Stage Show (TV series)

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Stage Show
Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey 1955.JPG
Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey as hosts, 1955.
Directed byFrank Satenstein
StarringTommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey (hosts 1954-55)
Jack Carter (host 1956)
Country of origin United States
Production
Producer(s)Jackie Gleason Productions
Camera setupmulti-camera
Running time60 minutes and 30 minutes
Release
Original networkCBS-TV
Picture formatblack-and-white NTSC 4:3
Audio formatmonaural
Original releaseJuly 3, 1954 – September 18, 1956

Stage Show was a popular music variety series broadcast in the United States on the CBS Television Network and originally hosted on alternate weeks by big band leaders and brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Produced by Jackie Gleason, it included the first national television appearances by rock music icon Elvis Presley.

The series began as a one-hour show on July 3, 1954 as a summer replacement for The Jackie Gleason Show. Gleason brought it back in the fall of 1955 as a half-hour show and scheduled it from 8–8:30 p.m. ET in the time slot prior to The Honeymooners, his own series, on Saturday nights.

In 1956, Jack Carter, a frequent guest, became the permanent host. The June Taylor Dancers made regular appearances. Bobby Darin made his national TV debut on the program in early 1956, singing "Rock Island Line". Placed against the popular Perry Como Show on NBC, Stage Show's ratings declined. The final telecast, September 18, 1956, came only two months before the death of Tommy Dorsey. Brother Jimmy lost his life in June of the following year.

Elvis Presley appearances[edit]

Elvis Presley made his network television debut on Stage Show. He was introduced by Cleveland, Ohio disc jockey Bill Randle on the January 28, 1956 broadcast performing "Shake, Rattle and Roll", "Flip, Flop and Fly" and "I Got a Woman". He made five more appearances during the next eight weeks:

These shows were preserved on kinescope films. Complete songs and segments have been released within various Elvis Presley documentaries and home video compilations.

References[edit]

  • Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1992), The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-37792-3.
  • McNeil, Alex (1996), Total Television, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-024916-8.

External links[edit]

The following public domain episodes can be viewed on the Internet Archive: June 27 1956, March 31 1956, April 21 1956,