Stars of Jazz

A Complete History of the Innovative Television Series, 1956–1958

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About the Book

Imagine an educational television series featuring America’s greatest jazz artists in performance, airing every week on commercial television. It happened during 1956–1958 on KABC in Los Angeles, with a brief national network run on ABC in the summer of 1958.
Stars of Jazz was hosted by Bobby Troup, the noted songwriter, pianist, and vocalist. Each show provided relevant information regarding the jazz being performed that enlightened viewers and heightened their appreciation. The series garnered widespread praise from critics and numerous awards including an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. It was a landmark series visually, too, in presenting many television firsts including experimental films by designers Charles and Ray Eames.
All 130 shows were filmed as kinescopes. Surviving kinescopes were donated to the UCLA Film and Television Archive where 16 shows have been restored. Twenty-nine additional shows are in the collection. The remaining eighty-five kinescopes are lost, discarded when the series ended. This first full documentation of Stars of Jazz identifies every musician, vocalist, and guest who appeared on the series and lists every song performed on the series along with composer and lyricist credits. It includes more than 100 photographs of the show, including images from many of the lost episodes.

About the Author(s)

James A. Harrod is a member of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, the Jazz Journalists Association, and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute. He lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Bibliographic Details

James A. Harrod
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 100 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7770-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3779-2
Imprint: McFarland