The Dave Garroway Show opens with the gentle strains of "Sentimental Journey". Garroway's show is not one to get you fired up for a hard day's work,but The Dave Garroway Show is one to listen to while you are enjoying your mid-morning coffee break.
After graduating from Washington University in St Louis, Garroway tried his hand as a lab assistant at Harvard, and then selling books and piston rings. These were not a good fit, so he took a stab at broadcasting. He made it through the highly competitive interview process to land a position as an NBC Page. (The NBC Page program gave young people, usually in their 20s, a temporary job at Radio City in New York, and later the NBC Studios in Hollywood. The Pages would work in various departments at the network, being groomed for a career with the network. In addition, they act as ushers and tour guides. Of the usual 7000 applicants, selection is limited to only 60-80 pages for the one year position.) After winning one of the coveted Page positions, Garroway got off to a rather mediocre start. He graduated 23rd out of 24 in his class at the NBC Announcer school. After graduating, he landed a job at KDKA Pittsburgh and built a reputation as the station's "Roving Announcer". This experience brought out Garroway's ability to find a compelling story in nearly any situation. He would broadcast from inside a coal mine, a Navy Submarine in the Ohio River, even from a hot air balloon!
After two years at KDKA Garroway moved to Chicago, but the outbreak of WWII interrupted his career. He joined the Navy and stationed in Honolulu. When he was off duty, he hosted a radio show, playing Jazz disks and reminiscing about Chicago. After his discharge, he returned to the Windy City on WMAQ. He hosted a variety of programs, as well as promoting the Chicago Jazz scene. One of his innovations was to convince his studio audience to show approval for a song by snapping their fingers instead of clapping, just like the "hepcats" did in the coffee shops.
While he was hosting the Dave Garroway Show episodes featured in this collection, he was also breaking into national television, hosting the musical variety program, Garroway At Large. The show was one of TV's first variety programs. NBC carried it live from Chicago.
In 1951, Garroway became the first host of NBC's morning News and Entertainment program, The Today Show. Critics initially panned Garroway's laid-back style, but audiences found his calming influence attractive in the morning. Legend has it that Garroway was less than enthusiastic about his "co-host", the cute chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs. Legend has it that Garroway was jealous of Muggs, (who was not the most well behaved of chimps) and occasionally spiked the monkey's orange juice with Benzedrine. Garroway remained host of Today until 1961. After signing off from Today, he would go on the radio with the Dial Dave Garroway program. In 1955, he became the first "communicator" for the NBC Radio weekend magazine program, Monitor.
Garroway had a variety of interests outside of broadcasting, including astronomy and restoring classic cars. He appeared in TV commercials for the first Corvette in 1953 and the Ford Falcon in 1964. The Hollywood Walk of Fame honors Dave Garroway with a Star at 6264 Hollywood Blvd for his contributions to Television and at 6355 Hollywood Blvd for contributions to Radio.