Tuesday, September 13, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Dick Van Dyke
Song:Step In Time
Album:Mary Poppins: 2 Disc Special Edition Soundtrack
Dick Van Dyke has been a star of stage, screen and especially TV for over 60 years. He's probably best loved for his early 60s sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. Step In Time is his big number from the very popular 1964 movie musical Mary Poppins. He was born Dec. 13, 1935 in West Plains, MO and grew up in Danville, IL. He became a radio announcer when he was in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. After the war, he moved back to Danville to be a radio announcer. He formed a comedy duo with Phil Erickson called Eric & Van-The Merry Mutes. It was a mime act. They toured the west coast. Van Dyke did all kinds of TV in the 50s and signed a seven year contract with CBS in 1957. He hosted the CBS Morning News with Walter Cronkite. His big break came when he auditioned for the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie in 1959. When he got the lead role, he told director and legendary dancer and choreographer Gower Champion that he couldn't dance. Champion said he would teach him to dance. The end result was a Best Actor Tony for Van Dyke. Meanwhile Carl Reiner created and starred in the sitcom Head Of The Family based on his experiences writing for the TV series Your Show Of Shows. CBS and producer Sheldon Leonard liked the show but didn't like Reiner in the show. So they hired Van Dyke to replace him. The show was a hit for six seasons and made Van Dyke a star. Van Dyke made his film debut in the 1963 film version of Bye Bye Birdie. Then Disney was casting Mary Poppins. They hired Julie Andrews after Jack Warner stupidly rejected her for My Fair Lady. They cast Van Dyke in the roles of Bert and Mr. Dawes after seeing him on TV. Despite his terrible Cockney accent, Van Dyke did a great job and the film was hugely successful. It won several Oscars for the music by Richard and Robert Sherman. Step In Time was Van Dyke's big number at the end of the film. This 2CD edition has a lot of interviews and outtakes. With the exception of the 1967 musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Van Dyke's attempt at a film career wasn't successful. He returned to TV in the 70s with a sitcom and variety show. He finally had success with the 90s detective show Diagnosis Murder with his son Barry Van Dyke. He still turns up occasionally on TV and spends a lot of time creating computer animation. He created the special effects for Diagnosis Murder. He recorded briefly in the 60s for Jamie Records but for the most part, Dick Van Dyke's versatility has earned him status as a TV icon. Here's Dick Van Dyke performing Step In Time in the 1964 film Mary Poppins.