Golden Oldies from Broadway Babe feature Stephen Spielberg’s 1995 AFI Tribute, Nat King Cole, Dinah Shore, Ginger Rogers, George Burns and Ethel Merman plus 1985’s Night of a 100 Stars.
March 10, 2023: Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller has some more incredible finds for us to enjoy including: The Night of 100 Stars, with over 200 stars, plus Sandy, the dog! Also, a star- studded American Film Institute tribute to Steven Spielberg from 1995 (28 years ago), and we know how much more he’s contributed to keeping us entertained since then; the legendary Dinah Shore, along with fellow legends, Nat King Cole, Ginger Rogers and George Burns; and 15 minutes of Broadway great, Ethel Merman, singing a medley of her hits!
“Night of 100 Stars”
This aired on ABC-TV in 1982, was an all-star variety TV Special celebrating the Centennial of The Actors Fund of America. It won the Emmy Award for outstanding variety, music or comedy program. It was produced by renowned Broadway producer, Alexander Cohen. I can only imagine what went into the logistics to put this incredible special together. I think every living major star at that time appeared on this show, which was videoed at Radio City Music Hall. Ticket buyers paid up to $1000 a seat which was tax-deductible as a contribution to The Actors Fund. Most of the audience of 5800 had no idea in advance that they were paying to see a TV taping.
The show itself cost about $4 million to produce and was expected to yield around $2 million for the new addition to The Actors Fund Retirement Home in Englewood New Jersey. ABC supposedly paid more than 5 million for the TV rights. Some of the stellar cast included: Liza Minnelli (at the height of her fame who stopped the show with her performance), Tony Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Peter Allen, Lauren Bacall, Warren Beatty, Harry Bellafonte,James Cagney, Cher, Carol Channing, Sammy Davis, Jr, the Rockettes. There were actually over 200 stars…. plus Sandy the dog, from “Annie”!
The Dinah Shore Show
So much joy with so much music! From December 29, 1961, “The Dinah Shore Show”– New Year’s Eve show which aired on NBC on December 29, 1961, starring the legendary Dinah and other irreplaceable legends: Ginger Rogers, George Burns, and Nat King Cole. It was a classy and fun, upbeat, celebratory show with all of them singing and dancing (including George Burns, who sometimes seems out of his comfort zone, but is, indeed, delightful). The sponsor was S & H Green Stamps. In those days, the commercials aired live, as though they were part of the show. Remember seeing your mother licking those stamps and putting them in the little books? I remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother and licking those stamps so we could redeem some interesting merchandise. It’s hard to believe that this delicious program is over 60 years old!
The American Film Institute Salute to Steven Spielberg
This is a must see! From 1995, Tom Hanks hosts this warm and touching salute for one of the most loved and respected film directors to ever grace this planet. And it’s easy to see why Spielberg is so admired, especially from this tribute with colleagues, peers and family. And you’ll definitely get the flavor of his delicious personality watching this. His parents who were still alive at the time (28 years ago) are there saluting their son. And his mother does look like Michelle Williams who “plays” her in “The Fabelmans”. Spielberg was the youngest film director to ever win this prestigious award. He is gracious and humble, thanking his mentor, Sid Sheinberg, as well as acknowledging his 50 year collaboration with composer, John Williams. Spielberg has proven to be the most commercially successful filmmaker in the history of cinema. This was truly a star-studded event where every important figure in the film business came out to pay tribute to him.
THE first lady of Broadway Musicals, singing the medley of her hits at Ethel Merman, THE first lady of Broadway Musicals, singing the medley of her hits at the Waldorf Astoria, in the mid-1970s. This was recorded for part of a PBS-TV special. Tony Bennett introduces the “Merm” as brassy, classy and sassy! Yes, she was. Broadway musical aficionados will absolutely adore this performance. I know I did!
Bette Midler: One Night Only
“Bette Midler: One Night Only”, from 2014, an ITV special hosted by Joanna Lemley…Bette’s first TV venture in London. A celebration of Bette’s 50 year career with songs and candid conversation.