Classic Television: Make Room For Daddy

Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord as Danny and Kathy Williams on Make Room For Daddy.

 

Make Room For Daddy was one of the longer running situation comedies, to be shown on network television. It debuted in 1953 and would run till 1965. Danny Thomas is the only one to appear in all 334 episodes. His first wife on the show was Jean Hagen who played Margaret Williams from 1953-1956. Hagen tired of playing a mother after four seasons and left the show.

She was replaced in 1957 by Marjorie Lord who played Kathy Williams for the last eight years of the show.

Penny Parker would play Terry Williams after Sherry Jackson left the show. Danny Thomas had turned down Mary Tyler Moore, for the role because she didn’t look like she could be his daughter.

 

Marjorie Lord, Angela Cartwright, Danny Thomas on first row with Rusty Hamer and Sherry Jackson on second row and appeared on Danny Thomas Show  Jackson left the show during 1958..

 

I checked the schedule for Cozi TV and saw that Make Room For Daddy was on at 3:30 PM Central Time. It had been shown in the early morning hours, so it was good to be able to watch the show yesterday. It brought back a lot of memories, since this show was on television, before we even had a television.

Make Room For Daddy goes back to the golden days of television. Two old-timers Sid Melton and Pat Carroll played Charley and Bunny Halper on the show.

Who can forget Hans Conried playing Uncle Tonoose in 24 episodes of the show? Other well-known actors often seen on the show were Mary Wickes, Sheldon Leonard, Pat Harrington Jr. (later known for playing Schneider on One Day At A Time.

Bill Dana was Jose Jiminez on the show and Gale Gordon appeared in seven episodes.

Other stars appearing on the show included Bob Hope (5 episodes)  and Annette Funicello (5 episodes).

Scrolling down the cast list is like a walk down memory lane, as you see some of the faces (if IMDB.com has them available) and some of the names, of stars who went on to fame on their own.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045410/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast

One of the most famous shows in the series is when Danny travels through Mayberry, North Carolina and encounters a hick sheriff named Andy Taylor. This episode would lead to the Andy Griffith show being shown on CBS.

Danny Thomas was not too fond of Jean Hagen, who played his first TV wife as evidenced by this statement:

Danny Thomas was forced against his will to have Jean Hagen as his TV wife. He could not stand her attitude or what he considered her slovenly appearance. During one rehearsal he is said to have have shouted “For God’s sake, Jean, put on a little lipstick”. She left after the third season and, at the beginning of the fourth season, to assure that she could not come back he had her character die.

Primary Actors

Danny Thomas born as  Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yakhoob   on January 26, 1912 in Deerfield, Michigan. He died February 6, 1991 at the age of in Los Angeles, California.

Jean Hagen who played his first wife Margaret on the television show was born Jean Shirley Verhagen in Chicago, Illinois on August 3, 1923 and died on August 29, 1977 of throat cancer at the age of 54 in Los Angeles, California.

Marjorie Lord was born Marjorie Wollenburg on July 26, 1918 in San Francisco, California. She will be 96 in July.

Rusty Hamer was born as Russell Craig Hamer in Tenafly, New Jersey on February 15, 1947. He would die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in DeRidder, Louisiana on January 18, 1990 at the age of 42.

Sherry Jackson was born coincidentally the same date as Hamer on February 15 of 1942, in Wendell Idaho some five years earlier. She is now 72 years old.

Angela Cartwright was born as Angela Margaret Cartwright on September 9, 1952 in Altrincham, Cheshire England UK and will be 62 in September.

 

Make Room For Daddy debuted on television 61 years ago and the last show aired 49 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Indianapolis Missed By 4 Days Being Torpedoed With Atomic Bomb Aboard

Little Boy atomic bomb facsimile of the bomb which hit Hiroshima.

Little Boy Atomic Bomb (Mk I Series):

Little Boy Atomic Bomb casing
Another Little Boy Atomic Bomb casing can be found at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH

Length: 120 inches Diameter: 28 inches Weight: 8,900lbs Weight of Fissionable Uranium-235: 141lbs, 1.5lbs of which actually fissioned Explosive Yield: 15-16 kilotons Configuration: Gun type heavy uranium bomb Delivery Method: Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay Est. # of Mk 1 Atomic Bombs Produced: 5 Target: Hiroshima, Japan Delivery Date: August 6, 1945 8:15am JSP

This is an empty bomb casing of the Mk I or Little Boy series of atomic bombs. About 5 were produced in the series and when they were deemed obsolete the fissionable Uranium 235 was removed along with the triggering explosives. The casings were then either scrapped or distributed to other museums.

