One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. In this edition, host Jim Morske examines the field of vaudeville entertainment. In an effort to recreate the vaudeville experience, this program is presented in a legitimate theater, with a small number of musicians in the orchestra pit. Morske explains that most vaudeville shows opened with a novelty act, followed by a variety format similar to what is presented in this program. Banjoist John Cali performs a medley of "There's a Hot Time" and "Hello My Baby," after which Betty Rhodes sings a song about prize fighters, "Throw Him Down McCloskey," and a sentimental maiden's lament, "Take Back Your Gold." After pianist Mike Colicchio plays "Rubinstein's Melody in F," Don Liberto tap dances to "Rosie O'Grady." Morske and conductor Ray Bloch recreate some corny jokes of the period, followed by Liberto demonstrating the "buck and wing," "soft shoe," and "cakewalk" dance steps of the times. Morske examines George M. Cohan's development out of vaudeville, and the remainder of the program focuses on his work. At this point, Liberto does a song and dance routine to "Yankee Doodle Boy" from Cohan's first successful show, "Little Johnny Jones." Next, Rhodes sings "Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway" and Liberto performs "Mary's a Grand Old Name." The program closes with the CBS Orchestra performing Cohan's well-known patriotic tunes "Over There" and "You're a Grand Old Flag."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.


  • DATE: December 20, 1959 Sunday 12:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:45
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:55219
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Music, popular (songs, etc.)
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965


  • Ned Cramer … Producer
  • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
  • Martin Carr … Director
  • Ray Bloch … Conductor
  • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
  • Jim Morske … Host
  • Don Liberto … Singer, Dancer
  • Betty Rhodes … Singer
  • John Cali … Instrumentalist, Banjoist
  • Mike Colicchio … Instrumentalist, Pianist
  • George M. Cohan
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