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November 10, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-11-10

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Sunday, November 10, 1974


Page Five

The romantic egotist: A young
but ambitious radio showman





Dragon Aire Ld. m eA, R Prent
A Film Concert.



Tomorrow morning, in an
apartment already filled with a
huge vintage record collection,
hanging flowerpot lampshades
and a slew of oversized books
on radio broadcasting and the
history of the railroad; some-
where on a wall alongside flash-
ing neon light Miller and Schlitz
beer signs, a collage of posters
commemorating every major
University event last year and
a rotating New York subway
destination indicator, there will
be a copy of this profile.
Its subject, Ludwig Guy Lau-
disi, will hang it ,there. And
that's because Luddy, as he is
known to his friends, is the uni-
versity's own romantic egotist,
a 19-year-old modern day Amory
Blaine. And just how the brash
only son of a Flushing oral sur-
geon long ago got it firmly fixed
in his mind that he would some-
day be the president of NBC
radio, is an interesting tale.
And equally interesting are some
of the incidents along the yet
unfinished path.
Luddy is perhaps best known
locally as dGuy Ludwig', the
host of a Sunday afternoon ra-
dio show on WCBN-FM called
Tuxedo Junction'. In many
ways a microcosm of Luddy's
whole world, it is an oldtime
radio variety show on the music
of the 1920's, 30's and 40's. Many
would call it nostalgia; Luddy
calls it 'vintage material.' Ei-
ther way it is generally ack-
nowedged as one of the best
produced shows on WCBN and
certainly the most innovative.
Luddy joined WCBN before he
began classes as a freshman a
year ago, and within weeks hadj
worked his way up to Assistant'
Production Manager; today he
heads production. But if things
happened quickly and explos-
ively for Luddy at 'CBN, that
was nothing new.
SITTING IN Luddy's distinc-
tive apartment over two
days this week, and listening to
a five hour virtual monologue,
the visitor finds one anecdote
more colorful and more outrag-j
eous than the last. Luddy's
voice, fittingly, is the key, even
if it is at odds with the rest
of his appearance. Rapid fire,
full of resonance and inflection,
only occasionally a bit high pit-
ched, the voice is his most pow-
erful tool. Nonetheless, in a typ-
ical Luddy anomaly, everything
else about him speaks to apple-
cheeked youth: a perfect rosy
complexion, peach fuzz side-
burns, a toothy smile which
makes his wide face seem even
wider, and a Dennis the Men-
ace mop of brown hair combed
across his forehead. The pi-c
ture seems even a bit more odd
as he pads around his apart-
ment in a pair of soft slippers,
a flower-print shirt with puffed
sleeves and a pair of wide-cuf-
fed corduroy pants pattern-pat-
ched at the crotch.
If Luddy's memory of his own
childhood is as sharp as it is,'
say, of Fred Astaire's, then he
was about four years old when
he began tuning in Dick Clark's
American Bandstand back in
1959. From 5:00 until 5:30 each
day he watched intently and as
soon as it ended, raced down lo
the basement of his house. For
the next half hour he conduct-
ed his own timed imitation, play-
ing each part himself and in-
cluding the dancing, the Beech
Nut flavorific commercials and'
the record dedications.
At the age of 8, Luddy began
spending summers with his fam-
ily at a quiet oceanside resort in


