Monday, January 28, 2013

Episode 17 - Guests Peggy Lee and Robert Goulet


    On January 27th, 1973, ABC broadcast the 17th episode of The Julie Andrews Hour. The show opened with a scene that would appeal to children: Dressed as a little girl in a short, blue dress, Julie enters through a magical door, singing “The Candy Man." Everything on the set, including a big chair, is larger than life. As she dances around, she is joined by the eight Tony Charmoli Dancers, dressed in short pants and knee socks.

     A moment after the conclusion of the first scene, Julie enters through a new door wearing an elegant, sexy, low-cut gown. She continues to sing “The Candy Man” and is soon joined by her guests: Peggy Lee and Robert Goulet. Ms. Andrews introduces them as the “sultry” Peggy Lee and the “handsome” Robert Goulet, which sets off a charming and humorous argument. Peggy asks that she not to call her “sultry” and Goulet requests that he not be called “handsome.”

     In short order, the scene changes and we hear Julie’s voice announce, “Miss Alice Ghostley.” Ms. Ghostley is seen lying in bed, next to a lump that we assume is her husband. She is watching Robert Goulet is on television and, in a hilarious monologue, Ms. Ghostley tells her husband to wake up because maybe he could learn a thing or two. “I’m on fire,” she says, “and you’re raining on my parade... You never even give me a chance to say I’ve got a headache.” It’s difficult not to laugh at Alice Ghostley, and the laughter from the studio crew verifies it.

     As the scene continues, Alice speaks to the television screen, telling Robert Goulet, “You’re even prettier than Julie.” Before long, she has daydreamed herself into the Mounties television scene. Still wearing her pajamas, robe and slippers, rather than melting into Goulet’s arms, she yells at him for singing in her face and for grabbing her. The double standard of appearing to criticize Goulet, while getting what she wants (having him grab her) makes for some great humor.

     Julie Andrews comes on to introduce Peggy Lee. Informing the audience how she has long admired Miss Lee, Miss Andrews tells us that one advantage of having your own show is that you can meet people “without having to wait for someone to introduce them to you.” She concludes, “Here is one of the truly great ladies of show business.”

     For her solo, "You’re Gonna Love Me,” the entire set and Miss Lee’s costume are all in shades of white. Shot in soft focus with prisms of light, the scene seems strangely mystical and washed out by today’s standards. Likely at the time, it was considered quite edgy.

     Miss Lee is a great stylist, who was known for her low-key style, but for most of this song, her energy seems to lag. Toward the end of the number, it is interesting to watch as she bridges her relaxed, intimate manner with a modern rock and roll style.

     Born Norma Deloris Egstrom in North Dakota, 1920, Peggy Lee knew when she was quite young that she wanted to be a singer. Raised by a father who, due to his job, was seldom home and a step-mother who was not always kind, Peggy Lee left home by the age of fifteen to follow her dreams. Eventually, she was discovered by bandleader Benny Goodman. In 1941, their recording of “Why Don’t You Do Right,” brought Peggy great success. After her marriage to guitarist Dave Barbour, Peggy and Dave wrote and recorded many hit songs, including “It’s a Good Day” and “Manana,” which sold over a million records.

     Although Peggy appeared in a few films, including The Jazz Singer, her greatest  work was in her recordings and her club and television appearances. During the 1950s, she built a new career. Ahead of her time, she created a style that included blues and jazz with popular music. Her greatest hit of this period was “Fever,” which caused a sensation. In the 1960s, Peggy Lee worked for Walt Disney, writing songs for the film, Lady and the Tramp. During this time, she also created a new look and style style for herself, once again adapting to the times. Like many great singers, Peggy Lee had worked with Nelson Riddle in the past. Nelson had written some great arrangements for her and they recorded an album together.

     As successful as the 1960s were for Peggy Lee, she also suffered some great setbacks in terms of her health. She had a double pneumonia which nearly destroyed one of her lungs. She also had heart problems. The change in her appearance and manner at the time she appeared on The Julie Andrews Hour is so different from nine years earlier when she appeared on The Judy Garland Show, it's startling. Still, Peggy was a strong lady and would continue with her career for another twenty-three, during which she would have many more hit recordings and successes.

     The Look to the Stars segment was next, celebrating those persons who were born under the sign of Sagittarius. While many names are mentioned, including Sammy Davis Jr and Maria Callas, few of these people are included in the performance. Julie opens the tribute with Mary Martin’s “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair” from South Pacific. The song is set in quite a low key, and Miss Andrews belts it out with greater fervor than usual. Joined by the Tony Charmoli dancers, they do a sort of rock and roll dance and then lift Julie up in the air and down while she continues to sing the song.

      Rich Little appears frequently during this segment, first as Kirk Douglas, then as Jean Stapleton singing as Edith Bunker, interspersed with cuts of him as Archie Bunker. Along with some short appearances by Peggy Lee and Robert Goulet, Julie Andrews’ lovely tribute to Ira Gershwin, “How Long Has This Been Going On” is the most memorable portion of this celebration. Turquoise blue is the interwoven color for the Sagittarian tribute, and for this song, the photography of Julie in a blue gown is quite stunning.

     Rich Little, playing Norton on The Honeymooners as the closeout for the first half of the show, should not go without mention. It’s a brilliant few seconds.

