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About Steve Allen &The Steve Allen Show Steve Allen was born Dec. 26, 1921,in New York, N.Y., He was a noted. entertainer, jazz musician (pianist) and songwriter. He appeared as a comedian on radio in the 1940s before moving to late-night television, where he created and hosted The Tonight Show (1954–57) and The Steve Allen Show (1956–60), more below. He hosted several other television shows, including Meeting of Minds (1977–81). He composed over 3,000 songs, including “Picnic” and “Impossible,” and appeared in films such as The Benny Goodman Story (1955). He was married to actress Jayne Meadows, sister of Audrey Meadows of "The Honeymooners." Steve Allen died of natural causes on Oct. 30, 2000,in Encino, California.

In the summer of 1957, NBC signed on Steve Allen almost as a lark. He was considered by the networks execs as a so/so comic, had been jazz singer and a fair announcer-personality. Network audiences thought otherwise and "Steverino," even with caustic jabs at things he didn't like and a corny supporting sidekick (Louis Nye), caught on and became a popular daytime television show.

Allen was then given the helm of what would come to be NBC's cherished late night venue, "The Tonight Show." Fred Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno would succeed Steve Allen in the top rated after-local-news variety/talk show.

Married to actress Jayne Meadows (sister to Audrey "Alice Kramden" Meadows), Steve despised rock and roll (it displaced swing, pop and jazz, Steve's foray). It's burgeoning popularity among teenagers was deemed by Allen as an "immoral d3ecay of society" (that's what they said in the 1800's about Johaan Strauss jr's waltzes). A writer of jazz ballads, Steve thought rock otherwise insipid and repetitive. His poetic readings of the lesser prolific (but catchy and chart topping) rock and roll hits of the time (such as Gene Vincent's Be Bop A Lula and Little Richard Pennington's Tutti Fruiti covered as white pop by Pat Boone - what black songs didn't Boone and The Crew Cuts cover? - resulted in what some perceive as "classic bit"s such as Oldies Television has revived here

As Dennis James (who also disliked R&R) use to say on his telethons about rock and roll acts, and we say here about the anti-rock clip "if you like it, watch it, if not, go to the phone." Except we have no tiers of operators to take your call...not even Jayne Meadows who took calls for James.

The Names Steve Allen Had On The Air For Rock & Roll Music "Rubbish" "Trash" "Garbage" (hey, aren't they the same thing?) "Tribal Sounds" "Jibberish" "Illiterate" and "Ptooey."

Ed Sullivan on CBS invaded Steve's Sunday 8PM camp on NBC. While Allem catered to niche' comedy tastes with the help of Louis Nye, definitely niche,' and Don Knotts who would become our beloved Deputy Barney Fife and landlord Mr. Furley. Sullivan had everything from top rock and roll performers, who Allen loathed, to opera singers, dancing bears and Topogigo The Mouse, covering every demographic from kiddies to grandma and grandpa. Allen tried to play catch up, conceding to NBC's demands to put a little rama in his ding dong and have rock and rollers on his show. Sullivan's ratings skyrocketing ahead of Allen's. Allen and producers conceded, beginning with Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The Platters and The Diamonds. Too little, too late. Steve Allen's Sunday night show was replaced by everything NBC could think of to throw up against Ed, including "Dragnet" re-runs and quiz shows.
Alas, the "Toast Of The Town" syndicated columnist who frequented "Gallagher's" and "The Stork Club" remained Sunday night video king until he retired. By then, Steve Allen was rooted in The Tonight Show, prior to Carson's reign

About Steve Allen The son of American vaudeville entertainers, bespectacled American comedian Steve Allen led a peripatetic childhood, shunted off from one relative or boarding school to another. As a balm to his loneliness, Allen became a voracious reader, providing himself with a wide and varied intellectual base. Breaking into showbiz as a radio disc jockey, Allen soon learned that inserting humor here and there would draw a lot more attention than merely announcing the records and reading the stockyard reports. In order to supply himself with an endless stream of material, Allen memorized every joke book and "college humor" magazine that he could get his hands on; the result was his uncanny ability to conjure up precisely the right wisecrack at the right time. Developing a strong following while hosting a radio program on Los Angeles' KNX in 1948, Allen received his first network exposure in 1949, and was also featured in several films, including Down_Memory_Lane (1949) and I'll_Get_By (1950). In 1953, Allen was hired to host a local late-night program on New York's WNBC-TV, which later developed into the NBC network's Tonight Show. Extraordinarily busy during the years 1956 and 1957, Allen hosted "The Tonight Show", headlined his own hour-long weekend variety TV series, starred as the title character in The_Benny_Goodman_Story (1956), composed several popular songs (his piano skills were shown to excellent advantage on his TV programs), and filled up his spare time by writing books, plays, and magazine articles. He left Tonight in 1957 and closed out his NBC weekender in 1960. One year later, he was back with a Wednesday-night hour on ABC, which had the misfortune of being scheduled opposite "Wagon Train". In 1962, Allen his comedy/variety shows on NBC and in syndication.

During his heyday, Allen helped develop and nurture such talents as Tom Poston, Louis Nye, Don Knotts, Bill Dana, Gabe Dell, Steve Lawrence, & Eydie Gorme. He kept busy in television throughout the 1970s and 1980s with such highly praised projects as P BS' Meeting of Minds, wherein Allen would host round-table discussions with actors posing as the great leaders and intellects of history. Long married to actress Jayne_Meadows, Steve Allen showed no signs of slowing down in his early seventies (despite a well-publicized bout with cancer), as he continued to write books on a multitude of subjects, accept TV and movie guest-star appearances, make SRO personal appearances, and even occasionally return to his roots by hosting TV and radio talk shows.

Simon & Garfunkel's music had caught Steve Allen's attention and he realized rock music was becoming more prolific than "Be Bop A Lula," albeit 50's "love you-am true-don't make me blue" songs were fun times. Allen apparently paid more attention to the new era of rock and roll music and, in later shows, recited hit record lyrics with reverence, himself a songwriter. It was an about face transformation.


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