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Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scout
Godfreytalent2.jpg
Genre Comedy
Family
Directed by Dave Rich
Robert Stevens
Country of origin USA
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 10
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run December 6, 1948 – January 1, 1958
Status Ended

Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (also known as Talent Scouts) was a radio and television variety show which ran on CBS from 1946 until 1958. Sponsored by Lipton Tea, it starred Arthur Godfrey, who was also hosting Arthur Godfrey and His Friends at the same time.

The concept for the show was that Godfrey had several "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program to showcase their talents. The winner of each show was determined by a meter which judged the audience's applause. The radio series began July 2, 1946, and was heard on CBS Tuesday evenings at 9pm. The winner on October 1, 1946, was pianist José Melis, who later became a familiar late night television personality as the orchestra leader on Jack Paar's Tonight show.

In the summer of 1947, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts moved to Fridays at 9:30pm. After August 1947 it aired on Mondays at 8:30pm. The radio show continued until October 1, 1956. With Archie Bleyer leading the orchestra, the show's announcer was George Bryan. The show's opening (to the tune of "Four and Twenty Blackbirds") featured Peggy Marshall and the Holidays singing:

Here comes Arthur Godfrey
Your talent scout emcee
Brought to you by Lipton
Brisk Lipton Tea
You know it's Lipton Tea
If it's B-R-I-S-K
You know it's Arthur Godfrey
When you hear them play...

At that point, the music would segue into trombonist Lou McGarity and the orchestra playing Godfrey's familiar theme song, "Seems Like Old Times," sometimes with Godfrey singing or humming along.

Contestants on the show included Pat Boone, The Chordettes, The McGuire Sisters and Carmel Quinn, all of whom went on to perform on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. Other contestants included Tony Bennett, The Blackwood Brothers, Lenny Bruce, Roy Clark, Rosemary Clooney,Florian ZaBach, Wally Cox, Vic Damone, The Diamonds, Eddie Fisher, Connie Francis, Don Knotts, Steve Lawrence, Al Martino, Barbara McNair, Marian McPartland, Johnny Nash, Leslie Uggams, Lorraine Donahue (who later appeared on The Voice of Firestone) and Jonathan Winters. Patsy Cline's appearance on the show can be seen on the DVD Patsy Cline: Sweet Dreams Still (2005). Among those who auditioned but were not chosen to appear on the broadcast were Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

Contents

Television

On television, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts premiered December 6, 1948. According to the Nielsen ratings, it was the highest rated television show for the 1951–1952 season. It remained a highly popular show through the decade. The show took a great drop in ratings after orchestra bandleader Archie Bleyer left in the 1954–1955 season, but rebounded as the scouts continued to discover more talent. However, by 1957, television audiences began to prefer adventure shows to variety shows and Godfrey‘s ratings dropped out of the top 30 Nielsen Chart.[1] The show aired its final episode on January 1, 1958.

On December 24, 1956, the show became the first entertainment program to be videotaped for broadcast, as the then-new technology was used for a time-delayed rebroadcast in the Pacific Time Zone. An Ampex Quadruplex videotape machine recorded the initial live broadcast to the Eastern part of the country, which was replayed three hours later.[2]

Ratings

  • 1950–1951:#8[1]
  • 1951–1952:#1[2]
  • 1952–1953:#2[3]
  • 1953–1954:#3[4]
  • 1954–1955:#18[5]
  • 1955–1956:#16[6]
  • 1956–1957:#12[7]

References

  1. ^ Museum of Broadcast Communications: Arthur Godfrey
  2. ^ Val Adams, "C.B.S. Shows Off Tape-Recorded TV", The New York Times, December 21, 1956, p. 43.

Sources

Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-507678-8

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