Living Memories New York City Television

Remembering: The Price Is Right

piano keys illustration
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Host Bob Barker‘s recent passing at age 99 brought back memories of my experience on The Price Is Right stage as a ten-year-old in the late 1950s.

Our family would visit relatives in New Jersey during our vacations from our home in Ohio. In those days, shows like The Price Is Right were filmed in New York City studios. Like others have recently commented, watching The Price Is Right on TV is what you did if you were home sick from school or if school was closed for a snow day.

Somehow my Dad qualified to be a contestant. He won big on the first day, so they brought him back for a second day (where he won nothing more). At the end of day one after the cameras were off, host Bill Cullen had me join them on stage. Cullen then asked my Dad to bring me back for day two – that’s when I was on the show. I remember my Dad needing to wear a blue shirt for the show – white shirts were too bright for the cameras!

A few months after we returned home, Dad bought an audio recording of the show on a 78 rpm record which was mailed to him. We had fun listening to the scratchy bidding replay on our record player, though there was no video back then.

One item my Dad won was an upright Sohmer piano, shipped to our Ohio home. I wasn’t thrilled about it, as my parents immediately pushed me to take lessons! Like many forced into childhood piano lessons, I wish I had practiced more and truly learned to play.

It’s funny what sparks these old memories. Bob Barker and The Price Is Right take me back to a simpler time.