***

      The second half of Episode 17 takes on a new atmosphere. Now, we are definitely watching an evening show; one that’s glamorous and just plain classy. Julie and Peggy appear, dressed in white chiffon, and together, they make a beautiful pair. They are the bright spots on a set that is mostly dark, except the kaleidoscope lighting which appears on portions of the backdrop. Both ladies are gorgeous and look happy to be singing together.

     Peggy Lee’s vocal range allows Julie to take the high voice in their harmony and her intimate style compliments Julie’s naturally delicate tones. The medley is lovely group of songs about singing, and includes: “Sing a Song,” “Sing a Rainbow,” “My Beautiful Balloon,” “I Believe in Music,” “I Want to Be Happy and more. Any collection of Julie Andrews duets should include this one, and I’m sure it is a duet that Julie herself would want included.

***

     For the final segment of the show, the production team pays tribute to Broadway producer, David Merrick, who, we are told, produced over 70 Broadway productions in his career. For openers, the cast celebrates his achievements with a song from Merrick's most famous production, Hello Dolly. Julie begins the song, “Before the Parade Passes By” and is joined by the rest of the cast and the dancers. During this portion of the show, everyone is dressed in black, adding to the feeling of a formal night at the theater.

     Peggy Lee follows the opening number with a song from Oliver, “Who Will Buy?” She begins the song with hauntingly beautiful tones, and it is here that she shows us why she was and is one of the most respected artists in the business. Miss Lee then takes this show ballad and turns it into a jazz piece with great rhythm and subtle, sexy inflections. She talks to us, with layers of meaning that cannot be summed up, turning her performance into a brilliant work of art.

     From The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, Robert Goulet and Rich Little appear together, singing “What Would I Do without You?” This is an amazing and humorous number as Rich Little plays Goulet with Goulet. Although his singing is obviously not up to Robert Goulet’s, it’s pretty good and Robert Goulet can’t help laughing at certain moments as he listens to Little imitating him. At the end, he takes Rich Little’s hand and kisses it.

     The next scene is shot in darkness, except for a spotlight on Julie Andrews, who is seated on a carousel horse, wearing a rather sexy dress. Julie sings “Love Makes the World Go Round” from the musical Carnival. At one point, we see her dancing beautifully in the background, half in darkness, half in light, joined by a few of the male dancers.

     Robert Goulet follows with the title song from the musical Fanny. His performance, shot up-close, his face the only light in the midst of darkness is unforgettable. Every phrase has layers of meaning and the richness of his voice is a theatrical treasure. 
From there, he joins Peggy Lee for the lovely “Make Someone Happy.” Despite their different vocal styles, Goulet and Lee perform wonderfully together, showing their honest admiration for one another at the same time.

     Rich Little then portrays Anthony Newley in Stop the World I Want to Get Off by singing “Gonna Build a Mountain.” Two dancers stand behind him, miming his movements. The scene is quite effective and Little’s work here, as with all his work on this show, is brilliant.

    The next musical scene finds Robert Goulet and Julie Andrews together for a song from I Do, I Do--“My Cup Runneth Over with Love.” There is nothing lovelier than these two performers singing together, and this song is no exception. It is touching as we watch Julie sing, “In only a moment,we both will be old...” to which Goulet responds, "We won't even notice the world growing cold..."

     This was Robert Goulet’s third and final appearance on The Julie Andrews Hour. It is not known whether Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet ever performed together again. Watching this moment, it is sad to realize that Robert Goulet, with his brilliant voice, is no longer with us. Only months after appearing on Broadway in La Cage aux Follies and making a special appearance at Town Hall for Broadway by Year where he recreated his Broadway performance of “If Ever I Would Leave,” by singing the song without a mic, Robert Goulet was diagnosed with a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis, a deadly disease which can only a lung transplant can sure. Several weeks after his diagnosis, on October 23rd. 2007, Robert Goulet passed away.

***

     For the “eleven o’clock” number of the night, Julie sings “Let Me Entertain You” from Gypsy. Her opening pose is stunning. Dressed in a long, black gown with a train and a sequin cap, Julie walks the lit runway, and launches into Gypsy Rose Lee’s number as if she’s waited all her life to play the role. At the end, her belt is so powerful; it seems she rivals Ethel Merman herself.


     As we watch the cast--Goulet, Andrews, Lee and Little (above)-- join together for the final “Together Wherever We Go,” we know we are looking at the best of the best. It has been one classy show.

     Julie announces her guests for the next show: John Denver and Sid Caesar. Then, as she bids her farewells, Rich Little imitates her “Good night everybody” and she slaps him, all in fun, of course. After that, “It’s time now to go, for everything must end…” which Julie tells us each week. We just wish it didn’t have to end.

See you next week!

Remember, you can always find a list this blog’s Julie Andrews Hour subjects with links back to this page at:

http://www.JulieAndrewsHour1972.com


For more information on Robert Goulet, please visit his official website:
http://www.robertgoulet.com/

For more information on Peggy Lee, please visit:
http://www.peggylee.com


Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26 - 3 - Julie with Angela Lansbury and Steve Lawrence


Continued from previous blog…

Shortly after I sat down, the news came on the television and it was announced, “Edward G. Robinson died tonight.”

“Oh my God,” Elizabeth said in a voice that made me want to cry. Of course, Edward G. Robinson had appeared in many films with Elizabeth’s idol, Humphrey Bogart.

