PODCAST: Radio City Music Hall & the Rockettes

Behind the glamour of New York’s greatest stage Radio City Music Hall is a story involving a toothpaste tube designer, an allergy to Brazil nuts, a hydraulic lift protected from the Nazis, and a man named Roxy. PLUS: The Bowery Boys go backstage (well, figuratively) with the Rockettes.

Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE

The Rockettes in practice:

Radio City’s movie / stage extravaganza combo:

By the way, a couple of our richer anecdotes are from one of my favorite books about New York City — Great Fortune: the Epic of Rockefeller Center by Daniel Okrent. On top of being well written, Okrent gives delicious insight and lush description to a story that could have been bogged down in uninteresting details.

5 replies on “PODCAST: Radio City Music Hall & the Rockettes”

Wonderful podcast about Radio City. Well researched and presented. One correction, Roxy didn’t bring the, to be named Roxyettes, from Missouri, he saw one of the lines directed by Russell Markert rehearsing in New York. They had already left Missouri, went on the road including Chicago, and finally came to New York where they were preparing for a Broadway revue. Phyllis Garr (Terri Garr’s mother), one of the dancers, knew Charles Previn. Charles Previn brought Roxy and Leon Leonidoff to the rehearsal. When Roxy saw them he had to have the dancers for the Roxy Theater. Markert hired more dancers and trained them for the Roxy Theater, the Broadway show “Rain or Shine” and additional lines for the Vaudeville circuit. When Roxy went to Radio City he brought Markert and the Roxyettes with him. After the Roxy Theater brought suit against Radio City, not only the RKO Roxy had to change it’s name to the Center Theater, so did the Roxyettes at Radio City, they then became the Rockettes. Whether this name change reflects the Rockefeller name or not is interesting and may in fact be a serendipitous coincidence as the group originally was known as the Missouri Rockets, then later The American Rockets, and Russell Markert retained ownership of the act, until he sold the name to Radio City many years later.

Keep up the great work on presenting New York’s wonderful and colorful history. It will always be my favorite city in the world and the Rockettes are my favorite dance ensemble…especially since I was one.

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