JOE PYNE -- The first and best of the Shock Jocks!


When we first acquired the parent company of Hartwest Productions, Inc., it consisted of a large pile of filing cabinets and storage boxes in an empty office in Providence, RI.  We spent a day trying to get a handle on what was there; the primary goal was to learn more about the television programs that had been packaged in the 1950s.  One of the filing cabinets had documents regarding the Joe Pyne television and radio programs.  Among the documents we found were memoranda which indicated that many of the programs were either never aired, or were “removed from circulation,” for different reasons.

We had it all packed up and shipped down to our storage facility in the basement of the Quad Theater in Manhattan.  The Pyne materials were relegated to a back storage room, forgotten about until we had to vacate the facility and move everything to a modern warehouse.  It was only at the end of the process that we realized the enormous extent of the Pyne materials.  

We found a memorandum dated April 5, 1968, from the Hartwest Program Department to Saul Jaffe, the owner of Hartwest, which stated that “Since Martin Luther King was one of Pyne’s ‘pet hates,’ these shows not only refer to him  in the present tense but contain derogatory references by Pyne and/or the guest” so that 22 Martin Luther King programs were pulled. Imagine what it would mean if these programs could be brought to light!  These and other potentially historically important programs, are listed below.

The digitalization and cataloging of the approximately 230 2" videotape masters for the television series, and the approximately 1,050 reels of 1/4" magnetic tape for the radio series, and the hundreds and perhaps thousands of individual guest releases (all rights, all media, in perpetuity) would be a massive job, taking a year or more.  We hope to obtain funding for it in the future. Until then, you can be as intrigued by these shelved programs, as we are:

1.  Pulled or shelved programs because of "Deaths of the Interviewees"

Malcom X                                            3 programs
Jack Ruby                                             9 programs
Martin Luther King                             22 programs
Che Gueverra                                       7 programs
George Lincoln Rockwell                    8 programs
Chief Parker                                         6 programs
Eddie Cantor                                        1 program
Jayne Mansfield                                   1 program
Gertrude Berg                                      1 program
Walt Disney                                         8 programs
Henry Luce                                          2 programs
Spencer Tracy                                      1 program
Lennie Bruce                                       1 program
Hedda Hopper                                     3 programs
Henry Kaiser                                       1 program
Albert Schweitzer                                1 program

2.  Pulled or shelved programs because of "Change of Title or Office"

Cassius Clay                                       4 programs
Adam Clayton Powell                      22 programs
Sam Shephard                                    2 programs
Pat Brown                                          6 programs
Faubus                                                1 program
Macnamara                                       10 programs
Ambassador Taylor                            2 programs
George Wallace                                  2 programs
Clark Kerr                                          2 programs
Katzenbach                                          programs
Eisenhower                                        1 program
Postmaster Shaw                                1 program
Dr. Rein                                              2 programs
Arthur Sylvester                                 1 program
Ehrhardt                                              1 program

3.  Pulled or shelved  programs "Dealing With Personalities or Guests Who Have Died"

George Lincoln Rockwell                  A series, 2 programs
Primo Carnera                                    A series
Nick Adams                                       A series
Walt Disney                                       A series (“entire discussion about him”)
Charles Bickford                                B series
Frank Edwards                                   B series

4.  Pulled or shelved programs "Because of Political Considerations"

Vietnam                                            15 programs (“outdated facts and figures: i.e., number of troops
                                                                  and  casualties, Premier Ky,  upcoming elections, etc.”)
Israeli/Arab                                      9 programs (“shows recorded before June war which  discuss Israel’s
                                                                  boundaries, divided City of Jerusalem, etc.”)
Dominican Republic Crisis               7 programs (“recorded during crisis”)
Watts Riot                                          6 programs (“discussion of Watts as only major riot in country”)
TV Shows                                        10 programs (“discussion of ‘current’ shows which are now off the
Mention of [Recording] Dates         10 programs
Dated Discussion of Current Music   6 programs
Dated Discussion of Fashion              2 programs
“The Happy Marriage of Sammy Davis and May Britt” – 3 programs
Rhodesia                                             4 programs (“Dated Discussions”)
Presidential Nominations and Elections   9 programs     
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