There was stillness in the studio, and then a sudden burst, as if all these people were part of a whole that had one part taken away. I felt the pain. I told Elizabeth how only three months earlier I had walked the red carpet at the premiere of Young Winston, standing right next to Edward G. Robinson. That night, he had looked very handsome in his blue pinstripe suit with a red carnation in his buttonhole.  That seemed years ago now.

“I can’t believe it!” Bill Harbach, listed as producer with Nick Vanoff, was on the phone talking softly.  I thought he must be talking to a friend of Edward G. Robinson’s or a member of his family. An older man at the studio came over to talk to the people in front of us. “We all have to go sometime, but gee, when someone….” He just shook his head. “It could have been anyone of us. It hurts when it’s this close.”

Now they were showing film clips from the 1930s of a young Edward G. Robinson and a beautiful woman. I couldn’t help thinking, “It’s all gone—that era.”

Then, it was announced that character actor Carroll Nash had just died and they showed him in a scene with Humphrey Bogart. The feeling in the studio was frighteningly sad. Bill Harbach jumped from his chair and said, “What a night!”

“Come on Julie,” said Elizabeth, “We need you to cheer us.”

The lady in front of us said, “I can’t stand it, I’ve got to go out. Let me know if anyone else dies.”

“Lee Jerome of CBS died tonight,” the television announcer stated. Then, he commented, “We have had enough.”

 During this time, Elizabeth went back to see Mr. and Mrs. Edwards again. I found out later she had asked to introduce her to Blake. I had never been sure who Blake Edwards was before. He was wearing all brown tonight, with a brown sweater. Then, Julie appeared in green. Elizabeth said she really liked Julie’s outfit and was trying to figure out how it was made so that she could make herself one.

Earlier, when Rich Little played Cher, Steve Lawrence played Sonny. Steve is really a good impersonator too. Now, Rich came out as Jackie Gleason and Steve played Frank Fontaine. Then, they ran around with this gorilla chasing them. It was hilarious! At one point, Rich went down on top of the gorilla.

Now, they had a new set up. It was a costume room with rows and rows of costumes. Julie, Angela, Rich and Steve were all in the scene. Julie had to begin singing and then they all march through the aisles as they sang “Heigh Diddle-Dee-Dee An Actor’s Life for Me.” It was so much fun; I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun during a taping. Then, the Tony Charmoli dancers pushed the four costume racks around with a star on each one. The only sad part was when Rich had to sing the line, “…like Humphrey Bogart or Edward G…” Of course, Elizabeth had a comment about that.

***

Just around this time, Julie’s daughter, Emma Kate appeared on stage in a poncho and clogs, wearing a bookpack on her back. She held out her arms for her mother, and Julie kissed her. Then, Emma held her arms out again. She had her hair in long pigtails and kept wiping her eyes as if she were crying. She looked very sad. But it was time for Julie to do another take of the scene. Emma was holding something; someone took it out of her arms and she went and sat down in her mother’s chair.

By now, it was 11:00 o’clock. I couldn’t help looking at Emma watching Julie. The scene was so much fun; I thought she would smile, but no smile. She looked very unhappy and I realized the seemingly perfect life was not just that. Julie was here in the studio and she would be here for most of the night. She had no time for Emma now.
“Emma wants her mum to go home with her,” Elizabeth commented.

Everyone in the studio was happy, but at that moment Emma was not part of this joy. She had to go home alone. At the end of the scene, she clapped, looking quite serious and then was taken back stage.

Julie came over to the producer’s area to sit in her chair and looking down saw Mr. and Mrs. Edwards in the front row. She was so surprised, she stopped in her tracks. “Oh Mum! Dad! I didn’t know you were here,” she said. “Why didn’t you….” With that, she jumped down from the stage, hugged and kissed each of them and sat down with them, “like a tomboy,” I thought. Her gold earrings were jingling as she had started a big conversation with her mother and father-in-law. Then, all of a sudden, two girls appeared with autograph books. They stood behind the Edwards, waiting.

“Oh, no,” I said, feeling embarrassed and horrified.

“She won’t pay attention to them,” said Elizabeth. “She’ll just run up on stage when they call her. Wait and see.”

I saw Julie look at the girls out of the corner of her eye, then turn back to her lively conversation with “Mum and Dad.”

“How different from the near Christmas meeting,” I thought, when Julie nearly crashed into me as she ran up the aisle to her family.

“Look at that wonderful relationship,” said Elizabeth. I was getting tired of her comments.

Now the director called, “Julie!” and she said, “OH!” as only she can, and ran up on the stage.

Earlier, Elizabeth had commented, “It’s funny, you don’t see Julie and Blake very affectionate on the set.” Now, as Julie ran up on the stage, Blake met her, took her hands and put her in a low backbend, as if to kiss her.

 “There, are you satisfied,” I said.

***

The next segment of shooting was hysterically funny. Steve Lawrence came out on stage and there was a gorilla standing there.

 “Hey Julie,” said Steve. “You look great in that gorilla suit.”

Just then, Julie arrived on stage and said, “That’s not me. I’m right here.”

“Rich,” said Steven. No, it wasn’t Rich, he was there on stage too.

“Angela,” said Steve.

“It’s not me,” said Angela, appearing from the other side of the stage.

“Well, if it’s not you or you or her, who is it? I think my legs are going to carry me.”

“You mean, you think it’s a real one?” asked Julie.

Steve was already beginning to run. Then, they all ran and so did the dancers. The gorilla was running up and down aisles, through the costumes and everyone ran a different way. Some of them crashed into one another. It wasn’t planned; everyone just did what they wanted. Julie climbed under some costumes and sucked her thumb. It was just too much. I was laughing so hard, I almost fell out of my seat. The tears were running down my face. The whole audience was hysterical. You had to be there to believe it. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my whole life.

***

After the scene was over, I went back to talk to Vivian again. She was sitting by herself now, away from Patty and Kelly. We went outside and walked around the building, talking about when Julie was a little girl and other things. She didn’t believe that Julie had us put out. While we were outside, I did a tap step and started dancing around. At that moment, one of the camera man passed by and I was so embarrassed. 

We returned to the studio via the underground passage way. Then, Vivian and I sat in the back together on the other side for a while. When Unit Manger John Monarch came by, he stopped to talk to us. He told us that the studio thought we were all one group, adding,

“That “Marsha,” the fan club president, was so cold. I tried to talk to her, but she wouldn’t smile. She showed no reaction at all…” Then, pointing at me, he said to Vivian,

“Why don’t you come to the studio with your girlfriend, so you can get in, and stay away from those other girls?”

When Vivian asked if she could move up front, he told her he couldn’t let her, nor could Don Corvan, the stage manager. “We have no say in this.”

Vivian and I sat and talked for quite a long time. She told me many things about how she had come to be able to be at the studio and more. She said that when she met Julie at the first show and asked her if she could come to all the shows, Julie had told her there was nothing she could do to help with that. Meanwhile, she said, every week Julie had sent her hairdresser, Lorraine, out to see if Vivian was there. Lorraine hadn’t seen her that night, but later in the evening, Vivian saw her sitting in the audience talking to Sharri. She had walked by and said “hello,” but Lorraine had not responded. That did not sound good.
***

For a while, we watched Rich Little as W.C. Fields acting with Angela Lansbury as Mae West. Angela was excellent as Mae West.
When they were getting ready to tape the last scene, I left Vivian and went down to the fourth row with Elizabeth. We had seen Julie come out dressed in a white sailor suit and a little hat.
“There she is!” said Vivian.
“Who?” I asked. That set us off into a fit of giggles, the way we’d done in happier days.
***

Angela Lansbury, Steve Lawrence
and Julie Andrews on the "ship"
 The last scene to be taped that night had the small portion of what looked like a ship that rocked side to side. Steve Lawrence was the captain and Angela and Julie were the shipmates. They all sang “I am the captain of the ship…” from HMS Pinafore. After they had gone over it or done one take, Julie asked the director,

“Wait! Aren’t you going to get Angela and I in the picture? We’ve got some awfully good stuff going on between us.”

I am not sure if she’d watched the take or why she thought the director was not getting them in the picture. In my diary, I noted,

“That’s what I don’t like about cameras and television. The director has to decide what to include and what is most important. The rest is cut out, sometimes some very interesting things that you see on stage are left out.”

 Earlier, Steve had been goofing off, ad-libbing lines and making Julie crack up. At one point, the executive producer, Nick Vanoff, acted very angry about it.

“Come on now, Steve. We want to finish up!”

He seemed so angry, Steve apologized. Then, Nick just laughed.

“Come on, doesn’t everyone want to go home early “in five?”

Meanwhile Julie was talking to someone and she just continued talking.

“I guess she doesn’t want to go home,” someone else said.

When they got back on the boat, they rocked it side to side, like they were on a rough sea, until finally Steve, who was supposed to be sea sick, jumped off the boat onto a mattress.

Now came the last part of the scene. Julie and Angela were going to get drenched with a huge bucket of water coming over the deck. The director gave instructions:

“Look to the left, then to right, then forward and you’ll get it.”

“This is just a rehearsal isn’t it?” asked Julie.

“Yes,” said the director.

They rehearsed it, and then rehearsed it again (possibly taping it), right up to the end when they were supposed to get drenched.

I was very surprised to capture this photo
of Angela and Julie with the hand
throwing a bucket of water on them.
It did not appear visible when watching
the "sample"dvd or maybe I just
missed it.
“Wait a minute,” said Julie, “I’m not ready.”

Finally, the director said, “Okay. This is a take” and one of the stagehands took a big bucket and threw it at the two women. Angela was drenched, but Julie said,

“My face didn’t even get wet. Shouldn’t I have got my face wet if anyone did?” I think Julie felt sorry for Angela, who was soaked, so they said they’d do it again with Julie.

The crew got very excited. “I’ve got to see this!” I heard people saying as they ran and jumped onstage to get a better view of Julie getting hit with a bucket of water.  

They did the take, and someone threw a bucket of water at Julie. The water came all over the deck, hitting her so hard she almost fell over backwards. If she hadn’t been holding on to the rail, she would have been knocked off the boat.

They checked the takes while she got dried off and seeing that everything looked good, Julie was ready to leave.

“Julie?” It was the director’s voice coming over the P.A. system.

“Yes?”

“I just want to thank you for being so good this week. I think this was the hardest show we’ve done and you did splendidly.”

