Network: CBC Television Network
Broadcast Run: 1952 to 1959
Broadcast Medium: Television
Aired weekly on Sunday evenings, from September 1952 to June 1959. This popular radio show made the transition to television with equal success. Canadian General Electric, CGE, who stayed with the show until 1959, sponsored the program. The show was definitely a part of the “golden age” of television, noted for lavish production numbers and formal attire. Don Cameron and Pat Patterson usually demonstrated the latest products from General Electric including washers, dryers, polishers and vacuum cleaners. The original host was Joyce Sullivan.
The show featured the Howard Cable Orchestra and the Bill Brady singers and the Showtime dancers. The program often paid tribute to Broadway musicals and popular songwriters such as Jules Styne, Arthur Schwartz, Alan Lund and Rodgers & Hammerstein.
In 1954, Elmer Eisler conducted the chorus of eight singers, and the vocal soloists were Shirley Harmer and Don Garrard. Robert Goulet replaced Garrard in 1956. The following year, Gloria Lambert took over from Harmer as the female soloist, and in the final season, Joyce Sullivan returned. Don Gillies was the principal dancer in the troupe from 1954, and the choreographer from 1955 to 1956.
Fred Kelly, brother of the famous Gene Kelly, was the choreographer for the last 3 seasons. A summer edition of the program aired in 1958 with Allan Blye and Barbara Franklin, featuring some outdoor concerts and a barbershop quartet called The Rhythmaires.
Producers: Norman Campbell, Len Casey, Don Hudson and Stan Harris.
Directors: Len Casey, Stan Harris, Sidney Wayne, Peter MacFarlane and Norman Jewison.
Set Designers: Bill Zahurak, Dick Harrison, Jack McCullagh and Dick Lambert.
Choreography: Don Gillies, Fred Kelly and Maggie St. Clair.
Written by John Corcelli – September, 2007