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Ray Bloch

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Ray Bloch (1902-1982) was a bandleader and composer who served as the musical director on The Ed Sullivan Show for the entire run, from 1948 until 1971. In that capacity, he conducted the orchestra and arranged the music, including songs and background music for all appearances by the Muppets. On May 31, 1970, at the start of the "What Kind of Fool Am I?" skit, Kermit at the piano addresses Bloch directly with "Ray, if you please" (leading to a backing brass accompaniment).

Bloch established himself on radio, as resident bandleader (and sometimes choral director) for several shows sponsored by Philip Morris, including variety series Johnny Presents (1937-1941), The Philip Morris Playhouse (ca. 1941-1951), and The Milton Berle Show (1947-1948). He also worked the period music series The Gay Nineties Revue (1949-1944) and the game show Quick as a Flash (1944-1951).

Bloch's TV work, in addition to the Sullivan stint, included acting as bandleader for Jackie Gleason, including on The Honeymooners (where he occasionally appeared on-camera, as a bandleader).

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