Saturday, November 8, 2008

Peter Potter's Platter Parade

In the early 1950s, I was in college at Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California. I put myself through a private college working as a dishwasher - bus boy for the Headliner Coffee Shop. There was not a lot of extra money in my pocket during those years!

Ann came to the college in 1953 and since we knew each other from Kansas City, Missouri, we would spend some time doing things together. Anything that wouldn’t cost much was a plus to us.

We were within 20 miles from Hollywood where radio and television programs were made - some live and some filmed or recorded to show an audience so laugh tracks could be put on the show when it actually was aired to the public. We saw a bunch of radio and television shows which were free to attend.

One such program was a local television show that was shown only in Southern California called “Peter Potter’s Platter Parade”. Peter Potter was a local celebrity who had a program that asked the question “Will It Be A Hit - Or A Miss?”.

Hollywood was also the place where records were produced. We didn’t have Cds or cassette tapes then. Records were 78 rpm vinyl discs with one song on each side. Most times the “A” side was the main song and the “B” side was just another tune they recorded. The “B” side sometimes was the actual hit.

This live TV show was on Saturday nights in Hollywood with a live audience enjoying the show. It involved the host (Peter Potter) and a panel of guests who were mostly stars in the area who would listen to a new recording and vote whether it would be a hit or a miss. The fun part was when the actual artist was behind a curtain that the panel couldn’t see or didn't know that they were there and they voted it a “miss”. Talk about backpedaling! It was all in fun though and many of the songs they thought wouldn’t make it actually did.

We attended that show a few times and always thought it was a night well spent. The show was only local and didn’t make it out of the Southern California area. I have no idea how long they were on the air as nothing is on the internet concerning the show.

Peter Potter did have a national show called “Jukebox Jury” which aired from 1956 to 1959. It ran along the same theme as the local show.


Patty said...

I'm sure Betty White was the "girl friday" or whatever on Peter Potter's Platter Parade. We watched it all the time. Why isn't she mentioned as starting there?

Anonymous said...

Juke Box Jury was a local TV show in LA which began in 1948 after a run on radio. It went national on ABC for only 1 year, the 1953/'54 season, then was syndicated in 1959.

Anonymous said...

Betty White was "girl friday" for Al Jarvis on KTLA TV in the late forties. It was a five hour show that had actors and recording artists. It was on 5 days aweek in the LA area.

Terra di Vita said...

Peter Potter's Platter Parade!
I loved watching that show. The "best" part was Peter hitting the "bell" if it was voted a "hit", and smashing the platter right on the turn table if it was a "miss." I recalled he originally had a lead pipe thud for the miss, but may be wrong about that. But watching a costly record be smashed was entertaining in itself.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Betty was Al Jarvis' "girl Friday" on KLAC, Channel 13 in L.A., and when Jarvis went over to ABC, Betty took over the show, a Monday through Friday morning chat program called "Hollywood on Television." Later, also on Channel 13, she starred in a weekly sketch show called "Life With Elizabeth." That was a live evening show, with a studio audience. Later on, the show was filmed for syndication. Then, Betty went to NBC and her career took off.