Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! Today’s post is meant as a “thank you” to all who have given me unwavering support and encouragement throughout the three years that I’ve been blogging. I’m grateful for your online companionship, humbled that you are interested in what I have to say, and glad that we continue to have “this time together.” Although I worry that I don’t always make explicit this gratitude and too often overshadow my intended goodwill by an inherent know-it-all nature, please know that I treasure each and every reader and, particularly, all of my regular subscribers, who make this more than just a hobby — it’s a joy. Thank you.
There are several orders of business on today’s agenda, both for fans of Musical Theatre Mondays and Sitcom Tuesdays. We’ll start with the former. I’m introducing a new element to our Monday coverage — one inspired by our recent Wildcard Wednesday series of Pre-Code Essentials, in which we discuss the most important films of the era. Since we started those posts last month, I’ve wanted to do the same for the musicals we’ve covered here, selecting my choices for the cream of the forgotten (that is, by those who don’t run in our circles) crop. Over the past 163 weeks, Musical Theatre Mondays have highlighted 162 mostly forgotten musicals. (Jubilee is so good, we talked about it twice!) I have selected the 52 that I believe are seminal for all who consider themselves aficionados of this period in Musical Theatre history. I’m listing them below. And from now on, when any of the shows we cover here feel like appropriate additions — and there are quite a few of those coming up in the months ahead — I will continue to update and expand this list. Did your favorites make the cut?
Two more Musical Theatre related things to address. The first is an announcement. I’m happy to reveal that I am now a freelance contributor to Performer Stuff, an online resource geared toward students and young performers who are seeking material for both audition and study. I will be contributing two posts per month — on the 1st and the 15th — to their blog, “More Good Stuff,” which you can find here. On August 1st, expect to see the first in a series on Great Dames of the American Musical Theatre, this initial entry covering Ethel Merman. These posts, which will go up monthly, are designed to introduce classic Broadway figures to young theatre lovers. On the 15th of the month, their blog will debut a list I’ve compiled of Female Solo ideas from the Golden Age of Broadway (1943-1967). This list is tailored for college-aged theatre majors — but I guarantee it’ll be the only place online to suggest songs from Top Banana (1951) and Man With A Load Of Mischief (1966), so it’s worth checking out just for a few of my off-beat picks alone. More suggested material will follow in the months ahead, including Male Solo, Male-Female Duet, and so forth. I encourage any reader who may be interested in Performer Stuff’s services (or those who are just interested in clicking around to see the content I’m providing), please go give them a look and let me know what you think!
The last musical theatre thing on our agenda — I have some treats! I have two Cole Porter audios that didn’t get offered in the musicals’ corresponding posts. They are the 2006 Lost Musicals production of an essential, Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929) and the 2009 Lost Musicals production of The New Yorkers (1930). Subscribed readers who are interested in obtaining either or both of these recordings should kindly comment below! I’m also pleased to share a complete copy of Max Liebman‘s unreleased TV production of Best Foot Forward (1941), another essential, which aired on November 20, 1954 and starred Bob Cummings, Jeannie Carson, Charlie Applewhite, Pat Carroll, and Marilyn Maxwell. This is a great production of a phenomenal show — it’s slightly more faithful to the original than the ’63 revival, and includes a hot rendition of “That’s How I Love The Blues” by Maxwell. Enjoy!
Now, there are several things of note for my Sitcom Tuesday readers. The first is a “heads up” regarding our second annual holiday contest, the details of which I will be announcing in early December. I’m not 100% sure what the rules will be yet, but I know that it won’t be about guessing my favorite sitcom episodes of the ’80s (because we won’t be done with the decade by then), it’ll be less involved than last year’s (which required probably too much of a time commitment), and that all participants will be rewarded in some way (nothing big — but a worthwhile incentive, rest assured). As with last year, expect the prizes to be scripts, unreleased shows, and rarities of that nature. Study up now, because it will — in some degree — involve knowing what’s been covered on this blog and understanding my accompanying commentary.
I also have another announcement that I’m hoping will excite you. I am exploring the possibility of expanding our collective love of television into a forum in which I can showcase some of the material we discuss here. Last week, I conducted a live experimental broadcast on Ustream, in which I showed episodes of December Bride and The Governor And J.J., along with footage from the 1957 TV Production of Annie Get Your Gun starring Mary Martin and dailies from one of my favorite Xena: Warrior Princess episodes. I am interested in doing this periodically for the readers of this blog, but I need to know if there’s an interest, and if there’s a time of the week/month that works best for a majority of the regulars here. I’m thinking that most of what I show will be sitcoms, primarily unreleased, but possibly also MVEs from our Sitcom Tuesday posts, occasional Xena episodes, Pre-Code films, and any appropriate Musical Theatre gems that I can offer. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
And, finally, I have some treats for you as well. In a Dropbox Folder, I have uploaded the first season of The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971-1974, CBS). Subscribers who are interested in obtaining a link to this folder, please comment below! The link will remain active until 10:00 PM EST August 09, 2016 (two weeks from this publication). Also, below is an episode of The Paul Lynde Show (1972-1973, ABC), which was highlighted here early last year. This installment is entitled “To Wed Or Not To Wed” and it originally aired November 01, 1972. Enjoy!
