All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:17 pm

It's fortunate that there are people like Kevin doing this stuff. I still think the average person doesn't understand or appreciate the difference between the 24 discrete frames of motion pictures and the 50/60 fields inherent in many live broadcasts and video productions. I tried demonstrating the significant difference to a flatmate of mine a couple of years ago. His PC wasn't configured, for whatever reason, to play back video material at full speed, and to show him this, I briefly put the Comeback Special (2004 DVD edition) on his computer, where it played with the cadence of a feature film, and then on mine, where it played with the cadence of a live broadcast, fully representative of the analog video source. He said he couldn't really see what I was talking about! To me, the difference is eye-popping -- like the difference between a memory and experiencing something as it's happening.


Once again, I'm greatly anticipating this new release! Another piece of the Elvis story is about to fall in place. :D
Last edited by Cryogenic on Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:19 pm


Unfortunately, I don't own a copy of that box set, I'm afraid... If there are some .flac, .ape or .shn samples from it that are posted somewhere, I'd be interested in doing a comparison, but at the moment, the only thing I can compare my work to is the soundtrack of the kinescopes that I was originally given, and there's a **considerable** difference in the "before and "after" there.

I don't think you'll be disappointed, in any event... :)


Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:23 pm


When I win the National Lottery you are going to be the first person I call - I have so much work for you :wink:

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:45 pm

Thanks Kevin!

How did the network capture the complete Sullivan shows including commercials? Did they have multiple cameras filming in a staggered array? For example, don't you get about 12-15 minutes of film time per reel? So to capture the show, would the network have had two cameras aimed at two separate screens and each one starting to film as the other began to run out of film to allow for reel reloadings?

Are all three shows 100 % complete, so there are no down times for reloadings?

Also, did the network use a board line feed to capture the audio on the film soundtrack? Or did they just stick a microphone next to the TV speaker?

Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:29 pm

I sure hope this gets a UK release !

Ed Sullivan isn't the 'name' over here that he is in the US, but Elvis is !

And can the Dorsey, Berle and Allen shows be far behind ?

Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:58 pm


Are these clips done with your Live Feed method? ...


Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:58 pm

General Sarnoff wrote:Well, let me see if I can answer these in order:

1. Quite nice-- and they're streets ahead of the previous releases


Can't you put up a screendump ? before and after. Something like that would be nice ...

Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:29 pm


The network used multiple kinescope machines in a separate room-- which would be running as needed. The kinescoping room was staffed with engineers and assistants, who were always there to flip the switch on a new machine when it appeared the first was going to run out of film. Now, since there were humans involved, it doesn't mean that the changeover worked 100% of the time, but in this case, there were no hitches, and so all of the shows were captured.

The kinecope film magazines were a little over 30 minutes in length, by the way. And sound was captured by in-line connections, but for the 35mm masters, it was recorded separately, and then synched once the actual prints were made. Very occasionally, you'll find a kinescope with a separate **magnetic** soundtrack, which is truly a marvelous thing, because the sound will have much more presence and dynamic range than a standard composite optical film print. Combine a magnetic soundtrack with a LiveFeed processed image, and its-- fantastic!!


I have two clips in the "Wherever We May Go" documentary... the B&W Tom Dooley" and "MTA" clips were both processed with LiveFeed. And they presented an interesting challenge, in that those kinescopes were created from a color program, by making a B&W kinescope off of a **color** monitor-- not the **best** of conditions. However, we did what we could for them, and improved them considerably over look of the raw footage. In fact, there's a short LiveFeed promotional piece in the DVD extras on that disc that shows the "before" & "after" look of the "MTA" clip.


I've had the same request on another forum-- but unfortuntely, since LiveFeed really deals in **motion**, apart from the cleanup of a really noticeable piece of dirt, there isn't much in any **single** frame that will give you an idea of what the process does. It really has to be see in action for the idea to get across.


I hope they're not far behind-- but those estates haven't called yet. Let's hope this release spurs them to do so!!

More later...


Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:37 pm

I would also recommend that anybody who really wants to compare "before" and "after" footage when the new DVD comes out should pick up a copy of "Ed Sullivan's Rock 'n' Roll Classics, Vol. 4"... that has a very good representation of what the "before" footage looked and sounded like.


Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:45 am

So magnetic soundtracks for all three shows were available? Did they require any digital cleanup? How do they sound?

Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:52 am

No-- sorry if I accidentally gave that impression here-- the kinescopes I used were composite prints, with standard optical soundtracks.

Which isn't to say that there weren't improvements made along the way... ;)


Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:52 am

Speaking of corrections:

I was having an exchange of e-mails with someone who had read Mark Evanier's recent blog entry, which you can find here: ... tml#011890

In addition to noting the kind compliments that Mark had for the LiveFeed process, they wanted me to confirm his comments regarding the contents of the set, which are accurate. And which of course, have been quoted in a few other places.

I haven't really been following all of the publicity regarding the set, so I don't know that there has been any claim that the shows were totally uncut... but if that impression **has** been given, it should be corrected, and the issue addressed. The long and the short of the situation is, as Mark noted, that sometimes in the home video business, the "Business" part unfortunately rears its ugly head, and things become unavailable for release. Now we are indeed lucky that **none** of Elvis' material was affected, and in fact, over the 3 hours of shows that are being presented, literally only a couple of acts needed to be substituted. That's a pretty amazing batting average for a musical variety show. And, as it ended up, one of the programs did indeed emerge totally unscathed.

To be honest, from a production standpoint, it probably would have been much easier to just leave the other two shows shortened, and a lot of other producers probably would have. But I think it's to Andrew Solt's credit that the decision was made to issue three full 60-minute shows, since I think that's what most people would expect to see. I do know that there was considerable care taken to maintain the continuity of the presentation, so the few substitute acts used were generally drawn from shows that aired fairly close in time to the Elvis shows... one exception to that would be the Will Jordan appearance that Mark cites, which originally aired in June of 1955. On the plus side though, it's one of Jordan's better appearances, and that piece leads to a fascinating story that I'll share, if anyone cares to hear it (hint, hint)... :)

In any event, though, once this was brought up to me as a potential "issue" to some folks, I felt that it was important to get everything clarified, so no one would feel that someone was trying to "hide" something. The important thing is that all three hours look and sound marvelous, and it's still an enormously neat time machine trip to be able to watch these shows in this way.

As always, if anyone has any additional questions. I'll be happy to address them. (I **do** have that fascinating story, remember...) :)


Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:09 am

Obviouly these *substitutions* were not going to be mentioned before release - but were outed by the blog.

For those of us who are completists just what content and how many minutes are not from the original.

And conversely what content was removed.

Are all the commercials from the true telecasts?

Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:21 am

I would strenuously disagree with that characterization, if only because the contents of each disc were actually a part of one of the initial official press releases from EPE. So the knowledge of what's on them has been available pretty much from the start.

So to say something was "outed" would be putting it a bit harshly, I think.


Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:24 am

I'm really excited about this release and understand that certain estates and performers may not allow their acts inclusion or demanded too high a price.

Kevin, out of curiosity, which acts were cut?

However, I think EPE should revise their press release to be totally honest with fans. Their release says all 3 shows are in their entirety, which is false:

"Since the DVD features the three Sullivan shows in their entirety, there are other historic variety show appearances by guests such as Carol Burnett, novelty artist Señor Wences, various Broadway stars, athletes such as boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, tennis great Don Budge, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and numerous comedians. Each of the three shows run about one hour and all include the original commercials, which aired as part of the show’s live broadcast. The 3-disc special edition DVD features re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio as well as the original mono soundtrack. The Kinescope video has been enhanced by a breakthrough technical process--created by a company called Live Feed--resulting in an optimal sound and visual experience."


Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:39 am

I think it is quite obvious there was a little deception going on here. Will it have anything to do with my excitement about this release or the awsome work that has been done on it? Absolutely not!

Since the DVD features the three Sullivan shows in their entirety, there are other historic variety show appearances by guests such as Carol Burnett, novelty artist Señor Wences, various Broadway stars, athletes such as boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, tennis great Don Budge, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and numerous comedians. Each of the three shows run about one hour and all include the original commercials, which aired as part of the show’s live broadcast. The 3-disc special edition DVD features re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio as well as the original mono soundtrack. The Kinescope video has been enhanced by a breakthrough technical process--created by a company called Live Feed--resulting in an optimal sound and visual experience.

