Remembering “The Club”

“The Club” began on channel 44 as “Club 44.” I think it was around 1977-80.

Studio A was converted into a bar/club where each Friday night we would tape four, half-hour, back to back, “live” 30 minute segments. These featured local bands and musical acts, cooking segments, political editorials from Barney Frank, interviews with local celebs, and a variety of Boston based info segments. It was made more interesting by the audience who was served wine and beer. They roamed about standing, sometimes tripping on camera cables and generally being helpful. As the night wore on the fun increased.

Silvia Davis was the Executive Producer. She and her team did a great job coming up with fresh talent and ideas for the show. I recall Dick Cavett doing a guest host spot, as did Garrett Morris from SNL. We did segments on CB radio (all the rage at the time) and hot tubs (one night we had a 6′ wooden barrel that mostly didn’t leak all over.) There were movie, book and eatery reviews and even the odd pet segment.

Some might remember the unique innovation called “the stick”.  This was used to ID guests. During a segment, David Atwood who was the ringmaster and chief would call out, “Okay, give ’em the stick.” At which point a piece of foam core attached to a dowel would be thrust into the frame…usually in a mostly lower third position. The guest’s name was painted on the sign.  This all happened in the days before Chyron.  You will hardly ever see it done today.

I’m sure others have fond “Club” memories… Care to share?

Bruce Bordett: The place I wanted to be

From Bruce Bordett

Bruce Bordett (left) and Russ Morash at the 2000 Reunion

Sometime my senior year in college I decided that WGBH was the place I wanted to be. I started in the mailroom in 1971 and made it onto the crew about a year later. This I learned later was the time-honored path for many who had gone before me to find job happiness at the foundation. In truth, it was a great place to start… as I soon learned just who was who, where they sat, and what they did.

I loved working on the crew from day one. ‘GBH was such a great place to be in the ’70’s. Every day we worked on a different show. One day I was learning about strawberries from Jim Crockett, the next day speaking ubbie dubbie with the Zoomers. I learned about Itallian food from Franco and Margaret, and Ludvig B from Lenny Bernstein. Where in the world could you be surrounded by so much cool stuff and have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful characters?

When the Ronald Reagan put the squeeze on PBS and CPB in the early ’80’s things began to change. Money got tight, and a number of us were casualties. It worked out well for me as I landed a production spot at Digital Equipment. They were riding high in the ’80’s and seemed to have lots of dough for production. I had the opportunity to develop my craft learning to shoot, edit, direct, and design facilities.

For me, the ’90’s was the decade of Lotus Development. I was fortunate to have the chance to produce hundreds of projects for marketing, corporate communications, etc. In 2001, I started Bordett–MediaWorks, a small production company in Newton. I’m still involved in all kinds of projects for educational, corporate, non-profits, and private clients. My latest venture is making family documentaries to help people preserve their stories and histories. (milestonespictures.com)

I’ll always have a warm spot in my heart for all the wonderful people and experiences that were my WGBH days. I was, we were, very lucky to have shared that place.

The Party XVII

237.

Robert Wilson and Aida Moreno.

238.

Russ Morash and Emily Lovering.

239.

Bruce Bordett, Russ Morash, Emily Lovering and Basil Chigas.

240.

Ron Milton and Louise Miler.

241.

Tom Sumida and Nora Sinclair.

242.

Bob Ferrante and Doug Smith.

243.

Bob Carey, Michael Ambrosino, Tony Cherubini and Jack Summerfield.

244.

Greg Harney and Marcia Hulley.

245.

Don Mallinson, Greg Harney, and Marcia Hulley.

246.

Bill Cosell and Judy Stoia.

246a.

The festive board. This reverential still life is by Brooks Leffler, the man at the lower right of the next photo who, in classic WGBH style, demonstrates admirable devotion to his subject matter.

247.

All photos this page: Jeffrey Dunn, except 246a: Brooks Leffler, 247: Don Hallock