*Also — check out my updated About Me page, along with our new section on Coming Attractions!
Come back next Wednesday for a new Wildcard post! And tune in on Monday for another Jerome Kern musical!
Hi, Track! Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your continued support for this blog.
I have emailed you at your yahoo address with a link to the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW (which I assume is what you’d like).
Yes, please on The New Dick Van Dyke Show.
Hi, Scott! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I have emailed you at your saturdaymfg address with a link to the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW.
Are you a subscriber? If not, please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address for all future rarities.
Hi, Jackson! Seems like we (your readers) should be thanking *you,* rather than vice versa. Of course you know I’m going to ask for the recordings of “Fifty Million Frenchmen” and “The New Yorkers” . . . so thanks — from me to you — are definitely in order. I’m looking forward to seeing your contributions at Performer Stuff, which looks like an interesting site (even for nonperformers). I’m impressed with how much you’ve got going on! I hope you’re enjoying the ride. :-)
Hi, Scott! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I truly appreciate your kind words. I have emailed you at your earthlink address with links to both Porter audios. They’re both complete, but THE NEW YORKERS recording only has the musical numbers tracked out (by yours truly). Still, they’re both fascinating documents and I know you’ll enjoy them!
I would be *delighted* to see The New Dick Van Dyke Show episodes you’re offering– I’ve never seen a single episode yet! Very kind of you to make these available. To quote Dennis Day, “Yes, Please!” :)
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I don’t comment nearly often enough, only because of a need to ration time these days. But I’ve been reading your blog with great pleasure on a regular basis, old posts and new, and have enormous respect for your writing talent, your critical eye, and the respectful, intelligent ongoing dialogue you have with your readers. I particularly look forward to your upcoming posts about the Jack Benny radio show– I sure won’t be able to resist commenting on those.
Keep up the great work! And thanks again for offering the New Dick Van Dyke eps!
Hi, WGaryW! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Your kind words mean a lot to me and I can’t wait for the great discussions we’ll have next month when coverage of the BENNY PROGRAM starts! Regarding THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, I have emailed you at your yahoo address. Enjoy!
I’m wholly interested in The New Dick Van Dyke episodes.
And by the way, keep up the wonderful work. Anyone who can sit through the later seasons of Night Court and The Jeffersons and keep his head is guy who’s blog is worth reading.
Hi, George! Thanks for reading and commenting.
And thank you for that nice compliment. Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address, and I’ll send you a link to the folder that contains the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW!
Thanks for subscribing, George! I have emailed you at your icloud address.
Thank YOU for your incisive commentary on sitcoms, some nearly forgotten. It was your blog that led me to The Practice on Warner Instant Archive (which has removed the series from its listing, I found). When it first ran, I really enjoyed that limited series – which started mid-season of 1976 and was gone by mid-season of 1977 – which contained an excellent leading performance by Danny Thomas.
I look forward to more of your commentary on sitcoms (goodness knows, you’ll never run out of subjects to review!) and thank you also for offering, on a limited basis, that first season of The New Dick Van Dyke Show.
BTW, I also look forward to the upcoming contest and hope I do better than last year!
Hi, Jeff! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I appreciate your kind words, and considering you didn’t play in last year’s contest, there’s a good chance you WILL do better this year than last! Regarding THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, I have emailed you at your att address.
Thank you! I honestly thought I had participated! Well, it was Christmastime…. I do remember reviewing your archives, but I guess I never completed what I started out to do. I’ll at least finish this time ’round if I do participate!
No worries — I look forward to your participation this year! Now I just have to figure out what exactly the rules will be…
Jackson, thank you for all the work you put in here. This is one of my favorite sites out of the whole internet. I’d be so so grateful for THE NEW VAN DYKE SHOW. I vaguely remember it from my teen years.
I think the streaming is a great idea. Let me know more about how we can see that. Afternoons work best for me but that’s probably not good for most of the people here.
And thanks for the videos in today’s post. The BEST FOOT FORWARD was really fun. Great to see Pat Carroll. And regard the PAUL LYNDE SHOW, it’s got a dated charm -funny in a nostalgic, goofy, ridiculous way. And it’s always a pleasure to see Stiller and Meara!
