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The Miss America Pageant (beauty contest, hosted by Bert Parks)

    (ABC Weekend Special, 1954 - 1965;
     NBC Weekend Special, 1966 - 1996;
     ABC Weekend Special, 1997 - 2004)

    [Although this pageant was not a weekly series, it appeared regularly
     enough during the 1950s and 1960s to be a part of the cultural landscape;
     Along with boxing and roller derby and other "spectator sports", "Miss 
     America" became another reason to justify the cost of buying a TV set;
     
     It had begun as a promotional event at Atlantic City, New Jersey way back
     in the "Roaring Twenties" -- 1921 to be exact; It had been an attempt by
     Atlantic City merchants to keep tourists from leaving that seaside resort 
     after the traditional Labor Day end of summer;
     
     It is sometimes described as "the oldest beauty contest in the U.S.", although
     there were quite a few in that era. Subsequently, pageant organizers stressed
     that it was more than just "beauty"; the contestants were judged on "talent"
     too -- and served as "role models." Whatever, the first televised contest aired 
     on September 11th, 1954 when Lee Meriwether was crowned Miss America for 1955.
     
     After the first 10 years on ABC, it lasted for 30 years on NBC, but switched 
     back to ABC. After 2002, pageant organizers began to have trouble convincing
     ABC it was worth keeping on the air.
     
     Some notable personalities made their debut on the national stage via the
     "Miss America" pageant after appearing on it, including TV hostess Bess 
     Myerson (winner 1945), actress Lee Meriwether (winner 1955), actress Susan
     Anton (contestant 1969), TV host Phyllis George (winner 1971.)
     
     The pageant switched networks in 1966 to take advantage of "Living Color"
     on NBC and that was the first year it was broadcast in color;
     
     Amid controversy, aging M.C. Bert Parks was replaced in 1980 by TV Tarzan
     actor Ron Ely; then in 1982, actor & TV host Gary Collins became the official
     pageant M.C.; In 1992, Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford co-hosted the 
     show replacing Collins;
     
     Bert Parks passed away in 1992, some 10 years after he was replaced as M.C.
     
     After 83 years, the TV pageant itself became a victim of the times; It 
     found no major broadcast network willing to air it, after ABC announced 
     it was dropping the show for low ratings, following the 2004 broadcast.
     
     Finally, in 2005, after cruel tabloid headlines proclaimed "Miss America Can't 
     Get a Date" and "There She Goes...Miss America", the Country Music cable 
     TV network agreed to air it -- but only after organizers agreed to move it
     to January (perhaps so it wouldn't get in the way of the Fall TV season 
     "ratings sweeps" period.)
     
     Also, talk was, it may move away from Atlantic City (perhaps to the Country
     Music capital of Nashville for its first cable broadcast in 2006.)]
     


Main Theme: "Miss America!"

     [aka: "There She Is, Miss America!";

     The first appearance of the song most associated with this pageant
     was not on the "Miss America" broadcast itself. The song was introduced  
     in a fictionalized drama about a contestant called "The Miss America 
     Story" that aired on NBC's series "Philco Television Playhouse." The play
     starred Johnny Desmond and Lee Meriwether playing herself. Desmond played
     the Master of Ceremonies, and sang the song in the TV play.
     
     In September, 1955 the "Miss America" pageant was broadcast for the 2nd year
     coast-to-coast; so changes were made to make it better for television;
     One change: the host of the radio/TV quiz show "Stop The Music" named
     Bert Parks, was hired to be the M.C. for the pageant. Parks sang the song
     written for the "Philco Playhouse" on the pageant itself -- a case of life
     imitating art. And his schmaltzy rendition became a tradition -- almost a
     TV cliché over the years.
     
     Musical conductor-arranger Glenn Osser also began a long association with
     the pageant in that same year.
     
     The composer of the song was honored in memoriam by "The Bernie Wayne 
     Scholarship for the Performing Arts", established in 1993 as part of the
     "Miss America" contest.
     
     After Bert Parks left the show, other M.C.'s tried but were not successful 
     in matching his open-voiced tenor performance of this old warhorse.]

     Composer: Bernard ("Bernie") Wayne (BMI)
                
     Orig. Publisher: Bernie Wayne Music (BMI)
     
     2005 Publisher: Bernie Wayne Music (BMI)
                        div. of Spirit Music Group
                        of New York, NY
                        
     Unpublished Copyright Date: Sep. 21, 1954; Eu 372 145.
     Unpublished Renewal Date:   Jan. 21, 1982; RE-116-089.
     
     Published Copyright Date: Sep. 6, 1955; EP  93 039.
     Published Renewal Date:   Jan. 6, 1983; RE-161-134.
     
     Recordings:
     


Theme 2: "Miss America TV Opening"

    [Musical conductor-arranger Glenn Osser arranged cue music
     and themes for the pageant since 1955.]
     
     Composer: Abe ("Glenn") Osser (ASCAP)
                
     1978 Publisher: Emil Ascher, Inc. (ASCAP)
     
     2005 Publisher: [no publisher listed]
                        
     Unpublished Copyright Date:
     Unpublished Renewal Date:
     
     Published Copyright Date:
     Published Renewal Date:
     
     Recordings:
     


Theme 3: "Miss America Grand March"

    [Musical conductor-arranger Glenn Osser arranged cue music
     and themes for the pageant since 1955.]
     
     Composer: Abe ("Glenn") Osser (ASCAP)
                
     1978 Publisher: MCA, Inc. (ASCAP)
     
     2005 Publisher: Universal-MCA Music Publishing (ASCAP)
                        c/o Universal Music Publishing
                        of Chicago, IL
                        
     Unpublished Copyright Date:
     Unpublished Renewal Date:
     
     Published Copyright Date:
     Published Renewal Date:
     
     Recordings:
     


Theme 4: "She's Our Miss America"

    [Musical conductor-arranger Glenn Osser arranged cue music
     and themes for the pageant since 1955. His wife Edna was his frequent
     collaborator; no doubt this song was written for the show.]
     
     Composers: Abe ("Glenn") Osser (ASCAP) and
                Edna Osser (ASCAP)
                
     Orig. Publisher: Dajon Productions, Inc. (ASCAP)
     
     2005 Publisher: Dajon Productions, Inc. (ASCAP)
                        of Harrison, NY
       
     Unpublished Copyright Date: Apr. 21, 1983; PAu-501-320.
     Unpublished Renewal Date:
     
     Recordings:
     



















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