The Dinah Shore/Chevy Show
We’re sure that many of you have lost untold nights of sleep agonizing over the question, “Exactly where was Rossano Brazzi on the night of December 1, 1958 and what was he doing?” Well, your nights of insomnia are over — believe it or not, we actually have the answer to that question! On the night of Sunday December 1, 1958, Rossano was in Hollywood, California, and what he was doing was singing a passionate aria in Italian with Jimmy Durante in praise of … food? Yes, food. [Why, what did you THINK he was doing? Never mind, we don’t wanna know … and you should be ashamed of yourself for thinking it, anyway …!]
For a real treat, write to Captain Bijou or Tom Kleinschmidt (see the Source Listing) and ask for a copy of TV Variety XX, or “The Dinah Shore/Chevy Show”. It aired live on Sunday, December 1, 1958 on NBC, and her guests that night were two adorable Italians: Jimmy Durante and Rossano Brazzi.
We should warn you right now that this is a horrible copy — we were staring at a blob on the screen for 10 minutes before figuring out it was a Chevrolet in a spotlight — [who could tell?] — but if you can endure a mottled black and white image without going bug-eyed, you’ll enjoy it: it’s nostalgic, it’s sweet, it’s musical … and Rossano is just plain adorable in it.
Highlights: Rossano singing the theme from Summertime in Italian and English; he and Jimmy Durante out-gesturing each other in a passionate Italian aria in praise of Italian food; Rossano teaching Dinah elementary Italian and smooching on her hand everytime she got it right; a skit about America’s new-fangled “push the button” technology.
You’ll smile all the way through this, he’s so animated and delightful.
Unexpected Brazzi Sighting
(Judging by this beautifully-rendered “Eye on Brazzi”, it appears artist Connie Liss has generously over-estimated her fellow Brazzi-philes, believing us to be among those rare, peaceful souls who react quite calmly under the throes of a U.B.S. (Unexpected Brazzi Sighting). Sadly, most of us instead tend to descend immediately into panic when we find ourselves in the middle of a “U.B.S” without a handy videotape, or, when we find that the only blank videotape we have happens to be so tightly wrapped in cellophane that by the time we actually manage to get the cellophane unwrapped with fumbling, panicked fingers, we’ve forgotten why we started to unwrap the tape in the first place, and Rossano has long since disappeared from the screen).
On the History Channel, late February. Show title: “Drive for the American Dream”. Includes the segment of Rossano performing his “Push the Button” number from “The Dinah Shore Show”, and and even better — or, even worse if you were like most of us and didn’t have a blank videotape handy (see above!) – this was a clear, sharp image of it! (We’re contacting the History Channel to see if they’ll spare us an extra copy!)
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