Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"That Girl" . . . starring Marlo Thomas

"That Girl" is an American sitcom, one of the first to focus on a single woman who was not a domestic or living with her parents, ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971 (a total of 136 episodes) starring Marlo Thomas as the title character Ann Marie, an aspiring actress who moves from her hometown to try to make it big in New York City. 

Ann Marie has to take a number of offbeat "temp" jobs to support herself in between her various auditions and bit parts. Ted Bessell played her boyfriend Donald Hollinger, a writer for Newsview Magazine.

The sitcom was just the beginning of the "single woman" shows, followed by The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda and so many others that have come along since then.

I don't remember a lot of details about the show and after checking out the cast and characters, realize that many actors and actresses got their early start on the show.  

It was in the day when my main focus on everything television related was fashion, music or soap operas.  My mom was a seamstress and she made the clothes that I would sketch out based on the fashions I studied on television and fashion magazines.  Marlo Thomas was one of those fashion icons for me.

"That Girl" was developed by writers Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, who had served as head writers on The Dick Van Dyke Show (with which Thomas's father, Danny Thomas, was closely associated) earlier in the 1960s.

Marlo Thomas grew tired of the series and wanted to move on after five years, although "That Girl" did moderately well in the ratings

Cast and characters

  • Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas), a beautiful and would-be actress who moves to New York City in order to seek stardom. 
  • Donald Hollinger (Ted Bessell), writer for NewsView magazine, becomes Ann Marie's boyfriend after meeting her during the filming of a TV commercial.
  • Lew Marie (Harold Gould; pilot only; Lew Parker), Ann's father and the owner of the La Parisienne restaurant in Brewster, New York.
  • Helen Marie (Penny Santon pilot only; Rosemary De Camp), Ann Marie's mother
  • Dr. Leon Bessemer (Dabney Coleman), a neighbor of Ann Marie's and gynecologist who is frequently on call to help women give birth
  • Judy Bessemer (Bonnie Scott), Leon's wife and Ann Marie's neighbor.
  • Jerry Bauman (Bernie Kopell), a fellow employee at NewsView magazine.
  • Ruth Bauman (Carol Ann Daniels), Jerry's wife since the episode "Rain, Snow and Rice."
  • Margie "Pete" Peterson (Ruth Buzzi), a friend of Ann Marie's.
  • Harvey Peck (Ronnie Schell), one of Ann Marie's agents at the Gilliam and Norris Theatrical Agency
  • George Lester (George Carlin), another one of Ann's agents
  • Mildred Hollinger (Mabel Albertson), Donald's mother
  • Bert Hollinger (George Cisar, later Frank Faylen), Donald's father
  • Jules Benedict (Billy De Wolfe), head of the Benedict Workshop of the Dramatic Arts

Source:  Excerpts and information from Wikipedia

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The King Biscuit Flower Hour

King Biscuit Flower Hour
The 70’s

The things we do for music.  In the 1970’s the radio was controlled by my parents and needless to say “modern music” was not on the menu.  That is where the nerd in me kicked in.  Armed with an electronics set I built my own radio.  

I was inspired to do this because of one radio show I had heard over at a friends house, The King Biscuit Flower Hour. The King Biscuit Flower Hour was a syndicated radio show and the nearest station that carried it was 70 miles away.  Now for the nerds out there, FM radio of the 70’s were not the super wattage mega-stations you have today, and 70 miles was at the outer end of reception.  On a cold night you could get what is best described as marginal quality.  

To kick it up a notch I needed to grab as many “waves” as possible.  I ran a stripped speaker wire out of my window down one side of the property for about 100’, then down the other side for another 100’.  In summer, it was questionable, but on a cloudy cold night the atmosphere was just right.

The sound quality is nothing like you expect today, but for the 70’s it was clarity defined, and days of work were paid off in huge dividends. KBFH took a great deal of time to record live music as it happened then re-engineered to bring you on the stage.

One of the first songs I heard on my rig was “Forbidden Fruit” by The Band.


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