Studio 8-H

Anybody remember it this way?

NBC Studio 8H
This is what 8-H looked like before it was turned into a Television Studio. It was painted in the colors of Autumn, Arturo Toscanini's favorite. The Great NBC Symphony performed here along with such favorite radio shows as Fred Allen's Town Hall Tonight - produced by one of the greatest names in broadcasting - Sylvestor "Pat" Weaver.

I saw it once when it looked this way. It was in the late Forties and I was on my first NBC Tour. The Guide took us into an observation room on the 9th Floor and Vic Damone was in 8-H rehearsing a radio show.

So much Broadcasting History occurred here.

From Toscanini to Fred Allen - Robert Montgomery - Kraft Theater - Your Hit Parade and Saturday Night Live!

After it's Radio Days it was home to some outstanding Television drama. I can remember watching a favorite young actor rehearsing for Kraft Theater in 8-H. It was a guy named Jack Lemmon. I always felt I was personally responsible for his success because I was such an early fan.

On the mornings of the big dramas some of us would rush up to the eighth floor after the Page's Lineup, and check out the sets in both 8-H and 8-G.

It's a much over-used word these days, but all these shows were "live" back then. They were exciting times, and as a Page I was able to watch some amazing talent at work.

These are the Productions I remember originating from 8-H and 8-G in 1954:


Monday: Robert Montgomery Presents

Tuesday: setting up Kraft Theater

Wednesday: Kraft Theater

Thursday: Martin Kane Private Eye

Friday: setting up Hit Parade

Saturday: The Hit Parade

Sunday: setting up Montgomery


Sunday: Philco/Goodyear Playhouse

Tuesday: Armstrong Circle Theater

Friday: The Big Story

Pat Kelly! An 8th Floor memory!
Pat Kelly NBC Chief Announcer
This gentleman's name is Pat Kelly.

Pat was in charge of the prestigious NBC Announcing Staff when I was a Page in '54.

While working at the 8th Floor desk one day I learned that I was turned down for a staff announcing job at an NBC station in Ohio. They said my voice "lacked personality." I had no clue what they meant so I picked up the phone and called Pat Kelly and asked if I could discuss it with him. He invited me to lunch in his office. Later, he arranged an audition in one of the 8th Floor radio studios.

I read a three-page RCA Victor commercial. The first page was easy....Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Ralph Flanagan - no problem.

Page-two switched to the NBC Symphony and a few interesting Composer's names but I was holding my own.

Page-three did me in - it was Grand Opera, and I mispronounced more than a few names.

Pat was laughing when he came out of the Control Room. He said, "you have a rare ability for double-talk." He said it was an invaluable talent because it allowed me to stumble through that third page with a tone of authority. He had made a lot of notes.

He said my voice lacked personality because I didn't "act" in front of the microphone. In order to sound like your smiling, you must smile. Aside from the excellent criticism, he offered lots of hope. He told me I had a better voice quality than many announcers working in New York, but I had to work on my enunciation.

He was terrific, and spent a good deal of time with me.

I never forgot his kindness. He said he would like to work more with me but he was retiring from NBC in a few days.

When we got back to his office his secretary took me aside and told me to watch the next "This Is Your Life."

Pat Kelly didn't know it, but he was to be profiled on Ralph Edwards' show. You can bet I watched. I never forgot any of his advice.

Years later I got to know Ralph Edwards and his brother Paul. They both offered that same kind of support.

Ralph died November 16, 2005. The last time I saw him I was working on the Charo Show that was taping at CBS Television City. Ralph was showing some friends around CBS and came into our studio. He was so pleased to see that I was the announcer on the show.

A genuinely good man!

Back to Pages and Guides!