Leonard Marvin Widom (11/07/1918 – 04/18/1976) worked in the broadcast industry for the Armed Forces Radio & Television Service, the American Broadcasting Company, and the Columbia Broadcasting System. His AFRTS shows included Jubilee, Command Performance, Show Business, Bud’s Bandwagon, and Spotlight Album.
Bud’s Bandwagon was the longest running program for Widom with over six hundred shows produced in the mid 1950s. The show format usually included a show business or entertainment personality that Widom interviewed as part of the show. A partial list of guests from the first shows included: Burt Lancaster, Nick Lucas, Mel Torme, Doris Day, Ray Anthony, Robert Stack, Geraldo, Harry & Henry Tobias, Jeanette McDonald, Barry Sullivan, Dimitri Tiomkin, Ed Wynn, Rex Reason, Frankie Laine, Duke Ellington, Loretta Young, William Lundigan, Baby Rose Marie, Shep Fields & Dean Hudson, Johnny Mercer & Frank Devol, Gwen Wakely, Lois Butler, Jerry Colonna, Maynard Ferguson, Edmund O’Brien, Martha Stewart, , The Bell Sisters, Dan Dailey, Jose Ferrer, Champ Butler, June Christy, and Michael Blankford.
Bud’s Bandwagon – Program #487 Johnny Holiday
Bud’s Bandwagon – Program #560 Nesuhi Ertegun
Bud’s AFRTS recording unit had a mobile unit that allowed the program to be taped at Hollywood premiers such as A Star Is Born at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Jack Carson, Mamie Van Doren, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilder, Peggy Lee, Sophie Tucker, and Ray Bolger were some of the celebrities attending the premier that Bud had on mike for a few moments.
Coverage of an earlier premier involved Widom as well.
U.S. Foreign Radio Coverage of Jazz Singer Tomorrow
Radio coverage girdling the globe in English as well as foreign languages, has been set up for the gala world premiere tomorrow night of The Jazz Singer, Warner Bros. Technicolor feature starring Danny Thomas and Peggy Lee.
Carrying the event to American and Allied military installations around the world in every spot that can be reached by short wave and regular channels, will be Armed Forces Radio Service, which will have Bud Widom broadcasting and taping under supervision of Col. Mason Wright, commandant of AFRS.
Joe Yocam, Lynn Castile and Shirley Thomas will be at the mike with a running account of the vivid festivities, which is scheduled for one of the largest star turn-outs in Hollywood history.
Bud Widom was hired by KABC television and radio in March of 1956 as a director. He worked with Bruce Lansbury on the Hank Weaver KABC-show for many seasons. Widom rejoined the AFRS in the 1960s where he hosted the Spotlight Album program. He was promoted to director of news-special events for the Far East Network in 1966.
Bud Widom married Constance H. Meyer on October 28, 1949. The Widom’s had one son and two daughters.