Author Topic: 45 Year Anniversary?  (Read 11023 times)

mitsguy2001

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45 Year Anniversary?
« on: May 22, 2012, 05:09:07 PM »
On Tim's blog today (May 22, 2012), he said that some sources are referring to today as the 45th anniversary of the start of MRN.  He pointed out that is not true on a national level (since it began Feb. 19, 1968), but suggested that maybe May 22, 1967 was the first EEN episode.  That is not correct either.  From what I have heard, and from the Fred Rogers Center, the EEN episodes began airing on Nov. 21, 1966 (Thanksgiving week).  Could it have maybe started on a very small scale, and then expanded somewhat on May 22, 1967?

Who played the "lady" character in the EEN episodes?

Also, what is the anniversary that comes "next spring"?  February 19 isn't exactly spring.

earnhardtfan4life

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 05:45:14 PM »
Here is what WQED is saying:

Lots of folks wishing happy 45th Anniversaries today to the WQED premiere of "Mister Rogers Neighborhood." Looks like a Wikipedia error that's still online in some places. The actual WQED premiere date was: 11/21/66. The PBS premiere was: 2/19/68. Regardless, thanks for the love & kind wishes!

To answer your question, I think Barbara Russell was the lady character in the EEN episodes.

Neighborhood Archive

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 06:00:43 PM »
Also, what is the anniversary that comes "next spring"?  February 19 isn't exactly spring.

Sorry. You have to keep in mind that I work in public education and my life revolves around "semesters." Anything January-May is considered "spring" around my house.

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 06:01:59 PM »
Here is what WQED is saying...

Where did you see this at?

earnhardtfan4life

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 06:21:33 PM »
If you log in to wqed.org it's on their web site. 

mitsguy2001

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 08:05:53 PM »
To answer your question, I think Barbara Russell was the lady character in the EEN episodes.

Interesting.  She was in a few (very few) episodes of the MRN that aired nationally.  Did she not want to continue having a major role, or did Fred not want her anymore for a major role?  Also, weren't the NOM segments shot in Canada?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 08:09:25 PM by mitsguy2001 »

mitsguy2001

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 08:09:03 PM »
If you log in to wqed.org it's on their web site. 

I don't see it anywhere.

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 05:51:36 AM »
To answer your question, I think Barbara Russell was the lady character in the EEN episodes.

I can say with 99% certainty that this isn't correct. While I've not seen these early episodes, I've got pretty reliable descriptions of them which includes names of people appearing in the episodes. There are some names that are mentioned regularly -- Emilie Jacobson, Maxine Miller, etc -- but no regular mention of Barbara Russell at all.

mitsguy2001

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 11:59:57 AM »
To answer your question, I think Barbara Russell was the lady character in the EEN episodes.

I can say with 99% certainty that this isn't correct. While I've not seen these early episodes, I've got pretty reliable descriptions of them which includes names of people appearing in the episodes. There are some names that are mentioned regularly -- Emilie Jacobson, Maxine Miller, etc -- but no regular mention of Barbara Russell at all.

Yeah, I agree with you.  In that interview that was posted, I think Betty mentioned the name of the "lady" character from the EEN episodes, but I do not remember what she said.  Does anyone here remember?  Could it have been Emile Jacobson or Maxine Miller?

mitsguy2001

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 11:28:58 AM »
If you log in to wqed.org it's on their web site. 

I don't see it anywhere.

Actually, it looks like Barbara Russell was in several later episodes too.  Never realized that.

bka

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2012, 07:51:37 AM »
pmi - what does EEN stand for?   

I believe Maxine Miller (aka "Nurse Miller") - was the original "Josephine" in the record we made with Don Francks ("Mr. Anybodys") as J.R. - both Canadians, and both had been on the early show there. On that album, I played Katherine Koala, a character that was later dropped when the t.v. version was done.  Miss Emilie was the Poetry Lady.  Fred was greatly at ease with the older women who came - like Emilie, "Digger Diggorum" - and of course his real-life mentor, Margaret McFarland.  I never replaced Barbara Russell - a very gifted performer who had a cabaret act with Don Brockett - clever material, sketches, songs, and a nifty duo, great favorites in Pittsburgh. Brocket also produced reviews (featuring Chuck Aber & Maggie Stewart, and myself) and industrials, which he wrote much of the material for. He was an impressario. 

earnhardtfan4life

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2012, 01:43:06 PM »
EEN stands for the Eastern Educational Network, it's actually referred to now as the American Public Television network spanning from Chicago, New York and I think Boston.  Apparently Fred made 100 episodes of the original MRN program for the network.  It's a rather unknown set of episodes.  Here is a picture of the original set:

http://exhibit.fredrogerscenter.org/themes/online_exhibit/graphics/16/01.jpg

I am not sure but the swinging doors in this episode may eventually become the swinging doors at Brocketts Bakery.

bka

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2012, 10:31:36 PM »
interesting! thanks.

mitsguy2001

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2012, 02:05:49 AM »
pmi - what does EEN stand for?   [/quoe]

EEN is Eastern Educational Network.  MRN aired locally on that network from Nov. 21, 1966 through Feb. 16, 1968, before it aired nationally on PBS (then NET).  What we refer to as Episode 1 is actually the first episode to air nationally on NET, on Feb. 19, 1968.  The EEN episodes used NOM segments from Fred's CBS series.

I believe Maxine Miller (aka "Nurse Miller") - was the original "Josephine" in the record we made with Don Francks ("Mr. Anybodys") as J.R. - both Canadians, and both had been on the early show there.

When was this record created?  Are you implying that Maxine Miller was the "lady" character in the CBC an EEN episodes?

Quote
On that album, I played Katherine Koala, a character that was later dropped when the t.v. version was done.

Was that a regular character on any of Fred's previous programs?  Why was she dropped?  Was this before you were playing Lady Aberlin?  Since Fred liked using actors' names, was there a Katherine in the Children's Corner, or the CBC or EEN series?  If on the CBC or EEN series, then I'm guessing she was the "lady" character, since I assume Maxine Miller was always Nurse Miller.

bka

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Re: 45 Year Anniversary?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2012, 10:10:55 AM »
Katherine Koala was a character on the LP record who was a student @ the School For Growing. She had a scene with Bob Trow as Sam the Snake in which she helped him realize he could hiss, and he helped her to see that although she thought she was a Honey Bear (& hated honey), her father had actually been a Koala, and so was she. I was already playing Lady Aberlin, having replaced Judy Knaiz (Lady JudyKnaiz - may not have her last name spelled correctly) and was given the part of Katherine just for this recording session. The character was later dropped from the script of Josephine in which Chuck Aber & I played J.R. Giraffe & Josephine. Whether K.K. was part of the original story I do not know.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 10:13:47 AM by bka »