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Joe Franklin

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Published on Jan 20, 2011

(born Joseph Fortgang on March 9, 1926, Bronx, New York) is an American radio and television personality. From New York City, Franklin is sometimes credited with hosting the first television talk show. The show began in 1951 on WJZ-TV (later WABC-TV) and moved to WOR-TV (later WWOR-TV) from 1962 to 1993. [1]

Known as "the king of nostalgia" (he claims having invented the term), Franklin's highly-rated television and radio shows, especially a cult favorite to cable television viewers (WOR/WWOR was a superstation during the latter part of his tenure) and his long-running "Memory Lane" radio programs, focused on old-time show-business personalities. Franklin has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music, musicians and singers, the Broadway stage shows, the films and entertainment stars of the first half of the 20th Century: he began his entertainment career at 16 as a record picker for Martin Block's popular "Make Believe Ballroom" radio program; he is an acknowledged authority on silent film; he has the largest private sheet music collection in the world; and he has counted among his friends many show business legends, from Tony Curtis (with whom he grew up) to old vaudevillians (on his television show, Franklin has described how as a very young boy playing in Central Park he even met George M. Cohan). Joe Franklin's radio theme song, Memory Lane was written by George Gard (Buddy) De Sylva, Larry Spier and Con Conrad in 1925.

Among Franklin's own idols, as he frequently told viewers, were Al Jolson, whom he literally "followed around" as a teenager in New York, and Eddie Cantor, who eventually began buying jokes from the young Franklin and whose Carnegie Hall show Franklin later produced.

read more at www.goodnewsbroadcast.com

Comments • 5

harold smith
dam am i going to miss you
savin2retire
My dad, Alan Gerard, was a regular on Memory Lane - he was a singer. How was always a nice guy - I wish I had his genes, he's outlived everyone!
Jay Raskin
Like Achilles, he is a god among men. I loved his show as a child. I miss him. I am only beginning to appreciate all the old movie and vaudeville stars he loved.
George Lyons
A pioneer in the biz, still witty and kind - the office is a hoot, huh? 
tapthatt2012
met him a few years ago the big apple convention. one of my vendor friends told he he used to frequent the shos a lot. i apparoached him that day and asked for an autograph and a picture. really nice man. a reall thrill to meet him. nice clip!
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