Monday, November 19, 2007
spoon river memories


This first clip, below, is a small portion of "THE TODAY SHOW" from the fall of 1963 about a week after "SPOON RIVER" opened on Broadway. This was a Kinescope that I bought because my thought was, I may never be on the Today Show again, and I'd love to have this historic half hour....yes, they gave us an entire half hour of the then Hour and A Half show--Unheard of now....Hugh Downs, who was the Host of The Today Show at that time, had come to see "Spoon River" and was so excited about it, he wanted to share his excitement and some of our show with the Today Show audience, and so they had the entire cast---all six of us---come on the show, one very early morning...This appearance that morning in early October is what made our show the hit it became....This is just a few minutes of that appearance.....You must remember that a Kinescope was just someone sitting in front of a TV set with a 16mm camera and filming the picture as broadcast. This was way before 'tape'. So the quality is not the greatest, and the sound had deteriorated some by the time I had it transfered to tape...Still, it is a fantastic thing to have....


In 1982-83, I made a two hour Documentary of Theatre West for it's Twentieth Anniversary. There were lots of wonderful people on it and there was a whole section on "Spoon River"...this next clip is just a small portion of the "Spoon River" section....that is me singing in the background, plus I am in one of the clips from that first day of rehearsal, and, I am doing the narration, too...How this got on YouTube is amazing to me...! (It had to be Theatre West, somehow....) And, needless to say, I'm glad it did so I can post this here on my blog....All the 8mm films in this clip were taken by me....! As you can tell, I am having a lot of fun with this new "toy"....YouTube Video's, HOORAY!
I mean, isn't this fantastic?


More To Come......







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28 Comments:
had this to say:

good morning, naomi!
how are you, dear?

here from our friend, michele's today

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 8:42:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a treat it is to see those videos, Naomi. Thanks for putting them up for us. I loved Betty's hat (just my style) and I love that you made signs and stencils for the show! Kid of like we had to do for our senior class play in high school...LOL

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 9:19:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I wish I could have seen it in its entirety.

Thank you for the clip. The kinescope held up remarkably well.

Have a good Sunday, my new friend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 10:34:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wooooooooohoooooooo on your You Tubing!
Thank you for the link to Joardon!
Huggles and Love,
Raggedy

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 1:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi,

How wonderful to hear your voice. Loved those videos! I really enjoyed this post a lot!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 1:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

arghhh on my spelling...
Joared!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 1:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

OH, Naomi, what a treat this was! I loved both videos. You just keep getting more and more famous....on the Today Show? Wow! I thought the film held up incredibly well when you consider that was over 40 years ago!
BUT....I have to say MY very favorite is YOUR voice in the background of that second video. As you know (shhhhh!) I've heard some of the Spoon River music and I HAVE to tell you THAT song that you're singing....it haunts me. Is the name of it, "I Am, I Am"? It's one of those songs, both the melody and the lyrics, that touches my soul. I just love it and your voice resonates with me.
And now....I'll have the melody of Spoon River in my head for days...lol Which I also love. Thanks so much for sharing this. I truly enjoyed it! Sure wish I could get that "I Am, I Am" as a single onto my iPod.

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 2:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh how wonderful to see this on tape!! and to see and hear you!!! What an awesome treat for us all. I'm so glad u had this transfered ..not only for all our benefit but for preservation! ..Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 4:01:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Do what what you will, last phrase in the first video:

I'm overwhelmed. No more to say about it

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 4:08:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I LOVE it, oh my Aunty Em has learned how to use Youtube how exciting.
I wish you could have seen me squeeing when I watched, anyone would think a squirrel had just run by HAHAHAH
As for the stencil graffiti shame shame on you LOL

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 5:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Yes, You Tube is fantastic!!!
I couldn't get either video to play from your blog, so I went to You Tube and searched Spoon River and was able to watch them there.
What WONDERFUL memories!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 5:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

These are fantastic clips, Naomi! I liked how Betty talked about your getting ambitious and putting "Spoon River" signs all over town. Those must've been incredible times!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 6:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow! Very cool, Naomi! Thanks for sharing!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 7:44:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I loved both videos, but the second one is my favorite... You did a good job advertising the show with your stencils...very smart. It sure sounds like a lot of fun.....Keep feeding up your memories.

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 12:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I loved watching this again. You looked so serene. It was great seeing Charles Aidman again. He and Diana Muldaur seemed to be in every TV show I ever watched. I'm glad you have something tangible from a great memory.

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 1:04:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm at work, but will check out the clips tonight :-)

So far, I have watched the first 4 episodes of West Wing. I can see why it was so big, and it's great seeing Bradley Whitford and Dule Hill (two of my new fave actors!) in something so ground-breaking. I am looking forward to CD number two!

I did catch your suggestion for the bear, it's there at 7th on the list - I would never leave you out, honey :-)

cq

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 5:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wonderful flashback and to think you were part of it!! Thanks for sharing:)
PS..especailly loved your niece praising you for learning how to use You tube. Keep going and keep growing!

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 7:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi what a delight to be your blog friend. I am always in for a treat here but this is just wonderful! I am going to show the clips to Martin when he gets home. I had no idea you'd been on the Today Show. How many people can say that? I know I say over and over how fascinating your life is but it is just so true!

Never a dull moment in the hills with you.

And I didn't know you could convert your old 8mm over to UTube...that is just so cool.

You were just wonderful! You all were. I am just so excited to see that!

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 12:22:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow! Such a thrill to see this!!! I can't get over what a wonderful speaking voice you have btw lol!! To have that clip from the Today Show must be just...indescribable. I do wish I could have seen the whole show, I really enjoyed what I saw; so very cutting-edge for it's time, I think. And btw, Betty's hat is just divine! What style that woman has!! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 7:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow! Documenting the documentary! Youtube is easy isn't it?

I see you had a different last name on the Today Show clip. You have a very nice voice, Naomi, and all the performances were very excellent. I'm happy you were able to post and give us a 3 dimensional glimpse into the show.

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 8:02:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh how funny that a recording was made from filming a TV! I love these videos.

Monday, November 19, 2007 at 8:44:00 PM PST 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

How great to have captured the essence of it and have it on tape. You have a beautiful voice and they all look such nice people.
Round about the same time I was appearing in a theatre club production of 'Under Milk Wood' by Dylan Thomas. I wish I had a recording of that. I bet you had a ball doing it. And how great that you and Betty are such good friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 3:03:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

videos sure help us not forget!! How lucky you are to have those Naomi!! technology sure has come a long way in our lifetime!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 4:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Good Tuesday afternoon to you, Naomi ! How are you doing ?

You-tube is great, isn't it ?
And so are those old memories...

Hope that you and those you love have a yummy and wonderful Thanksgiving :)

Genuinely,
Loving Annie

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 2:03:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for sharing these videos and your personal commentary about your experiences. Yes, I remember Kinescopes. You were so smart to get a copy of your TV appearance, as material on the Kines is pretty much lost, I think.

Surely wish I could have seen "Spoon River Anthology." The show sounds highly unique, a production I would have wanted to see. I wasn't thinking much about Broadway in 1963 as I was caught up in work in live local television programming where I lived and my whirlwind courtship with my future husband.

Quite a coup to have Hugh Downs' support and to be on my station's network parent NBC's "Today Show." I respected him as a knowledgeable newsman with integrity, good taste.
FYI Ronni Bennett has an interesting interview with him at "Time Goes By."

What a thrill it must have been to receive such great reviews for your show! What was wrong with the NYC theatre-going audience? Sounds like promotion was sadly lacking. Just goes to show how entertainers have to take matters into their own hands when they believe in a project. Love the story of how you putup your banners and spread word of "Spoon River" around.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 8:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, just let me tell you how wonderful that documentary clip of yours was to see! I really picked up on all your excitiement from seeing your names on the poster and I loved the bit where you all made stencils and then went around doing your own advertising! Such a sense of comaraderie!

It reminded me of when I first saw my name in a professional programme. No feeling quire like it :)

I loved seeing this so much!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 1:45:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you so much for sharing those with us!! Such a pleasure to hear and see you perform :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 3:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Well, Naomi... you have a lovely voice! :) And distortion aside, you sound lovely! What a treat to see these! And that they have survived.
Little did I know back in High School, doing the monologues from Spoon River for acting class, that I'd eventually meet one of its Broadway stars. Fun post!

~S :)

Friday, November 23, 2007 at 3:23:00 PM PST 

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