By saying it features the three shows in their entirety plainly says the three shows Elvis was on are the actual shows that were aired originally. Does all this matter? Probably not but I think it clearly shows the company wants us to believe something that is not factual.

Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:44 am

Kevin -

All of the additional details make for fascinating reading. If you can share what was cut from two of the three programs, I'd appreciate it.

It is my fervent hope you will have the chance to restore the remaining Presley TV appearances from January to July 1956, and the "Welcome Home Elvis" Sinatra Special of May 1960.

After Elvis, it would be fantastic if you could work the LFVI magic on the "Lost Honeymooners" kinescopes, one of the greatest archives of classic comedy on television I've ever seen.

Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:49 am

Check out 'The Doors' controversial version of 'Light my fire' from 'Ed Sullivan' in 1967. Jim Morrison famously was told not to say 'higher' on the show, but did so any way, and his performance did indeed, set AMERICA on fire!

Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:59 am

To be exact:

The number by The Vagabonds in the 9/9/56 show was substituted with another number by.... The Vagabonds (from a different episode). So, not really a loss there. As it happened, however, the new number was short enough that a couple of other acts were actually added to the program, to round out the 60-minute show. So if anything, there's now actually **more** variety in the variety show!

The 10/28/56 show is as originally broadcast.

The 1/6/57 show had one act substituted-- Lonnie Satin's number was removed, and a comedy routine by Will Jordan was inserted in its place. (I can't believe no one has asked to hear my fascinating story about this routine... :) ). The commercial immediately following Jordan's act was used, instead of the ad that originally followed Carol Burnett's act; and finally, a minor edit was made near the beginning of Ms. Burnett's act.

And that's it, really. Out of 180 minutes of programming, covering so many artists and music publishers, I think that's a pretty amazing outcome.

I also have to say that it's heartening that people are saying that they'd rather focus on enjoying what they're getting, rather than obsessing about the small amount that they're not. Please believe me when I say that it truly pained all of us to have to make **any** changes to the programs, but in the end, we did what was necessary, and I honestly feel that we came away with the best presentation possible under the circumstances.

So, thanks to everyone for their support and interest in the project. I know I've said it before, but I can't tell you how eager I am for November 21st to get here! :D



Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:38 am

I was just being a little pretentious Kevin. Of course we all are very excited about these dvds and appreciate all of the great work you have done on them.

Sometimes I like to argue just for the sake of

Keep up the good work!

Re: .

Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:51 pm

Blue-Gypsy wrote:Sometimes I like to argue just for the sake of arguing...

Do you know, I've never noticed that [cough] !

Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:11 pm


Just wanted to thank you for talking with us here, and answering our questions. It's so great to have people from behind the scenes, to have communication with the 'fans'.

This box set is gonna be an awesome release, and we can't wait to see it :smt023


Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:51 am

The 1/6/57 show had one act substituted-- Lonnie Satin's number was removed, and a comedy routine by Will Jordan was inserted in its place. (I can't believe no one has asked to hear my fascinating story about this routine... ).
Kevan...Would you kindly tell us your story about this routine please ?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:19 am

Well (he said, rubbing his hands together like a carnival barker)-- funny you should ask about that piece... The story goes like this: Once it became apparent that an act would have to substituted in the third show, we all had a phone conversation in which it was mentioned that it would be nice if we had a stand-up comedy piece in the show, because for whatever reason, there just wasn't much of that in any of the three shows. And as we were talking about that, I mentioned that maybe a Willl Jordan piece would be nice, because those performances really haven't really been seen in years, and a lot of them were pretty funny. And of course, a lot of other suggestions were made, too.