Hi, Elaine! Thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate your unwavering support for this blog.
I have emailed you at your yahoo address with a link to the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Enjoy!
And thanks for weighing in with regard to the Ustream idea — I’m still mulling it over, but I’ll let you know if/when I decide to schedule something more formal!
Hey Jackson – would love to check out season 1 of New Dick Van Dyke. He is a national treasure and still going strong, God bless him. :-)
Hi, Mike! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address and I’ll send you a link to the folder that contains the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW!
Congratulations on the Performer Stuff gig, Jackson! You are well-versed in, and passionate about, musical theatre, so I KNOW you’ll be most appreciated there!
Hi, Rashad! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I really appreciate your support — thank you for the well wishes. It’s just one of my several new side endeavors, but I’m excited about it. I’ve been helping friends find audition material for years, so this is another great use of my “skills”!
It looks like Santa is coming early this year. I wish you luck in your new blogs. And still continuing your regular musicals. Would like to hear Fifty million Frenchmen and The New Yorker and view Best Foot Forward. Best, Bob K.
Hi, Bob! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thank you for the well wishes. I have emailed you at your gmail address with links to download both Porter audios. The 1954 BEST FOOT FORWARD production can be viewed in full (via YouTube) in the above post. It’s a lot of fun!
Just finished watching Best Foot Forward. It was very entertaining .Hope you have more surprises like this up your sleeve in the future.
You’ll have to wait and see! (Read: Yes, I do.)
Thank you for your great blog and for sharing these rarities with us! Could I please get the link to The New Dick Van Dyke Show? I loved your coverage of the series. It’s a shame the show has been so forgotten. Thanks for bringing attention to it.
Hi, Jimmy! Thanks for reading and commenting.
My pleasure — I have emailed you at your gmail address with access to the folder containing the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Enjoy!
SO love how you’re expanding!! I of course would love 50 MILLION FRENCHMEN & THE NEW YORKERS and love all you’ve done so far!! I wish I had time to just watch and listen to each of the song clips. And those Song Lists? I love the idea (even though I don’t audition anymore I sometimes look for songs to sing that aren’t typical)!!!
Hi, bobster427! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I’m so grateful for all your support. I have emailed you at your aol address with links to both Porter audios!
Thank you, Jackson, for putting so much time and hard work into this site. It’s a treasure trove of information, insightful comennrary, and rarities like those shared here. It was a treat to see that episode of THE PAUL LYNDE SHOW and I would be grateful for the chance to see THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW as well.
Also, please let me know when you plan to do online broadcasts. I’d be interested in the TV curious (of course) and also some of your rare Pre-codes. I love your Essentials series and I can’t WAIT for THE GOLDEN GIRLS!
Hi, Jeff! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I really appreciate your kind words — I’m grateful that this site has offered you as much joy as it has me. THE GOLDEN GIRLS is my favorite of the shows you’ll see here before the year ends and I hope to do it justice. Regarding THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, I have emailed you at your aol address with a link to access the first season.
As for the Ustream, what times of the week/month work best for you? I’m still not committed to the idea yet, as I think it’d be hard to establish a large enough audience to make it worthwhile. A blog can be visited any time of the day or week, but a live stream requires making the effort to congregate at a specific time and place. It’s a harder sell. But we’ll see…
Hi…Thanks so much for all you have written and shared! Have just subscribed and would like please to receive the link to The New Dick Van Duke Show . Thanks again
Hi, Kenneth! Thanks for reading, commenting, and subscribing.
I have emailed you at your yahoo address with a link to access the first season of THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Hope you enjoy — and be sure to check out our coverage (from December 2014) on the best episodes of the series, if you haven’t already!
hi Jackson-ive been so busy reading all your cole porter posts I havent had time to dive into your classic tv posts-i too worship all things lucy, the dick van dyke show, gilligans island, hogans heroes, the addams family, i dream of jeannie, bewitched and so many other classic shows
Greatly appreciate the offer for the 2006 Lost Musicals production of Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929) and the 2009 Lost Musicals production of The New Yorkers (1930).
hope you are getting some traction writing for shows in LA. your study of classic comedy should help!
Hi, sfcolefan! Thanks for reading and commenting — your kind words are much appreciated.
I have emailed you at your earthlink address with access to both audios.
Just a heads up to all who are interested in THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, or have yet to take the opportunity to view/download all 24 episodes: I will be removing the folder in four hours. Grab these rare shows before they go!
Jackson! Could you please send me the New Yorkers and Fifty Million Frenchmen recordings?
Hi, Jeff! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I have emailed you at your gmail address.