IBM - The Jack Sterling Show

Computer History Vignettes

By Bob Bemer

NOTE: If you can't stand puns, hit the "BACK" icon! From about 1959 to 1962, when I worked at IBM, the early morning CBS radio station in New York had a star named Jack Sterling. He filled the slot left when Arthur Godfrey moved on.

He had from 1950 to 1957 been the "ringmaster" of CBS's TV show "The Big Top", whose head clown was Ed McMahon, well disguised.

He had a small live band -- a guitarist named Mary Osborne, a bass player and pianist named Buddy Jones (obituary) , and a trombone player named Tyree Glenn (ex Cab Calloway and Benny Carter). A specialty of the program was a pseudo-history feature called "It happened this day, I think". I contributed a few, and Jack got to know me as "the IBM guy", at a time when IBM wasn't really all that big a company. Tyree the trombonist is featured in the first story.

We could catch them at home in Connecticut before leaving for the train station to commute to IBM in New York City. Here are some of mine:

AfterNote

In Las Vegas many years later, my wife Marion's bar companion turned out to be Jack Sterling. He remembered me and my monstrosities even then. She also learned that he had had an odd pattern in wives -- A B A B C.

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