The Bell Telephone Hour (1959–1968)

TV Series  |   |  Music
7.8
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The long-running television version of the long-running NBC radio series devoted to classical music as well as Broadway composers.

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Title: The Bell Telephone Hour (1959–1968)

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10   9   8   7   6   5   … See all »
1968   1967   1966   1965   1964   1963   … See all »
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Edward Villella ...
 Himself - Ballet Dancer / ... (12 episodes, 1961-1968)
Jacques d'Amboise ...
 Himself - Dancer / ... (11 episodes, 1959-1965)
John Raitt ...
 Himself - Singer / ... (10 episodes, 1959-1966)
Joan Sutherland ...
 Herself - Opera Soprano / ... (10 episodes, 1961-1968)
...
 Herself - Singer / ... (10 episodes, 1960-1967)
...
 Herself - Hostess / ... (10 episodes, 1962-1966)
Donald Voorhees ...
 Himself - Host / ... (9 episodes, 1960-1968)
Earl Wrightson ...
 Himself (8 episodes, 1961-1965)
Grant Johannsen ...
 Himself - Pianist / ... (8 episodes, 1959-1965)
Patricia McBride ...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (8 episodes, 1961-1968)
...
 Himself - Singer / ... (7 episodes, 1959-1965)
...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (7 episodes, 1959-1966)
...
 Himself - Host / ... (7 episodes, 1960-1966)
...
 Herself - Singer / ... (7 episodes, 1960-1965)
Richard Tucker ...
 Himself - Opera Tenor / ... (7 episodes, 1961-1967)
The Brothers Four ...
 Themselves (7 episodes, 1961-1966)
Nicolai Gedda ...
 Himself / ... (6 episodes, 1959-1968)
...
 Herself - Singer / ... (6 episodes, 1959-1966)
Allegra Kent ...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (6 episodes, 1959-1966)
...
 Himself - Pianist (6 episodes, 1959-1966)
Melissa Hayden ...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (6 episodes, 1959-1965)
Martha Wright ...
 Herself - Singer / ... (6 episodes, 1959-1964)
Erik Bruhn ...
 Himself - Ballet Dancer / ... (6 episodes, 1961-1967)
Susan Watson ...
 Herself - Singer (6 episodes, 1964-1966)
Birgit Nilsson ...
 Herself - Opera Soprano / ... (5 episodes, 1961-1967)
José Iturbi ...
 Himself - Pianist / ... (5 episodes, 1959-1962)
Anna Moffo ...
 Herself - Opera Soprano (5 episodes, 1961-1967)
...
 Himself - Host / ... (5 episodes, 1960-1965)
Dorothy Collins ...
 Herself - Singer (5 episodes, 1960-1965)
...
 Herself - Host / ... (5 episodes, 1959-1966)
...
 Himself - Host / ... (5 episodes, 1959-1966)
...
 Himself - Singer (5 episodes, 1959-1965)
Lorin Hollander ...
 Himself - Pianist (5 episodes, 1959-1965)
...
 Herself - Singer / ... (5 episodes, 1959-1961)
...
 Himself - Clarinetist / ... (5 episodes, 1960-1966)
...
 Herself - Singer (5 episodes, 1962-1966)
Robert Merrill ...
 Himself - Opera Baritone / ... (5 episodes, 1962-1966)
...
 Himself - Ballet Dancer / ... (5 episodes, 1962-1965)
...
 Herself - Singer (5 episodes, 1962-1965)
Matt Mattox ...
 Himself - Dancer (5 episodes, 1963-1965)
...
 Herself - Singer / ... (5 episodes, 1964-1966)
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Storyline

The long-running television version of the long-running NBC radio series devoted to classical music as well as Broadway composers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

song | singing | singer | musician | See All (4) »

Genres:

Music

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Details

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Release Date:

12 January 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Telephone Hour  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was one of the first TV series to be telecast exclusively in color (using the color TV system perfected by RCA in 1954) and recorded on videotape. Many of the taped performances (several now 50 years old) survive to this day. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pioneer in color videotape.
2 November 2004 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

There are currently some wonderful compilation DVDs of this musical anthology show. I have one which pays tribute to classical pianists (including Jose Iturbi, Grant Johanssen, and Van Cliburn) and another celebrating the most renowned opera stars: Rise Stevens & Renata Tebaldi in 1959, Robert Merrill and Roberta Peters in 1962, Leontyne Price and Joan Sutherland in 1963. These shows were originally broadcast on NBC and recorded on color videotape as early as 1959. These tapes appear to have been dusted off and remastered and they now look and sound as crystal clear as a live performance. That's why this VAI DVD series is so precious. Many of these Bell Telephone clips appear on the cable access station Classic Arts Showcase, but I suggest buying the DVDs in order to see the full performances. There are Bell DVDs of opera singers, violinists, and I think even one with ballet dancers. This was the last avenue for commercially broadcast classical music, before it all migrated to PBS. Don't miss it.


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