Allen, Steve, 1921-2000

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A radio and television performer, actor, composer, pianist, and singer.

From the description of [Papers] / Steve Allen. 1956-1973. (Bowling Green State University). WorldCat record id: 14228108

Renowned American comedian, composer, lyricist, musician, television pioneer, performer, and author.

From the description of Steve Allen papers, 1951-2000. (Scottsdale Public Library). WorldCat record id: 49244609

Steve Allen (1921-2000), comedian, composer, lyricist, musician, television pioneer, performer, and author, was born into a vaudeville family. His mother, a comedienne in her own right, performed under the name of Belle Montrose. He attended Arizona State Teachers' College in Tempe (now Arizona State University) in the fall of 1942 before beginning his entertainment career of over fifty years. In 1942, Allen left college to become a radio announcer for KOY in Phoenix. Arizona State University awarded Allen an Alumni Achievement Award in 1966 and an honorary doctorate in 1982.

Steve Allen pioneered late-night television talk shows, originating the format and hosting the first Tonight Show, which ran from 1953 to early 1957. Other highlights of his television career included The Steve Allen Show (1956-1960) and the game show I've Got a Secret . Allen also created and hosted the award-winning public television series Meeting of Minds (1977-1981), which featured imagined conversations between historical figures. In 1985 he wrote the words and music for a CBS-TV all-star production of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland .

Allen composed over 4,000 songs, the most famous of which was This Could Be the Start of Something Big . He also wrote lyrics for such movie music as Picnic, Houseboat, and On the Beach . As a writer, Allen produced numerous novels, plays, poems, and magazine and newspaper articles. Steve Allen is survived by his wife, actress-comedienne Jayne Meadows, whom he married in 1954.

From the guide to the Steve Allen Papers, 1951-2000, (Arizona State University Libraries Special Collections)

Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen was born on December 26, 1921, in New York, New York. Both parents were in a vaudeville act under the stage name Billy Allen and Belle Montrose. Allen attended eighteen schools. He attended Drake University in 1941 and the University of Arizona in 1945. On August 23, 1942, Allen married Dorothy Goodman whom he met while attending Arizona State Teachers' College. The two divorced in 1952 and on July 31, 1954, he married the actress/comedienne Jayne Meadows. They have one son, William Christopher, a former Executive Vice President, MTM Television in Hollywood. Allen's three sons by his first marriage include Steve, Jr., doctor in Elmira, New York; Brian, real estate broker in Seattle; and David, songwriter in Los Angeles. Steve Allen made his debut on Phoenix radio station KOY in 1942, where he worked as an announcer, writer, and pianist. Two years later Allen left for Los Angeles, where he performed on radio stations KFAC, KMTR, and KNX from 1944 to 1950. He began his television career in New York City in 1950 on CBS. He was awarded the New York City Board of Trade Award for the television documentary on organized crime, "The Commandment" (1953). Allen was the creator and host of the original "Tonight Show" (1954-1956), which introduced such future stars as Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Andy Williams, Don Knotts, Jonathan Winters, and the Smothers Brothers. Allen starred in the critically-acclaimed "Steve Allen Show" (1956-1960; 1968-1972), which won the Variety Show of the Year Award in 1958 and the George Foster Peabody Award for the best comedy show of 1960. Allen won Look magazine's television award for "What's My Line" in 1953, and hosted "I've Got a Secret" for three seasons (1964-1967). He created, wrote, and hosted the PBS-TV series "Meeting of Minds" (1977-1981), which garnered the prestigious Peabody, Emmy, and Television Critics Circle awards, as well as awards from the National Organization for Women, and numerous other organizations. Allen was inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame in 1986. Steve Allen has a life membership in the Composers and Lyricists Guild and was honored in the 1984 Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific composer of modern times. He has recorded more than forty albums and composed more than four-thousand songs including: "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," "Picnic," and "Gravy Waltz," which won the Grammy Award in 1964. He wrote the title lyrics for the film themes for On the Beach and Bell, Book, and Candle, and scores for several musicals, including the Broadway production of Sophie (1963) and the CBS-TV version of Alice in Wonderland (1985). Allen starred on Broadway in The Pink Elephant (1953), and wrote the play, The Wake, which won a Los Angeles drama critic's nomination as the best play of 1977. Allen also played the title role in the 1956 motion picture, The Benny Goodman Story, and starred in The Comic (1969). As a writer, Steve Allen's published credits include memoirs, poetry, short stories, plays, novels, children's books, .social commentary, humor and satire, radio and television scripts, reviews, essays, and magazine and newspaper articles. He was a regular columnist for Song Hits, Downbeat, and Cosmopolitan, as well as for several newspapers. Allen's first collection of poetry was published in 1946. His poems have been published in other book-length collections, and in Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Review, and other periodicals. Allen wrote a scholarly study of migratory farm labor, The Ground Is Our Table (1966), and a study of white-collar crime in America, Rip-Off: A Look at Corruption in America (1979). Other book-length non-fiction works by Allen focus on Jesus cults, the atomic bomb, and corruption, and include two popular studies of comedians, The Funny Men (1956) and Funny People (1981). Allen's first novel, Not All Your Laughter, Not All Your Tears, was published 1962. In 1982 Allen wrote his first mystery novel, The Talk Show Murders, which was followed by Murder on the Glitter Box in 1989. He has also written a book for children, Princess Snip Snip and the Puppykittens (1973). In all, Steve Allen has authored 35 published books, from his first, Bop Fables (1955), to his most recent, Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality (1990). Allen has published close to 500 essays, articles, and syndicated columns and given hundreds of speeches on a wide range of social issues; democratic rights, censorship, interracial justice, mental health, police corruption, prison reform, capital punishment, disarmament, morality and nuclear war, education, and mental health. His byline has appeared in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including Esquire, Ladies Home Journal, Look, Variety, TV Guide, Playbill, Cue, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and the Detroit News. Steve Allen's honors for community service include those from the American Civil Liberties Union, Sane (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), the American Cancer Society, the National Association for Mental Health, and the Boy Scouts of America. Allen died on October 31st, 2000.

