KCOP) in Los Angeles and starring in the seminal filmed sitcom Life with Elizabeth, Betty landed this short-lived daily daytime strip program, live from Burbank on NBC! Join Betty with music by Frank DeVol and her guest, Rin-Tin-Tin!
RARE ABC VOL. 1Here's an ABC program aired before ABC even had a television station on the air! The DuMont network broadcast ABC's BREAKFAST CLUB radio program when it visited Philadelphia, a wonderful look at a live radio broadcast with early WABD logos and station ID's. TIN PAN ALLEY TV (1950) starring Johnny Desmond live from Chicago! Finally, the first episode of SPACE PATROL (1950) a 15-minute program broadcast live from KECA, Los Angeles.
RARE ABC VOL. 2In the spring of 1953, ABC completed its merger with the United Paramount Theatres theatre chain thereby providing the struggling network with a much-needed infusion of cash. This new capital enabled ABC to plan ambitious new programming for the 1953-1954 season. The spearhead of this plan was the ABC ALBUM, a showcase for pilots of prospective series ans impressively mounted live dramas. This volume contains a two-part drama from this series, which by this time had picked up a sponsor and was also known as PLYMOUTH PLAYHOUSE. Wendell Corey stars in Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities' (5/3/53, 5/10/53). A pilot on this program that went to series was the serio-comic JAMIE (1953) starring Brandon DeWilde and TALES OF TOMORROW (5/22/53) Henry Jones stars in 'The Spider's Web', this one has some great early ABC promos!
RARE ABC VOL. 3Tom Conway stars as Inspector Mark Sable in two episodes of MYSTERY THEATRE (1951), an early filmed series. Then, two live episodes of THE ADVENTURES OF ELLERY QUEEN (1951) starring Lee Bowman.
RARE ABC VOL. 4Two hour-long live dramas THE CELANESE THEATRE (6/25/52) presents 'On Borrowed Time' , the premiere episode of THE UNITED STATES STEEL HOUR (10/27/53) Richard Kiley stars with Brian Keith and Gary Merrill in a powerful story of Korean War veterans trying to cope with their experiences.
RARE ABC VOL. 5Don McNeill (Of ABC's THE BREAKFAST CLUB) stars in two early TV variety hours. The 1950 pilot for a proposed series THE DON NcNEILL SHOW (1950) and an episode of the short-lived prime-time hour THE DON McNEILL TV CLUB (1951) with Don and all his radio gang!
RARE ABC VOL. 6Here's two episodes of a charming musical-comedy show produced at ABC Hollywood, STAGE TWO REVUE (1950) starring Eddie Leroy and Georgia Lee, the remind me of the old Vitaphone musical shorts! THE RUGGLES (1950) Charlie Ruggles stars as the patriarch of an All-American family and LIFE WITH LINKLETTER (1951) an early primetime version of HOUSE PARTY starring Art Linkletter!
RARE ABC VOL. 7Here's another collection of early ABC programming. ACROBAT RANCH (1951) ABC's earliest Saturday morning children's show, live from Chicago! BLIND DATE (1952) An early version of the Dating Game hosted by Arlene Francis. YOU ASKED FOR IT (1950) The premiere episode of this long-running request show, hosted by Art Baker and a late filmed episode (1958) hosted by Jack Smith.
RARE ABC VOL. 8DON McNEILL'S BREAKFAST CLUB (6/23/53) Don and the Breakfast Club gang celebrate their 20th anniversary on the air on this morning simulcast of the radio show. MASQUERADE PARTY (3/16/55) Host Peter Donald and the panel try to unmask masqueraders Duke Ellington and Silvia Sidney! THE GUY MITCHELL SHOW (1956) Popular singer Guy Mitchell welcomes Mindy Carson and the dancing Dunhills to his short-lived variety show.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 1In 1988 two of New York City's pioneer television stations celebrated their anniversaries. This volumes presents the WCBS 50TH ANNIERSARY SHOW and the WPIX 40TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW. Needless to say, theres lots of great early clips!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 2The history of Chicago's independent Channel 9 is told on WGN'S 40YH ANNIVERSARY PROGRAM, (1988) hosted by Geraldo Rivera.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 3Two of Los Angeles' pioneer broadcasters celebrate their 35th anniversaries on this volume. KTLA AT 35 (1982) celebrates the proud history of L.A.'s first commercial station spotlighting its extraordinary news department. Ted Knight hosts Channel 11's KTTV 35TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW (1984) followed by 1996's KTTV: A 47 YEAR LEGACY.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 4My vote for the most interesting and best produced anniversary program goes to the two-hour KTLA AT 40: A Celebration of Los Angeles Television (1987), which covers not only the history of KTLA Channel 5 but a 7 of L.A.'s original stations with reminiscences by Steve Allen, Stan Freberg, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore and a plethora of local personalities.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 5KTLA AT 45: A Salute to Los Angeles Television (1992) covers most of the same ground as the 40th Anniversary program but some different clips and emphasis make this special equally worthwhile.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 6L.A.'S TREASURE: STAN CHAMBERS (12/6/93 KTLA) honors the veteran L.A. newcaster Stan Chambers who started at KTLA Channel 5 soon after it went on the air in 1947 and is still a reporter for thir nightly news. Lots of great reminiscenses about the early days of L.A. TV, tons of great clips!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 7CBS's Los Angeles station is saluted in the two-hour special THE BIG FOUR-OH: KNXT/KCBS AT 40 (1988).
