I'm always nervous about the "Big Broadcast" before a fundraiser. I've convinced myself if it's sub-par, somebody may use it as an excuse to stiff the station the next Sunday. That's compounded by anxiety over shows with not many birthday salutes; tonight has three. I've also decided there's a risk that the show will seem padded without the customary six, seven or twelve salutes.
Nuts to that.
Leaving Fort Lauderdale this morning for a one day side trip to NOLA for an exhibit on the Boswell Sisters (Connie and Vet were guests on "The Big Broadcast," but that isn't their primary claim to fame), then an afternoon with the Boswell-inspired Pfister Sisters at the Spotted Cat. I should be back at the hotel to catch tonight's "Big Broadcast." There are seven birthday salutes tonight, including George Gershwin, band leader Ted Weems and Vaughn De Leath, who was said to be the first woman to sing on the radio.
Tonight's "Big Broadcast" is about as crowded as they get, with ten birthday salutes. Crossover helps; finding a record by one of the songwriters (Sam H. Stept) featuring birthday violinist Joe Venuti. The object is to keep the four hours moving, and keep recirculating the whole crew. Although it wounds me to know that everybody doesn't stick from 8 until midnight, it's important to avoid long stretches by any one person.
There are eight birthday tributes on tonight's "Big Broadcast." And it wasn't a stretch to include any of them. They're all solid: a singing songwriter (Pinky Tomlin), composing band leader (Gus Arnheim), and the lyricists who gave us "Singin' in the Rain" and "Dancing in the Dark." The other four aren't shabby, either.