Radio: 400,000 Hopefuls

In a Radio City rehearsal studio last week, a 15-year-old girl in a bright-beaded dress sang a ragged version of Secret Love and then went into a tap dance that showed more vigor than precision. When she had finished, she stood, thin-armed and anxious, staring toward the control room where Director Lloyd Marx and Associate Producer Wanda Ellis were judging the auditions for the 1,000th performance of the Original Amateur Hour (Sat. 8:30 p.m., NBC-TV).

Marx turned on his microphone, said: "Thank you, ah ... Betsy. We've got your application form here, and we'll let you know if you're selected for one...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!