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Remembering TV's Magic Days

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Jan Murray and Jack Smith both died recently. I remember them as part of a time when just about anything on TV was magic and the people who brought it to you were giants.

Smith was the host of "You Asked For It." Folks wrote in and Jack would take his viewers, say, to the inside of the vaults at Fort Knox. Our jaws dropped and we dutifully bought Skippy peanut butter in loyalty to the show's sponsor. Smith had been a singer — he even replaced Bing Crosby at the Coconut Grove once upon a time

Jan Murray hosted "Treasure Hunt," a less-memorable show — but Murray was more important than the game. His banter, his hunger to please the audience, came right through the TV screen. Murray's show biz career started in the Catskills. He was a tumbler — the guy who wandered the grounds of Jewish resorts, doing anything for a laugh.

I have hundreds of channels on my TV now. Back then, there were three or four. I can't remember what I watched yesterday — but I sure remember 40 years ago.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith