August 2002



Well, here we go with a brand new season, 2002–2003, and a slate of new officers: Long-time Chairman of the Board RALPH EDWARDS becomes Chairman Emeritus, and Founding President ART GILMORE takes over as Chairman of the Board; GIL STRATTON is the new President, with a salute to outgoing President TOM HATTEN. CHUCK CECIL is First Vice President.

Nostalgia Night Co-Chairs LINA ROMAY and RAY BRIEM start off the season with a bang. Johnny Grant, Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, guests September 5. Johnny’s long career as a performer, radio executive and keeper of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is sure to give great insight into the world of celebrities past and present. Our own PPB Board member CHUCK SOUTHCOTT, long-time radio personality and program director, will talk about his career on October 3. Nostalgia Night is the first Thursday of each month at our Clubroom on the lower level of Washington Mutual, Sunset and Vine. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and close promptly at 7:30 p.m.

Treasurer ROBERT AHMANSON, much in the news with two pictures in the L.A. Times. BOB, along with Hugh Downs, received the 2002 Icon Award from the UCLA Center on Aging. AHMANSON was pictured with Downs and Dr. Gary Small from UCLA. BOB was also recognized at the Concern Center for Cancer Research "Block Party" at the Peterson Auto Museum, and was pictured with Diane and Robert Thom for his continuing community leadership.

MORE AWARDS…JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN receiving congratulations for her Cherished Friends Award from RFB&D. Many PPB members were on hand to applaud her—a wonderful tribute from PPB member RICHARD CRENNA.

MRS. BOB (Jane) PURCELL has returned from a long summer trip to her home state of Iowa. One of the highlights was receiving from Iowa State University the CFCS (College of Family and Consumer Sciences) Alumni Award. Jane also visited her birthplace, Odebolt, Iowa, and spent time visiting Meredith Willson’s hometown, Mason City, Iowa, where she visited Music Man Square and viewed the life-size sculpture of Willson. Quite a trip; congratulations. There was also a great write-up in the Leisure World News.

Reunion Call—STANLEY FRAZEN would like to inform veterans of the First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU), 18th AAF (Fort Roach), Ronald Reagan and Clark Gable’s Unit, that there is a 60th anniversary in the offing for October. For more information, please call Jules Levy at FMPU headquarters, (310) 278-9820. Please inform any vets you know who may not get this Newsletter.

Wonderful vacation card from Rome; obviously a member, but could not decipher the names or the signature…so, whoever you are, thanks. As near as I could figure out, it was Alberto and Maria or Marcia…and no last name.

Former PPB President JACK BROWN did a McDonald’s commercial in July which will be released in October…PPB Board member TOM SHELLEY, also working—he is handling the announcing chore for "The Fil Perell V.I.P. Show," a cable television production which tapes at AT&T studios in Hollywood, and airs at different times on AT&T Adelphia Cable. Format is talk show with celebrity guests and newsmakers.

Busy JUNE FORAY…just completed 68 segments of "Baby Looney Tunes," to debut on the Cartoon Network in September—recorded two "Looney Tunes" shorts for online—two more shorts for Warner Brothers for theatrical release. JUNE was also re-elected to the Motion Picture Academy for three more years, making her tenure 26 years.

PPBer GENE WALSH reports on recent happenings in the life of new PPB Board member BEVERLY GARLAND. BEVERLY was featured star at the annual Palm Springs Film Noir Festival in June, which showed D.O.A., the 1950 movie in which BEVERLY made her film debut; this was followed by a new 24-minute video about BEVERLY, My First Fifty Years in Show Business. After the showing, BEVERLY was called on stage and answered questions for 35 minutes to a standing ovation. BEVERLY later joined other Festival stars, Jane Russell and Mickey Spillane, on a panel at the breakfast meeting of the Palm Springs chapter of Women in Film.

California Artists Radio Theatre’s (CART) production of Jane Eyre, produced by PEGGY WEBBER, was recorded in June for broadcast in the near future on PBS Radio and CART’s Internet website, stars Samantha Eggar, BEVERLY GARLAND, LINDA HENNING and Martin McGuire.

Former PPB Board member MIKE WALDEN was tapped to emcee the biennial Hall of Fame dinner of the Southern California Tennis Association. The July black tie event at the Riviera Country Club honored those being inducted into the Hall of Fame, former Wimbledon champion Louise Brough; Jon Douglas, who played Davis Cup for the U.S.; Carl Earn, former head pro at Hillcrest Country Club and Beverly Hills Country Club; Allen Fox, three-time All American at UCLA and Karen Hantze Susman, two-time winner of the women’s doubles at Wimbledon with Billie Jean King.

PPB UK member SHEILA TRACY has been asked to continue her "Swing Time" radio show indefinitely. You can hear it via her Internet address, www.saga.co.uk/primetime. It can be heard every Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. When you get to their web page, scroll down and click the icon to hear it live. Carri and JIM POLLOCK’s son, Darren, completed his first year at Princeton Theological Seminary, and is spending his summer as an intern at the La Crescenta Presbyterian Church. JIM says that after only about ten days, Darren gave his first sermon. It came off without a hitch, and "even had a good message," added JIM.

CHUCK CECIL had a busy summer. In addition to his "Swingin’ Years," celebrating 30 years in syndication and 46 years regionally, CHUCK celebrated 60 years as an announcer (minus three years for military service and six months out of work). In August, CHUCK and Edna celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary, and, CHUCK says, before 2002 is over, he will be celebrating (is that the word?) his 80th birthday.

