"Farewell to the Mart"

Streaming Video of a broadcast that aired October 21st, 1989 on WMAQ-TV

Curator's note: "Farewell to the Mart" was the last broadcast produced in NBC's Merchandise Mart studios apart from various local newscasts. Studio A, once the world's largest radio studio (but converted to a television studio in 1949), was the setting). In the age of radio, programs like "The First Nighter" and "Don McNeill's Breakfast Club" originated in this studio. "Garroway at Large" was perhaps the most ambitious program produced in Studio A during the early television years. The Georgia Frances Orchestra provided the musical accompaniment for "Farewell to the Mart". (Some of the material in the broadcast is also included in the "Mart Memories" segments which you can view elsewhere on this site. Click here for more information on this last Merchandise Mart Broadcast.

Segment 1: Following a somewhat overwraught introduction by the Curator, this segment features a tribute to NBC-Chicago's contribution to network radio drama, with the emphasis on the "First Nighter" series. It includes cameo appearances by Les Tremayne (whom you see on the right and who lived from 1913 to 1993), McDonald Carey (1913-1994) and Betty Lou Gerson (1919-1999).

Segment 2: Art Van Damme accompanies Nancy Wright some 39 years after the fact. In this segment, editor John Martin joins video and audio of Nancy Martin shot from a 1950 segment of the "Ransom Sherman Show" (where she's accompanied by Cesar Giovannini) with video and audio of Art Van Damme shot in 1989. The oscilliscope superimposition was inspired by a "Garroway at Large" segment featuring Johnny Hodges.

Segment 3: A tribute to Dave Garroway featuring Art Van Damme (whom you see on the right with Dave Garroway in studio G), John Conrad, Jack Haskell, Bette Chapel, Connie Russell and microphone boom operator Walt McKechnie.

Segment 4: Former NBC-Chicago staff announcer John Conrad visits the Merchandise Mart studios the day before the move to the NBC Tower and looks back at the days when Chicago was a major radio and television production center.

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Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to rich@richsamuels.com)