Simple malarkey, solely for the host of fans.




A ranking functionary of America’s most durable TV game show offers some fleeting peeks backstage for the edification of its apparently indefatigable devotees.

An echt Goodson-Todman production, The Price is Right has been on the air for some 35 years—so far. It remains essentially the same: antiquated and loud. The author has been with the show for 28 years—so far—as music director, writer and “contestant coordinator.” (That’s the guy who selects the jumping, screaming competitors who get the thrilling bid to “come on down” to the stage). Armed with such insider credentials, Blits tells stories about a few contestants and describes the work of the show’s grips, models, writers, producers, announcers and directors. He maintains a respectful distance, however, from long-time host Bob Barker, who retired in 2007, and who, on the basis of this text, must be viewed as some sort of television deity. The rules of the game remain unexplained; the author takes it for granted that readers already know how to score a car, a fridge, a jet ski, a lovely set of fashionable pickle forks, maybe even a combination freezer-hair dryer in designer colors. Blits lavishes upon a cheesy pop-culture program such superlatives as legendary, epic, renowned, brilliant and iconic. Perhaps The Price Is Right is in some way emblematic of an aspect of the American ethos, but this volume is a sophomoric, blatant puff piece. The vocabulary is easy; apparently the author has trouble with big words. Of course, as obviously intended, his offering will do well with all the enthusiasts.

Simple malarkey, solely for the host of fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-135011-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperEntertainment

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2007

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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