Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hardly An Edsel Of A Show





For those unfamiliar with the history, the Ford Edsel was one of the most spectacular commercial failures in corporate history.  Intended to be the new marque of the Ford Motor Company, the 1958 Edsel instead became a marketing nightmare.


The reasons behind this monumental failure are best left to car historians (although the front `horsecollar’ grille often gets mentioned). 


Fifty years later, in a bit of irony, Edsels are highly coveted by collectors.  Today, one in showroom condition can sell for 20 times its original price.

But in October of 1957, before anyone knew how this new line of automobiles would do, the Ford Motor Company put together a very impressive variety show to introduce their new product to the nation.   

And of course, they called it The Edsel Show.


This hour-long musical extravaganza was something special, even at a time when television routinely brought big entertainment names to the small screen.  


The show `starred’ Bing Crosby, but featured Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney, along with Louis Armstrong and a `surprise’ visit by Bob Hope


Also appearing was Lindsay Crosby, one of Bing’s sons, and The Four Preps.

This show was performed live during the afternoon in Hollywood, and broadcast to the east coast.  A videotape (new technology at the time) was made of the show, along with a kinescope, so that it could be replayed 3 hours later for the west coast audience.


This show was both a critical and ratings success, and led to a multi-year contract with ABC for Bing Crosby to produce television specials.


There are too many highlights to list, crammed into 60 minutes of wall-to-wall music, dancing, and banter.   Even the embedded car commercials are fun.


It is obvious that the cast is having a good time, I’m sure, so will you.  


click to play movieclick to play movie
click to play movieclick to play movie

No comments: