March 2002


Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau was the honoree for the January luncheon. Landau has been an actor for over five decades in films, Broadway and in television. His current film release is The Majestic co-starring Jim Carrey. Remembered for his role in the TV series “Mission Impossible,” Landau was a pioneer of early live television appearing on “Kraft Theatre,” “Studio One,” “Philco Playhouse,” “Playhouse 90” and “Armstrong Circle Theatre” among many others during the “Golden Years” of television. On hand to recount their personal and professional association with Landau were Peter Lupus, a co-star on “Mission Impossible”; musician, actor, director/producer Mark Rydell; Buddy Hackett; Zina Bethune, actress/ballerina; writer Michael Sloane; writer/producer/director and PPB in-house comedian HAL KANTER; film producer/personal manager and former partner of Landau, Richard Abramson; actress Sally Kirkland and Richard Marcus, actor. Also on the dais were PPB President TOM HATTEN and Entertainment Chair JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN. The program was filled with fun poking and a multitude of accolades. Landau’s response, when accepting his award from TOM HATTEN, was filled with gratitude for PPB and loving words for all of the participants. A notable tribute to a fine actor.


PPB Founding President ART GILMORE kept the audience in suspense for a short time while telling a few of the accomplishments of the Diamond Circle recipient. “If we tick off all the shows this guy has done, we’ll be here for dinner,” said ART. The man wears two hats, one for being a sound effects artist in radio for such shows as “Perry Mason,” “Gang Busters,” “Lowell Thomas,” “Edward R. Murrow,” “Dr. Malone” and many others. Then came along television and he managed to make things brighter on “The Garry Moore Show,” “Ed Sullivan,” “Jackie Gleason,” “Bob Hope,” “Flip Wilson,” “Don Knotts,” “Perry Como” and “Days of Our Lives”… The writing hat was worn for contributing material, as well as doing sound effects, on “The Garry Moore Show,” “Andy Williams” and “Ed Sullivan.” In his book, When Horses Were Coconuts, he tells of writing for the early “Dick Van Dyke Show” and even wrote for Red Skelton. He has authored three books, written many magazine articles and has just completed a screenplay entitled, The Morning Glory Gang. His latest book is Radio Live—TV Live… And if you didn’t guess it, the newest member to the Diamond Circle is ROBERT MOTT. Well-deserved recognition, BOB.


If you missed the last two Nostalgia Nights, you really missed hearing some wonderful stories and insight into two fabulous careers in different areas.


Nostalgia Night guest, January 3, (what a great way to end the holidays) was producer/director, man of many talents, PPB Board member BOB FINKEL. BOB was producer/director of many of the old musical shows, “Bing Crosby,” “Dinah Shore,” “Perry Como” and others. While talking about the programs, he showed highlights from many of them, including “The Perry Como Show” and a special with Tony Bennett. BOB also showed a half hour of highlights from the Emmy Awards, which may be available later on VHS. This was truly an entertaining evening.


Guesting February 7 was another PPB Board member, Broadcast Hall of Famer GARY OWENS. GARY’s career encompasses writing, acting, hosting, management, creating shows and voice-overs for over 3000 animated cartoons. He also hosts his daily radio show on The Music of Your Life network of more than 200 stations. Since this Newsletter goes to print before February 7, I do not know what wonderful stories GARY told on Nostalgia Night, but I’ll tell you what he’s been doing lately. GARY started the new year off like a rocket. He hosts a best-selling CD-ROM from TV-Land called “Blast From the Past.” It’s a trivia game where the players ask the celebrities questions. Celebrities include Ed Asner, Barbara Eden, Loretta Swit, Jaclyn Smith, Bob Denver, Jerry Mathis, Florence Henderson, Davy Jones, Marion Ross and James Doohan. Meanwhile, GARY’s new CD album with Jonathan Winters, “Jonathan and Gary, Out-Patients” is doing well. OWENS also appears in four movies he did last year, including Disney’s Frank McKlusky, C.I., starring Randy Quaid and Dolly Parton. GARY plays himself. The other three films are independents, Puzzled, Mitzvah Communion and Jane White is Sick. All will be released in 2002. And his appearance on Nostalgia Night followed a busy February 4 emceeing the 11th Annual Southern California Sportscasters Awards Luncheon—more on that later. Thanks, GARY.


LINA ROMAY and RAY BRIEM, Nostalgia Night co-chairs, do such an excellent job with guests. The guest for March 7 is not set yet, but not to worry, as they always have exciting people. Don’t forget, Nostalgia Night is the first Thursday of every month in our Clubroom on the lower level of the Washington Mutual, Sunset and Vine. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and close promptly at 7:30 p.m.


The California Radio Theatre dedicated their Christmas radio program, presented December 15 at the Beverly Garland Theatre in the Garland Holiday Inn Hotel in North Hollywood, to the memory of KATHLEEN FREEMAN, a former PPB Board member and a founding member of CART and a star performer in over fifty CART productions. Those appearing in the show were JOHN HARLAN, BEVERLY GARLAND, Samantha Eggar, Jan Abercrombie, Leslie Easterbrook, WILLIAM WINDOM, LINDA HENNING, LOIS NETTLETON, JOHN ASTIN, Cornelia Hayes O’Herlihy, Marty Macguire, Bairbre Dowling, JO ANNE WORLEY, TOM WILLIAMS, Thomas MacGreevey, Paul Keith, Paul Baker on the Grand Harp and Nancy Cartwright. Those attending were other founding members LES TREMAYNE, PARLEY BAER and JANET WALDO along with an enthusiastic full house. PEGGY WEBBER wrote the script, directed, produced and played a small part. The CART shows are continuing to be heard over KPFK and KCSN and National Public Radio, but sporadically. The nation wide “radio thinking” is that drama is out of fashion. Hopefully, this will change. WEBBER says she has over one hundred scripts and many stars waiting in the wings.


