“The Sound of Jazz” is a 1957 episode of the CBS television series The Seven Lively Arts, a short-lived anthology show that aired from 1957 to 1958. This was one of the first major programs featuring jazz to air on American network television. Although this video is not great quality, it’s still worth a look if you happen to be a jazz fan. Or actually, even if you’re not as it features some of the biggest names in the genre – the legends – the ones that will convert you. The host for the show’s seven episodes was early television critic, John Crosby.
“There is a man who leads a life of danger.”
-Johnny Rivers, “Secret Agent Man”
For fans of 1960s TV spy series, hearing the lyric quoted above always heralded the start of an hour watching the adventures of British (formerly NATO) spy John Drake. He travelled the globe on behalf of his government, solving problems which could not be solved by ordinary means. He was calm, cool, intelligent, and charming. Occasionally he’d misstep, but was resourceful enough to recover and win the day. Other times, however, he would find himself having to choose between doing what’s right and doing his duty. As a result, he was one of the most human of the spies ever created for any media. (Take a look at the show’s original, 30-minute opening sequence here). A lot of that can be attributed to the man who portrayed him: Patrick McGoohan. January 13th, 2013, marks the 4th anniversary of the passing of this wonderful actor. To celebrate his life and career, Aurora has graciously allowed me the opportunity to say a few words about him, and to share my memories of this incredibly gifted performer.