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Big Brother Bob Emery

Big Brother Bob Emery
In 1960, Big Brother made a personal appearance at the Orbit department store in Dorchester. My father took me to see him. The store was packed with kids who were filing past to shake Big Brother's hand. I was wearing a Red Sox sweatshirt, and when Big Brother saw it, he picked me up and sat me in a mini Ford Thunderbird that was a contest prize. I have kept the photo all these years. Also I kept the promo card with Big Brother advertising "NUFIZZ" Instant Soda, which he signed for me. I watched Big Brother religiously every day at noon - right after Concentration. My elementary school was right across the street from my house, and I could come home for lunch. I "toasted" President Eisenhower with a glass of milk, until one day, Eisenhower was gone, and there was a new face - JFK. Big Brother's show made me a Popeye fan!

Major Mudd
I was on the Major Mudd show in 1967. I was a little old for that by then, being in 7th grade, but I took my nephews with me. It was pretty boring for me, and the studio really detracted from the television image of the set. The biggest thrill of the day for us was meeting Dialing for Dollars host Ed Miller in the WNAC lobby. Several years later when Ed Miller died of leukemia, I went into his wake at Waterman's in Kenmore Square. I remember meeting his wife, who was so beautiful and so gracious.

Rex Trailer
Boomtown came on really early on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I remember seeing Rex riding Goldrush at the beginning of the show, out on what looked like the open range, then he'd go to the bunkhouse where Pablo was always waiting. Of course, I thought this was a real place and they both lived there!

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

Big Brother Bob Emery

Rex Trailer hosted "Boomtown" in Boston in the mid-to-late '50's after hosting shows in Philadelphia in the early 1950's.

Big Brother Bob EmoryHere 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:

The grass is always greener
in the other fellow's yard.
The little row
we have to hoe,
Oh boy that's hard.
But if we all could wear
green glasses now,
it wouldn't be so hard
to see how green the grass is
in our own back yard.

- John Magner, Roxbury, MA

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,
it's time to say goodbye,
come back again,
tomorrow night and then,
we'll have some fun,
there's some for everyone,
so don't forget we have a date,
tomorrow night and don't be late,
so small fry, so long.

Do you have anything on the Bonny Maid Linoleum Show?

- David

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.
tv blogOf course, we use to get to see all these local Boston "stars" live in appearances at 'Pleasure Island' amusement park in Wakefield, MA in the 60s. I attached the costume I wore that day that I got for Christmas of 1958.

- Bill Haver

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