Sunday, July 23, 2006

Well! -- You brought up a phenomenal subject --- NOEL COWARD and the Special, "TOGETHER WITH MUSIC" we did with him and Mary Martin in color at Studio 72 in 1956. Hey, that's 50 years ago and we're still talking about it!. Must have been exceptional. And, believe me, IT WAS!.
Mr. Coward was a very spirited gentleman with a great deal of exuberant energy. But, he seemed timid with people, that is, groups of people like you'd find in Studio 72 at the time.
I sensed his uneasiness and suggested he use my office upstairs as his personal dressing room with Lois Marino, my secretary to take care of his needs ---- You simply cannot imagine his appreciation for this gesture as he now was secluded from all nuisances and could relax while he was off camera.
And the three "stooges" that you mentioned, Al Diamond. Frank Harvey and Al Kozsak --- none could compare to the fun that these three could bring to a very serious LIVE production when the opportunity permitted it. Great, great people.
Here's a story about Harvey that is included in my first book,
"Been there ---- Done that"
It happened during one of the four "MASTERS" that I co-produced with Judson Bailey, the mensch of mensches.
Frank Harvey was one of my cameramen on the event. . It concerns Ben Hogan with a lie that was very close to Harvey's camera platform. Whether you're aware of it or not, let it be known that Ben Hogan at the time was considered one of the immortals of the game.
Harvey, (Frank, that is), was tintilated, it was a wonder that he could focus and frame, but, he did.
Hogan lofted an iron shot to the green leaving behind an enormous divot which Frank retrieved by jumping off his platform and scurrying back.
The plan that he had for the divot was to take it home and plant in his lawn as something he could always brag and talk about. In fact, back at the hotel room that evening Frank retrieved a cardboard box into which he placed the divot while watering it for the next day we were to return to New York.
That morning the crew was packed and headed for the
airport. Harvey, along with everyone else, cased all the celebrity players as they entered the terminal when out of nowhere Hogan appeared turning our buddy rigid with surprise.
Suddenly Frank grabbed the cardboard box and scurried over towards Mr. Hogan who he stopped in his tracks while he made a presentation of the divot to him on behalf of the crew as CBS's favorite player.
Hogan, who always seemed serious and stern in public and not very outgoing suddenly broke into the grandest smile and laugh that anyone had ever seen. He really appreciated the gesture.
The crew, who had gathered around the presentation, had just witnessed one of their best memories on the road as they smiled broadly at Ben Hogan entering the plane with the cardboard box under his arm.
C'est fini -- with a big thanks to one of the best.

John Koushouris.