Saturday, August 02, 2014

A truly BIZARRE unsold pilot

This is a show called CHOPSTICKS.  And before you call the PC Police, it's actually a children's game show that did not get on the schedule in 1958.  Considering what did back then, you've got to be pretty awful to not make the grade.  Aside from how utterly clunky it is, check out the African-American contestant.  Ever hear of him?  At one point he does a duet with June Christy and around the 18 minute he plays the organ.  The kid can play. 

And the girl, Janie Getz became a top jazz pianist and songwriter.  Quite the panel.


Stoney said...

I have to wonder if this was at all inspired by the 1953 film "The 5000 Fingers Of Dr. T." Seeing kids lined up seated at pianos brought that to mind!

Actually, all the kids here are pretty talented AND know their music! (Just wish the sound on this wasn't so distorted.)

Anyone else thinking 'Eddie Munster' when you see that big white collar on Mark Evans?

If this show had gotten to air and had lasted a couple seasons I can picture some contestant launching into "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" or "Good Golly Miss Molly'. How do you think that would go over?

That's Billy Preston allright! Always that big wide grin.

Eric J said...

I think it's THE Billy Preston also, but the numbers don't add up. Wiki shows he was born in 1946. On the show, Trotter said he was 12. He would only have been 8 in 1954.

eeasterberg said...

Other sources do say this was made in 1958, not 1954, which would be right for Billy Preston's age.

The girl on the show, Jane Getz, became a fairly well-known jazz pianist herself.

Pete Grossman said...

Host: There's a band that's recently become popular in Hamburg, Germany, that dare I say, has the potential to erupt the society. I think young Billy should join them as he would make a marvelous addition to the group.

Billy: Let it be.

DwWashburn said...

And eleven years later he'd be playing on a rooftop.

Jim Russell said...

Billy was a seasoned professional by this point. He played organ for Mahalia Jackson at age 10, and sang "Blueberry Hill" on Nat King Cole's TV show at age 11.

By 1962, he was in Little Richard's touring band, playing in Hamburg, so he knew about those scruffy Liverpudlians long before *we* did.

VP81955 said...

Another black wunderkind from about that time was Barry White, who in the late '50s already was a mainstay of the Los Angeles R&B scene. He played piano on Jesse Belvin's best-known hit, 1956's "Goodnight My Love," and got plenty of other session work.

Albert Giesbrecht said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canda said...

The final child, Mark, appeared to be blind, and nothing was said about it. Interesting.

I loved it.

There were references to previous weeks. Is it possible this was a local show first?

Victor Velasco said...

Man, Billy Preston could play the hell out of the keyboard! There's a clip of him - maybe "Shindig" though I'm not sure - where he plays open chord solos...with both hands (think its on "Bony Moronie")

outta space indeed!

Lorimartian said...

It also seemed to me that Mark was blind or vision impaired. I thought he was wonderful. I really enjoyed it. All so talented at such a young age. I found it rather inspiring despite the "clunky" presentation.