The bomb casing pictured above represents the Little Boy atomic bomb,  that was delivered by the USS Indianapolis on July 26, 1945.

Atomic Bomb Pit #1 and Memorial The No.1 bomb loading pit on Tinian where the atomic bomb, “Little Boy” was stored before being loaded onto the B-29 “Enola              Gay” 44-86292.            This area was heavily guarded and a tent erected over the bomb before this top-secret weapon was loaded onto the bomber, and was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Today, a single coconut palm and a plumeria tree grow in it. Locals have always observed misshapen coconuts on this tree, normal ones have never been produced on this tree. This hole is probably one of the most historically charged remain of the island’s  past.

Atomic Bomb Pit #2         Next to  it is pit “No.2”,  where “Fat Man” atomic bomb was loaded into B-29 “Bockscar”          44-27297 and dropped over Nagasaki. Today,  the two concrete lined pits are filled in with dirt.

Just four days after the Little Boy atomic bomb was delivered, to the Ushi Point Airfield on the island of Tinian the USS Indianapolis was hit by two Japanese torpedoes, which resulted in the ship sinking, in only 12 minutes and it still has not been found to this day.

If the ship had been hit with the atomic bomb aboard it would have almost certainly ended the lives, of every American sailor aboard the ship. The sailors who had to abandon the ship experienced shark attacks, exposure and dehydration before being spotted by a patrol aircraft four days later.

One of the sailors who lived through the experience told of seeing his friends eaten by sharks. He said sharks would dive at them and next thing he knew he would only see blood in the water.

History could have been changed, if the torpedoes would have hit the USS Indianapolis, before it delivered the atomic bomb to the airfield.

On August 6, 1945 the Little Boy atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. 90,000 – 160,000 were killed by the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima.

President Truman said later, that we were fortunate that Hitler was unsuccessful in developing an atomic bomb.

It will be argued for years, whether it would have been better to fight a ground battle in Japan, which may have taken years or months, or to end the war abruptly with the least loss of American life, by dropping the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

D-Day – June 6, 1944: Hitler’s Armed Forces In Disarray

Adolf Hitler 1889-1945

Adolf Hitler may have been one of the most powerful men, in the history of the world, but his military acumen was less than stellar. That was never more evident than on D-Day. Hitler knew the Allies were putting together an invasion force, but didn’t know when it would be, or exactly where in France that the invasion would take place.

It is amazing that the D-Day forces were able to penetrate the German defense, of heavy cement fortifications, millions of landmines and barbed wire.

Hitler and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel were expecting the invasion to take place at Calais, France, since it was the closest to England. Rommel directed 15 infantry divisions to Calais, while dispatching fewer troops to Normandy, where the D-Day invasion began.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel 1891-1944

After a storm brought bad weather to Calais, Rommel went home to Southern Germany thinking nothing would be happening soon on the invasion front. Members of his staff also left to attend a military conference.

Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower originally planned for June 5, 1944 as the invasion date. However, the weather was so bad that day, that he changed it to the next day June 6. After checking with the meteorologist the invasion was launched from England.

Allied paratroopers landed behind enemy lines, before the naval invasion landed at Normandy.

The naval invasion of 4,000 vessels carrying troops surprised the Germans. German field commanders called their generals, who then called the high command, who were at Hitler’s villa in Berchtesgaden.

The Normandy landings took place at Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword locations, which were along a 50 mile stretch of coastline.

Fortunately for the allies Field Marshal Rommel had to drive 400 miles, to get to the site of the landings. He couldn’t fly because U.S. air supremacy prevented him, from pursuing that option.

Hitler who was asleep at the time of the invasion was roused up, to find out the Allies had invaded at Normandy. Hitler still didn’t act soon, as he wanted to make sure the Normandy invasion was not a ruse and were reluctant to give up their positions at Calais. It would be several hours after the invasion, before Hitler gave the order to clean up Normandy that night. Hitler was not a happy camper, when he was informed that cleaning up the beach, at Normandy was impossible by his commanders in the field.

When the reinforcements did arrive U.S. naval guns and fighter planes and bombers ripped them apart, which gave Allied ground troops time to move further inland.

Darkness would see 150,000 Allied troops already ashore. A week later half a million Allied troops were now on French soil.

Field Marshals Gurd von Runstedt and Rommel consulted on June 17, 1944 with Hitler, to decide which course of action to take next. Rommel wanted to pull back, out of range from the Allied warships so his troops could face the Allies inland, but Hitler refused.

Runstedt and Rommel met again with Hitler on June 29, 1944. The meeting did not go well, when Runstedt was asked about best to handle the Allied success, by Hitler’s chief aide Wilhelm Keitel. Runstedt replied “Make peace you fools, What else can you do?” That answer resulted in the loss, of his position as Commander of Army West.

