Friday, December 08, 2023

TV Show Title Cards Part Three

This is part three of our look at some vintage hand-drawn TV Title Cards from the early 1950s. 

Part One is here.

Part Two is here


Tim McCoy's Wild West was a daily series (one of many of Tim McCoy's TV shows -- see the second title card) where he would talk about the history of the old west. More here.



Songs For Sale (1950-52) was hosted by Steve Allen and featured many musical acts.

Peter Potter hosted Jukebox Jury, first on radio and then, beginning in 1948, on television. 

"On 'Jukebox Jury', six young, glamorous late-Forties' B-movie stars and minor recording artists were on-hand to judge the latest record company releases. Celebrities like Barry Sullivan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Phyllis Winger, and Jane Powell form a six pack of stars who line up on either side of the host. Their job: to sit still and look cool while the three-minute single played and the TV camera probed them - then offer an opinion of the record." - TV Party


The Garry Moore Show was a chat/variety show that ran for eight years from 1950 to 1958. With his co-host Durwood Kirby, the program then moved to prime time where it ran for another four years.


I believe this Late Show title card to correspond with a late night movie series on a West Coast station.

If this was The Walt Disney Christmas Show of 1951, then it was essentially a promo for the company's new Peter Pan movie as well as the Snow White rerelease.


The Patricia Bowman Show was a one-season wonder. A musical variety program, the show was a "[L]ive variety series showcasing the dancing abilities of ballerina Patricia Bowman." - CTV


The Sammy Kaye Show was a mainstay for the the 1950s, running from 1950 to 1959. 

From Nostalgia Central:

"Bandleader Sammy Kaye first brought his swing-and-sway music to television in 1949, with two specials. He later appeared in several series during the 1950s, on various networks.

"Kaye’s most famous trademark was his 'So You Want to Lead a Band' audience-participation routine, which he had used for years in personal appearances and on radio, and it was also featured in most of his TV series.

"In it, Kaye chose half a dozen members of the studio audience to try their hands at band-leading. The band did exactly what the ‘leader’ indicated with their baton, sometimes to hilarious effect. The best bandleader was chosen by audience applause and awarded a prize.

"Kaye also provided straight entertainment with his orchestra, vocalists, and guests, and often led a community sing-a-long. He ended each show with an inspirational poem.

"The various Sammy Kaye series, though essentially similar in format, went under a number of titles over the years. The 1950 edition was called So You Want to Lead a Band. In 1951-1952 it was The Sammy Kaye Variety Show, in 1953 The Sammy Kaye Show, and in 1954-1955 So You Want to Lead a Band.

"The 1958 series was first called Sammy Kaye’s Music from Manhattan (the sponsor was Manhattan shirts), then in January 1959 switched to The Sammy Kaye Show and in April 1959 to Music from Manhattan. You would never have known the difference by watching them."


Ricky and the Magic Trolley was a Los Angeles-based puppet show, sponsored by Nesbitt's orange drink. Tom Scott, grandson of B.R. Murphy, President of Nesbitt Fruit Products Company from 1943 to 1959 has this to say on his Nesbitt's Fact Page:

"Nesbitt's was the sponsor of an early television show in Los Angeles called 'Ricky and the Magic Trolley. It was a puppet show that was done circa 1952-1953. I remember going to the set with my grandfather when I was 6 or 7 years old along with my two younger sisters. We went to do a live TV commercial with a couple of other kids who were the daughters of the Nesbitt ad agency guy. It was in the same studio as 'Space Patrol,' one of my favorite TV shows at the time. I was thrilled to sit in the cockpit of the space ship. The Ricky puppet show set was raised off the floor so the puppeteers could stand up under it."

Thursday, December 07, 2023

TV Show Title Cards Part Two

Here are some more TV show title cards from 1952. Again, these were all hand mounted, with hand-lettering and art. No credit to the artist(s) given, as was the norm. Some fascinating graphics from some very long gone vintage television shows. 