“What’s the matter,” asked Julie.”Aren’t you coming back next week?” Then she laughed and left the stage.

There weren’t too many people left in the audience at the end. Now, it was time to go and the pages were very rude.

“Come on! Leave! We’re closing. Don’t you know the way out?”

Once we got outside, I spoke some more with Vivian, then I walked home. Patty and Kelly had been all excited about something, but we ignored them. We didn’t want any part of what they were up to.

It didn’t take me long to get home, but it was twenty of two in the morning when I arrived. When I got into bed, I was so tired, the entire room seemed to whirl around.

A list of The Julie Andrews Hour blogs with links to this page can always be found on:    http://www.JulieAndrewsHour1972.com

Note: All photos here are for entertainment purposes only

Friday, January 25, 2013

January 26th -2 - Steve Laurence and Angela Lansbury


Continued from previous blog…..

It had been a long wait. Finally, Steve Lawrence came out and started talking to the audience. He told us a story about the early television shows. Then, Julie and Angela came out. They all sat down on the lemon yellow and white wicker furniture for the “Getting to Know You” segment and drank tea. Something struck Julie funny and she laughed and laughed.

“Oh, excuse me. I don’t know why, but that seems so funny to me,” she said.
For the taping, both Julie and Angela spoke about their Broadway experiences. They also spoke about songs that had been taken from one show and put into another. Julie’s song was “Say a Prayer for Me Tonight,” which had been taken from Lerner and Lowe’s My Fair Lady and put into their film, GiGi. She sang it so beautifully.

Angela Lansbury had a wonderful song called, “I Don’t Want to Know,” which came from Dear World, a musical version of The Mad Woman of Chaillot, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman:

If music is no lovely,
If laughter is no longer lilting,
If lovers are no longer loving,
Then I don’t want to know…

The first time she sang it, I thought she was straining and it did not seem that wonderful to me. “She can really sing,” Elizabeth said.

The director then had Julie and Angela do their talk all over again. After that, Julie had to sing her song over and over again, though it seemed perfect. Then, they came back to Angela. I thought she would do better to stand, but in the long run, I have learned a very important lesson from her.

Audiences must be open to receive from performers and not overly critical (something that happens to young students who want to analyze everything). That means the performer must have something open about him or her too. A person in the audience cannot receive something from the performer that he does not already have within himself. Another words, the performer brings out the audience’s own emotion and past memories.

When Angela Lansbury sang this time, I forgot about her voice. She sang for us, for the moment. As she sat simply in her chair before us, she built the song to a level that was breathtaking. It was a performance that I have never forgotten and which inspires me to this day.

Around this time, Elizabeth suddenly noticed a man whom I had seen several times at the studio.
“My God, I’ve never seen him that way before.”
“What?”
“There are only three men in the world who make my heart stop: Bobby Goulet, my ex-husband and him. I must keep calm… Count! My mother told me to count … one, two…. Um I forgot how to count.”

I thought she was kidding, but as I looked at her, her face was pale, slightly blushing.
“What if you were working with him in a movie,” I asked.
“I couldn’t. I’d die.”

Looking back, I was so young and innocent, there was a lot I didn’t understand or catch on to. Only now, reading these notes forty years later, do I see all the implications of what people said. I can only say that over time I have learned power can be a great aphrodisiac.

 “Bobby kissed me when we were here,” Elizabeth told me.
I think my mouth must have fallen open. I looked at her.

“I was sitting right here with another woman and he was talking to her and they called him up on stage, so he kissed her, and I said, “What about me?” So he leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. He and Carol Lawrence are separated a lot of the time; their careers go in opposite directions. He’s just an affectionate man and he gets lonely.”

Elizabeth continued on with her story about things she had heard on the set, which I dare not repeat here. I’m not even sure how accurate they were or how accurate anything she told me was. In time, I would learn to doubt a lot about Elizabeth, but at the time I was quite in awe of her. She had worked on television and in film and seemed to know her way around. In my eyes, she was doing what I wanted to do and I was eager to learn from her. I was also glad to have someone to talk to.

“People often get attracted to one another working in a show, don’ they?” I asked.
“Oh, yes…” The story went on. Then, abruptly, she changed the subject.

“I’m going to get my children those yellow folders that they use for scripts here with “Julie” on them. I can leave the name on for my oldest daughter. I know where they make them. Sharri doesn’t keep her scripts so she has given me hers along with some of the production schedules.”

At this point, Elizabeth got up abruptly and went to speak with Blake Edwards' parents again. Meanwhile, I decided it was time to take a walk and headed for the rest room, which was on the other side of the studio. Along the way, I noticed Vivian, Patty and the rest of the girls sitting in the first row center of the last section, just above the walkway.

“We’re ordered to stay here,” Patty told me. “We were put here especially.”
“Can you move down closer as the audience leaves?” I asked.
“You’re kidding!” she said.
“No…” I didn’t fully realize the seriousness of the situation.
“Do you know about Sharri’s operation? How is she?”

 I told them I didn’t know anything about it. The girls wanted me to sit with them and talk, but I got so nervous being seen with them that I wanted to get away.
“Goodbye,” I said. “I don’t know you.”
“Wait, will you ask Claire Priest if she’s angry at us?”
“I don’t know you,” I said, walking away.

