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The Bootleg Files: Harry & Lena

BOOTLEG FILES 741: “Harry & Lena” (1970 television special starring Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Problems in clearing music rights.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely at this time.

If you were watching television variety shows and specials from the 1950s through the 1970s, it was nearly impossible not to see either Harry Belafonte or Lena Horne turn up in a guest starring role. The charismatic and versatile Belafonte would offer anything from calypso music to folk tunes to protest songs reflecting the ongoing turmoil of the times, while the regal Horne provided incomparable beauty and a distinctive styling of the Great American Songbook.
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The Bootleg Files: Uncle Croc’s Block

BOOTLEG FILES 692: “Uncle Croc’s Block” (1975-76 television series with Charles Nelson Reilly and Jonathan Harris).

LAST SEEN: Bits and pieces are on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It was considered a bomb in its time.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

I genuinely feel sorry for today’s children, as their television viewing choices are too safe and too benign for their own good. Back in the 1970s when I was a kid, television aimed at the school-age crowd was delightfully weird and funky. But even by the standards of that excessive era, there was nothing as truly bizarre as a 1975-76 ABC show called “Uncle Croc’s Block.”
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The Bootleg Files: Mason

BOOTLEG FILES 585: “Mason” (1975 TV pilot starring Mason Reese and Barry Nelson).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Nobody wants this thing.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
God, I hope not!

During the early 1970s, American television suffered from a surplus of excessively precocious little boys – tykes including Moosie Drier, Rodney Allen Rippy, Ricky Segall and John Gilchrist (a.k.a. Mikey from the Life Cereal commercial) were ubiquitous small screen mini-stars. Most of these kids were tolerable and nearly all of them vanished from view once they reached the pre-teen years.

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