Racket Squad ran for three seasons from 1950 to 1953. While it starred Reed Hadley and involved ordinary citizens getting duped into confidence schemes, the narrator of the show, Hugh Beaumont, would go on to great fame as the father in the long running Leave It To Beaver series. 


Dr. Froelich Rainey hosted the quiz show What in the World? from 1951 to 1955 "in which the scholar-contestants tried to identify artifacts. The objects were primarily archaeological in nature, but also consisted of fossils, ethnographic items and more. It premiered on October 7, 1951 on CBS." - Wikipedia


Big Town, about a crusading newspaper editor, was a big thing. It started (like a lot of TV shows) on radio (with Edward G. Robinson as the newspaper editor), some movie adaptations, then television -- airing for four years on CBS and one more on NBC. It was also a DC Comic book for fifty issues. TV and radio episodes can be found online.


A classy shot of Jack Benny. 

Perry Como had a number of shows and specials, The Perry Como Chesterfield Show (1950-55) being one.



Steve Allen was another guy who was all over in this time, what with guest appearances on What's My Line? and his own shows.


No information on Singing Rails found online.


Here's a pre-Mister Ed Alan Young with his own show! It ran for nine years on radio and TV with different formats.


I think this is an alternate title to Studio One, the long-running, award-winning anthology series.


I love the lettering extravaganza on this Thrifty Cut Rate Presents Story Theatre title card.


Peter Potter's Jukebox Jury was a music/quiz show that started locally on KCBS in Los Angeles, and soon went national.


While this is a title card for a TV series called A Table at Ciro's, the only information that comes up is an IMDB listing for a 1996 TV movie by that name starring Darren McGavin, Sherilyn Fenn, Lois Chiles and Donna Murphy.


Steve Allen, with no glasses? Unrecognizable.


Gee whiz, Beat the Clock, was a game show that came and went and came and went through the years.


"The Continental is an American television series that aired on CBS in 1952. It starred Renzo Cesana in the title role. The 15-minute program was shown on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:15pm, at the end of the night's prime time schedule." - Wikipedia

Amos 'n' Andy, first a long-running radio show and then a television series. Reviled, now, for its insensitivity. But in its day, such a popular radio series that movie theatres advertised that they would stop the feature and pipe the radio show into the loudspeakers for the audience.


Ghaa! The Guiding Light. My goodness. That soap opera was on for years. Wikipedia says:  

"It is listed in Guinness World Records as the second longest-running drama in television in American history. Guiding Light aired on CBS for 57 years between June 30, 1952 and September 18, 2009, overlapping a 19-year broadcast on radio between January 25, 1937 and June 29, 1956."


From the Ed Sullivan site

"The Ed Sullivan Show aired from 1948 until 1971 and changed the landscape of American television. Sullivan’s stage was home to iconic performances by groundbreaking artists from rock ‘n’ roll, comedy, novelty, pop music, politics, sports, opera and more." 

It was originally titled Toast Of The Town.


"Sports Beat" with Bill Symes is lost to history so far as the web is concerned. Lovely art here.


Whistling Wizard was a rare, short-lived color TV show for kids with the Baird Puppets (performed by Bil and Cora Baird). The Baird Puppets are best known for the Lonely Shepherd sequence in The Sound of Music movie.

- Edited from an October 7, 2021 blog entry.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

TV Show Title Cards 1952 Part One

Here are some vintage television show title cards from 1952 -- all hand-drawn and hand-lettered by anonymous toilers. 


I like this cartoon of poor weatherman Robert Hudson getting rained on by "The Weather." Like some of these old TV shows, The Weather with Robert Hudson is lost to history -- at least that was the result of my cursory internet search.

This kiddie show, Alibi's Tent Show, was hosted by Western movie actor Max Terhune, who was also known for his ventriloquism skills according to the Hollywood Hoosiers site.

Love their hair. The Web showcased stories by members of The Mystery Writers of America. This live television series aired for four seasons (1950-54). Source: IMDB.

Nothing about this specific TV show, America's Fighting Champions, on the web. The fighter and his manager sure look happy, though. Fighting and wrestling matches were a big hit in early TV.

