The Bell Telephone Hour (1959–1968)

TV Series  -   -  Music
7.6
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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)

The Bell Telephone Hour (1959–1968) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Season:

10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | See more »

Year:

1968 | 1967 | 1966 | 1965 | 1964 | 1963 | 1962 | 1961 | 1960 | 1959
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)
John Raitt ...
 Himself - Singer / ... (10 episodes, 1959-1966)
Jacques d'Amboise ...
 Himself - Dancer / ... (10 episodes, 1959-1965)
Joan Sutherland ...
 Herself - Opera Soprano / ... (10 episodes, 1961-1968)
...
 Herself - Singer / ... (10 episodes, 1960-1967)
...
 Herself - Hostess / ... (10 episodes, 1962-1966)
Earl Wrightson ...
 Himself (8 episodes, 1961-1965)
Patricia McBride ...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (8 episodes, 1961-1968)
Donald Voorhees ...
 Himself - Host / ... (7 episodes, 1962-1968)
...
 Himself - Singer / ... (7 episodes, 1959-1965)
...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (7 episodes, 1959-1966)
Grant Johannsen ...
 Himself - Pianist / ... (7 episodes, 1959-1965)
...
 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)
...
 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)
Anna Moffo ...
 Herself - Opera Soprano (5 episodes, 1961-1967)
...
 Herself - Host / ... (5 episodes, 1959-1966)
...
 Himself - Host / ... (5 episodes, 1959-1966)
Allegra Kent ...
 Herself - Ballerina / ... (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.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

song | singing | singer | musician

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

Heavenly Music
23 November 2003 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Classical music lovers in the mid-20th century thrilled weekly to "The Bell Telephone Hour." That the series lasted for so many years under major sponsorship demonstrates the general public's appreciation of musical art during that period.

Opera divas like Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Joan Sutherland, Helen Traubel, to mention a few, appeared under the orchestral baton of Donald Vorhees.

The series was always beautifully prepared and mounted. No one minded the black and white format, for that was the norm at the time. Entire families would regularly gather around the tv to experience superlative performances by major artists.

A few of these programs have been preserved and are available today on vhs. I have two of Ms. Traubel's programs and she is a joy to hear. She performs selections she rarely got to perform as the leading Wagnerian soprano of her generation -- such as Verdi, Mozart, right down to a Negro spiritual at the end.

Another "Bell" video I cherish (this one in color) is of Ms. Price, rendering an astonishing Nile Scene from Verdi's "Aida" and Cio Cio San's aria from Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." At "intermission" Vorhees interviews Price, with the program concluding with an aria from Verdi's "La Forza del Destino."

There was nothing on television in the classical arena more beloved by the public than "The Bell Telephone Hour," and those who have managed to obtain these programs today certainly have some rare treasures in their collections.


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