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Pop Culture Table Hopping In 1950 – Past Daily Weekend Gallimaufry

Sardi's New York
Fans, denizens and tourists lining up to lunch at Sardi’s.

May 13, 1950 – Luncheon At Sardi’s – Mutual – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Pop Culture in 1950. Most likely, none of the names mentioned in this show, the daily 1/2 hour program Luncheon At Sardi’s, will ring any bells, or they may be references in historic recollections – glimpses of people who were considered “influencers” of another time.

This daily radio program and later an evening TV staple, had host Bill Slater table hopping, running into a wide range of people who were, in one field of entertainment or another, the movers and shakers of their era. He would interview, for a period of roughly five minutes each, personalities and notable figures, to find out what they were up to, what projects they were working on.

First up is an interview with Vivian Donner, who was an American fashion editor, film director, screenwriter, theatrical costume designer and caricaturist, perhaps best remembered for narrating numerous Movietone newsreels.

Next is Rosalyn Turek, an American pianist and harpsichordist who was particularly associated with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. However, she had a wide-ranging repertoire that included works by composers including Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Frédéric Chopin, as well as more modern composers such as David Diamond, Luigi Dallapiccola and William Schuman. Diamond’s Piano Sonata No. 1 was inspired by Tureck’s playing.

Comedian Jerry Colonna, who is mostly likely the best known of the group, as long-time sidekick for Bob Hope, is next. Like everyone on the show, there is some promotion of upcoming projects, particularly that new medium of Television.

It’s interesting to note that Television wasn’t all that much of a threat in 1950 – Radio was still the go-to medium for most Americans. And this program give you some idea of where popular culture was, only five years after the end of world war 2 and weeks before we fell into Korea.

To get a better idea of where Pop Culture was in America in 1950, the year that saw uw dive into what would wind up being one of the last wars not to be covered extensively by TV . . . yet. Here is a sample of that half-hour/six-day-a-week program hosted by Bill Slater and broadcast over Mutual on May 13, 1950.

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