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The Salt City 5/6 website (saltcity56.com) has added under “Music” a rare audio recording of the band’s winning performance in June 1952 on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and later on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. My son, Carter Koch, took an old audio cassette of the shows I’d found and did wonders to restore it. In 1952, Arthur Godfrey dominated radio and tv with Talent Scouts on tv Monday evenings and Arthur Godfrey and His Friends on Wednesday evenings plus a radio program every weekday morning. It was live tv from what is now the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan where the Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason and the David Letterman shows were broadcast.

On 6/17/52, Godfrey walked in during band’s Talent Scouts audition. He was so impressed that he invited the Five to be on Godfrey and His Friends even if they lost on Talent Scouts. He loved jazz (and his ukulele). His orchestra included trombonist, Lou McGarity (Eddie Condon, Benny Goodman) and Remo Palmieri (Coleman Hawkins and Billie Holiday). Previous winning contestants had included, The McGuire Sisters, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and Vic Damone.  

You will hear: 1) Godfrey’s interview of the young Colgate student “talent scout” - me. 2) The winning applause-metered audience vote, 3) Godfrey’s introducing each member on “Friends’ saying, before they play “Jazz Me Blues”, “You are about to hear music the likes of which you’ve never heard before.” 4) Commenting that, “The joint is jumping” he has some of his musicians join the Five in replaying “Jazz Me Blues.” Finally, he asks the Five to play their take-off of “12th St. Rag”.

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.