BIG BROTHER BOB EMERY
Big Brother Bob Emery
In my late 20's, I was referred by my friend Paul Reale, Publisher of the New England Entertainment Digest to see Rex Trailer at his Boston office about a job. I thought it would involve some aspect of PR and broadcast production, but it was a sales job. Rex was really nice, even though I wasn;t really interested in the job.
- Jim Gosselin
Rex Trailer hosted "Boomtown" in Boston in the mid-to-late '50's after hosting shows in Philadelphia in the early 1950's.
Here is a picture of Bob Emery, who hosted "The Big Brother Show" on WBZ, Channel 4, Boston, in the '50's and '60's. He was a Boston radio and television celebrity for decades. He headed a club known as "The Small Fry Club".
I remember him in the '50's, having us salute the flag with a glass of milk. We would drink the milk as he played, "Hail to the Chief", and he showed a portrait of President Eisenhower. Sometimes he would gather the kids around and talk or sing... He would play a ukulele or banjo. I believe he read the comics at times.
No one has yet mentioned an old sea captain named Salty Brine, who had the show "Salty Brine's Shack" on Providence, RI television (not Boston, but as a child, I didn't make that distinction). He also doubled as a news or weather anchor in Boston.
- Sincerely, Sherrye Weinstein
Here's a short audio clip of Big Brother Bob Emery doing a commercial for "Nu-Fizz" flavored bicarbonate of soda drink. Anyone who hears it will instantly remember that old cornball bit.
"I taped it myself - I was maybe 7 seven years old. And I did get my "Nu-Fizz Wiggling Whale" (the consolation prize that everyone got - a plastic wiggle picture of a spouting whale)."
- Cheers, Peter Mork
Big Brother's opening song went like this:
I would come home from school for lunch and from 12noon - 12:30 watch Big Brother (BOSTON). What a wholesome show, the pledge of allegiance was said and we toasted President Eisenhower then Kennedy, their pictures hung on wall. He had a song he and children would sing,
"the grass is always greener,
"in the other fellows yard,"
and showed cartoons like Hercules, Tales of the Wizard of Oz etc. Oh, to have a time machine.
- Paul Bondi, Worcester
I think the ending to the Big Brother song was:
So long small fry,
Do you have anything on the Bonny Maid Linoleum Show?
I remember the Big Brother Bob Emery show very well because, at the tender age of 6 years old in 1959, I did a live 'Cracker Jack' commercial with another little girl on the show. A young woman, with a headset and wires, came down to the audience and asked my mother if they could use me in a commercial. This was long before "release" contracts and we didn't get paid other than with the thrill of being onstage with big Brother Bob! We were both dressed up, respectively, in Cowboy and Cowgirl costumes that day and brought up on stage. He sat at his table with us standing on either side and there were 2 huge bowls and 2 huge boxes of the product standing up on the desk. Brother Bob asked us: "Do you kids like 'Cracker Jack' popcorn?" My mother told me I blurted out: "I love it!" and grabbed at the bowl and the other little girl just spoke softly: "Yes". They did a second (and final) take after they asked me to do and say the same thing and asked the girl to just say "yes" a little more louder. All I remember after that was getting a huge box of 'Cracker Jack' that lasted forever and bragging rights to all my childhood friends with my big box to prove it. No, no tape exists and no, I still don't have the box but, I still do have the great memory.
- Bill Haver
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