From the guide to the Steve Allen Collection, 1939-1990, (Bowling Green State University - Browne Popular Culture Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn [Paper chicken bucket] [realia]. Arizona State University Libraries
referencedIn Richard Rodgers collection of musicals and interviews [sound recording], 1926-1980 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Otto Harbach Papers, 1870-1990, 1895-1963 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf McReynolds, David. David McReynolds papers, 1943-1978. Swarthmore College, Peace Collection, SCPC
referencedIn Reid, Ogden R. (Ogden Rogers), 1925-. Ogden Rogers Reid papers, 1925-1982 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Stiller, Jerry. [Interview with Jerry Stiller] [sound recording] / Jerry Stiller ; [interviewed by] David Marc, New York City, May 10, 1999. Syracuse University
referencedIn Miller, Suzanne, 1935-1994. Suzanne Miller papers, 1936-1995. University of Toledo, William S. Carlson Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous screen, stage, and radio scripts, ca. 1859-2007. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Steve Allen Collection, 1939-1990 Bowling Green State University - Browne Popular Culture Library
referencedIn Stein and Day Publishers. Records, 1963-1988. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn The Benny Goodman Papers, 1910-1992, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn James Elson papers, 1950-1962 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Johnny Green additional papers, 1923-1989. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Lyle Stuart Papers, 1926-2010, [Bulk Dates: 1949-2003] Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Papers, 1870-1969 Houghton Library
creatorOf Steve Allen Papers, 1951-2000 Arizona State University Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Arizona State University. Rally & Tradition Board. [Commemorative plaque for Steve Allen] [realia]. Arizona State University Libraries
creatorOf Swanson, Gloria. Papers. Series II. Career, ca. 1914-1983. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Steve Allen Collection, 1939-1990 Bowling Green State University - Browne Popular Culture Library
referencedIn Feiffer, Jules. Jules Feiffer papers, 1919-1995 (bulk 1950-1990). Library of Congress
referencedIn Debenham, Warren. The Warren Debenham Comedy Sound Collection 1955-2006 Emerson College, Iwasaki LIbrary
referencedIn Stein and Day Publisher Records, 1963-1988 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Lucille Lortel papers, 1902-2000 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Wallace, Mike, 1918-. Mike Wallace interviews : black and white 16mm film, 1957-1958. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn The Mel Powell Papers, 1942-1991, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Arthur Unger collection of recorded interviews [sound recording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Roderick Nordell papers, 1948-2000. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Jules Feiffer Papers, 1919-1995, (bulk 1950-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Allen, Steve, 1921-2000. [Interview with Steve Allen] [sound recording] / Steve Allen ; [interviewed by] David Marc, Van Nuys, CA, Sept. 18, 1996. Syracuse University
creatorOf Allen, Steve, 1921-2000. The wake : a play in three acts / by Steve Allen. California State University, Northridge
creatorOf Lee, Fran, 1910-. Fran Lee papers, 1945-1975. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Fran Lee papers, 1945-1975 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Dana, Bill, 1924-. Bill Dana papers 1940-2006. Emerson College, Iwasaki LIbrary
referencedIn Burch, Dean. Dean Burch papers. 1964-1973. Arizona State University Libraries
creatorOf Allen, Steve, 1921-2000. Steve Allen papers, 1951-2000. Arizona State University Libraries
