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Great Americans: James C. Petrillo - Union Leader - Musician - Trumpet Player
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01-12-2019 01:22 PM

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Great Americans: James C. Petrillo - Union Leader - Musician - Trumpet Player
''Whats My Line?'' - 9 September 1956

This movie is part of public domain.


An episode of 'What's My Line?', a popular 1950s game show. This episode is hosted by John Daly, with panelists Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen and Tony Randall. Mystery guests include James C. Petrillo, along with Ernie Kovacs & Edie Adams. This episode is also interesting for being a rare example of a 1950s game show episode with an Asian contestant.


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James Caesar Petrillo (March 16, 1892 – October 23, 1984) was the leader of the American Federation of Musicians, a trade union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada.

Petrillo was born in Chicago, Illinois. Though, in his youth, Petrillo played the trumpet, he finally made a career out of organizing musicians into the union starting in 1919.
Petrillo became president of the Chicago Local 10 of the musician's union in 1922, and was president of the American Federation of Musicians from 1940 to 1958.[1] He was ousted from his role as president when segregation became unpopular. It was becoming a more popular idea that the Local 10 (white musicians union) and Local 208 (black musicians union) would merge. He opposed this, which contributed to his dethroning.

The round-faced, bespectacled Petrillo dominated the union with absolute authority. His most famous actions were banning all commercial recordings by union members from 1942–1944 and again in 1948 to pressure record companies to give better royalty deals to musicians;[2] these were called the Petrillo Bans.

Custer of the West
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