Here's a segment from Arthur Godfrey's Daily morning show from November 6, 1958, Jackie Gleason and the vocal group The Big Four are in the studio with Arthur, it's a relaxed fifteen minutes:
It's TV and radio personalities like Godfrey, or Garry Moore, Arlene Francis, Robert Q. Lewis, and others of their ilk that you just can't really explain to a modern, edgy ADD audience, someone who was more good company than great talent. Godfrey did several hours of radio and television a day in the 1950's, and it was just relaxed chit-chat with whomever showed up at the studio, but he had a good band, and kept things relaxed and fun, one tuned in just to see what they were up to at CBS that day. All the folk I mentioned did many hours of live broadcasting five or more days a week on television, these were people who knew how to converse, and were actually likeable (at least on television). This was the kind of television you could just leave on while you did the chores, and focus on when it got interesting. These people were more like old friends than performers, but they were performers talented enough to project that image. Beats the angry and vapid crap on the airwaves these days.
RICHARD M ROBERTS
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