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The Bea Kalmus Show - January 13, 1960 - WMGM, New York - excerpt

June 20th, 2008

Bea Kalmus, according to several sources I browsed on the web and in books, was one of the first female disc jockeys in New York and a respected nightclub singer.  Kalmus broadcast her WMGM show from Silverman's International; she featured show business guests on the program and would sometimes sing along with records or perform songs from her own repertoire.  (You can read more about Kalmus here.)

In this post, we have a half-hour excerpt from her broadcast of January 13, 1960 featuring an interview with songwriter Otis Blackwell.  They discuss his hit songs such as "Don't Be Cruel", "Fever", and "Hey Little Girl" and different aspects of breaking into the songwriting business.

The show was dubbed direct from a one-off acetate made by TV Time Recordings, which would make reference discs for performers, agents and others in the business from radio and television programs.


  • James F. ("Jim") Sehl

    I’ve recalled with fondness from time to time one evening in the fall of 1960 when my sister informed me she would take me to a New York night club where I’ll be interviewed by a famous New York radio personality. After graduating from a small South Jersey high school in 1958, I went into broadcasting and worked in the Philadelphia market. The idea of being on radio in New York City, even for a few short minutes, was very exciting to me. So…I went to this NYC night club (I guess, from reading your article, it must have been Silverman’s International) and there I was introduced to Bea Kalmus. Bea and I talked a bit off-mic where she made the decision that she would interview me as an up and coming actor (I had told her early-on that I was in high school musicals and did a couple of college plays during on semester at Glassboro State College). And so that is what happened, she interviewed me, Jim Seal (that’s how she had my name written), aspiring actor. The whole thing lasted about fifteen minutes and I quickly developed great respect for Bea’s interview skills. Of course that all took place almost fifty years ago…but I’ve never forgotten and the name “Bea Kalmus” has always been with me. And I have my older sister, Betty, to thank for this wonderful memory of mine. Of course I must thank “Google” for making this all possible…and also a big thanks to “Rand” for having the Bea Kalmus piece available on the web. Jim Sehl, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 8/20/2008.

    Aug 20, 2008 at 9:22 am
  • Debbie Beller Horwitz

    My father was a great friend of Bea Kalmus. He wrote music with her and a was a member of ASCAP. She did a radio show from the Copa I believe. My husband, a comedian, was also a friend of hers.

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:28 am