By: Randie Levine Miller
September 24, 2022. Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller, has unearthed some rare nostalgic gems including the Gypsy Rose Lee TV program, (yes, that Gypsy!) with Eartha Kitt and Lainie Kazan; Jerry Herman in London; Frank Sinatra’s 75th birthday celebration produced by Dean Martin’s company; and a long gone cabaret/piano bar with some cabaret greats!
Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet To Come
The complete two-hour show aired on CBS TV in December 1990. Dean Martin’s production company produced this most exciting tribute to the man and posted this, for all of us to enjoy. It’s a must watch, a true gem! Featuring guests: Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Shirley MacLaine, Sophia Loren, Ella Fitzgerald, Roger Moore, Harry Conick,Jr., Tony Danza and Barbra Streisand. His son, Frank Sinatra, Jr., served as musical director.The special combines biography/profile, archival footage, concert footage, reminiscences by his colleagues as well as by Sinatra, himself. A must watch for Sinatra fans!
Jerry Herman Salute
This delightful Jerry Herman Salute, aired on British TV in 1988. Host Terry Wogan welcomes theater luminaries Georgia Brown, George Hearn, as well as, legendary songwriter Jerry Herman, for a half hour of conversation and songs from “Mack and Mabel.” Jerry sits down at the piano, and performs some of his noted hits! Wogan reminds me of American talk show hosts of yesteryear, Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin, who welcomed many theatrical notables who performed on their shows. This is pure entertainment for musical theater fans.
Gypsy Rose Lee and Friends
From 1967, “Gypsy Rose Lee and Friends,”was a syndicated TV show (1965-68) that was produced at KGO-TV in San Francisco…Here is a rare segment, with guests Lainie Kazan and Eartha Kitt. All of these divas seem to have a bit of attitude, but they all freely dish. Gypsy is quite a personality, (a real character) so talkative, candid, and somewhat outrageous. The theme song of the program is “Let Me Entertain You”. Gypsy, who was originally a burlesque queen, famous for her striptease act, was also an actress, author, and playwright. Lainie sings “Peel Me A Grape” and then Gypsy sings “Let Me Entertain You”, along with Eartha and Lainie. A most enjoyable clip.
Nights at Diva Restaurant
A rare nostalgic find from when we’d frequent the late-night clubs and piano bars in Manhattan. This is a piece of cabaret history with some of yesterday’s leading voices: singers Dorothy Loudon,and Sylvia Syms, as well as composer/pianist/singer, Charles DeForest, who held court at many a piano bar in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. This video is obviously a private video that was posted for all of us to enjoy. The venue was called Diva, which was at 306 East 81st street, which I never knew about. I, as so many others, hung out in the theater district at Ted Hook’s Backstage. Watching this is as good as being at a private party. All of these incredible performers would take the mic and sing for the adoring crowd. The picture isn’t the clearest, but the sound and the feel of “being there” is truly worth experiencing! These classy rooms have, unfortunately, vanished.