Les Crane
American talk-show host
Les Crane
Les Crane, born Lesley Stein, was a radio announcer and television talk show host, a pioneer in interactive broadcasting who also scored a spoken word hit with his 1971 recording of the poem Desiderata, winning a "Best Spoken Word" Grammy. Born in Long Beach, New York (or the Bronx or San Francisco, according to conflicting sources), Crane graduated from Tulane University, where he was an English major. (Freedman, 1964).
Biography
Les Crane's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Les Crane from around the web
Five questions with Caprice Crane, child of Hollywood - Detroit Free Press
Google News - over 5 years
Caprice Crane, 36, the daughter of Les Crane and actress Tina Louise, publishes her fourth novel, "With a Little Luck," a romantic comedy about a superstitious LA radio DJ, on Tuesday. Crane answers questions about growing up in
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Mots, gestes et notes - Sud Ouest
Google News - over 5 years
Les Crane Angels seront deux fois sur scène ce soir. archives Dr Quatrième édition du festival Plein f'Art, ce soir, vendredi 1er juillet sous les feuillages du Parc du vivier. Ce sera à partir de 18 h 30. Jusqu'à tard dans la nuit
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91 get the nod for Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Announcer (program host/DJ): Scott Beach, Tom Campbell, Bill Collins, Les Crane, Norman Davis, Jack Friday, Ward Glenn, Fred Goerner, Sue Hall, Clyde "Buddy" Hatton, Johnny Holliday, Rosalie Howarth, Larry Ickes, Bob Jones, Greg Kihn, Jack Kulp,
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Dylan Shrine goes on tour - Sayreville Suburban
Google News - over 5 years
Prussack said he decided to take the shrine on the road to teach younger generations about the musician who changed his life after he saw him perform on the “Les Crane Show” 46 years ago. A recent study revealed that 37 percent of Americans don't know
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Technodansande nazister stoppas i Tjeckien - Flashback
Google News - over 5 years
1964: Rolling Stones första amerikanska tv-intervju görs i inte alltför betydande "Les Crane Show". Dagen efter uppträder man i programmet "The Hollywood Palace" och värd var Dean Martin, som mest häcklade dem för deras utseende
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This week in music history: May 31-June 6 - Myspace (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
June 2, 1964- The Rolling Stones make their US TV debut on 'The Les Crane Show.' June 2, 1967- David Bowie releases his debut album, 'David Bowie', which fails to make the UK charts. June 3 1967- The Doors “Light My Fire” is released in the US
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Les Crane, Talk-Show Host, Dies at 74
NYTimes - over 8 years
Les Crane, a provocative talk-show host who was the first to challenge the primacy of Johnny Carson on late-night television -- and lose -- died Sunday in Greenbrae, Calif., north of San Francisco. He was 74 and lived in Belvedere, Calif. Mr. Crane's daughter, Caprice Crane, confirmed his death. Personable, cocky and well-attuned to the tenor of
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NYTimes article
Nipsey Russell, a Comic With a Gift for Verse, Dies at 80
NYTimes - over 11 years
Nipsey Russell, the comedian whose one-liners and impromptu rhymes made him one of television's popular talk-show guests and game-show panelists during the 1970's, died on Sunday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 80 and made his home in Manhattan. The cause was cancer, said his manager, Joe Rapp. One of the early black stand-up comedians
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NYTimes article
Next They'll Say Betty Crocker Isn't Real, Either
NYTimes - about 18 years
WITH more than six million students, it's only natural that the world's busiest typing teacher would have to turn down speaking engagements or a personal appearance now and then due to time constraints. But Mavis Beacon, the star of the popular software program ''Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing,'' has an especially good excuse for missing the social
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PERSONAL COMPUTERS; Electrifying Teacher
NYTimes - over 26 years
THE Miracle Piano Teaching System, which combines a 49-key electronic piano keyboard and special software for the Nintendo Entertainment System computer, is the first Nintendo product we have seen that has the potential to capture the imagination of parents and teachers, as well as young people. Our young lab assistants are racing home from school
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NYTimes article
CBS PUTS A POLICE DRAMA UP AGAINST CARSON SHOW
NYTimes - about 32 years
CBS, in its latest effort to lure audiences away from the ''Tonight Show,'' is adding a one-hour police drama to its weekly schedule. On Thursday night, the network will begin ''Night Heat,'' a drama starring Scott Hylands and Jeff Wincott as detectives, and Allan Royal as a newspaper columnist. The detectives' story, which will be broadcast at
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Les Crane
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2008
    Age 74
    Crane died on July 13, 2008, in Greenbrae, California, north of San Francisco, at age 74.
    More Details Hide Details He had been living in nearby Belvedere, California with his wife, Ginger, at the time of his death.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1987
    Age 53
    Though Crane thought the poem was in the public domain when it was recorded, the rights belonged to the family of author Max Ehrmann, and royalties were distributed accordingly. When asked about the recording during an interview by the Los Angeles Times in 1987, Crane replied, "I can't listen to it now without gagging."
    More Details Hide Details In the 1980s, Crane transitioned to the software industry and became chairman of The Software Toolworks, creators of the three-dimensional color chess series, Chessmaster and the educational series Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. Toolworks was also responsible for such games as The Original Adventure and the PC version of Pong. The company was sold and renamed Mindscape in the early 1990s.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1971
    Age 37
    In late 1971, the 45rpm recording of Crane's reading of Desiderata reached No. 8 on the Billboard charts.
    More Details Hide Details It became what one writer called "a New Age anthem" and won him a Grammy.
