Billie Holiday, and Computerized Dating


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

June 12, 1957, Vol. II, No. 33

Billie Holiday at Jazz Festival

Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, has agreed to participate in the first Greenwich Village Festival of Jazz at Loew’s Sheridan this Saturday midnight, June 15. Her performance at the concert, which is sponsored by The Village Voice and Jean Shepherd, will mark one of her rare appearances in New York…

The Village Square

By John Wilcock

A woman called Lee Morgan rented (for $46 per month) a device called the Underwood Sorter and Automatic Key Punch and went into business as the Scientific Introduction Service. For a fee you can be interviewed and graded, your tastes in everything from ballet to boating to philosophy and party-going punched out on IBM cards.

The fee is normally $30 (sale price during June $10), which guarantees you to at least three introductions during the next six months, and in effect you can lay down your specifications for the type of person you want to meet, the machine then sorting out all the people of that type who happen to be on file.

Mrs. Morgan, who’s an attractive 26 and the wife of a marriage-counseling psychologist, lives on Lower Fifth Avenue, but I found her last week feeding cards (pink for women, blue for men) into the machine in her uptown office. The machine was dutifully dropping all chess players into one compartment.

“Before we started this service we investigated some of the others and found them lacking in both skill and taste,” she said. “One of the troubles is that it lends itself too readily to fraud. Because of that, many newspapers won’t accept our ads, and the ones that do usually have the wrong type of readers. We bill our clientele as being ‘above-average adults,’ and many of them, indeed, are referred to us by psychologists who feel their patients need to meet more people. Loneliness is responsible for so many peoples’ troubles.”

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