Author Topic: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley  (Read 6081 times)

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Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« on: September 15, 2012, 07:28:02 PM »
Had a wonderful conversation with Eliot Daley this morning. For those keeping score at home, he was the President of Small World Enterprises and Executive VP of Family Communications Inc back in the early/mid 1970s. As some of you recently discovered, he was also the voice at the beginning of each episode telling viewers that the "people who gave the money to make Mister Rogers' Neighborhood..."

Mr. Daley and I talked about a variety of topics including merchandising, business, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and the power of Fred Rogers. If you only ever listen to one Neighborhood Archive podcast, this should be the one. It comes in at just under an hour but it is very interesting conversation -- especially for those of you interested in the history and background of the Neighborhood program.

Enjoy: http://neighborhoodarchive.blogspot.com/2012/09/podcast-14-eliot-daley.html

earnhardtfan4life

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 09:45:00 PM »
Brilliant podcast Tim.  It's great to hear stories about Fred that we never knew about.

Mike

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 09:47:57 PM »
Brilliant podcast Tim.  It's great to hear stories about Fred that we never knew about.

Thanks, Mike. I'm hoping to connect with Eliot again later this fall to talk more about some of this. I honestly could have talked to him all day.

earnhardtfan4life

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 09:49:28 PM »
I would add that the next podcast you have with him I would be curious to hear his side of the story about the famous problems they had with the "Tomorrow" song with the rights issues over it and Fred's take over the whole ordeal.

Mike

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 08:27:07 AM »
fine interview, Tim. Fred too was The Fat Kid who was teased. Lenny Meledandri worked with Margaret McFarland for four years I believe, and had other things to say about Fred's opinions on merchandising. He is also a fine pianist, composer, singer, writer.  Chuck Aber does not have the child-developmental chops but has the personal integrity, devotion to Mission & gentle, artless delivery and lovely voice. Michael Horton could voice any of Fred's puppets (I mean ANY) and is a fine tenor. Perhaps they felt it would be disloyal to Fred to put anyone in his place. I feel it is disloyal to his principles to have chosen the DST format, and not to have used his repertory of songs or the familiar characteristics of the puppet-to-animated- characters . And as far as bringing the Neighborhood into the greater Neighborhood, that had always been promised, and (discounting the Mr. McFeeley franchise and occasional personal appearances) that never happened. As far as credit for writing or ideas by/from others, Eliot ascribes the highest motives, which would support Fred's need to be and to be seen as (he did indeed care what people thought of him and HIS program imho) a "real authentic person" rather than "just an actor". Coming from such wealth Fred never needed to kow-tow - except perhaps to the Most High. He was an only child, and he had a portion of Mister Allmine in his King Friday-like sense of entitlement regarding his however helpful "underlings".

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 07:55:28 PM »
Just heard the interview today and thought it was great.  Interesting to hear his perspective...I appreciated his honesty about DTN. 
Tim, did you ask him about the NOM playset and if it was ever produced? 
I look forward to a follow-up interview.

Paul

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 08:42:23 PM »
Wonderful! Very insightful. Can't wait for more...

Tim, did you ask him about the NOM playset and if it was ever produced? 
I thought of that too.

You also mentioned something about Johnson and Johnson. Is that the connection they had to funding the show?

Thanks Tim and Eliot

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Re: Podcast Episode #14 - Eliot Daley
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 06:08:22 AM »
Tim, did you ask him about the NOM playset and if it was ever produced? 

I thought about that but that would have been around 1977 and I think Eliot was only there until 1975. I guess it could have been in the planning stages while he was there. I'll ask him if we get the chance to talk again.

You also mentioned something about Johnson and Johnson. Is that the connection they had to funding the show?

He shares some details early in the podcast about the formation of FCI from Small World which opened the door for sponsorship through grants. I believe this is where Johnson & Johnson came into play.