  • 1968
    Age 34
    In 1968, he was back on the West Coast, hosting a talk show on KLAC in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details Critics noted that in the style of the 1960s, he now dressed in a turtleneck and moccasins, sprinkling his speech with words like "groovy." ("Communicasters," 1968). However, he was still doing interviews with major newsmakers and discussing topics like civil disobedience, hippies and the rising popularity of meditation. (Sweeney, 1968) He also did some local TV talk. Crane left KLAC when the station switched to a country music format.
  • 1966
    Age 32
    Crane was married five times. His fourth wife was Gilligan's Island actress Tina Louise, whom he married in 1966 and divorced in 1971.
    More Details Hide Details They had one daughter, Caprice Crane (b. 1970), who became an author, screenwriter and television producer.
  • 1965
    Age 31
    In late June 1965, following a three-month hibernation, it was retitled ABC's Nightlife with network executives having removed most of the controversy and emphasizing light entertainment.
    More Details Hide Details Producer Nick Vanoff started forbidding guests from broaching controversial topics. After the summer 1965 run, they relocated the show from New York to Los Angeles. The Paley Center for Media has available for viewing the first 15 minutes of one of the last episodes before ABC finally cancelled ABC's Nightlife in November 1965. Crane can be seen and heard delivering his monologue, joking about words that could be censored and bantering with his sidekick Nipsey Russell.
  • 1964
    Age 30
    The two kinescopes that ABC used to pitch The Les Crane Show to its affiliates in 1964 constitute the only surviving video and audio of Crane's show. An archive of source material on Malcolm X has audio of the Civil Rights leader's December 1964 appearance. Audio of Bob Dylan's February 17, 1965 appearance has circulated, and been transcribed. The National Archives has a transcript of the Oswald/Belli episode in its documents related to the JFK assassination that were declassified and released publicly in 1993 and 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Most Les Crane Show episodes pictured in the Look feature story, such as the one with Winters and Robinson, were destroyed, and what the participants said is unknown today. Les Crane's confrontational interview technique, along with a "shotgun" microphone he aimed at audiences, earned him the name "the bad boy of late-night television", though critical opinion was divided. The New York Times media critic Paul Gardner considered him an incisive interviewer who asked tough questions without being insulting. One critic who did not like his show found Crane's trademark shotgun microphone distracting. "Each time he points this mike into the audience, it looks as though he's about to shoot a spectator." (Laurent, 1964) Nearly every critic described Crane as photogenic. One described him as "a tall, handsome and personable lad " (Smith, 1964) Crane was unable to dent Carson's ratings, and the show lasted 14 weeks before ABC executives transformed it into the more show-business-oriented ABC's Nightlife. Crane's guests had included Bob Dylan, who rarely appeared on American television; Malcolm X; Martin Luther King' Richard Burton; George Wallace; Robert F. Kennedy; and the voice of radio's The Shadow, Bret Morrison.
    The first American TV appearance of The Rolling Stones was on Crane's program in June 1964 when only New Yorkers could see it. The program debuted nationwide with a trial run (telecast nightly for two weeks) in August 1964 starting at 11:15 p.m. on the ABC schedule and titled The Les Crane Show.
    More Details Hide Details It was the first network program to compete with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. ABC used kinescopes of two episodes from that month to pitch the show to affiliates that hadn't yet signed up to carry the program. One featured the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald debating Oswald's guilt with noted attorney Melvin Belli, Crane and audience members. The other featured Norman Mailer and Richard Burton. Burton encouraged Crane to recite the "gravedigger speech" from Hamlet, and Crane did. More affiliates signed up for a November relaunch of The Les Crane Show, and Look (American magazine) ran a prominent feature story with captioned still photographs from the August episodes. One image shows Shelley Winters debating a controversial issue with Jackie Robinson. While some critics found the late-night series innovative (indeed, five years later The Phil Donahue Show would follow a similar format to much greater success in daytime), it never gained much of an audience.
    After Crane's final television appearance in the 1970s, he refused to discuss his television career and did not respond to queries about his copies of the two surviving kinescopes of his late night ABC show from 1964.
    More Details Hide Details
    But when Crane tried to invite members of a lesbian advocacy group, the Daughters of Bilitis, to be guests on his show in June 1964, WABC ordered him to cancel the booking, and he did.
    More Details Hide Details Crane was also known as an advocate for civil rights, and was praised by the black press for his respectful interviews with such black news makers as Muhammad Ali (Young, 1968).
    Crane was one of the first interviewers to have an openly gay guest, Randy Wicker, on his television show, in January 1964.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1963
    Age 29
    In 1963, Crane moved to New York City to host Night Line, a 1:00 a.m. talk show on WABC-TV, the American Broadcasting Company flagship station.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1961
    Age 27
    In 1961, he became a popular and controversial host for the radio powerhouse KGO in San Francisco.
    More Details Hide Details With KGO's strong nighttime 50,000 Watt signal reaching as far north as Seattle, Washington, and as far south as Los Angeles, he attracted a regional audience in the West. Variety described him as "the popular, confrontational and sometimes controversial host of San Francisco's KGO. Helping to pioneer talk radio, he was outspoken and outraged some callers by hanging up on them." A late-night program airing weekdays from 11pm to 2am, Crane at the hungry i (1962–63) found Crane interacting with owner and impresario Enrico Banducci and interviewing such talents as Barbra Streisand and Professor Irwin Corey. Crane, along with KRLA general manager John Barrett, were the original people "responsible for creating the Top 40 (list of the most requested pop songs)," said Casey Kasem in a 1990 interview.
  • 1958
    Age 24
    He began his radio career in 1958 at KONO in San Antonio and later worked at WPEN (now WKDN) in Philadelphia.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1933
    Born
    Born in 1933.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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