Sometimes famous people can help a little piece of history to survive…and sometimes they can’t

A black newspaper in Cleveland covered Lowe’s Mike Douglas appearance with a detailed review of her interview—-this is fortunate because it is the ONLY coverage of her Mike Douglas appearance. (Ann Lowe is in the hat) Where are the Rolling Stones when you need them?

In late 1964, Ann Lowe appeared on the Mike Douglas show. As far as I know, this was her only television appearance. Wouldn’t it be incredible to watch it!!?

The show was taped and aired a few times in different markets between late December 1964 and early January 1965. Actual footage of the program did not survive much longer than that. A very friendly archivist at Temple University poked through the leftovers of the Mike Douglas archive for me in 2011 (the show was filmed at KYW in Cleveland—that station moved to Philadelphia in late 1965 and the Douglas show—along with any of their old taped footage, moved with it). The reason the footage didn’t survive makes me laugh a bit because it is the complete opposite of another problem I’ve run into during my research: The early Mike Douglas shows with surviving footage only feature top celebrities—The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke—LOTS of footage survives (and can even be found on YouTube) from Mike Douglas shows shot before the Ann Lowe show—and if she’d been scheduled on the same show as Mick Jagger? Her appearance would probably still exist. Unfortunately, her show featured two opera singers and Mia Farrow during her Peyton Place days. A tweet to Mia Farrow about this appearance remains unanswered 🙂

And here come the Rolling Stones when I DON’T need their help. They made this back issue too expensive to afford!!!

On the flip side of that problem, the challenge of finding original magazine back issues at inexpensive prices when someone famous is on the cover. There’s a full page photo of a gorgeous Ann Lowe deb gown in here(NOT the dress on the cover), and for several years I could only find it at the Library of Congress. Anytime the issue showed up on Ebay or magazine back issue websites, it was priced for the Rolling Stones appearance on the cover. Right when I gave up on the idea of getting my own copy, it showed up as a gift in an amazing bunch of Lowe related documents and archival material for me.

Society’s Best Kept Secret…that’s ANN LOWE!

The same problem came up with one of the best magazine interviews Ann Lowe gave during her career. A 1964 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. I don’t know anything about football, but when I complained to my football loving father that “I can’t afford this Saturday Evening Post issue because somebody named Johnny Unitas is on the cover” the way he tried to hide his laughter about someone who had never heard of Johnny Unitas showed me that I probably wouldn’t be able to find this issue for less than fifty dollars. So for a  while, I got by with some grainy microfilm copies and then I got very lucky and someone I interviewed about Lowe gave me a carefully saved original clipping of the interview. (One of Lowe’s earliest Florida clients saved it–which makes it very special to have in its own right). There’s something so wonderful about seeing it in the original full magazine that you can touch and flip through though. My usual go to for this kind of thing (the library at UMass Amherst and as a back up, the rest of the 5 colleges) didn’t have bound copies of the Saturday Evening Post, so I gave up on the idea of finding one.  And then suddenly, a number of my Ann Lowe contacts (former clients, former business associates) started giving me original back issues of this magazine. A case of be careful what you wish for, I think. Because now I have enough original copies of this magazine to start my own Johnny Unitas memorabilia website!

If you ever come across that footage of Ann Lowe on the Mike Douglas show, do get in touch—new things get posted on YouTube all of the time and stranger things have happened, I suppose! The music group was “The Motions” and It was episode 79.