Ocean City, Maryland. It was SURPRISINGLY, Luddy de-
there that he got, as he might votes a large amount of
put it, the 'Big Break.' A roving time to his studies. Partly in
interviewer for local radio 7ta- deference to his father, he is in:
tion WETT discovered him do- a pre-law program and once
ing uncanny President Kennedy Luddy chooses a course, he pur-
imitations by the hotel pool- sues it seriously.
side. "I had a very c I e a r But if there is a decidedly pro-,
vieand I wasn't afraid to;
talk" buddy remember. "Sot fessional side to Luddy, there is
talk," Luddy remembers. '"Sortanqulymprntndc-
of like Mason Reese, only he's tratng llyside: the sentimental
I traerinhgnsideasthehsentimentali
cuter than I was. They invited romantic. The lore of the rail-
me over to the station and gave roads fascinate him and right
me a job talking about old gnu- now his closet is filled with AM-
sic with a regular D.J." TRAC souvenirs, garnered dur-
lY THE AGE of 14, buddy ing a recent trip to Chicago. He
Shad erased any lingering writes puerile love poems to a
host of women and loves to read
doubts about what he wanted to them aloud. And he is unabash-
do with his life. It was then, edly star struck. He's dying to
still short and baby faced, that go out with Caroline Kennedy
he took a subway trip to the and can reel off a dozen film
huge NBC building in midtown I and music stars he's been
Manhattan. Picking out a name dreaming of meeting for years.
from the list in the NBC lowby, In fact Luddy was so awed run-
he confidently took the elevator ning into idol Benny Goodman
upstairs, strode in to a ticeIat an airport sometime back,
president's office and announced that he found himself at a loss
to the secretary in his c!zar, for words for one of the few

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prepubescent voice, that


times in his life.

wanted to talk to ner boss about' A m e .1
old time radio. She was foor-BUT MORE than anything, it
ed, but a few minutes later,B is the music of Tuxedo
there was Luddy, sitting on V P. Junction which is the focus ofled his way into an interview women he meets: "How do you
Ed Wynn'ssknee, firing esoter- Ludyntgreatest love. t with a certain beautiful and suc- make love?" Stunnedtdisbelief
ic questionsy atkhimloaemileia, ;cessful woman pop singer who, spread through the studio, but
minute. Before long Luddy had f on tantly m a y s toai, for discretionaryureasons. can- the heretofore morose young
fudamno inpouerfondling it," he says straight- tehrtfremrs on
fd al ntr. An by age17 forwardly. "And I don't think not be named. Suffice it to saysne brk ino htrca
Daniel Sutter. And by age 17, we've had full intercourse yet." she's one of the real biggies. singer broke into ysterica
Luddy had worked as NBC's The show, in fact, is an excellent The tape was going to be used laughter.
youngest-ever production assist-e mix of Luddy's interests. T h e as a promotional device among
ant and spent a summer as professional side of which he college audiences. But Luddy AND) THAT'S not all: To the
Community Affairs Director for is so conscious, is evident in as ot your typical interviewer dismay of nearly everyone
New York radio station WTFM. ihs t r iont in and the tape has never been re- there, she answered buddy's
'the tight production, the 110 ;amrseasee ud
Through all of this, Luddy minutes carefully accounted for, leased. When the two of them question-- in graphic terms,
was soaking in knowledge. Hef "I'm not a deejay pulling re finally sat down in the studio,
claims to have read every avail- cords or putaing together an hour: surrounded by engineers a n d Which figures.
able book on chain broadcasting. of Bessie Smith or a half hour executives, Luddy began with a
'Although his vision of network Iftier." he " simple question he asks most
of Bin Crosb l~~LJO

t Ann Arbor
Kosher Meat Co-op
Nov. 10 at 7:00 at
HILLEL, 1429 Hill St.
for ordering and
discussing last
week's order

SUNDAY, NOV. 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets at the Power
For Information Call

Box Office, 11-2:30 p.m.


radio is based primarily on a
pure love, he also maintains an'
abiding belief in a medium that
has for many years been written
off by those who control the
pursestrings. "TV is the most
powerful medium now, but radio
has the most potential. F a r
more people listen to radio each
day. Network radio is dying
fast but it is the largest in-
tapped medium in the business.
Radio may be dull and unexcit-
ing now, but it doesn't have to
be." Although Luddy is loath
to divulge specific ideas f o r
change, he makes no bonesI
about the fact that he has plen-
ty. "I carry a file with me'
wherever I go. I probably have
over 500 entries ranging f r o m
changing the NBC logo to re-
structuring the entire ;orporate
heirarchy. I'm a high ass, but
I don't push where I'm not con-
fident. I don't want to frighten:
people with my ambition."

