Archive for the ‘Television Music’ Category

Kevin Eubanks and “The Tonight Show” Band!

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

For years he was Jay Leno’s right-hand-man, on both The Tonight Show and the short-lived Jay Leno Show. Though Kevin Eubanks may best be known as the former Tonight Show with Jay Leno bandleader, he’s also an accomplished musician in his own right. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, plays the piano, violin, guitar, and trumpet, and has recorded several albums. Oh, and he’s appeared on Muppets Tonight, Hollywood Squares, and Days of Our Lives.

Eubanks discusses his easy rapport with Jay Leno in his 2011 Archive interview:

Watch Kevin Eubanks’ full interview here.

Get ready for Emmy!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be given out September 10 and 18, 2011 in Los Angeles.

The Archive of American Television congratulates all of this year’s nominees! Below are some excerpts from the Archive’s nominated interviewees:

Dan Castellaneta, Nominated for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (As “Homer Simpson” on The Simpsons)

David Crane, Nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Episodes)

Louis J. Horvitz, Nominated for Outstanding Directing for a a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special (53rd Grammy Awards)

Susan Lacy , Nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Series (Exec. Producer for American Masters)

Christopher Lloyd, Nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series (co-creator of Modern Family)

Matthew Weiner , Nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Drama Series (creator/writer of Mad Men)

Betty White, Nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (as “Elka Ostrosky” on Hot in Cleveland)

Other interviewees nominated for an Emmy this year:
Robert Dickinson for Outstanding Lighting Design/ Lighting Direction (Conan, 83rd Academy Awards, 53rd Grammy Awards)
Linda Ellerbee for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction (Exec. Producer for Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics)
Michael J. Fox for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (“Louis Cannin” on The Good Wife)
Cloris Leachman for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (as “Maw Maw” on Raising Hope)
Hector Ramirez for Outstanding Technical Director, Camerawork (American Idol, 83rd Academy Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors)
Don Mischer for Outstanding Directing for a a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special (83rd Academy Awards)
Sheila Nevins for Outstanding Children’s Program (Exec. producer for A Child’s Garden of Poetry)
Paul Shaffer for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony)
Tim Van Patten for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Game of Thrones)

The full list of nominees can be found here.

The Creative Arts Emmy Awardss will be held on September 10. The Primetime Emmys Telecast will be broadcast live on September 18 on FOX. Check our 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards page for updates and winners!

62nd Primetime Emmy Noms Announced Today

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

With the 62nd Primetime Emmy Nominations, the Archive of American Television congratulates all of the nominees, including our interviewees:
Paris Barclay (comedy series direction, Glee)
Ken Burns (producer nonfiction series, National Parks: America’s Best Idea)
Kevin Clash (producer children’s nonfiction program, When Families Grieve)
Robert A. Dickinson (lighting direction, 82nd Annual Academy Awards)
Dick Ebersol (exec producer special class programs, Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony)
Sharon Gless (supporting actress drama series, Burn Notice)
Louis J. Horvitz (variety special direction, The Kennedy Center Honors)
Shirley Jones (guest actress drama series, The Cleaner)
Susan Lacy (exec producer nonfiction series, American Masters)
Christopher Lloyd (producer/writer comedy series, Modern Family)
Sheila Nevins (producer nonfiction special, Teddy: In His Own Words & exceptional merit filmmaking Sergio)
Tim Van Patten (miniseries direction, The Pacific)
Betty White (guest actress comedy series, Saturday Night Live)
Dick Wolf (producer nonfiction series, American Masters)

Special note: With 126 total series nominations, Saturday Night Live has now become the most-nominated series of all-time.

Watch the Emmy Awards Sunday, August 29 on NBC!

Music legend Paul Shaffer’s Archive interview is online

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Watch the Archive’s fun and informative interview with David Letterman and early-SNL music guru Paul Shaffer. Among our favorite moments: he plays an impromptu theme song for his new memoir (see the clip below):

Interview description:
In his Archive interview, Paul Shaffer talks about serving as a musician/performer on Saturday Night Live , as well as his long association with David Letterman as music director of Late Night with David Letterman and The Late Show with David Letterman. Paul Shaffer was interviewed in New York, NY on June 24, 2009; Dan Pasternack conducted the three-and-a-half-hour interview.

The Backstory: How Michael Jackson almost didn’t make TV History in 1983

Saturday, June 27th, 2009



“…I shudder to think how close we came to not having that moment ever happen.”

Although not yet online, here’s a striking interview excerpt from the Archive of American Television’s interview with legendary producer, Don Mischer, who co-produced and directed Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, where Michael Jackson mesmerized the audience with his tradmark “moonwalk.” The interview was conducted November 7, 2008 by Beth Cochran.

“Suzanne de Passe had called me. She was a longtime associate of Berry Gordy and Motown Records and we started having meetings about doing a celebratory show about the 25th anniversary of Motown. I grew up on Motown music. The Temptations, the Tops, the Miracles, Smokey Robinson, it was just right down my alley. We started working on that.

It was a tough show to do. Many of the artists that appeared on that stage that night were suing Berry Gordy. Suzanne and I used to fight these battles about people wanting to do new material because many of them had left the Motown label and wanted to do new songs. Suzanne was so eloquent in talking to them. Our approach was: this is the 25th anniversary of Motown, it’s a celebration of music that started in Detroit and has now swept the nation. It did so much for civil rights, for the merging of black and white music, “you must do your most famous Motown song. You can’t do a new song.” We said that to Marvin Gaye and to the Tops and the Temps and everybody else who was on that show.

