Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dreaming of the Studio

Saturday, January 20th, I was at home with my family in West Covina, eagerly awaiting the last The Julie Andrews Hour I had seen taped only a week earlier; the show with Maria von Trapp, Eydie Gorme and Jim Nabors would be on television that night. Meanwhile, it was difficult to realize all that had occurred in one week.

In the afternoon I called Vivian. She informed me that she had spoken to producer Nick Vanoff’s secretary a few days earlier. Carol, the secretary, told her that the director, Bill Davis, was the one who didn’t want us there; ABC had nothing to do with it. It was interesting to see how everyone had a different story. We didn't know what to believe. We wanted to fix it and we wanted to feel better about what had happened, but it all  seemed impossible.

Meanwhile, Vivian had something else to tell me. Friday evening she had tried to call Patty and Kelly. She said they weren’t home. Well, we could guess where they were.

That night, as I watched the show, I heard my laugh and saw the back of my head. I thought the Southern scene was wonderful and Julie’s singing of “Stormy Weather,” great.

January 22, 1973
Former President Johnson died today. It was such a shock and so strange. Now we had no former living Presidents.

In the evening, Mommy, Mrs. Prefontaine (my step-dad’s mother) and I went to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to see World Vision’s Korean Children’s Choir. I wrote, “I had forgotten what it meant to be pure and full of love and peace. We live on such a high ball these days, but these children have a serenity and beauty in their performance and they are such little ones. The sound of their voices stays with you long after you have left them.”

January 24, 1973
I had my singing lesson. After the lesson, a friend of Mr. Loring’s (Dick) drove me home. On the way, he picked up – are you ready for this – Frank Sinatra’s cousin, John Sinatra. Well, he isn’t Frank. (from my diary)

January 25, 1973
Today I walked down Western Avenue in Hollywood. It was sad to see the music shop had closed. I kept wishing I was going to spend the day with Julie.

In the afternoon, I called Clare Priest. She told me she would talk to Carol, Nick Vanoff’s secretary, about my going to the studio on Friday, but I would have to call back the next day (tomorrow). If I get to go, I won’t know until the last minute.

Although I had started out going to to the studio because I liked it and wanted to learn, now I was hooked. It was all I could think about. The thought of never seeing Julie again, made me terribly sad. I was hoping for a happy ending, yet I was afraid to hope.  But this time I would not be disappointed. I was about to have the privilege of entering ABC once again to watch The Julie Andrews Hour being taped.

(c) Michelle Russell

Coming Soon – In the studio with Julie Andrews, Angela Lansbury and Steve Lawrence

Note: A list of Julie Andrews Hour blogs with links to this page can be found at:


  1. I'm soo hooked, Michelle! I need the book, lol!!
    Rebecca Noel

  2. Thanks. I'm working on it. There is so much more to share, hopefully some great photos as well.