By the end of June Allied troops had liberated Cherbourg, while taking 25,000 German troops.

The Allied troops would capture another 50,000 German troops.

Hitler remained steadfast in his fight to the end policy, even though some of his generals thought the end was in sight, after the successful invasion at Normandy.

Rommel would be implicated in the July 20, 1944 bombing that killed four, in a futile attempt to assassinate Hitler. He was implicated by others and was given his choice of committing suicide by cyanide, or facing a trial and certain execution. The cyanide was taken by him on October 14, 1944, which was only four months and eight days after the D-Day invasion.

Runstedt was in poor health and died in February of 1953.

Bill Gaither Homecoming Shows Rejuvenated, Started Careers

This post will be interesting to southern gospel fans, since it includes a list of many of the singers and pianists from the Gaither videos who have passed on.

Nostalgia and Now

Bill and Gloria Gaither who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, will also have birthdays next month with Gloria having her 70th birthday on March 4 and Bill observing his 76th birthday on March 28. They were part of the Bill Gaither Trio and they collaborated on writing many well-known songs, in both the contemporary and southern gospel genres including He Touched Me, Because He Lives, The King is Coming and too many other songs to mention them all. Bill and 17 other singers have sung with the Gaither Vocal Band over the years. It was after a Gaither Vocal Band recording session in 1991 that some of the southern gospel greats, who had been recording an album got together to sing as a group and  it was recorded on a video camera.

Videos Released Yearly Since 1991 It would be the first of many homecoming videos, with some being homecoming reunions and…

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Shirley Temple Black Dies At 85

 

 

Shirley Temple 1928-2014

 

America has lost another of our greatest entertainers in Shirley Temple Black, who died Monday night, February 11, in her home near San Francisco at the age of 85. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Alden Black, who died in 2005. They had been married 55 years at the time of his death.

It has been said that Shirley Temple was the most famous child actor in the history of the movies. Very few would want to argue that point.

She was born Shirley Jane Temple, on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California.

A young Shirley Temple early in her career.

Her first two appearances on-screen was in two shorts in 1932 and her first credited role in a movie was for Red Haired Alibi released in 1932. She appeared in several more shorts and uncredited roles in movies and her scenes in Mandalay in 1934 were deleted. However, before the end of 1934 she would appear in seven more movies in credited roles. Little Miss Marker and Bright Eyes were just two of those movies released in 1934.

Temple was also heard on old-time radio in 42 programs.

1935 would see four more Shirley Temple movies released including The Little Colonel and Curly Top. She had appeared in 20 movies by the time she was 7 years old.

By the time 1940 was over Temple had appeared in 34 movies and she was only 12 years old. She then started appearing as a teenager in movies later in the 40’s, including Kiss and Tell and  Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer.

Shirley Temple seen in a scene with Cary Grant from Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer.

Surprisingly she made her last movie in 1949 at the age of 21, when she appeared in a Kiss For Corliss Archer.

Nine years would pass before she would appear in her own television series Shirley Temple Storybook from 1958-1961. She would make her second and last television appearance on Red Skelton Show in 1963.

By the time of her death last night she hadn’t made a movie in 65 years and hadn’t appeared on television in 51 years.

 

IMDB.com lists some interesting trivia about Shirley Temple:

She was 5 foot 2.

1935-1938 were the years of her peak popularity. She was box office champion during those years, topping more famous adult actors and actresses like Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.

By 1939 her popularity had declined.

She married actor John Agar at the age of 17 and the marriage lasted from 1945-1950. They were divorced on December 7, 1950.

Shirley Temple Black shown with her husband Charles Alden Black.

Nine days later she would marry Charles Alden Black, to whom she remained married to, for 55 years until his death in 2005 from bone marrow disease at the age of 86.

Ironically her new husband had never seen any of her movies.

She may have been Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, but 20th Century Fox refused to lend her to MGM to make the movie.

Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine were both named after Shirley Temple.

Would serve as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.

Was on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Her new contract from 20th Century Fox in 1936 paid her $50,000 per film.

A cocktail named after her became known as the Shirley Temple cocktail. It consisted of Ginger Ale or 7-Up, Grenadine and orange juice topped with a Maraschino cherry and a slice of lemon. Temple said she didn’t like the drink.

Gary Cooper asked for Shirley Temple’s autograph, when he met her in 1934.

She made an attempt at political office: In 1967 she ran against Paul McCloskey in the Republican primary for California’s 11th Congressional District. McCloskey won with 52,878 votes to her 34,521. One of the newspaper headlines read: “McCloskey Torpedoes Good Ship Lollypop”.