BOBB LYNES, former Sperdvac president, writes that JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN was guest speaker at the January Sperdvac meeting. Husband LUCKY BROWN helped from the audience and the two are now honorary Sperdvac members. PPBer DON McCROSKEY records all the meetings and is currently vice-president of the 27-year-old Sperdvac. HERM SAUNDERS will be the guest speaker at the March 9 meeting. The meeting is at the Mid-Valley Library, 16244 Nordhoff Street, North Hills. It starts at 12 noon and all are invited, and it is free and open to the public. 


Speaking of JEANNE and LUCKY BROWN, while finishing their feature film, The Stone Man, did one extra day of filming and happily cast PPB Past President JACK BROWN as the super of the building, being interrogated by detectives Ron Masak and Larry Manetti. They report he did a “super” job.


BARNEY PHANEUF, who writes the CBS newsletter, did a great story on Emmy winner, PPB Board member GIL WYLAND, saying, “Gil Wyland’s long-deserved Emmy is a reminder of the contributions of technicians to the art of radio and television.” BARNEY’s newsletter also contained a good picture of RAY ANGONA and a children’s story by RALPH STORY.


Diamond Circle member DON McCALL has moved to Redwood City, but promises to stay in touch. PAT GLEASON spent the holidays with family in Wisconsin and is currently getting Ralph Edwards Productions archives in shape after the office move.


ED ROTHHAAR writes that although he has retired, after 38 years as professor of speech and communications at San Bernardino Valley College, he is still very much a part of their PBS TV station. On January 6, his series “I Remember Television” began its 15th season on KVCR (ch 24). He writes and hosts the series for programs from TV’s first decade such as “Tennessee Ernie Ford” and “The Dinah Shore Show.” “We’re a busy family,” he writes, “my brother is busy on a TV series and my nephew is on television and in films.”


ED HAMMOND went to Michigan to visit relatives for the holidays. “A long, hard, cold drive,” says ED, “but worth it.” ANNE NELSON’s family Christmas card was sensational as usual. A book, originally started by PPB luncheon honoree the late BILLY BARTY as his autobiography, is being completed with the consent of his family by Linda Jones. Ms. Jones would appreciate hearing stories from BILLY’s friends and co-workers. E-mail: lindaleejones39@hotmail.com.


LOUISE ARTHUR says that the Howard Museum in Burbank, which contains many artifacts of interest to people in the entertainment business, is adding a third floor to their building. They recently received a $250,000 donation, says LOUISE. The cowboy boots and cowboy hat that LOUISE’s late husband, actor Leonard Penn, wore in the “Hopalong Cassidy” series, as well as in over 55 westerns he made, are on display, along with his silver cigarette case with his initials set in real diamonds. Penn made over 100 films. LOUISE met Leonard, who was under contract to MGM, on the set of Girl of the Golden West with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. LOUISE, an actress, had just arrived in California from New York when they met…and the rest is history. Another tid-bit…LOUISE and Leonard did summer stock with Board Chairman RALPH EDWARDS in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1948.


CHUCK CECIL is celebrating 50 years in Los Angeles radio, starting at KFI in 1952. His “Swingin’ Years” is currently heard on KCSN, Northridge and KLON, Long Beach. February was a busy month as CHUCK emceed a program re-creating the music of the late twenties and early thirties, with Dean Mora and his Modern Rhythmists. He also emceed the beginning of the third year of Satin Ballroom dances at Veterans Hall in Culver City where a thousand dancers swing to the fifteen-piece band of Bill Elliott.CHUCK also emceed a celebration of swing at a show in Glendale starring Page Cavanaugh, Beryl Davis, Johnny Van and others.


The Eleventh Annual Southern California Sports Broadcasters Awards luncheon, February 4, at the Lakeside Country Club in Toluca Lake, was peppered with PPBers. Long-time member CHUCK BENEDICT received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. A founding member of the organization, he conceived the concept of the annual awards luncheon, and for the first four years and the ninth and tenth years was general chairman. CHUCK was sports director and talk-show host on KLAC, KGIL and KIEV, sports anchor at KTTV-11 and worked part and full time with the LA Rams for forty years. BENEDICT administers the Heisman trophy voting for the twelve western states and writes two columns weekly for the Glendale News Press. CHUCK was also general chairman for this year’s luncheon.


PPB Board member GARY OWENS emceed the event and did a sportscasting skit with Jonathan Winters. SCBA members in attendance, who are also prominent PPBers, were First Vice-President GIL STRATTON, Nostalgia Night co-chair LINA ROMAY, former Board member MIKE WALDEN and CHUCK PANAMA, who is also publicity director for SBCA. The award for Sports Broadcasting Excellence in the year 2001 went to Vin Scully.


Last minute note. GEORGE FISCHBECK, VP Outreach, tells of his visit to Laughlin, Nevada, which, he says, is like Las Vegas 40 years ago. While there, he saw a great show with Board member EDDIE CARROLL performing his famous Jack Benny act. Former President JACK McQUEEN says there was a great write-up in the Conejo Valley paper about the PPB collection of radio material in the Thousand Oaks Library. Board member JIM POLLOCK and wife Carri are enjoying the return of daughter Dana, who has been in Galway, Ireland for four months, and another month touring the Netherlands, Belgium. France and Czechoslovakia.



Membership Chairman MARGOT EWING reports:


No New Members



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MARCH 29, 2002