UPI TV Reporter

Tony Randall says today’s rock performers may seem like superstars, but in the long run Bach and Handel outshine even the Beatles as popular musicians.

Randall serves as the host of “A Celebration for Handel and Bach,” a public television special marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of the two 18th-Century musical giants. It will be seen Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Channels 28, 15 and 24, and at 10 p.m. on Channel 50.

Although he is a world-class lover of classical music, Randall said he doesn’t host shows like this to boost the likes of Bach and Handel.

“Their music doesn’t need me,” he said. “After all, the music of these two men has been popular for more than 200 years. Millions of people have listened to their music for almost 300 years, and 300 years from now they will still be listened to.


“Bach and Handel are no passing thing like some of the current flashes in the pan. If they were alive today and were getting royalties on all their music, they would make the Beatles look like penny ante.”

Randall dismissed rock music as “nothing to even think about.”

“We’ve had some pretty good composers in the past--Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin,” he said. “That was damn fine stuff. They were writing for a pretty smart audience; they were writing for a Broadway audience.”

Rock music, on the other hand, “is written for kids,” he said. “It’s only kids who buy records now so it’s a kid’s market.”


Randall, who starred in “The Odd Couple” and “Love, Sidney,” vowed not to do another TV series.