When I told Elizabeth what they’d said, she advised me to stay out of it. “If you ask, you’ll be in trouble too,” she said.  The next time I got up, I went outside and found all the pages standing around, talking. Seeing Bill, I went over to say hello.

You’ve forgotten me, haven’t you?”
 “No, I remember you. We met in front of the Hollywood Palace. How are you?”
“Fine, or I was until we got put out. Do you know what it’s all about?”

I should have kept my mouth shut, but I was overflowing with feelings and wanted someone to make me feel better. Bill had some things to say that I didn’t like hearing. 

He tried to make me feel better by blaming it on others, but it didn’t work.
“I like the rehearsals better than the shows,” I told him. “How long have you been working at ABC?”

 “Two and a half years. I don’t care about the shows. I just like working at a studio. I feel sorry for you kids. You’re real troupers. We get tired of being here until all hours and yet you stay. You come every week and stick it out. You’re not even getting paid. I really admire you. But there’s nothing we can do about the situation. That’s just how it is.”

Once again, I should have kept quiet, but I went inside and told Elizabeth what I’d heard. Now, she was upset, too. 

“I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t come anymore,” she said. “I never say anything and I don’t bother anyone. The guard doesn’t even stop me anymore. I haven’t got any family here,” she wailed, “Nothing to do in my spare time. I get tired just looking at four walls.”

More restless than ever, I got up and asked Vivian to take a walk with me. We walked to the other side of the studio, away from the other girls and I told her what I had heard. She didn’t want me to go back to my seat, but I was nervous about being seen with her, so I went outside to calm myself down.

When I came back in, I tried to get Elizabeth’s attention, but she didn’t seem to notice me standing in aisle. “Excuse me,” I said, but she didn’t pay any attention. Suddenly, I realized why. She was talking to someone on the stage--Steve Lawrence. He was talking to her, so I just stood in the aisle with my head bowed, ashamed that I hadn’t seen him. 

After he moved away, I sat down in my seat and apologized.
“I didn’t’ know you were talking to him.”
“Well, I was.”

A few moments later, Steve Lawrence stood directly facing us and sang one of his greatest hits, “More.” I smiled at him and he smiled back. Like his wife, Eydie Gorme, he’s a real entertainer. He was going to sing some more songs for the audience and answer questions, but he was called away. 

At that point, executive producer, Nick Vanoff, turned the monitors into televisions. He put the Burt Bacharach special on one and had Shang-ri La playing on another.  Then, he sat back in his chair, put his feet up and watched the show. It seemed funny to be watching television in the studio where they were filming a television show. Relaxing in his chair, the producer looked like he was at home. When a commercial came on the screen, he yelled, “Oh no!”

Now, after three hours of makeup, Rich Little came out onstage made up as Cher. From the audience, he almost looked like her except for his arms which were definitely a man’s.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth kept talking about her daydreams.
“I call them fantasies.” She told me she had dreams of old movie stars like Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart. I found that interesting because I thought I was the only one who loved old stars so much, but Elizabeth’s dreams went far beyond mine. 
She also told me a rather interesting experience she’d had.

“One day I was walking home with groceries… and this car pulled up along side me. I never look if cars pull up beside me… but then I heard this voice say, “Going my way, sweetheart?” It sounded just like Bogie and I nearly fainted in the street because for a minute I thought my fantasy had come true and that it actually was Bogie. When I looked, it was Rich Little! It turns out he lives only a few blocks away from me.

When Rich finished taping his segment as Cher, there was another break, so I went outside to eat my orange. While I was out there, a lady who was sitting in front of us came out and introduced herself to me. She told me that she and her husband are friends of Robert Goulet’s and had been there the previous week and spent most of the day in his dressing room.

“Can’t your girl friend shut-up?” she said. “I felt sorry for you after the first few minutes.  She shouldn’t be saying those things about Robert Goulet. People were listening.”

I didn’t know what to say. After the woman spoke to me, she went back inside. A few minutes later, I followed her.

To be continued.....

Coming Next... more on The Julie Andrews Hour with guests...Angela Lansbury and Steven Lawrence....

A list of all blogs with links back to this site can be found at:


All photos in this blog are for entertainment purposes only.


If you think The Julie Andrews Hour should be released for the public on DVD, along with music releases of Julie and her guests, please e-mail a polite request: dan.gopal@itv.com
If you prefer, you may look up ITV in London or Los Angeles, and send a letter there. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 26th -1 - Stories of Robert Goulet and Peggy Lee


On Friday, January 26th, I made the call and learned that I would be allowed to attend The Julie Andrews Hour! They were going to have a live audience that night. In afternoon, I took my costuming class final. Then, I headed for ABC.

Vivian was at the gate when I arrived. We waited together, but were separated when they moved the line. The pages, who were familiar to us, had all been switched to other shows. I was feeling so out of place as they directed me to stand with a different group that one page commented on how sad I looked. I started to say something about what had happened two weeks earlier, but almost began to cry. Later I noted in my diary, “I didn’t want to be part of a herd.” I hung back and, as a result, ended up being the last person on line. All the other audience members were so excited about being there. All in all, we waited two hours until they let us into the studio.

