Public TV & Pop Music's Crossover/Partnering-Is It Coincidence ?
IN WHAT CERTAINLY could be called "a sign of the times"; we find this peculiar teaming of the Public Television System and nostalgic collections of Pop Music from Eras long since gone. It would appear that the ever more crowded of the record companies' vaults as combined with the ascent of the generation known as "the Boomers" has provided the impetuous for what was,only a few years earlier, an impossible and oxymoronic alliance.
THE INSTITUTION WHICH we now know as Public TV had begun its life in the 1950's as Educational Television. The name still persists in some quarters and we well recall those early days of yesteryear. An inborn and innate sort of snobbishness permeated this new area of televising and it was by no means subtle or tolerant of other aspects of the industry; particularly of those stations, companies and networks which were so crass as to show entertainment productions which were sponsored by paying commercial interests.
THE EARLY, EMBROYOTIC Educational Television touted its commitment to what was perceived as being "High Class" and "Socially Redeeming" in content. Thus you'd be most likely to view Shakespeare, the Arts, Science (MR. WIZARD) and Classical Music. The system which would soon be rename and rededicated as the Public Television Service, had no place for such commonplace, low and vulgar an item as Pop Music. They wouldn't even give popular music the time of day.
BUT THAT WAS then and this is now. Over the years, certain heretofore lowly subjects and programming incrementally crept into the PBS schedule. Thus, items such as those represented by the likes of MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS, ANTIQUE ROAD SHOW and these T.J. Lubinsky Popular Music productions found their way onto Public Television's regular scheduling.
WITH REGARD TO this particular production, there is little with which we can find fault. The number of veteran performers, who have too long been absent from performing in public, is staggering. With a roster which features the McGuire Sisters, Pat Boone (Emcee), the Four Lads, the Diamonds, the Four Aces, Don Cherry, Gogi Grant, Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney (archive footage), the Chordettes and many others.
IF THERE IS any criticism to be leveled at the production it is that it has built in breaks that are strictly designed to solicit contributions from PBS viewers in return for CD's and DVD's of the program and other old favourite music.
THE PITCHES THAT viewers are subjected to are high pressure, shameless and persistent in their goal of raising fund$ for the local PBS affiliate. If we didn't know better, we'd swear that these were a sort of genre of the "commercial." But this could not be the case;for the PUBLIC/EDUCATIONAL television stations have long bragged that they were "commercial free."
WE MUST BEG to remind them that:"A Rose by any other name smells just as sweet!"
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