Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dear Dave,

There are several things I would like to research and need your help.
I have a Houston Fearless/RCA PD 1 camera pedestal that says CBS TV 8 on it. This is a 60 year old pedestal and I suspect that it was used in CBS studio 8. I have heard there were CBS TV facilities in Grand Central in the late 40s/early 50s and wonder if you know anyone who can knows if there was a Studio 8 anywhere? It may be that it was just pedestal 8 at one of the CBS studios, but dont know. All I am aware of are Studios 51-54 and others with I think higher numbers but dont know and would love to have a list of the old CBS studio names and numbers. I have a Norelco PC60 used in Studio 51. Ive heard that 51 was mostly soap operas, but does anyone know what shows may have come out of 51 when the Norelcos were in use there?
Studio 50 was of course the Ed Sullivan Theatre. I have the backstage announce mic from there and wonder if you know of anyone that worked there in the 1950s or earlier? From what I know so far, its a Shure model 51 Sonodyne mic and the story of how it left the theatre is attached below. If anyone worked there in the Sullivan days, and could provide any information I would be grateful.
People can contact me either at
tobeorellerbee at or though my website

Bobby Ellerbee 678-963-0869

I was shooting an industrial video for US Air in 1981 at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, which was then being used by Reeves Teletape. We were doing stand ups featuring US Air executives and senior pilots. The shoot had to be done over three days because of crew scheduling by the airlines. This was my first time ever actually using a TK-44. The best part of shooting at The Ed was having the ability to poke around the theatre and the rest of the building during breaks. I was a microphone collector at the time and was always keeping an eye out for interesting old pieces. We used to use the West 53rd Street entrance to the theatre to come and go--that entrance is on the side of the theatre where Paul and the CBS Orchestra play now. I kept noticing an old Shure mic and stand in the theatre wings. It was pushed into a corner behind a stack of counter weights. I finally asked one of the stage hands about it. He said it had been there forever and was used as a house announce microphone. Based on it's vintage and the fact that the theatre had been vacant up until the time that Reeves began using the facility, I can only assume it had been there through most of the Sullivan years. I cornered the facilities manager at one point on the last day we were shooting and asked him about it. He confirmed that it was a house announce mic used back when the facility was home to the Sullivan show and several game shows. He told me that house announce was moved to the sound booth, the mic was a derelict and if I wanted it to go ahead and take it. I did.

John R. Smith