This time, to enter the studio, they took us down the long tunnel and then up the stairs inside the studio. There were no tea and crumpets today! And I didn’t see any of the girls. When I met Bill, the page who started it all when he asked me on a date in front of the Hollywood Palace, acted like he didn’t recognize me. Then, he escorted to the fourth row and sat me right next to Elizabeth! It was a nice surprise to see someone I knew.

It did feel strange being in the studio. So much had happened, it almost didn’t seem like the same place. I asked Elizabeth how she was and she told me that she has been busy making a movie with Mae West! It’s a multi-million dollar musical, and will take about two years to complete. They work whenever the star (Miss West) wants to. She’s almost eighty (born August 17m 1893), so she does one dance number and then has to go home, to bed. Elizabeth told me that she is singing and dancing in the movie. 

I asked her how she likes Angela Lansbury, who was scheduled to be on the show this night. “I like her. She’s so nice...” 

“I got to go into the publicity files at ABC today,” Elizabeth informed me.  “They have a huge file on Julie with wonderful pictures,” adding that she’s gotten to know so many people in recent days. “Last week, I was walking home and the executive producer saw me and picked me up! I also met the new public relations man for the show.”

“How has Julie been in the last week,” I asked.
“Julie has been in a wonderfully good mood.”
I couldn’t help wondering why, whether it was because we weren't there. 

Then, Elizabeth told me some very interesting information.
“Last week, Julie and Bobby (Robert Goulet) had a big fight right there on stage.”

Wow! I was surprised. I could only imagine being in the studio when Julie and Robert Goulet had a fight. I think I would have slid very low in my chair, but it would have been exciting!

“Sharri doesn’t go for him,” Elizabeth informed me, adding that Sharri didn’t like some of the things he said and had informed Julie that “one more word from him and she would leave the studio.” So, Julie took Sharri’s side and said something to Bobby. He thought it was Julie’s opinion, felt hurt and got angry at Julie.

We were discussing this in public and I didn’t feel wholly comfortable, so I asked Elizabeth about Julie’s other guest, Peggy Lee.  She told me that Peggy has respiratory trouble – only one lung and she must have oxygen every 20 minutes. (This wasn’t completely true. She had both lungs but one lung had been seriously damaged when she had double pneumonia in 1961. The oxygen compensated for her damaged lung. In 1971, she’d had another bout with pneumonia and other numerous health issues including hart problems and diabetes.)

Elizabeth said Peggy Lee had signed something for her and she was so thrilled. Then she told me something that moved me. She said that Julie had spent most of the day in Peggy’s dressing room, visiting with her. This was extremely unusual for Julie. When she wasn’t shooting, she always went back to her own dressing room. Elizabeth said that Peggy Lee had been one of Julie’s favorite singers when she was a young girl, adding, “They really got on well.”

For the first part of the Peggy Lee-Robert Goulet show, Elizabeth told me that she had seen Julie sing “The Candy Man” dressed as a little girl in a blue dress. (Almost all her clothes are blue lately). That night, Julie finished with her part of the show around 10 o’clock. Elizabeth was going to leave but she really wanted to see Peggy Lee sing and she just had a feeling she shouldn’t go. Sure enough, when it came time for Peggy to tape her solo, Julie came out to watch Peggy and she stayed for almost the entire night, as a member of the audience (on the closed set).

We had been talking for what seemed a long time. Now, the show was about to begin. Elizabeth turned to me and said, “Julie’s going to come in and wow them right away tonight.”

At that moment the band was playing “Hollywood,” and I couldn’t help saying,
“I love it here! This is my home. I’m home at last.”
“Mine too,” said Elizabeth.

She told me that Julie had been wearing jeans and polo shirts for most of the morning. “This morning she did a song that way, lying down with grass and trees and bare feet. When Sharri saw her, she said, “That’s the real Julie.” I guess that’s why Mr. Blackwell put her on the worst dressed list for women. (My diary comment. For those who don’t remember, Mr. Blackwell, considered the perfect judge of best dressed women, each year used to put out a list of both the best dressed and worst dressed women.)

Now the show was getting ready to start. Rich Little came out and entertained us even better than  usual. Then Steve Lawrence and Angela Lansbury were introduced.

I asked Elizabeth if she heard anything about why we had been put out. She said, “I heard there was too much chatter up in the front seats, which are off-limits, and it upset Julie.” ‘So it was Julie,’ was all I could think.

Now the crew set up a long line of footlights and at the back a frame of lights with a starry sky. The lights were turned on us, and I suddenly realized that I was going to be on television again!

Now Julie entered wearing a gorgeous white chiffon caftan-style gown with a blue sequin pattern over it. I felt a bit frightened as she looked us over with the lights shining on us. There I was in the 4th row, second from the aisle. Then, Julie went back to the far corner of the stage. Now everything was ready for the show to begin. I couldn’t help remembering how someone in line that afternoon had said, “I would stand here all this time, just to watch her entertain for five minutes.” I felt so lucky for all the moments I had spent with her. It’s funny, every time I see Julie, it’s as thought I’ve never seen her before.

Tonight she sang, “All the Things You Are.” It was an arrangement that built as it went on. She rushed to the front of the stage about six feet from me singing, so full of life! We all clapped at the end, but Elizabeth wasn’t happy. “Why don’t these people wake up. She never gets all she deserves!” But Julie had to repeat her performance again, so we had another chance.