Police Story was a 30 minute Live TV anthology series produced live in NYC. Twenty four episodes were produced from April to September 1952. Of course, the title was revived for another series some years later.

The Stork Club was a Manhattan-based talk show hosted by Sherman Billingsley that ran for five years beginning in 1950.

The Buddy Ebsen Show with Sam Hearn sure didn't last long enough to make Buddy's Wikipedia page, but Buddy sure did a lot of other movies and TV shows.

A great title card from the long running What's My Line game show. What's My Line would be in its third year when this 1952 title card was made.

Studio One (1948 - 1958): "Created by Fletcher Markle. With Betty Furness, Paul Branson, Charlton Heston, Mary Sinclair. A pinnacle of the Golden Age of Television, 'Studio One' presented a wide range of memorable dramas and received eighteen Emmy nominations and five wins during its prestigious nine-year run on CBS." - IMDB

Tele-Sports Digest is a lost television show.

The Frank Sinatra Show (also known as Bulova Watch Time) was a variety series hosted by Sinatra. It ran for two years beginning in 1950.

Where Do You Stand? certainly sounds like a serious show but there is nothing about it to be found in my brief internet search.

Watch and Win with Ben Alexander has a lovely title card with the cartoon TV viewer with dollar signs in his eyes. I'm not sure, but this may be the same Ben Alexander who was a child star beginning in 1915, and was in the 1930 version of All Quiet On the Western Front. Ben Alexander then went to be an early partner of Jack Webb's Joe Friday on Dragnet.

Nothing about the 1952 "USHO" Cormorant Fishing in Japan TV show, but I did find out that

"Cormorant fishing is an unusual ritual practised in Japan. These aquatic birds are expert fish catchers with razor sharp beaks. Fishermen, called ‘usho’ in Japan, use the birds to catch fish, tying strings around their throats to stop them eating their catches. Once the birds surface on the water with a fish, the ‘usho’ removes it from their gullet. The ritual takes place in the evenings and fishing boats are hung with flaming lamps to attract the fish." Video of this is here.

The Bert Parks Show was a musical comedy series from 1950 to 1952.

The Sports Spot title card lets you know about the popular sports of the day. No other information at hand.

"Man Against Crime starring Ralph Bellamy, one of the first television programs about private eyes, ran on CBS, the DuMont Television Network and NBC from October 7, 1949, to June 27, 1954, and was briefly revived, starring Frank Lovejoy, during 1956. The show was created by Lawrence Klee and was broadcast live until 1952." - Wikipedia

Alternate titles are Man Against Crime and Follow That Man.  Some episodes are online.

Journalist Ed Murrow's See It Now ran from 1951 to 1958 on CBS stations.

"The most significant show was on 9 March 1954 during the McCarthy Era. Murrow showed a series of film clips of Senator Joseph McCarthy and revealed how shallow he was and how he lied to promote his programs. Other major shows were: 20 October 1953: 'The Case Against Milo Radulovich, AO589839' that revealed how the US Air Force was trying to discharge Lieutenant Radulovich because it was suspected that his Serbian father and sister were Communist sympathizers; after the show, the Secretary of the Air Force, Harold E. Talbott, reviewed the case and Radulovich was reinstated." - IMDB

The content of Saddle Tales is lost now. This sure is a bleak drawing.

A nice cartoony Pick The Winner title card from 1952 - although the GOP elephant doesn't really "read" for me.

KNXT TV Channel 2's Thrifty Theater has a mention in this April 1, 1952 PDF of TV-Radio Life magazine.

Toast Of the Town, a title card for a show that would change its name to The Ed Sullivan Show.

Information on any TV series that begins with "Thrifty" is scant or, in this case, nonexistent.

That's Arlene Francis getting ghostly inky hands over her face in this card for Who's There? It was a

"[S]ummer replacement show with the three panelists attempting to guess a celebrity's name after viewing articles of clothing or props associated with him or her." IMDB

More anon.

 - Edited from an October 6, 2021 blog entry.