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 8From the Dallas-Fort Worth area comes two excellent anniversary specials. WFAA-TV clelbrates its 40th anniversary (9/17/89), then KXAS (later WBAP) celebrates its 40th (9/7/89). Both are beautifully with tons of interviews and vintage clips!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 9WHEN TELEVISION WAS YOUNG (1977 CBS) One of the most interesting and intelligent retrospective programs is thiis two hour CBS NEWS special hosted by Charles Kuralt. A serious examination of 40's and 50's television in context with its times and lots of fabulous clips you'll never see anywhere else. In color and black and white with a glitch here and there, but well worth it!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 10TV: THE FABULOUS FIFTIES (1980 PBS) One of the earlier general retrospectives. Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Dinah Shore, Michael Landon and David Janssen host.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 11ABC'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL (1977) This is the big one! Almost four hours of ABC TV history with all your favorite ABC stars toasting and roasting the Alphabet network! It's a classic!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 12KCOP AT 50 (1998) A very well-done 2 hour look back at the history of Los Angeles' Channel 13 with lots of never seen clips from the KCOP archives. For LA TV fans, it's a must!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 13Here's a real rarity! The 1953 inaugural broadcast of WTIC-TV, Hartford, CT stars local boy Ed Begley and a flock of local talent, it's quite unusual to run across one of these! WRC-TV celebrates its 50th anniversary in this 1997 special. One of the great pioneering early stations, the history of this great Washington, DC station features some fascinating early color clips!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 15This is the first of two volumes of anniversary material from KYTV (also known as KY-3) from Springfield, Missouri. This volume features a 90-minute special from 1978 titled KYTV: THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. This is the station, by the way, that produced JUBILEE USA (also known as OZARK JUBILEE) for ABC during the 50's!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 16This second volume contains four 30-minute programs titles KY-3 CELEBRATES 40 YEARS. Both of these volumes are extremely well-produced and are a fascinating history of an ambitious station serving a smaller market. Recommended!
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 17This is the first of two volumes of anniversary and historical material from WTVJ Miami Beach, Florida. This first volume includes the anniversary show 46 YEARS OF WTVJ (1995) followed by long excerpts from WTVJ news documentaries from the late 50's and early 60's.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 18This second volume of WTVJ material includes excerpts from early 50's programming, a tour of the newsroom circa 1957, more documentary excerpts and a long excerpt from what looks like a mid-60's anniversary program entitled 15 YEARS WITH FOUR. These two volumes are a real potpourri of fascinating archival material from another ambitious local station.
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 19WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, one of the nation's great television stations, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 'NBC10 at 50:An All-Star Tribute' (1988).
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 20Two more of the Nation's original television stations celebrate their birthdays on this volume; from 1985, 'WTTG: 40 YEARS TOGETHER' Maury Povitch hosts this look back at what was originally DuMont's station in Washington, DC, with lots of rare DuMont clps and photos and then Baltimore's top station WBAL-TV celebrates it's 50th (1998).
RETROSPECTIVES VOL. 21NBC: THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS (1976) A wonderful three and a half hour history of NBC Television and Radio hosted by Orson Welles and Johnny Carson! This is a black and white presentation of a program that was originally in color.
PLEASE CHECK THE NEW VOLUMES! LISTINGS FOR NEW VOLUMES OF TV HISTORY PROGRAMS!