No, they don’t walk into a bar. The video above is an episode of Music 55, a summer replacement program that filled the summertime timeslot of Edward R. Murrow’s Person To Person back in 1955. Hosted by Stan Kenton (which was news to me, and I’m a big fan of Kenton’s), this live variety show presented some pretty epic and cool stuff. This episode features guests, Yehudi Menuhin, Ann Richards and the legendary Duke Ellington.
After a piano duet between Kenton and Ellington, The Duke delivers a monolouge about “Pretty and the Wolf,” while drawings scroll by in the background. Those illustrations are by a then-unknown artist by the name of Andrew Warhol.
Following that wild convergence we have Menuhin and Kenton taking on an Ellington piece, and a vocal and dance number by Ann Richards. The rest of the show features more from Menuhin and Richards and the Stan Kenton Orchestra.
It’s a pretty cool artifact of mid-century sophisticated entertainment, and it has a lot of quality art, music and dance packed into less than half an hour.