referencedIn Shulman, Alan. Alan Shulman papers, 1924-2005 (bulk 1933-1988). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Gypsy Rose Lee papers, 1910-1970 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Sullivan, Ed, 1901-1974. Papers, 1920-1974. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Reid, Ogden R. (Ogden Rogers), 1925-. Ogden Rogers Reid papers, 1925-1982 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Ambassador Auditorium Collection, 1974-1995 Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries
creatorOf Allen, Steve, 1921-2000. [Papers] / Steve Allen. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Marmer, Mike. [Interview with Mike Marmer] [sound recording] / Mike Marmer ; [interviewed by] Bernie Cook, Los Angeles, CA, September 26, 1997. Syracuse University
referencedIn Alan Shulman papers, 1924-2005, 1933-1988 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Powell, Mel. The Mel Powell papers, 1942-1991 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Ogden Rogers Reid papers, 1925-1982 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Nordell, Roderick. Roderick Nordell papers, 1947-2000. Harvard University, Harvard Theater Collection, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Carol Muske-Dukes Papers, 1960-2008 USC Libraries Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Steve, 1921-2000 person
associatedWith Burch, Dean, 1927- person
associatedWith Carson, Johnny, 1925-2005. person
associatedWith Casals, Pablo, 1876-1973 person
correspondedWith Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Dana, Bill, 1924- person
associatedWith Debenham, Warren. person
associatedWith Elson, James, 1925-1970 person
correspondedWith Feiffer, Jules. person
correspondedWith Feiffer, Jules. person
associatedWith Goodman, Benny, 1909- person
associatedWith Green, Johnny, 1908-1989 person
associatedWith Harbach, Otto, 1873-1963 person
associatedWith Harbach, Otto, 1873-1963 person
associatedWith Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969. person
associatedWith Lee, Fran, 1910- person
associatedWith Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970 person
associatedWith Lortel, Lucille person
associatedWith Marc, David. person
associatedWith Marmer, Mike. person
associatedWith Mason, Jackie. person
associatedWith McReynolds, David. person
associatedWith Meadowlane Enterprises. corporateBody
associatedWith Mel Powell person
associatedWith Miller, Suzanne, 1935-1994. person
associatedWith Muske-Dukes, Carol, 1945- person
associatedWith Nordell, Roderick. person
associatedWith Nordell, Roderick. person
associatedWith Powell, Mel. person
associatedWith Reid, Ogden R. (Ogden Rogers), 1925- person
associatedWith Rickles, Don. person
associatedWith Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979 person
associatedWith Rodzinski, Artur, 1892-1958 person
associatedWith Saddler, Donald person
associatedWith Shulman, Alan. person
associatedWith Stein and Day Publishers. corporateBody
associatedWith Steve Allen person
associatedWith Stiller, Jerry. person
associatedWith Stuart, Lyle person
associatedWith Sullivan, Ed, 1901-1974. person
associatedWith Swanson, Gloria. person
correspondedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Toscanini, Arturo, 1867-1957 person
associatedWith Unger, Arthur person
correspondedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Wallace, Mike, 1918- person
associatedWith Walter, Bruno, 1876-1962 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
Subject
Comedians--Interviews
Stand-up comedy--History
Television comedies--History
Entertainers
Variety shows (Television programs)--History
Television personalities--Archives
Authors, American--Archives
Irish Americans--Drama
Comedy programs--History
Television personalities--Interviews
Television broadcasting--History
Musicians--Archives
Comedians--Archives
Occupation
Composers
Performer
Function

Person

Birth 1921-12-26

Death 2000-10-31

Birth 1921

Death 2000

Americans

Information

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