TV Guide goes backstage | TV Guide Chicago, 8-14 May 1953


HIT PARADE rehearsal is called for 1:30 P.M., Saturday. Only nine hours remain before air time and the show must begin to take shape. By 1:45, huge Studio 8-H in New York's RCA building is filled with activity-cameramen integrating their shots, dancers polishing routines, lighting technicians experimenting, prop men going to town.

Snooky Lanson, slumped in a chair, is working a crossword puzzle. June Valli is joking with a couple of prop men. Russell Arms is in his dressing room. Dorothy Collins arrives with coffee.

At this point, you realize that this rehearsal is primarily for technicians and that the Hit Parade is a technicians' show. No matter how fine the singer's performance, it's up to the idea men and the cameramen to keep Hit Parade from falling into a rut. They must find new ways of presenting a song that may be on the program for many weeks.

Marianne Sanders and Russell Arms wait until Choreographer Tony Charmoli (below) starts coaching Marianne and Nanon Millis in routine.

June Valli is the first of the sing- ers to go to work. Her number is Don't Let Stars Get In Your Eyes. The gimmick centers around Artie Malvin who plays a swami with a magic carpet. As June starts singing, Artie rolls out the rug which billows and covers those nearby with dust. It's a prop that hasn't been used much lately

Choreographer Tony Charmoli is trying to lick the problem of his dancers sprinting from one set to another during an arrangement of In the Still of the Night. They wear streaming yellow gowns which get in their way and Marianne Sanders tears hers. Raymond Scott and the orchestra go to work about 5:30 and the show starts to shape up. The troupe is relaxed. Confusion vanishes. All is ready.

-ROBERT CUNNIFF | TV Guide Chicago, 8-14 May 1953