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Steve Allen's Music Room: 1984

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Imagine a talk show where vibraphonist Terry Gibbs led a band consisting of trumpeters Conti Candoli, his brother Pete Candoli and Chuck Findley; trombonists Carl Fontana and Charlie Loper; saxophonsits Med Flory, Gus Vivona, Plas Johnson, Jerome Richardson and Bill Green; pianist Alan Broadbent; guitarist Tommy Tedesco; bassist Chuck Berghoffer; and drummer Frankie Capp. And let's add a 27-year-old Bill Maher as announcer and sidekick. Such a show  existed and ran from 1984 to 1986. It was Steve Allen's Music Room.

Only six episodes aired on the new cable Disney Channel, and the show was informal and cozy, despite the fact that Allen's humor was a bit gag-ridden, the guests were a bit stale and Maher's edgy vibe was jarringly out of place. Poor Allen. At this point, he had drifted into Joe Franklin territory. Nevertheless, Terry's band and arrangements were drop-dead great.

Here's Show #1, with Steve Allen and Eydie Gormé ...



Here's Show #2, with Melba Moore, Jayne Meadows, Joe Williams and Paul Williams...



Here's Show #3, with Burt Bacharach, Anthony Newley, Carole Bayer Sager...



Here's Show #4, with Rosemary Clooney, Red Holloway, James Raphael and Lou Rawls...



Here's Show #5, with Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Lees, Sarah Vaughan, Henry Mancini and daughter Monica Mancini. Dig the band having a ball on two Mancini numbers and catch Mancini, Gillespie, Vaughan and Lees all sitting shoulder to shoulder around the piano. Wow...



And here's Show #6, with Ann Jillian, Patti Page and  Doc Severinsen...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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