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Monday, July 3, 2017

Days: Bill Hayes "World By the Tail" Documentary

There is a documentary posted about Bill Hayes (best known to soap fans as Doug Williams) on "Days of Our Lives". The video, which is available to view for free on Vimeo, runs a little bit shorter than 1 hour and 20 minutes. Below are my thoughts on it.

This documentary is interesting for a lot of reasons. If someone has interests outside of soap operas here is a list of why one may want to view this.

  1. You're a fan of early television, since Bill Hayes was part of "Your Show of Shows" back in the live television era. (Since Mel Brooks was involved, and if you are into classic comedy it has yet another reason.)
  2. Musical theater is a love and anything you can learn about Rogers & Hammerstein especially the rare shows the better. He was also in a touring company of "Bye Bye Birdie" when that musical was new.
  3. One hit wonders are your thing, and Bill Hayes has one.
  4. Disney is the best, and Davy Crockett was an obsession. (Confession time here, I only am familiar with that as they played the show at school…way after my time.)
  5. You have an interest in early advertising, and paid spokespeople. The part with him and Florence Henderson surprised me as I think I saw one of those videos without having any idea that it was Doug from Days.

These groups hit a large amount of people. Bill speaks about his personal life and the hardships of having to travel for acting gigs, which eventually ended his first marriage. He was then responsible for the kids.The childcare situation is what got him to into the soap world, as that was steady work in one place unlike being in a touring company for a musical production. There was a little talk about how Bill and Susan lost their jobs with Days in the early 80s, but unfortunately the interview that upset the people writing Days at the time wasn't included. I'd have loved to see how diplomatic or not their statements were.

The video also goes into a bit of detail about his relationship with his wife Susan. And it answered the question of why they were on "Hollywood Squares" back in the day. There are a few videos online, and I had no idea that Bill and Peter Marshall knew one another. The timing though makes sense.

Anyway, if you have about 90 minutes, and want to learn more about any of the topics listed above, watch this video.

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