Just before Julie sang the song again, she looked out at the audience and said, “I can finally see you all. How nice.” At that point, I think she saw me. She turned then and spoke to the other side of the audience. Oh, dear. I felt so scared. I had reason to be.

Rich Little had a cold tonight. Julie started coughing. Elizabeth was coughing too and then I started!

Steve Lawrence is so funny. He and Eydie must really have fun together. When Julie finished her song and we were all applauding, he made a big show of whistling and yelling.  Nick Vanoff tired to stop him, telling him to be quiet. Then, he tried to drag him off the stage, but he kept right on. (Only recently, I learned that they were the best of friends, so they may have just been playing.)

On the break, Rich came on as an impression of someone and then Steve came on as an impression of someone else. He is so funny. We all broke down laughing. I couldn’t help myself; I had to laugh. After that, the director made them do the whole thing again, but I hope they use the first take.

Elizabeth told me that sometimes they write their own scripts during the rehearsal. She said she’d gone to the rehearsal hall with the cast, adding, “It’s just an empty room.” 

When I asked if Julie caught on quickly, she replied, “In nothing flat, she’s amazing.”  She added that she is a quick study as well, saying that she learns more from watching Tony Charmoli dance than taking dance lessons.

Then, as we waiting on another camera break, “Have you heard about Sharri? She’s going to have a very serious operation on her feet. She may not be able to be Julie’s stand-in anymore. She’s got some disease (can’t remember the name) from standing too much. It’s said she’ll have to be in the hospital something like three months, and no dancing for six months.  She doesn’t even know if she’ll be alright afterwards.”
“Oh, no,” I said. 
Sharri was jumping around on stage. I felt so sorry for her. Now, while we waited, I couldn’t refrain from asking Elizabeth,
“Did you ever speak to Judy Garland?”
“Oh, yes. I saw her at one of her concerts and the people just wouldn’t let her leave. She’d say, “What do you want me to do?” and they’d say, “Just stand there.” She had such a marvelous rapport with her audience that she could have sat there and eaten a banana and they would have loved her.”
“What concert was it?”
“Judy and Liza at the Palladium.”
“Oh, do you like Liza?”
“I love Liza. Rich Little has dinner with her once a month. I have a friend who said he’d introduce me to her.”
“Oh, I’d give anything to meet her,” I said.
“Wish you were going to be in Las Vegas.”

Meanwhile, we’d watched Blake’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards come in and go to sit down in the back. Elizabeth got up and went over to talk to them. Meanwhile, the crew had set up a big, grey screen across the entire front of the stage.

“They’re setting up for a comedy scene,” said Elizabeth, who had just returned. The man sitting in front of us turned around suddenly and said, “If you tell us what’s going to happen, I’ll kill you.”  I don’t think he was kidding because for the last hour or more, Elizabeth had been talking almost non-stop.
“Oh, I won’t,” she responded.

The scene was funny. Steve sang a love song (Desert Song) to Julie, and while he was singing, the wind began to blow; it blew so hard that his clothes, which were attached to wires, blew right off him. Actually, he was supposed to look as though the wind blew them off, but the wires pulled them off.  Then, the tent blew off in pieces and so did the tree. Julie was wearing a beautifully tailored white pant suit. Steve tripped and fell over her. Then, a gorilla came running on. This was the beginning of a great chase scene.

The next scene they shot was the “Getting to Know You” segment, which they set up directly in front of where we were sitting. For this scene, Julie wore a green flower print. While we waited for them to begin, Elizabeth informed me that Julie’s show has the same writers as The Judy Garland Show had. On this break, Elizabeth asked Dick Tufeld if they’d taken the idea for the “Getting to Know You” segment from Judy Garland’s “Tea for Two” segment.

“Oh, no,” he said, “Everything in this show is new.” Later, he conceded there was nothing any where that hasn’t been done before. Then, he began to call Julie “Judy. For some reason, that embarrassed me.

Later, when Julie sang, “Free and Easy,” Elizabeth commented, “That’s a Judy song.”
During the shooting of the song, Julie ran over to the band room saying,

“Nelson, what do you think of that. Do you remember….”
I couldn’t hear what else she said, but how could he not remember. He worked with Judy. So Judy was there in a strange sort of way tonight.

“Nelson’s going to play at the Academy Awards this year,” commented Elizabeth. “It’s going to be so exciting this year.”

“I wish I could go.” I couldn’t help thinking that Liza Minnelli was up for Best Actress in Cabaret“I went in ’68,” Elizabeth informed me. “If Liza doesn’t win this year, I will personally shoot the Academy. I’ve seen the competition and they’re not that good.
I’m going to do the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday. You know Julie’s up for an award. She’s got to win! Everybody else who’s up for it has already won before. We have cocktails at four… gowns…it’s a small group of people that go, but big stars. A publicity agent invited me.”

“Oh, you are lucky,” I said.

During this time, Elizab eth told me about her life. Her oldest daughter is fifteen and just starting her career in show business. She had begun her career at nine. “I left home to live with these old people in their 60s and 70s. They believed vaudeville was the only way to learn. We toured all the old music halls; I sang and danced. They wouldn’t face the fact that vaudeville was long dead. I’ve taken more singing and dancing lessons…”

To be continued.....

Coming Next... Angela Lansbury and Steven Lawrence....

A list of all blogs with links back to this site can be found at:
http://www.JulieAndrewsHour1972.com