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Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas


Born August 11, 1925 in Chicago Michael Dowd Jr. was destined to become one of America's favorite talk show hosts, singers and entertainers.

He started out at age 15 singing on a Cruise ship that sailed between Cleveland, Buffalo and the Grand Hotel in Michigan.  He learned his trade by watching others who had made it and impersonated many of them Morton Downey, Frankie Lane, Nat King Cole and others.  In 1945 he joined Kay Kayser's College of Musical Knowledge as a featured singer. It was Kay Kayser who changed his name to Mike Douglas - no fanfare, no discussion. He just introduced him as Mike Douglas and that has been his name ever since.

He became a staff singer for NBC in Chicago and started mixing comedy into his show. It was while he was working in Los Angeles that fate entered the picture and he received urgent word from Woody Frasier (who later became program developer for Westinghouse) "Come to Cleveland - we need you here".

On December 11, 1961 The Mike Douglas Show made it's debut in Cleveland. In 1965 the show moved to Philadelphia and became a syndicated program airing until 1981 featuring numerous top entertainers of the day including Barbara Streistand, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Hermits Hermits and others.

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