November 2003


Three-time Emmy Award winner JACK KLUGMAN was the Honoree for the first PPP luncheon of the season. KLUGMAN has been starring on Broadway, in films and on television for over sixty years. The Los Angeles Times gave a glowing revue of his recent solo appearance at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. Probably best remembered for his TV series “Quincy, M.E.” and “The Odd Couple,” with Tony Randall, KLUGMAN has worked on stage and in films with such luminaries as John Garfield, Judy Garland, Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ethel Merman and others. PPB President GIL STRATTON introduced members of the dais. On hand to recount their personal and professional association with KLUGMAN: Garry Walberg and Robert Ito (“Quincy, M.E.”), actor Charles Durning, Joseph Roman (“The Odd Couple”), Dom DeLuise, In-house Humorist HAL KANTER, comedy writer John Rappaport, actor Dick Van Patten and Dan Lauria (“Wonder Years”). The program was filled with much fun poking and many accolades. Before showing clips from some of KLUGMAN’s work, Entertainment Chair JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN read letters from friends unable to attendTony Randall, who lives in New York; Garry Marshall, who is having hip problems and Joe Mantegna, who was working on “Joan of Arcadia.” KLUGMAN’s acceptance speech was filled with gratitude for PPB and loving words for all of the participants. A notable tribute to a fine actor.


For the Diamond Circle Award, Chairman of the Board ART GILMORE turned the presentation over to Vice President CHUCK CECIL, a close personal friend of the awardee, DON BEAMSLEY. BEAMSLEY and his wife are both in wheelchairs, so ART explained that the presentation would be made from their table. CECIL says it is a pleasure to present this award to a man who has contributed so much to the music business for so many years. A native of California, DON started piano lessons at the age of five and his mother wanted him to be a concert pianist. At age eight he took up the cello and in high school he was in the cello section of the Long Beach Philharmonic. At age 16, during World War II, as pianist and accompanist for singers and celebrity acts, he did USO shows at Southern California military bases.


Then, while attending high school in the daytime, BEAMSLEY played piano at night with Horace Heidt at the Trianon Ballroom. He also recorded for Columbia Records. His first radio network show was “Fitch Bandwagon” with Dick Powell, June Allyson, Andy Devine and the Horace Heidt Orchestra. In 1945 he became rehearsal pianist at Warner Bros. for top singers and dancers.


DON joined Leighton Noble and his band in 1947 and spent the summer on Catalina Island. Then off to Las Vegas with Noble to become the house band for the Frontier Hotel. The next several years were spent on the road playing the great hotels of the time and where they were broadcast remote every night. Finally back to California and the Coconut Grove and the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley.


Next, to KABC for the Joe Graydon musical/variety show. He formed a musical group, “We Three,” which had a radio show. The announcer was LEN BEARDSLEY. Next the Horseshow Revue at Disneyland where he was also manager of the Wurlitzer Exhibit from 1959 to 1968. Then on to Dodger Stadium as organist. His work continued as he free-lanced on television working on “That Girl,” “Newhart” and “Bonanza.” He worked with all the big bands and with all the top singers, Helen O’Connel, Bob Eberly, Helen Forrest, BEA WAIN, JACK SMITH and LINA ROMAY.


For the past 18 years he has been starring at all of the classic and jazz festivals and big band concerts. To sum it all up, he is the musician’s musician DON BEAMSLEYWelcome to the Diamond Circle.

The season’s opening Nostalgia Night, October 2, was one not to be missed. Hope you didn’t. The guest was Bill Harris who has been called “America’s #1 Hollywood Reporter,” and the audience learned how he deservedly earned his title. He spent four years as head writer of the Emmy Award-winning “Ralph Story A.M.” interviewing hundreds of newsmakers and celebrities. He was on “Entertainment Tonight” for many years and wrote specials for Cher, Liberace, Raquel Welch and others. That’s just a few of his credits. Bill talked about his career and showed clips of interviews with Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Burt Reynolds and others. He is a great entertainer and currently takes his act on shipboard cruises. Great night! LINA ROMAY and RAY BRIEM have announced a great evening for Nostalgia Night, December 4. Guest will be our own Founding President and Chairman of the Board, ART GILMORE. Now there’s a career. He has done everything.and so well. Announcer, actor, narrator, auctioneer (that’s recent) and the anchoring hand of PPB. Nostalgia Night is December 4 at our Clubroom on the lower level of Washington Mutual. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and close promptly at 7:30 p.m. BE THERE!!! And speaking of ART GILMORE, which we were, there was a great story in the August 29 L.A. Times about “Highway Patrol.” The director and actors from that series gathered at Musso & Frank’s for a reunion. ART was the narrator for all 156 episodes of the groundbreaking police drama. There was also a photo of a replica of the cruiser used in the series with ART standing beside it and Kelly Crawford, son of the series star, the late Broderick Crawford seated inside.


Congratulations and best wishes to Past President JACK ROURKE and Martha Moody who were married in a simple ceremony August 25, 2003 with JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN and Art Jacobs attending (JEANNE’s husband, LUCKY, was ill and unable to be present).


BARNEY PHANEUF and wife, Jeannette, celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in September. RANDY WEST is thrilled to share his excitement over recently working with an idol of his, Bob Barker. RANDY has served as a fill-in announcer on about 20 episodes of Bob’s record-breaking hit, “The Price is Right.” RANDY says the career achievement was additionally sweet as Bob’s original announcer, Johnny Olson, was his mentor who guided his entrance into the business. PPBer ROBERT S. LEVINSON, President of the Mystery Writers of America Southern California Chapter, will produce the Mystery Writers of America’s annual Edgar Awards in 2004. LEVINSON, a prolific writer and producer, produced the 2003 awards in May 2003 and has been asked to return.


