‘Loretta Young Show: Best of The Complete Series’ DVD: The Moby Grape Connection

Moby Grape-Peter LewisLoretta Young Show DVD

Baby Boomers with long memories may be stoked to learn that a 17-disc set of The Loretta Young Show: Best of The Complete Series- 100th Birthday Edition is due Feb. 12, 2013 from Timeless Media Group, a division of Shout! Factory. The price should be around $90.

As its title indicates, this isn’t a complete series collection, but a “best of the complete series” collection, which starts with the first telecast in 1953, when Young was the first female to host a network TV anthology series (hers was for NBC).  The show ran for eight seasons, until 1961.

Already an Oscar-winning actress for 1947’s The Farmer’s Daughter, Young (who died in 2000) also won three prime-time Emmys for her TV show.

Extras promised for the DVD set include: rare family home movies, a featurette of Young discussing her career and an interview with Young’s children.

The last extra intrigues me most, since one of Young’s offspring was Peter Lewis, when she was married to writer-producer Tom Lewis.

In his 20s, Hollywood brat Lewis migrated to San Francisco, where the guitarist and composer shot to fame as a founding member of Moby Grape, an incredibly potent rock band whose self-titled debut album was among the best rock records of the ’60s. That’s not just my opinion, but that of many critics.

But the band also was sidetracked by legal and management woes, group defections and the perception of being a “hyped” band by its label, Columbia, which released 10 of their debut disc’s 13 songs as singles (A and B sides) — simultaneously. Only one, Omaha, hit the charts.

Lewis (second from the right in the photo above) didn’t write that, but he did write some of Moby Grape’s best songs, including the pensive yet fervent Sitting By the Window, I Am Not Willing and the incendiary rocker Fall On You.

All this was a far cry from the wholesomeness and taste of Loretta Young. But let’s hope Peter Lewis made his mother proud.

— Bruce Westbrook

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