Respondent
Crantz, David Milton
Interview Date
May 9, 1991
Abstract
Crantz, David, a local television and radio personality graduated from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and was employed with WDTV in Pittsburgh for thirty years; birth year, 1924;
[T1S1] his birth in Wechsler Maternity Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA; parents' emigration from Russia; family background information; father's education, University of Pittsburgh, Pharmacy School; his grandfather's jewelry store in Lawrenceville, PA; early life in Lawrenceville; attending the synagogue there; his father's service as treasurer of the synagogue in Lawrenceville; family residences; education, McCandless School, McCleary School and Peabody High School; his religious education; high school activities; attending Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama; recollections of the outbreak of WWII in 1941; his enlistment in the Army Air Corps in 1943; his work as a meteorologist during the war; his involvement with Yiddish Theatre and other theatrical productions while in the Air Corps;
[T1S2] 1946, meets his future wife, Lucy Seibert; completes his education at Carnegie Mellon University in 1948; employment with the Pittsburgh Playhouse; names of theater productions and theater people he has been involved with; comments about comic performers in the theater; his work promoting theater acts with Ken Welsch; writing a musical review called <i>Fifty Grand</i>; marriage to Lucy Seibert in 1950; difficulties with his family over his marriage to a non-Jew; birth of children; his children's careers; discussion of early years of marriage;
[T2S3] the merger of Pittsburgh Playhouse with Point Park College; discussion of Frank Blandi, a restaurant owner in the city; his employment with WDTV, Channel 4 in Pittsburgh; some history of Pittsburgh television stations; employment with the Hank Stohl Show on WDTV with Joe Negri, Rickie Wirtz, and Nick Perry; his work as Promotions Manager for Channel 4 for twenty years; trips to Hollywood to meet celebrities; board member, Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, president, Radio and Television Club; master of ceremonies for dinners in Washington, DC honoring native Pennsylvanians, such as Gene Kelly, Ed Wynn, Fred Rogers, Jimmy Stewart and Arnold Palmer; hosting a series of live television shows in 1963; 1970, host for Charlie Chan movies in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC; board member, Civic Light Opera, and Mendelssohn Choir;
[T2S4] his work as an assistant to Franklin Snyder, one of the pioneers in broadcasting; names of classmates at Carnegie Mellon who went on to become famous; recollections of the McCarthy Era; discussion of the show <i>Fifty Grand</i> at the Pittsburgh Playhouse; publication of some songs from the show; experiences with anti-Semitism as a youth; effects of the depression on his family; meeting celebrities in New York;
[T3S5] review of family background information and early life in Lawrenceville and Stanton Heights; his father's jewelry business; atmosphere in parents' home; discussion of the Frick Teachers Training School where his sister attended; his sister's education and career; further discussion of his children's careers and families; views about the problems of raising children in a mixed marriage; his relationship with Senator John Heinz; hearing of John Heinz death in 1991; his work with colleague Paul Long; discussion of his relationship with Nick Perry and the lottery scandal; extensive list of names of colleagues with whom he has worked;
[T3S6] continuation of names of colleagues and acquaintances; teaching a continuing education course at the University of Pittsburgh; president, Pittsburgh Rotary Club; views about the anchor people at Channel 4 News; discussion of his public relations jobs; plans for the future; travels; description of his wife; changes in the city of Pittsburgh;
[T4S7] 1990, begins a radio program called "The Great Years"; views about Sophie Masloff; his work as master of ceremonies for various organizations and occasions; views about Art Rooney; colleagues who worked with him on "The Great Years" radio show;
[T4S8] some jokes; discussion of Myron Cope, sportscaster for WTAE; discussion of his family's retail business and the 200th anniversary of Jewish merchants selling in Frederickstown, PA; the Lawrenceville stores owned by Jews.
Subjects
Cope, Myron; Heinz, John, 1938-1991; Hospitals; Wechsler Maternity Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Intermarriage; Masloff, Sophie, 1917-; Musicians; Music; Negri, Joe; Perry, Nick, 1916-2003; Rooney, Art, 1901-1988; Television; Radio; WDTV (Television station : Pittsburgh, Pa.); WTAE (Television station : Pittsburgh, Pa.); Wirtz, Rickie
Birth Date
1924
City
Pittsburgh, PA
Country
Russia
Profession
Radio, TV
Work
WDTV, WTAE
Occupation (father)
Pharmacist
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Dinman, Gabrielle
Interviewer2
Harrison, Mary
Indexer
Harrison
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 1
Identifier
ais196440.087
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh