Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire - High Priest of the limber appendage.

Fred Astaire, Sandra Church, Joey Bishop And George Wein Shoot The Breeze With Mitch Miller – 1959 – Past Daily Weekend Gallimaufry

Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire – High Priest of the limber appendage.

– CBS Radio – Sunday Night With Mitch Miller – September 17, 1959 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Much as people of a certain age remember Mitch Miller from Sing Along With Mitch fame, that staple of early television and how he, for better or worse, steered Columbia Records into the LP age, while not necessarily blazing any new musical trails. He was also host to a very interesting radio talk show in the mid-late 1950s, Sunday Night With Mitch that was carried by CBS Radio.

On this episode, Miller is joined by Fred Astaire, who is promoting his biography which traces his career from the earliest days in Vaudeville to his time in Hollywood (which was still going full-tilt when this show was aired in 1959). Joining in on the conversation is Sandra Church who was starring on Broadway in Gypsy as well as Comedian Joey Bishop and the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival George Wein.

Each one of these personalities (and icons) offers interesting insights into each of their careers. Miller spends much time weaving them all together and the end result is a highly entertaining as well as informative half-hour – and no one is left out or short changed, which is easy to do in less capable hands particularly when you have a roster of Type-A personalities together in one place.

It’s one of the things that made this series popular during the waning days of Network radio. No doubt, by 1959 the TV airwaves were jammed with the likes of Steve Allen, Jack Paar, David Suskind and many others as America fell in love with the art of conversation and late night TV became synonymous with talking about everything, radio was trying its best to keep up.

One more interesting piece in an extensive and all-inclusive Pop Culture puzzle.

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