100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

December 25, 1987 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I ENTERTAINMENT]

1 COUPON 1 —




FAMILY ITALIAN DINING & PIZZA

4033 W. 12 MILE, 3 Blks. E. of Greenfield
548-3650
Berkley

Mostly Sonny

Continued from preceding page

ROUND PIZZA
SQUARE PIZZA
PIZZA RIBS—FISH
HOMMADE GARLIC BREAD SMALL OR LARGE SMALL—MED---LARGE

'1 OFF

p.m. Monday through Friday
on WWJ-radio. "Now it's sim-
ple and easy. Before,
everything was live. We didn't
have tape so you couldn't
erase a fluff and sound effects
were done manually. But
radio was fun then — still is."
During World War II, Mar-
vin Schlossberg was a B-24
bomber pilot. It was during
his 16 bombingmission some
twomiles over Gotha, Ger-
many that his plane was at-
tacked and one of his
crewmen was hit. To save the
crewman's life, he was tossed
out of the plane.
"As we watched him plunge
toward the earth," Sonny
remembers, "his chute open-
ed and we knew he would be
all right!'
Sonny was the last to jump
and was met by a bullet to the
leg. Coming to earth, he
fought to free himself from
his chute and looked up to see
farmers running toward him.

ON FOOD PURCHASES
OF $6 OR MORE

DINING ROOM, CARRY-OUT

Expires Jan. 31, 1988

•BEER • WINE
• BANQUET ROOMS
• COMPLETE CARRY-OUT • COCKTAILS

r

THE BRASS POINTE

FALL SPECIALS

11 45
BAR-B-Q CHICKEN FOR 2 $ 795

BAR-B-Q SLAB FOR 2.. $

I

I GOOD AMUR! ANYDAY!

DINE-IN OR CARRY-OUT

Expires 12-31-87

THE BRASS POINTE

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 11 a.m.
476-1377
24234. Orchard Lake Rd. at 10 Mile

NEW YEAR
SPECIAL

VIENNA

dr

OR

WILNO KOSHER

SALAMI

$399



lb.

NO LIMIT!


,

OPEN NEW YEAR'S DAY 10 TO 8

$5 OFF

ON THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL
MEAT OR DAIRY TRAYS ANYWHERE.

WITH THIS COUPON

Expires 1-9-88

ORDER NOW FOR
NEW YEAR'S EVE!

STAR DELI

24555 W. 12 MILE, Just West of Telegraph, Southfield

C il 1

352-7377

OPEN 7 DAYS
7 a.m. to 10 p.m

1.1110111K011111114

52

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 1987

I

For two days, Sonny was
held captive in a farmhouse
while the fanners argued over
whether they should shoot
him or hang him. Eventually,
he and the other crewmen —
all of whom survived — were
arrested by the SS troops and
locked in a boxcar with mere
scraps of food for ten days.
They were then sent to a
prison camp, where Sonny
was wrongly suspected of
knowing military secrets. He
was placed in solitary confine-
ment for &week. From there,
he was sent to Stalag Luft No.
1, near Barth, where he spent
the rest of his prison days.
Always the performer, Sonny
would organize camp shows,
taking them "on tour" from
barrack to barrack.
Along with the side shows,
Sonny and his fellow POWs
worked furiously for seven
months trying to dig a tunnel
from under the barracks to
beyond the prison fence until
it was discovered by police
dogs.
With bits of scrap metal and
glass, the prisoners somehow
put together a- radio and
received broadcasts from the
BBC. Sonny would hear
reports of what was happen-
ing in nearby concentration
camps.
During his prison inter-
rogation, Sonny was asked
about his religion.
Schlossberg is a Jewish name,
but it is also a German name.
Having heard stories about
how the German Jews were
treated, Sonny claimed to be
Lutheran. The Germans
eventually uncovered the
truth, but by then it didn't
make a difference. .
Thinking back on those
days, Sonny catches a faraway
look in his green eyes and

Sonny Eliot has become a broadcast institution in Detroit.

clutches his hands tightly on
the table. "We knew," he says.
"I don't see how anyone
couldn't realize it. The extent
of the genocide wasn't known.
Nobody knew the horror. Un-
til you've walked into a
crematorium . . . The smell
. . . I'll never forget!'
In May 1945, the camp was
liberated by the Russians and
among the 15,000 men freed -
was a shrunken 90-pound
Marvin Schlossberg (who
would eventually change his
name legally to Sonny Eliot
"for marquee value!")
But the experiences as . a
POW left lasting impressions
on Sonny. "It affected my
philosophy of life," he says, his
voice sounding so serious — so
out of character for Sonny
Eliot. "It changes values. It
changes your whole sense of
values!'
Since those days behind the
barbed wire, Sonny has
developed a watchword- for
himself: "Live while you live,
then die and be done with it!'
Following the war, Sonny
returned to Wayne Universi-
ty, taking courses in writing
and journalism. It was at a
post-war party that he met
his wife, Annette, a school
teacher, who Sonny still
describes as "the best friend
I've got!' The two still live
downtown in Lafayette Park.
For 21 years, Sonny and An-
nette jointly hosted Detroit's
Thanksgiving parade, slan-
ting their coverage towards
children. (They never had any
children of their own.) No
longer hosting the parade,
Sonny said it's one job he real-
ly misses.
Sonny's career in TV began
with a bit part on a local,
variety show produced by
WWJ-TV, and turned into a
32-year engagement. During
that time, Sonny hosted a
variety of programs from quiz
shows to comedy shows, in-
cluding the 17-year series At

the Zoo. But it was his special
talent for turning the
weather into a variety show
that earned Sonny his name
in Detroit.
Despite many offers along
the way, Sonny stayed with
Channel 4 for three straight
decades, until Channel 2
made him an offer he couldn't
refuse.
But somehow, the sun
wasn't shining for Sonny. In
1983, after only a short time
with the station, Sonny Eliot
was let go. "I don't like the
term fired," he says. "My con-
tract was bought out!'
Like most of the local
weathercasters, the station
chose to go with a more
serious approach to the
weather — a move Sonny calls
a big mistake.
"They bore me," Sonny says
of most of today's weather-
casters. "They take
themselves too seriously.
There is a time you have to be •
serious when weather is
severe. But 95 percent of the
time, the weather is not
severe. Choosing the same
cities and the same numbers
— they bore me!'
Sonny has quite a different
approach to weather. "I
always look for something to
make it more humorous —
fact embroidered with humor,
clever and corny!' He never
plans exacatacally what he's
going to say on the air. He
never uses cue cards or
teleprompters. Before the
show, he has an idea of what
he's going to say and then he
wings it. "The secret is to
make it look fresh."
For Sonny, the weathercast
isn't only a meteorological
report, but also a chance to
perform. "It's a release. Per-
forming lets you get away
from yourself?'
Along with his love for per-
forming comes his love for the
audience. "I love their
recognition and acceptance —

.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan