Diamond Circle Award Winner
Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters' First Vice President Larry Vanderveen presented the organization's Diamond Circle Award to PPB member Milt Larsen at the May 10,2013 luncheon for Michael Feinstein. Below are Mr. Vanderveen's remarks introducing Mr. Larsen:
To many, today’s honoree is known as Magic Milt. But we in PPB know him as Milt Larsen. Milt has brought his magic to broadcasting for decades. In both television and radio he has made and continues to make significant contributions to our industry.
But he first learned about entertainment as a young boy traveling and performing all around the country with his highly successful magic family, He and his father Bill Sr., his mother Geri and his younger brother Bill Jr. brought the mystery of magic to thousands in a vaudeville style act that was a smash hit everywhere it played. The Seven Little Foys had nothing on the Four Larsens.
But that wasn’t enough of a challenge. They soon added broadcasting to their accomplishments. In the late 40s Mom, Geri, was the very first female magician to have a weekly TV show. It was right here in Los Angeles on KTLA.
Milt got the bug too. He decided he wanted to be a TV gag writer. A natural can do guy he soon found novel ways to study this new craft—like searching for old TV scripts in dumpsters behind studios—talking people into letting him write gags for nothing. And it paid off! His talent and his perseverance finally landed him a job as a staff writer and sometimes on camera bit player for Ralph Edwards' “Truth or Consequences” hosted by Bob Barker. He did well, because that job continued for 19 years. He played the same key writing role for numerous other TV shows including The Jim Nabors show. On top of all that Milt has written and produced magic specials for all three major networks. And you will find his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Today he brings his knack for creating unique entertainment to radio. For the past six years he has been producing and hosting two weekly programs for the Cable Radio Network. They celebrate and document the fabled Tin Pan Alley era of American Music, and its hit songs of the 20’s and 30’s. The first is called, “HEAR THEM AGAIN—For the First Time.” The second is titled “HIT PARADE CAVALCADE” and Academy Award winning composer Richard M. Sherman of the renowned Sherman Brothers composing team co-hosts with him. Among his many talents Milt is a song writer too and he and Richard have written a number of songs together.
On Milt’s magical journey through life he was able to make a dream of his father’s come true when he created the Magic Castle in Hollywood. 20th Century Fox is producing a movie based on the Castle. This world renowned magicians club is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. And all through those years it too has played a significant role in broadcasting by being the site of countless radio and TV station special events.
Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome the newest member of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Diamond Circle—Milt Larsen.
First VP Larry Vanderveen with award winner Milt Larsen