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This excerpt from Arnold Koch’s diary describes the Salt City Five’s
winning performance on Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts that helped launch the band’s career that lasted three decades:
6/17/52 Went to CBS Studio in p.m. for Arthur Godfrey audition. Band sounded great. Were told to come back at 5 to play for producer. When he heard them, he came in from control room and said they were great.
6/18 Awakened by phone call from CBS. They want us on Monday night. Then got call from Publicity Dept. for info about me.
6/21 Great Day. Went to NYC for rehearsal. I rehearsed my part with substitute announcer (Ed Herlehey) for Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey showed up at 5 p.m. After hearing five numbers, he was so impressed that he signed the guys to be on his Wednesday night, Arthur Godfrey & His Friends, tv show, even if they lost Talent Scouts show, . After dinner, had makeup put on. I was nervous until I got on with Godfrey. Had ten friends in audience. Band played their uptempo, “That’s Aplenty”. When the final applause meter votes came, a male singer sent the meter almost to the end. I thought we were lost. When my guys came on, the needle went all the way over and they won. The producer said it was the best show they’d had in a long time. Band got $95 each plus radio show for next three days and Godfrey & His Friends tv show. Went with friends to Hotel Dixie where we met the band. Hotel m.c. made announcement on loudspeaker of Godfrey winners in room.
(Godfrey Show was done live from same CBS theater where Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason and the Ed Sullivan shows were also produced live each week. It was later renamed the Ed Sullivan Theater and later became site of David Letterman Show).