In any event, after a few days, they sent along the clip that had been selected, and I got a marvelous surprise-- out of all of Will Jordan's 50s appearances, they chose one from June of 1955, which was orginally part of a "Toast of the Town" (the show's title changed to the "Ed Sullivan Show" later that year) episode that was a salute to vaudeville. Now of course, I hardly have to point out that most of these old Sullivan shows haven't been aired since their original broadcast dates... even the TV syndication packages mostly skip over the years that are only available as kinescopes. But as it happened, I knew this bit that Will Jordan was doing. I knew it very well. But it wasn't because I'd seen it rerun anywhere... in fact, to my knowledge, it never has been. No, I knew it because I'd heard it before... quite a few times actually.

Let me back up for just a moment, and mention that about 2 years ago, I stumbled across something quite unexpectedly, as I was searching for something else online-- a dealer who knew of my bizarre interest in old recordings had picked up a box of old reel-to-reel tapes that were given away at an estate sale, and asked me if I was interested, because they had (to him) a bunch of weird titles on them. Well, I had him read a couple of the weird titles to me, and very carefully tried not to let my jaw drop to the floor as I calmly bought the box containing 40+ reels of tape from him. I'm pretty sure he felt he'd just made an easy $40.00. And (for reasons I'll mention in a moment) I'm very glad that he was satisfied with that.

I know it seems impossible to imagine now, but there was a time, when many of us were kids, that there was no such thing as a VCR. If you wanted to record your favorite show, you'd have to do what so many of us did at one time or another-- chase everyone out of the room, and sit very quietly, with a tape recorder and a small microphone in your hands, pointed at the TV set. And if you were lucky, when you were done, you'd get a reasonably listenable recording, with only a **little** room echo and the neighbor's barking dogs combined with the show.

But for some people, this wasn't good enough. Many experimented with closing off their recording rooms, or with proper placement of their microphones, all in an effort to minimize room noise. What they overlooked was another option. Grounded jacks. Installed inside their furniture-sized TV cabinets, and hooked in series with their TV speakers. The results, of course, could have been incredible-- once the recorder was plugged into the jack ("in-line"), room noise and echo could not affect the recordings that were being made. Depending on the tape speed and the tape stock being used, a surprisingly high-quality recording would have theoretically been possible.

And of course, the point that any of us who are interested in preserving classic television are concerned with is: Did anyone think of this? just how early could it have been feasible? And assuming someone did try it, with tape being a releatively expensive commodity back then (the equivalent of about $35-$40 per reel in today's money), what could have survived to the present day?

Well, I can answer a few of those questions now. Yes, someone **did** think of it. He was doing it as early as 1955. And he managed to save over 70 hours of his recordings, spanning from January 1, 1955 through 1958. And I know that because that's what was in the box that I bought from that dealer I mentioned earlier.

Among those recordings, which preserve a fascinating overview of music and comedy programs of his time, is the soundtrack to the very same 1955 Will Jordan routine that was selected for inclusion in show #3 of the the Elvis DVD set!

When I saw the footage begin to unspool in front of me, I couldn't believe my eyes. When I compared the sound quality of the 51-year old reel-to-reel recording to the kinescope's optical soundtrack there wasn't even a question about which source to use for the finished product. Once the finished LiveFeed footage was added, I truly felt as though I was standing over this anonymous recordist's shoulder, in his New Jersey home, watching the same thing that he was capturing with his homemade reel-to-reel set-up, so many years ago. It's a feeling I'll never forget.

I was never able to discover this gentleman's name, and may never be able to find out who he was, but to me, he is truly a pioneer in television preservation. To have done what he did at the time was astounding enough, but to have saved so much of his work over the intervening decades is almost beyond all reasonable imagination.

We owe this man, and the few other pioneers back then that were doing the same thing, an incredible debt of gratitude... because not only did they manage to give us an ever-so-brief glance into what these programs really sounded like, they preserved a fragile and ethereal part of our heritage. In some small way, I hope this release honors their efforts.

And **that's** the story. Not bad, eh?


Oh and did I mention that I found the same thing for Elvis' numbers from the 1/6/57 show, from another source? No? Well, maybe I'll tell **that** story a little later...
Last edited by General Sarnoff on Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:37 am

You are quite the salesman ! 8) Excellent story ! If you find the time to write the Elvis' story down, I promise you, I WILL read it ! Thanks !!


Oh, did I mention that I allready pre-ordered the DVD ? [Your story's will enhance the enjoyment] :D