Some of her other political appointment jobs:

U.S. Chief of Protocol

      U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
      Delegate to the United Nations
She acted in the movies while the country was in a depression and has this to say about that:
I class myself with Rin Tin Tin. People in the Depression wanted something to cheer them up, and they fell in love with a dog and a little girl.
Shirley Temple brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people during her 17 year movie career and she went on to serve our country as an ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and as a delegate to the United Nations.
Her acting career may have ended over 50 years ago, but her movies will live on in the hearts, of those who have seen them and will continue to see them, as they are handed down from generation to generation.
I suspect a lot of DVD and VCR players will be playing Shirley Temple movies today and tonight, as we remember the little girl in the movies, who cheered up a country deep in depression so many years ago.
RIP Shirley Temple

For those who want to see a list of all the Shirley Temple movies:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000073/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

 

 

 

 

X-Factor, Simon Cowell Exit USA

Simon Cowell’s X-Factor USA has been canceled after three seasons.

X-Factor USA never really caught on with American television audiences, so Simon Cowell is heading back to England, after failing to make the show relevant in the United States. Cowell had predicted before the start of the first season, that X-Factor USA would draw 20 million viewers.

Ratings

The ratings only became worse, with each season as evidenced by the finale ratings for each season:

Season One – 12.57 million

Season Two –  9.65 million

Season Three – 6.45 million

The handwriting was on the wall for the show, after the ratings fell 6 million from the first finale to the third finale.

Judges

The judging panel changed each season, with Cowell being the only judge on the panel for all three seasons.

The other three judges for each season:

Season One – L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul

Season Two – L.A. Reid, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato

Season Three – Paulino Rubio, Kelly Rowland, Demi Lovato

Nicole Scherzinger may have been the worst judge, ever in any singing competition, when her indecision forced the panel into a deadlock, which caused Rachel Crow to leave the show. She was dismissed from the panel, after Season One, but amazingly was made a judge on the British version of X-Factor.

Hosts

Each season saw changes in the hosts for X-Factor USA:

Season One – Steve Jones

Season Two – Mario Lopez, Khloe Kardashian

Season Three – Mario Lopez

Steve Jones in Season One was the most ill at ease host I have ever seen on a television show. He became visibly upset, when he was trying to rush the judges, when making their decisions.

Mario Lopez could have done fine in Season Two, without Khloe Kardashian, who seemed out-of-place on the show. It was evident that Cowell saw that Lopez didn’t need any assistance, as he let Lopez host Season Three alone.

Winners

Season One – Melanie Amaro was announced as the first winner of X-Factor USA in December of 2011, but here it is February of 2014 and her debut album has never been released. If I remember correctly the Season One winner was supposed to receive a $5 million recording contract. Now it is doubtful if she will ever release her debut album, with the show no longer in production.

Season Two – Tate Stevens unlike Amaro had his debut album released only four months, after being declared the Season Two winner. His album has received rave reviews at Amazon.com with 63 reviewers rating his album, with five stars while only two reviewers gave it one star. However, the album is not selling well at Amazon and is currently ranked as of today, as 27,339th in music sales.

Season Three – Alex and Sierra were the last winners in the history of X-Factor USA, but it will be interesting to see, if they ever release a debut album.

X-Factor USA winners have not made much of an impact on the American music scene and most people probably couldn’t even tell you, who won in any of the seasons.

Singing competition shows should be measured, by whether the winners become household names and go on to be recording stars. X-Factor USA has failed miserably, when it comes to getting the names of their winners, to the point that American Idol winners have of being instantly recognized.

American Idol, while its ratings are trending downward still has the most name recognition of either X-Factor USA or The Voice. Even Cee Lo Green of The Voice has conceded, that The Voice has not launched a big name on the music scene as of yet. Nobody will take The Voice seriously until one of their winners reaches the status of American Idol winners like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

Some American Idol contestants, who didn’t win their season have gone on to be successful like Jennifer Hudson. She finished 7th on American Idol during Season 3 and went on to release two Gold records and win an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls and won a Grammy for her debut album Jennifer Hudson.

Chris Daughtry also has been a successful recording star, despite finishing 4th in Season 7 of American Idol. His debut album Daughtry has sold close to 5 million and it has gone quadruple platinum.

When The Voice can produce stars like American Idol it will gain credibility as a star-making singing competition.

In summary, X-Factor USA tried to match the popularity of American Idol and The Voice and fell far short of that goal.

The Fox television network only has two hours of programming each night, so they couldn’t afford to let X-Factor take up 3 or 4 hours a week, on their network. Fox network is probably happy to concentrate, on American Idol now and try to stem the loss in viewers of that show.