STEVE ALLEN & (wife) JAYNE MEADOWS
Though he got his start in radio, Steve Allen is best known for his extensive network television career. He gained national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. After he hosted The Tonight Show, he went on to host numerous game and variety shows, including his own The Steve Allen Show, I’ve Got a Secret, and The New Steve Allen Show. He was a regular panel member on CBS’s What’s My Line?, and from 1977 until 1981 wrote, produced, and hosted the award-winning public broadcasting show Meeting of Minds, a series of historical dramas presented in a talk format.
Allen was a pianist and a prolific composer. By his own estimate, he wrote more than 8,500 songs, some of which were recorded by numerous leading singers. Working as a lyricist, Allen won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition. He also wrote more than 50 books, including novels, children’s books, and books of opinions, including his final book, Vulgarians at the Gate: Trash TV and Raunch Radio (2001).
***Steve Allen wrote a few newspaper articles on the topic of trash tv and shock radio as well. At the time, I thought him an old curmudgeon. Now, I agree with him wholeheartedly. Allen wrote “This Could Be the Start of Something Big” in 1954, and the song was recorded by numerous artists, including Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Hampton, and Oscar Peterson. Allen used it as the theme song of The Tonight Show in 1956/57, and as the theme song to many of his later television projects.
[Background by Wikipedia, because I didn’t remember most of this stuff]