Radio Live! Television Live!

Those Golden Days When Horses Were Coconuts


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SKU: 9780786418121 Categories: , ,

About the Book

During the “golden age” of live radio and television, writers, performers, and producers created their programs in an environment far different from the studios of today. With live programming, anything could happen, and often did. Robert L. Mott, a veteran writer and Emmy-nominated sound effects creator of the live era, recreates the days when television and radio programs were performed live. He includes personal reminiscences as well as a forthright look behind the microphones: horses’ hooves were played by coconuts, African-American women were played by white males, and television actors might ad lib an entire program that didn’t go as planned. Celebrities like Red Skelton and Jackie Gleason, as well as the unsung heroes in the sound booth and backstage, step up to the mike here. Behind-the-scenes photographs are also included in this account of the exciting—but not always glamorous—world that was “live on the air.”

About the Author(s)

The late Robert L. Mott had a long career doing sound effects for films, cartoons, theater, commercials—and for radio (such as Gangbusters, Philip Morris Playhouse and Perry Mason), and television (including Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, The Tonight Show, Playhouse 90, Captain Kangaroo and Bob Hope). Twice nominated for Emmy awards for Days of Our Lives, he also wrote for Dick Van Dyke and Red Skelton. The Academy of Television Arts and Science selected him for their website honoring the legends of live television.

Bibliographic Details

Robert L. Mott
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 53 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1812-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “As a television anecdote book, this can’t be beat…[the author’s] first-hand knowledge of television’s past is worth reading and essential”—Classic Images
  • “Libraries with active media collections will want to add this entertaining, anecdotal description of life behind the scenes of commercial radio and television to their shelves. What most readers will enjoy most about this book are its chatty descriptions of folks with whom Mott worked. A charming memoir and oral history”—Booklist
  • “Replete with a multitude of humorous stories…fascinating stories”—The Illustrated Press
  • “Interesting as well as readable”—Communications Booknotes Quarterly
  • “Detailed information on his two fields, sound effects and script writing…‘inside’ stories that are not generally available from other sources…lots of fun”—North American Radio Archives
  • “Amusing and informative”—AES