Board member EDDIE CARROLL has had a busy work schedule as creative consultant and co-star in a TV pilot for a new series, "Garlic Roast," hosted by NORM CROSBY. He also recorded a slew of projects for Disney as the voice of "Jiminy Cricket." Also, EDDIE and his wife, Carolyn, who is production director of his theatrical presentation, Jack Benny—Laughter in Bloom, are preparing for a busy schedule for that show with bookings already set from September through May of 2004.


Missed seeing Board member BOB FINKEL at recent luncheons? Well, he has a good reason for his absence. For several months he as been suffering from a ruptured spine. After being confined to bed and a wheelchair, he has now graduated to a walker and is driving a bit. Happy to hear he is on the road to recovery. Longtime PPBer SONNY VOSBERG recovering from recent health problems, but still in a wheelchair and unable to attend meetings. Get well soon.


TRAVELERSMusic Man HERM SAUNDERS and his son Gary and wife, Louise, just returned from a superb eight-day cruise to Alaska aboard the Holland American Line’s Veendam. They flew to Anchorage, boarded the ship at Seward and then took the inland passage through Collele Fiord, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan and Vancouver. They flew home from Vancouver. HERM says the weather was in the 70s, light rain one day, ocean calmsaw whales, dolphins and eagles. The H/A Line has a “no tipping” policy which HERM ignored for their favorite waiters and stewards. GINI COLVIG says she didn’t realize so many PPBers were in Washington state recently. GINI spent two glorious weeks on Whidbey Island with relatives. No rain, but the Island County Fair was just great. GINI says she plans to spend Thanksgiving in Michigan with more relatives; “in that group I’m the matriarch.” Nancy and ED WILLIAMS recently returned from cruising the Baltic where they feasted on the great art of the Hermitage and its Golden Room. PPBer ROBERT C. JONES back from three months in India, Nepal and Tibet. Can’t track BOB down to find out more details.


Many PPBers will be participating in SPERDVAC’s 15th annual Old Time Radio Convention at the Hacienda Hotel near LAX, November 7, 8 and 9. BOBB LYNES is chairman of the event and has lined up entertaining acts featuring some of the top performers from the golden years of radio. Board member EDDIE CARROLL will present his “Jack Benny Remembered” act. A re-creation of the 1946 Academy Award theatre production of “The Maltese Falcon,” produced and directed by Gregg Oppenheimer, son of MRS. JESS OPPENHEIMER, starring SHIRLEY MITCHELL, GILL STRATTON, LOUIS NYE and Tony Pope, will take place during the dinner session, Saturday night, November 8. Board member GARY OWENS will handle the announcing chores and sound effects will be provided by CBS veteran sound effects man BOB MOTT. There will be a suspense drama directed by Herb Ellis and starring Alan Young. For more information and reservations, call SPERDVAC toll-free at (877) 251-5771.


“Black Beauty,” by Anna Sewell and starring Alan Young will be presented at the Beverly Garland Theatre, Saturday, November 30. This is really a program for the whole family during the Thanksgiving holidays. Tickets are $15 and $10. For reservations, call (213) 683-3422. PEGGY WEBBER, director of C.A.R.T., has had a busy fall season with the presentation of Shelley Berman as S.J. Perelman in September and three Ray Bradbury plays in October.


MRS. RICHARD PAUL just produced a staged concert reading of the 1998 musical “Parade” for the Musical Theatre Guild at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and the Scherr Forum in Thousand Oaks. Based on a true-life incident, the musical is a cautionary tale about racism and false patriotism.


JOHN HARLAN and wife Beverly attended the Bakersfield Business Conference in October. Speakers at this inspirational meeting included Neil Armstrong, Cal Ripken, Phil Gramm, Karen Hughes, Andrea Mitchell, Deborah Norville, Tom Wolfe, Jesse Ventura, J.C. Watts and Fred Thompson and others.


The Web Site Committee hopes that members will start to inspect their names on the membership page of the web site to see if the information describing them is correct. It is easy to send corrections right off of that page. Also, a member can have their e-mail address on file with the web site without revealing it to the public. A small envelope symbol appears by your name and people can reach you without having your e-mail name published. The web site is hmpwebsite.org or pacificpioneerbroadcasters.org.




MRS. DAWS BUTLER writes that her late husband, DAWS, one of Hollywood’s most renowned voice actors for more than forty years, was honored posthumously in July in a special tribute sponsored by the International Animated Film Society. A panel of former students and friends, including JUNE FORAY, founder of ASIFA, talked of DAWS’ accomplishments. BUTLER’s four sons and two granddaughters were in the audience, along with MRS. BUTLER.


Last-minute gleanings: Board member JIM POLLOCK and wife, Carrie, visited their son in Princeton in September and also traveled a bit to see the fall color. KAY IRWIN spent a week in Salt Lake City happily behind a microfilm machineor on the Internetlooking for long-gone ancestors. JUNE FORAY spent a week in New York promoting the new DVDs of “Rocky and Bullwinkle’s” first season of 26 shows. JUNE’s promotion included appearances on 17 television shows and 13 radio shows. The new theatrical feature, Looney Tunes Back in Action, will debut in November with FORAY reprising her “Granny” character. PPB President GIL STRATTON and his wife, Dee, will sail November 22 aboard the Regal Princess headed for Hawaii. They arrive Thanksgiving morning in Hilo where they will be met by friends who will drive them to Kona, on the other side of the big island, to spend the night. They reboard in Kona and visit Honolulu, Kauai and Maui, returning to Los Angeles December 7. GIL will present five lectures on subjects like “From Broadway to Baseball and Back,” “The Golden Years in Hollywood,” “Radio, the Theatre of the Mind” and, of course, a couple of sports talks.


Membership Chairman MARGOT EWING reports:



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November 18, 2003