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Ted Mack’s Biography
Born in Greeley (Colorado), his real name was William Edward Maguiness .
At the end of the 1920s clarinetist Mack formed a dance group with his real name. A nightclub owner did not like the name “Edward Maguiness” on his tent, which is why he impulsively changed the name of the band leader to a shorter and more energetic “Ted Mack,” and that ended up paying off.
The Original Amateur Hour program began broadcasting on the radio in 1934 as Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, until in 1946 Edward Bowes, its creator, passed away. Mack, a scout who had directed the show during the time of Bowes, revived it in 1948 for ABC Radio and the DuMont Television Network. Its radio broadcast lasted until 1952, and television until 1970, broadcasting in this medium in the four major channels, ending up being a fundamental program of Sunday afternoons on CBS. A hit from the early days of television, the program inspired many other scouting shows, including The Gong Show, Star Search, American Idol and America’s Got Talent.
The tests for the show generally took place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Those that surpassed the initial selection were invited to compete in the program, and their performances were judged by the viewers, who voted by letter or by telephone calls. Contestants who won three times won monetary prizes, scholarships, or participation in an itinerant theatrical show related to the program.
Among the winners who continued in the world of entertainment are Gladys Knight, Ann-Margret, Pat Boone, Raul Julia, Teresa Brewer, Irene Cara, The Rock and Roll Trio and Los Concertinos de Puerto Rico.
Mack and his wife, Ellen, had no children, although they welcomed children from Catholic charities into their homes. Ted Mack died in 1976 in Sleepy Hollow (New York), because of the complications of cancer.
More Facts about Ted Mack
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