We wanted to bring the Jackson 5 back together. Michael Jackson said, “I will consider coming back again with my brothers, but I want to do a new song.” Suzanne and I said, “look, we can’t do that. If you say no to Marvin Gaye and no to Lionel Ritchie, no to a new song, how are you going to say yes to Michael Jackson? We really, really can’t do this. It’s not fair, it’s got to be favored nations, everybody’s got to do the traditional stuff.” And it was like the Monday before the show which was being shot on a Friday, that we finally realized that it was too much to lose to not have the Jackson 5 reunite on the 25th anniversary of Motown. So we said, we’re going to at least have to consider it.


It’s now the night before the Friday night taping. I’m in the truck. Michael shows up. We talk about how we’re going to do the Jackson 5. Michael always gives me hand cues about when to do certain things. “When I break my wrist I do this, when I point this way, I take my hat off and we, you know, whatever.” So Linda Ronstadt’s out there, Smokey’s out there, Diana Ross was just sitting in the audience, a bunch of runners and Pas sitting around. And Michael says, “okay, now let’s try the new song.”


Michael starts to do “Billie Jean” with the moonwalk. And I kick myself today: why didn’t I pop a piece of tape into a tape recorder in the truck and shoot this? I didn’t think about it. It was just another song, we were prepared not use. And man, it just electrified everyone! You know the rest of the story. He ended up doing it and it became one of the real remarkable moments in television. I shudder to think how close we came to not having that moment ever happen.”

Manager Bernie Brillstein Has Died

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Bernie Brillstein, who represented many comedy legends and helped shephard classic television programming, has died at age 77.

Bernie Brillstein full 8-part interview will be online soon and can be viewed in its entirety at Academy Headquarters.

Interview description:
Brillstein talked about his experiences growing up in the various entertainment worlds of New York City, and how he eventually landed a job in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. He discussed his meeting with WMA client Elvis Presley, and fondly remembered his first meeting with eventual client, puppeteer Jim Henson. He explained his reasons for leaving the agency to become a personal manager, and the work that he did on behalf of his various clients. He described his role in creating the long-running syndicated series Hee Haw, and his efforts at getting The Muppet Show on the air. He also spoke about his representation of writer/producer Lorne Michaels, and his involvement in the early years of Saturday Night Live. Brillstein reminisced about clients including John Belushi and Gilda Radner, and later explained his move into the executive suites at Lorimar. Finally, he talked about his partnership with Brad Grey, and the clients and programs that they have represented. The interview was conducted by Dan Pasternack on November 14, 2001.

"Andy Griffith Show" Theme Composer Earle Hagen Has Died at the Age of 88

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008


Earle Hagen, who composed (and whistled) The Andy Griffith Show theme, has died. The accomplished composer also wrote the memorable Dick Van Dyke Show theme music and won an Emmy Award for I Spy.

Earle Hagen was interviewed by TV’s Biggest Hits author Jon Burlingame in 1997. His entire five hour interview can be viewed here.

Interview description:

Mr. Hagen described the pleasure of working with producers Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas, and creating the themes, as well as writing the music for: The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Spy, and Mod Squad, to name a few.

"Love Boat" on DVD, Charles Fox Interview Online

Friday, March 14th, 2008


The Love Boat has finally made it to DVD and just hearing the theme song brings back memories of Saturday nights and the Love Boat/Fantasy Island pairing.

The Archive has interviewed several of the creative team behind the series, including composer Charles Fox, who was responsible for many of TV’s most memorable theme songs.



Click here to watch the entire 7-part interview with Charles Fox.

Interview description:

Fox talked about his musical education, which included studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1959-61. He spoke about breaking into composing for television, writing transition material for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as well as the bold and energetic theme song for ABC’s Wide World of Sports. He spoke in great detail about Love American Style, a series for which he wrote the theme song and scored music for the entire series run. He described other series for which he both scored the theme song and created libraries for track music. He described his work on Laverne & Shirley, including details about the pilot presentation and the creation of the theme song and main title. Additionally he talked about his work on the series: Happy Days, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, and The Paper Chase. He also discussed his work in television movies (including Victory at Entebbe) and feature films (including The Other Side of the Mountain and Foul Play), as well as composing other popular songs. B-roll consisted of Fox performing a medley of his television theme songs as well as “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on June 29, 2004.

Happy New Year 2008!

Friday, December 28th, 2007


Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve reaches its 36th annual edition with the Dec 31, 2007-January 1, 2008 special.

Dick Clark spoke about his first New Year’s special in 1959 and his inaguaration of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 1972, when he was interviewed by the Archive of American Television (scroll to 24 minutes into the segment below) on July 29, 1999.

To access Dick Clark’s entire Archive intervew, click here.

Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest will host the special starting at 10:00 p.m. (ET & PT) from New York.

Link to Official ABC site.

An Archive Christmas Special: Andy Williams

Friday, December 21st, 2007


To celebrate the season, the Archive has posted our interview with Andy Williams. Williams hosted his network primetime variety series from 1958-71. The best-known version ran on NBC from 1962-71 and featured “Moon River” as its theme song. Through his variety series, Williams began hosting a series of Christmas specials. From these specials and his many renditions of Christmas standards, he’s become closely associated with the holiday.

Listen to Andy Williams talk about his work in television in his 3-part Archive Interview. And be sure to visit this link to TV Land to see a special video, Andy Williams and America’s Favorite Christmas Show, featuring excerpts from the interview.

….AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EVERYONE AT THE ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION!

Interview Description:
Andy Williams discusses his early career working in his brothers’ singing group on stage and in radio, before embarking on a solo career. He spoke about his early appearances on television, including being cast as a regular singer on Steve Allen’s Tonight show. He then spoke in great detail about hosting his own series The Andy Williams Show. For this series he talked about the production schedule, some of his favorite guest stars (including the Osmond Brothers, whom he is credited with discovering), and the show’s segue into a series of Christmas specials. In conclusion, he discussed the establishing of his own theater in Branson, Missouri.