Above is a clip from the early 50s of the pre-TV talk show/game show creator/mega-media mogul Merv Griffin in his early crooning days, on a TV show accompanied by the Freddy Martin Orchestra (with whom he worked regularly). He sings a chorus of 'How About You?' and, to my eyes, hardly resembles his later more famous self. Nor does his voice match the mellifluous, amiable Merv in his syndicated prime. His tenor is forced, his mouth movements ridiculously over-played and his screen presence practically nil. It's not that he's a bad singer at all--he's simply a different person than he became a mere decade later.

Below are two more Merv records: the Rodgers and Hart classic 'Manhattan' (with a very nice accompanying video of stock lower Manhattan footage) and the ridiculous 'I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts' which--God help us--was his certified hit of this period of his career, reaching number 8 on the national sales charts. Jesus...

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