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Some show biz nostalgia to ponder
Feb 21, 2013

 

Remember when:
• People in movie theaters actually applauded at the end of the movie?  
• There were cartoons before the feature?  
• There were only a couple of TV channels available and it seemed like the only shows were wrestling (remember Gorgeous George?) and Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour?
• Chlorophyll was added to everything?
• The “sack dress” was the hot fashion look?
• You saw and heard Elvis for the first time? 
• You heard that Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper had died in a plane crash? 
• We rushed home after school to watch The Mickey Mouse Club? Walt Disney introduced the Sunday black-and-white TV show Disneyland, which toured the new theme park he was building in southern California?
Let's keep these recollections flowing with a show biz  trivia quiz (answers at the end of the column):
Music
1. Everybody — at least, everybody of a certain age group — remembers “Fats" Domino and his string of hits in the ’50s. These songs included Blueberry Hill,  I’m Walkin’ and Ain’t That a Shame, among many others.  But, do you remember his first single, which was released in January 1950? And do you remember Fats’ real first name? 
2. Remember Chubby Checker and the “twist” dance craze? What was Chubby’s real name? 
3. From what singer did Elvis Presley pick up his pelvic gyrations?
4. In 1956, an Elvis song stayed at No. 1 on the charts for over six months. What was the song?
5. In the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby, where does Eleanor keep her face?
Movies
1. In 1962, a major motion picture was screened in Japan under the title: We Don’t Want a Doctor. What was this movie called in North America?
2. In 1955, what film role was scheduled for actor James Dean before he died tragically in a car accident? 
3. What actor turned down all these roles:
• The Jack Nicholson role in Witches of Eastwick.
• The Dustin Hoffman role in Rain Man.
• Michael Keaton's title role in Batman.
4. In Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman’s character memorizes a telephone book all the way up to the names William and Marsha Gottsegen. Why is it a Hollywood in-joke that he stopped at those names? 
Television
1. In TV’s Brady Bunch, what actors played the parents? 
2. On the old Donna Reed Show, what actor played the son named Jeff?
3. When did the Swanson company introduce the immortal TV dinner? And was the first one turkey, chicken or filet mignon?
4. Who were TV’s first network co-anchors and in what year were they paired?
Answers
 
Music: 1. Fats Domino’s first single was The Fat Man, which some consider to be the first rock ’n’ roll record. Fats’ real first name is Antoine. 
2. Chubby Checker’s real name is Ernest Evans. The name Chubby was given to him by Dick Clark’s wife who thought the name was a clever “play” on Fats Domino’s name. 
3. Elvis’ pelvis movements were inspired by Bo Diddley. Our parents were shocked!
4. Heartbreak Hotel was No. 1 for over six months in 1956. 
Elvis also scored big that year with Don’t be Cruel, Hound Dog and Love me Tender.
5. Eleanor Rigby “keeps her face in a jar by the door.”
Movies: 1. In North America, the movie was called Doctor No, the first of the James Bond 007 film series starring Sean Connery.
2. James Dean was scheduled to play boxer Rocky Graciano in Somebody Up There Likes Me. After Dean’s death, the role went to Paul Newman and started his rise to stardom.
3. Bill Murray said, “No,” to all of those roles. 
4. William and Marsha Gottsegen are Dustin Hoffman’s father and mother-in-law. 
Television: 1. In the Brady Bunch, the parents were played by Florence Henderson and the late Robert Reed.
2. Paul Peterson played Jeff Stone on the Donna Reed Show. 
I  have always confused him with Ray Peterson, the singer who you may remember from 1960, when he sang, agonized and wept through Tell Laura I Love Her and Corrina Corrina.
3. Swanson came out with the first TV dinner in 1954. It was turkey.
4. It was, “Goodnight Chet,” and, “Goodnight David,” in 1956, when NBC introduced TV’s first network co-anchors on The Huntley/  Brinkley Report.