The Best of "Garroway at Large": Part I

Undated: "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" (Music by Richard Rodgers)

Curator's Note: I've thus far been unable to determine when this segment aired. Any help would be appreciated. Email me if you have further information.

The segments below show network television at its best, even though it's network television at it's earliest. What Garroway and his staff (especially director Bill Hobin) lacked in technology and studio space, they more than made up for in creativity. This performance for "three cameras, two dancers and orchestra" is breath-taking, even more than half a century after it aired. Presumably Richard Rodgers, who personally signed off on this first television performance of his well-known composition, was pleased with the result.

Garroway: He seems a bit nervous as he introduces the number. After all, a production this elaborate involved incredible risk-taking in the envinronment of live television. Once the baton was lowered, there was no turning back. And there were numerous possibilities for error.

The orchestra: Under the direction of Joe Gallicchio (whose earliest broadcast efforts included conducting the ensemble that led into "Amos 'n' Andy), they performed faultlessly. Note especially the strings and the able "doubling" of the reeds.

The dancers: Charlie and Margie Tate. Wish I knew more about them. Have I even spelled their surname correctly. Their routine was choreographed by Edith Barstow. The "forced perspective" set was designed by Jan Scott.

The effects: Fades and cross-dissolves were about all the early switching equipment could execute. But Hobin and technical director Frank Schnepper pushed the gear to its limits. And the three cameras were all in the right places at the right times.
  • View segment 1 (runs 1:36): Dave introduces the number, acknowledging it's the most complex piece tried on the show so far. He credits director Bill Hobin for the concept. And briefly states Hobin's philosophy of television (which is identical to what critics would call essence of "The Chicago School of Television").
  • View segment 2 (runs 6:27): The performance of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue". Remember: this was done in real time!

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