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TV's Grooviest Variety Shows (of the '60 and '70s) Paperback – November 1, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Telly R. Davidson has been a regular contributor to Los Angeles' Entertainment Day magazine, where he wrote the popular "TV Talk" column. He also contributes his own column regularly to FilmStew Magazine. His television work includes research consultant on the top-rated NBC specials Most Outrageous Game Show Moments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) and many other creative projects. He lives in Santa Fe Springs, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing; First Edition edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581825501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581825503
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This should be a five-star book, considering the fact that it covers many of the great TV variety shows that so rarely get treated with respect in books on the history of television.

But the book is deeply flawed by misinformation, speculation and shocking stereotypes. On multiple pages the author calls Midwesterners racists. He groups Midwesterners with Southerners as hick, anti-black TV viewers, which shows a lack of understanding of the wonderful people of the Midwest who fought for diversity in media.

The book has much information culled from other books and publications, but the problem is that the author didn't double check some of this information--resulting in incorrect "facts" included. He also doesn't include enough research on the ratings history of shows and put the programs in proper perspective regarding their popularity. He obviously doesn't have a good grasp of the history of television and just based much of his "research" on things stated by other authors.

For example, he goes overboard praising Carol Burnett to the point that the '90s flop "Carol & Company" was called a "success" (it wasn't) and calling "Mama's Family" a "spin-off of sorts." (There was no " of sorts" about it--it's a spin-off of a character from The Carol Burnett Show.)

For the failed show "Turn On" (which was cancelled after one episode in 1969) he wrongly states that Tim Conway was "among the regulars" (sorry--he was the guest host that week) and it seems that the author never watched it, otherwise he wouldn't write that it "wasn't really all that bad a show" (I saw it and it deserved the description as TV's "most notorious flop"). His inaccurate description of the show appears to not be based on first-hand viewing but on information culled from some other books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took this on vacation and got a kick out of it. I was born in the 60s so I remember the horrific variety shows of the 70s. EVERYONE had a variety show it seemed. I'd like to see a Volume 2 of this book, as I don't think it mentioned shows like Lynda Carter's and Lorenzo and Harriet Music's. I actually remember watching those. Remember the Christmas variety shows every year? Giant gaudy ornaments with dancers in front of them, all in glorious, hideous 70s colors? I'd like to read about some of those.
If you recall those shows/days, you'll like this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maybe if they could fix the type in the kindle version - but however they did the reproduction of the font you can barely read it. Will give you a headache in five minutes.
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Format: Paperback
Over the years, the variety show genre has given us both winners (Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett, Donny & Marie) and losers (Jerry Lewis, The Brady Bunch Hour, Pink Lady & Jeff). However, while a # of books have been written about some of the shows themselves, as well as the details provided in more general TV encyclopedias, an entire book devoted to the genre as a whole was a task no one attempted to tackle before...until now. Davidson does a great job chronicling TV's more well-known variety shows and revealing some little-known facts along the way (did Alice Lon, former "Champagne Lady" on the Lawrence Welk Show, ever mend fences w/her former boss?), as well as chronicling those blink-and-miss-it flops that only proved memorable for the wrong reasons. If you love variety shows, or even just TV in general, this is def a must-read!
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