U1 "ag _vv , Ic a yb . I
work at the show." Between
such features as Great Mo-
ments from Old Time Radio and
Special Guest Artist of the
Week, Luddy's monologues are
not only packed with informa-
tion, but also with the warmth
that comes from familiarity and
appreciation. "I call it vintage
material to distinguish it from
old. It's like a good wine. You
have no idea how many life-'
less studio bands and harmo-iica
bands there were then, how
much junk."
If there is any story that epit-
omizes Luddy, it's the one he
tells about a hustle he pulled
off this summer. Luddy is at }
his best describing it to a groun,
managing to take center stage,
doing a perfect if unconscious'
Johnny Carson late-night rcu-
To put it simply, Luddy finag-

.. . -..,..s




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"One of the last great entertainments!"
The Private Life
of Sherlock Holmes
Is The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes the best American
film of the last five years? This 1970 Billy Wilder produc-
tion, which opened as Radio City Music Hall's Christmas
attraction but :oon drifted into critical oblivion and com-
mercial disaster, now qualifies as a maior rediscovery of
the '70's.
However, don't let its relative obscurity fool you-The Pri-
vate Life of Sherlock Holmes is for from being an esoteric
film. In fact, it may be one of the last great entertain-
ments-a film in which style, comedy, plot, and meaninq
are blended with the ease and assurance that character-
ized the old Hollvywood masters.
In addition to its lively script, visual flair, and fantastic
Miklos Rosza score, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is
also one of the most ingenious mysteries ever written for
the screen. A cage full of canaries, a mysterious woman
saved from drowning. "a swan that really isn't a swan,"
four midgets at a lonelygravesite, a group of four Trappist
monks, a "red runner" the code-word "Jonah". Kaiser
Wilhelm, and Loch Ness: these are iust a few of the clues
that unravel in an intricate chain of events leading to a
truly surprising conclusion-perhaps too surprising, even,
for the redoubtable Mr. Holmes.
But, besides being a mystery, The Private Life of Sherlock
Holmes also has mystery, if you know what I mean. And at
the center of this mystery is the character of the legendary
arch-decettive, Sherlock Holmes. The film opens with a
safe-deposit box being opened and a series of dusty obiects
being extracted from it-a hypodermic, a violin concerto,
a deerstalker, a pipe, and a Rosebud-like glass ball con-
taining a bust of Queen Victoria. A handwritten manuscript
narrated by Dr. Watson tells us that 50 years after Holmes'
death, we will learn of this case, one of Holmes' few
faiures .
Was Holmes really a supersle.uth, or was he the creation of
his sometimes overzealous chronicler, Dr. Watson? Was
Holmes one of the last romantics, or an unfeeling thinking
machine? Was he a homosexual, or the victim of a tragic
love affair? At the end of all these questions is a syringe
filled with opium, which allows Holmes to conguer the ag-
onizing boredom that so often afflicts him and to smooth
over the contradictions in his elusive character.
Finally, the film is about myth-making. Sherlock Holmes,
the Loch Ness monster. Romanticism, the Victorian age-
these are some of the myths the film treats, myths that be-
come real more than the reality that debunks them, iust as
World War I will debunk the Nineteenth Century that is
dving at the film's end. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
is a very funny film and a very melancholy one, very cyni-
cal and very romantic. It is on old-fashioned film and a
very modern one. It is a film for all audiences, particularly
that rather large audience that missed it the first time
around, and perhaps now, five years after the fact, film so-
cieties and revival houses will give it a well-deserved second
A NLr3HT~LIT:,ac.... Wad,.JTL..... b NovIf10 2 1'A1





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