Elson, James, 1925-1970

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James Elson, producer and director was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 26, 1925.

During his career he directed and produced theater, radio and television shows. He directed television programs such as THE TONIGHT SHOW, THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS and THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW. He died on April 26, 1970.

From the description of James Elson papers, 1950-1962. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122517698

James Elson, producer and director, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 26, 1925. He attended elementary school and high school in Tulsa. In college he majored in English and minored in Engineering at University of Texas. In 1948, he earned his bachelors degree and moved to New York City to attend graduate classes at the American Theatre Wing.

During his career James Elson was involved in radio, theater, and television. Early in his career he worked in radio as a radio writer. Later he worked on a variety of theatre productions including the 1948 Broadway show Three Short Plays . In 1951, he became a producer-director for an NBC local station, WRCA-TV in Ohio. He specialized in producing cultural and documentary shows. One of his most successful programs entitled Princeton '54 won first place for best educational programs in the Ohio State Awards. He stayed with the station for the next five years until he was hired by the NBC Network in 1956. He produced and directed nationally televised shows such as the Steve Allen Show, The Tonight Show, and Wide Wide World . In addition, he directed special episodes for television programs including Music From Shubert Alley an Andy Williams Special and three specials for the Dupont Show of the Week entitled The Ziegfeld Touch with Joan Crawford, Chicago and All That Jazz, and Regards to George M. Cohan . He directed a children's show entitled Children's Specials for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. During the 1964-65 season, he directed That Was The Week That Was . As a producer and director he worked with Carol Burnett, Dick Van Dyke, Rosemary Clooney, and Jose Ferrer in a Thanksgiving special entitled No Place Like Home . He went on to direct programs for public broadcasting and became the producer of N.W. Ayer T.V. James Elson died on April 26, 1970 in New York.

From the guide to the James Elson papers, 1950-1962, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf N. W. Ayer & Son. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1945-1969. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf James Elson papers, 1950-1962 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Elson, James, 1925-1970. James Elson papers, 1950-1962. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Dorothy, 1915? - person
associatedWith Allen, Steve, 1921- person
associatedWith Anka, Paul person
associatedWith Avalon, Frankie person
associatedWith Aylesworth, John person
associatedWith Barer, Marshall person
associatedWith Benton, Robert person
associatedWith Boone, Pat, 1934- person
associatedWith Byrnes, Edward, 1933- person
associatedWith Darin, Bobby person
associatedWith Fonda, Jane, 1937- person
associatedWith Funicello, Annette person
associatedWith Glickman, Will person
associatedWith Ilson, Saul person
associatedWith Morse, Robert, 1931- person
associatedWith National Broadcasting Company, inc corporateBody
associatedWith N. W. Ayer & Son. corporateBody
associatedWith Osterwald, Bibi, 1920- person
associatedWith Pack, Richard person
associatedWith Peppiatt, Frank person
associatedWith Prince, Harold, 1928- person
associatedWith Rodgers, Mary, 1931- person
associatedWith Westinghouse Broadcasting Company corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Television producers and directors--United States
Television producers and directors
Television--Production and direction


Birth 1925

Death 1970


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