PCL MS 012 Steve Allen Collection
|Title||PCL MS 012 Steve Allen Collection|
|Introduction||Although best known for his forty-year career in television, Steve Allen has also worked in radio, motion pictures, the theatre, and in concert and club venues. Allen's years in show business include successes in almost every entertainment medium. He has been a radio writer, announcer, host, and comedian; television scriptwriter, producer, host, and comedian; jazz and popular music composer, lyricist, singer, and pianist; Broadway playwright and actor; and motion picture actor. He has been extremely active outside the entertainment industry, as well, as a teacher, traveler, lecturer, pundit, and public advocate. Allen is also a widely-published journalist, essayist, poet, and novelist.|
In 1974, Allen initially donated materials to the Browne Popular Culture Library, Bowling Green State University. Additional materials were donated in 1990. The collection is open for research, but the duplication of any materials must comply with applicable copyright laws. This register was compiled by Nancy White Lee, Popular Culture Library, in May 1986, updated in March 1991, and again in August 2009 by Patricia Falk.
|Biographical Sketch||Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen was born on December 26, 1921, in New York, New York. Both parents were in a vaudeville act under the stage name Billy Allen and Belle Montrose. Allen attended eighteen schools. He attended Drake University in 1941 and the University of Arizona in 1945. On August 23, 1942, Allen married Dorothy Goodman whom he met while attending Arizona State Teachers' College. The two divorced in 1952 and on July 31, 1954, he married the actress/comedienne Jayne Meadows. They have one son, William Christopher, a former Executive Vice President, MTM Television in Hollywood. Allen's three sons by his first marriage include Steve, Jr., doctor in Elmira, New York; Brian, real estate broker in Seattle; and David, songwriter in Los Angeles. Steve Allen made his debut on Phoenix radio station KOY in 1942, where he worked as an announcer, writer, and pianist. Two years later Allen left for Los Angeles, where he performed on radio stations KFAC, KMTR, and KNX from 1944 to 1950. He began his television career in New York City in 1950 on CBS. He was awarded the New York City Board of Trade Award for the television documentary on organized crime, "The Commandment" (1953). Allen was the creator and host of the original "Tonight Show" (1954-1956), which introduced such future stars as Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Andy Williams, Don Knotts, Jonathan Winters, and the Smothers Brothers. Allen starred in the critically-acclaimed "Steve Allen Show" (1956-1960; 1968-1972), which won the Variety Show of the Year Award in 1958 and the George Foster Peabody Award for the best comedy show of 1960. Allen won Look magazine's television award for "What's My Line" in 1953, and hosted "I've Got a Secret" for three seasons (1964-1967). He created, wrote, and hosted the PBS-TV series "Meeting of Minds" (1977-1981), which garnered the prestigious Peabody, Emmy, and Television Critics Circle awards, as well as awards from the National Organization for Women, and numerous other organizations. Allen was inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame in 1986. Steve Allen has a life membership in the Composers and Lyricists Guild and was honored in the 1984 Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific composer of modern times. He has recorded more than forty albums and composed more than four-thousand songs including: "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," "Picnic," and "Gravy Waltz," which won the Grammy Award in 1964. He wrote the title lyrics for the film themes for On the Beach and Bell, Book, and Candle, and scores for several musicals, including the Broadway production of Sophie (1963) and the CBS-TV version of Alice in Wonderland (1985). Allen starred on Broadway in The Pink Elephant (1953), and wrote the play, The Wake, which won a Los Angeles drama critic's nomination as the best play of 1977. Allen also played the title role in the 1956 motion picture, The Benny Goodman Story, and starred in The Comic (1969).|
As a writer, Steve Allen's published credits include memoirs, poetry, short stories, plays, novels, children's books, .social commentary, humor and satire, radio and television scripts, reviews, essays, and magazine and newspaper articles. He was a regular columnist for Song Hits, Downbeat, and Cosmopolitan, as well as for several newspapers. Allen's first collection of poetry was published in 1946. His poems have been published in other book-length collections, and in Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Review, and other periodicals. Allen wrote a scholarly study of migratory farm labor, The Ground Is Our Table (1966), and a study of white-collar crime in America, Rip-Off: A Look at Corruption in America (1979). Other book-length non-fiction works by Allen focus on Jesus cults, the atomic bomb, and corruption, and include two popular studies of comedians, The Funny Men (1956) and Funny People (1981). Allen's first novel, Not All Your Laughter, Not All Your Tears, was published 1962. In 1982 Allen wrote his first mystery novel, The Talk Show Murders, which was followed by Murder on the Glitter Box in 1989. He has also written a book for children, Princess Snip Snip and the Puppykittens (1973). In all, Steve Allen has authored 35 published books, from his first, Bop Fables (1955), to his most recent, Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality (1990).
Allen has published close to 500 essays, articles, and syndicated columns and given hundreds of speeches on a wide range of social issues; democratic rights, censorship, interracial justice, mental health, police corruption, prison reform, capital punishment, disarmament, morality and nuclear war, education, and mental health. His byline has appeared in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including Esquire, Ladies Home Journal, Look, Variety, TV Guide, Playbill, Cue, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and the Detroit News. Steve Allen's honors for community service include those from the American Civil Liberties Union, Sane (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), the American Cancer Society, the National Association for Mental Health, and the Boy Scouts of America. Allen died on October 31st, 2000.
|Scope and Content||The Steve Allen Collection contains manuscripts for five books, 89 speeches, and 451 articles. Of particular interest is "The Steve Allen Biography" (Box 10), which includes a complete listing of television shows and appearances along with listings of stars that appeared on his shows and recorded or performed his songs. Also of interest are the scripts for the Emmy award-winning PBS-TV series, Meeting of Minds. In addition the collection includes professional photographs, promotional materials, and certificates and awards. Oversized and non-print materials are located in Boxes 12 and 18 to 24 of the collection. Researchers interested in the many facets of Steve Allen -- the actor, comedian, journalist, composer, lyricist, concert artist, lecturer, author, father and husband, television host and star -- will find this collection invaluable.|
The following books have been integrated into the collections at the Browne Popular Culture Library. Call numbers for these books may be found in the BGSU Libraries Catalog or by clicking on a title below.
Numerous LP albums and other sound recordings donated by Allen have been transferred to the Sound Recordings Archives at Bowling Green State University.