Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Little Screens

This recent New York Times slideshow introduced me to the photography of Lee Friedlander, specifically his series of photos featuring images of television shows and commercials as seen on actual TVs in the early 1960's.  Oddly enough, I found my own cache of similar images at an estate sale recently, the work of another TV fanatic from 1964.  I'm not sure if he was inspired by Friedlander, but looking through the various images, I can tell what did inspire him.

Featuring random shots of mainly talk show programs, this photographer leaned primarily toward the female guest (and often her figure). Most shots are labeled with the program name and broadcast date.

"Burke's Law" was a detective show that was reworked into a secret agent show near the end of its run.
"Professor" Irwin Corey was a stand-up comedian who introduced improvisational comedy at the San Francisco nightclub "Hungry I". He passed away just this past February at the age of 102. His daughter, shown with him, passed away before him at the age of 81 in 2006.

I have no idea who the "South African Girl" is, but the miniskirt did become popular around this time. Merv is decidedly distracted.

"Chiller Theater" was a local late night horror show which featured B movies. "Macumba Love" dates from 1960. The "Bosomy Unknown" is June Wilkinson.

Ziva Rodann was an Israeli-born actress who emigrated to St. Louis with her family in the late 1940's and is a graduate of local Kirkwood High School.

I have no idea who Yonnone (Yvonne?) Constance is.

Les Crane had a New York-based late-night talk show called Night Line.  The Rolling Stones made their American debut on the show in June of 1964.  Too bad our photographer didn't get a photo of that.

Debbie Drake was an early physical fitness television personality who appeared on a number of talk shows during the 1960's.

Marty Allen and Steve Rossi are a largely forgotten comedy team who were popular in the early 1960's. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on 3 of the same nights as The Beatles, which may explain why they're largely forgotten.

Chris Condon was a local St. Louis newscaster on the NBC affiliate KSD-TV.

Apparently, the photographer of these intended to put them together in albums by show, but never got around to it.


  1. how funny -- he seemed to mainly have an eye for blondes and legs. i love the shots of Charlie Weaver doing the exercise routine, haha. and Jayne Mansfield and Angie Dickinson! they were true bombshells in their time.

  2. The Carpetbaggers was released to theaters in the Spring of 1964, so this wouldn't be a TV airing. "Movie Kingdom" must have been a "behind the scenes" type program, as that's famed costume designer Edith Head alongside Ms. Baker.

    Yowza, lots of choice material here. Who'd have thought Sixties' TV was so "cleavage-friendly"?

    1. I'd never heard of Edith Head, but after seeing her, now I know where The Incredibles got the Edith character from. Thanks for that tidbit, James.

  3. The now-defunct Square America had pics of a similar nature taken in 1957 by a different unknown photographer, who had a similar eye for females but not nearly the record-keeping wherewithal of the guy here.

    1. Oh wow, I forgot all about squareamerica. That used to be one of my favorite sites and I do recall those photos now.


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