Former PPB President TOM KENNEDY’s "Wonderful World of Game Shows," which he screened at BEVERLY GARLAND’s Holiday Inn recently, was a real smash. TOM says it is "simply a romp through radio and TV game shows as perceived by a recovering game show host." It is more than that, it is a true look back at the shows that made history, and some that didn’t. The program consists of 46 pics, 10 clips and 14 themes with the accent on fun. Hopefully, TOM will make it available for all to see at a future date…or get it on network or biography.

RALPH EDWARDS had a busy summer. In July, the families of RALPH and his late wife, Barbara Sheldon Edwards, had a reunion at the Sportsmen’s Lodge, in the true Edwards’ tradition, with fun and games and lots of conversation and reminiscing. In August, RALPH hosted a company picnic for the staff of Ralph Edwards Productions and their families.

ELAYNE BLYTHE, who heads the Film Advisory Board, received a note from Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy that read, in part,: "All of us who were involved in the making of E.T. twenty years ago, and in bringing it back this year, want to thank you and the Film Advisory Board for the ‘Award of Excellence.’ It is an honor for Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures."

ROBERT W. LEVINSON, president of the Mystery Writers of America, Southern California Chapter, and a member of the national board, has been named producer of the 57th Annual Edgar Awards, scheduled for 2003 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. LEVINSON served as production consultant and co-emcee of the 2002 Edgar Awards show. LEVINSON’s fourth novel, Hot Paint, was published in August, together with the paperback edition of last year’s best-seller, The John Lennon Affair.

Carolyn and EDDIE CARROLL recently returned from a memorable engagement in Jack Benny’s home of Waukegan, Illinois, where EDDIE performed his one-man show for the Jack Benny Center of Performing Arts. The next day, over a thousand people attended a special event hosted by the City of Waukegan in the town square, where EDDIE and members of the Jack Benny Fan Club re-created the Jack Benny radio show that was broadcast from Waukegan in 1951. The event concluded with the Waukegan Symphony playing "Love in Bloom," as EDDIE, civic leaders and Benny’s grandchildren unveiled a fifteen-foot bronze statue of Jack Benny. What came as a total surprise at the end of the ceremony, was the mayor and city council presenting EDDIE with a resolution making him Honorary Mayor of Waukegan. "A moving and priceless experience," says EDDIE. More accolades came when Dennis McCarthy did a half-page column on EDDIE’s work, in the Daily News, in June. EDDIE’s next closest engagement is at the Ramada Hotel in Laughlin, Nevada on October 19.

DON’T FORGET…we always want news and especially like to hear from our out-of-town members…got one response this time…SUE LAMOND writes that she reads the Newsletter; but I shamed her into writing something…She says she has not contributed any tidbits because she, and Don’s life, is quite non show "biz"—"We play golf at the new Red Rock Country Club, here in Las Vegas, three days a week. On the other four days, I aquacize and also take photos for all of the four aquacize classes." SUSIE continues that she spends most of her other time with her two standard poodles. She asks to be remembered to all the PPBers that remember her with a "very best" to RALPH EDWARDS. She ends with, "wasn’t live television great?" Thanks, SUSIE…Now, let’s hear more of you…

The CBS Alumni Association Newsletter, edited by PPB member BARNEY PHANEUF, covered our luncheon honoring GIL STRATTON, mentioned PIERCE GRANT becoming a member of the PPB Board, and had a note from out-of-towner RAY ERLENBORN signed with a caricature of RAY

New member CHARLES CAPPLEMAN, Senior Vice President of CBS Studio Operations, was feted by the CBS Alumni with a plaque which read: "Charles Cappleman, for outstanding service to the CBS Alumni as our mentor, cheerleader, benefactor godfather, for his caring and generosity, we affectionately award Cappy the first "Froggy." He was gifted with a Baccarat crystal frog.

SUE CLARK CHADWICK spent a few days in Rancho Mirage with former member and Diamond Circle awardee Austin "Pete" Peterson and his wife, Maxine. The Petersons had just returned from Tahiti where Pete took pictures for his latest book on Tahiti. They were en route home to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pete has contributed to our archives a copy of his biography, They Say Television is a Young Man’s Game—I’m 94, Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me? It is a real show business book and covers his years as program head at Armed Forces Radio Service, the many radio and TV shows he worked on. There is a nice bit on RALPH EDWARDS, whom he has known since KRFC days along with the late Pat Weaver. It’s great reading, and mentions many of our members, past and present. Peterson has also donated leather-bound radio scripts from the many AFRS shows during World War II, and also bound letters titled Hitchhiking on the Road to Tokyo…which tells of his visits to the AFRS stations in the Pacific. Great additions for our archives.

MARTY HALPERIN and RAY ANGONA off the sick list…and we are thankful. It is hard to operate without them. Not many vacation items…but I did hear than JOHN HARLAN and his Beverly slipped away for a day or two at their hideaway, plus JOHN will be in Hawaii announcing the "Mrs. America" show, September 20…and JEANNE DeVIVIER and LUCKY BROWN attended a cousin’s wedding somewhere in California…ED HAMMOND to Alpena, Michigan to visit his 96-year-old grandmother.

The PPB annual golf tournament will be September 9, at Westlake Golf Course starting at 9:00 a.m. Those wanting to play, contact Golf Chair JIMMY WELDON, (818) 761-4767, or his assistant, EDDY KING, (818) 887-9500.

PPB member CHARLES ZIARKO, retired assistant director and production manager in filmed television for almost a quarter of a century and who now works as a volunteer at the Getty Center, has just published a paperback through 1stbooks Library. Titled, What a Dump—and Other Candid Comments of Hollywood Self-Appraisal, from A to Z. CHARLIE Z says it is a list of Hollywood’s bad, and worse, movie lines from A–Z. Book is available from 1-888-280-7715, or E-book Download (3.95) 1stbooks.com.


Membership Chairman MARGOT EWING reports:


New Members









We will remember with admiration










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September 26, 2002