Piano Lessons (lost early television series; 1931-1932)

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PLAldoRandegger.jpg

Professor G. Aldo Randegger, the host of Piano Lessons.

Status: Lost

Piano Lessons was a very early television series, airing on W2XAB New York City, an experimental mechanical television branch of the Columbia Broadcasting System and predecessor of the current WCBS-TV affiliate. It is one of the earliest regularly scheduled television programs, with the first episode premiering on October 8th, 1931.[1]

Premise

Piano Lessons was hosted by Professor G. Aldo Randegger, who gave piano lessons on live television.[2]

According to a television listing from September 24th, 1932, the series would air at 8:15 PM on Mondays, after The Television Ghost and before Ukulele player Jack Peterson.[3] However, in another television listing from January 18th, 1932, the show was stated to air at 9:00 PM, after songs by Doris Sharp and before songs by the Shannon Brothers.[4] The show was broadcast as a a 30-minute series, with it later airing in a 15-minute time slot.

Allen Polner, a letter writer from Brooklyn, New York, said in an excerpt from the September 19th, 1932 issue of The New York Sun, was impressed with shows that aired on W2XAB, including Piano Lessons:
"Television programs are improving, especially from W2XAB. Last week I looked in and was more than pleased with the results. Gladys Kahn and Jane Whitney come through fair, as did Aldo Randegger and his piano."[5]

Availability

Due to the early nature of the experimental mechanical television technology, shows had to be broadcasted live and could not be recorded by the network, or anyone else for that matter. Because of this, shows like Piano Lessons and The Television Ghost are most likely permanently lost, with almost no chance of them ever resurfacing again. Only a few newspaper articles from around the time of Piano Lessons airing prove the shows' existence.

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References