Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives

( 8 )

Overview

On a November day almost forty-five years ago, the first episode of Days of our Lives appeared on the NBC Network, NBC's first color soap opera broadcast. Eleven thousand episodes later, millions excitedly tune in every weekday to watch one of the 260 original one-hour episodes produced each year. What few know though is that the show started as the dream of one family, the Corday family, who still owns and runs the show to this day. These are the days of their lives.

The Days ...

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Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives

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Overview

On a November day almost forty-five years ago, the first episode of Days of our Lives appeared on the NBC Network, NBC's first color soap opera broadcast. Eleven thousand episodes later, millions excitedly tune in every weekday to watch one of the 260 original one-hour episodes produced each year. What few know though is that the show started as the dream of one family, the Corday family, who still owns and runs the show to this day. These are the days of their lives.

The Days of our Lives is the first insider account of the history behind one of our most beloved soap operas. It is about the family who believed in it, conceived it, and sometimes seemed to live it along with millions of viewers, as they struggled to emerge from nowhere to create and produce one of the most successful and enduring television shows in history.

Ken Corday reveals the triumphs and tragedies behind the scenes over the years, a moving personal story of a family facing everything from death to mental illness, the ever-looming threat of cancellation, and the struggle to keep their dream alive. It is also the story of an extended family-actors, producers, and crew-who formed a bond of love that went beyond just creating a show to establishing a legacy.

You will discover for the first time the true stories behind the show, a story of living a dream and raising a family while things all around you, even fate, seem to conspire against you-and succeeding against all odds.

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Editorial Reviews

TV Guide Canada
Corday's poetic The Days of our Lives is a fascinating inside look into one of the few producers who has rarely, if ever, interfered with the writing of his ultimate inheritance.

With this new book, Corday proves that perhaps he missed his true calling.

TV Guide
"A really good book...a loving, surprisingly spiritual, sometimes shocking tribute to the Corday family business...revelatory."
Fancast
A thoughtful, sophisticated memoir.
We Love Soaps
This is an illuminating and powerful must-read for anyone who has ever watched DAYS, or for that matter, anyone who has ever put a family business in front of their own aspirations.
Newman Times Herald
Corday's 'The Days of our Lives' truly offers an eye-opening look into the world behind 'Days'
Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine
If you're a fan of the show (or of any soap opera), The Days of Our Lives is a must-read book. Even casual viewers will get a kick out of some of the inside stories. Pop culture fans, too. There's a wealth of real TV history here. Not to mention that Ken Corday's had quite a life. Check it out.
RT Book Reviews
While this book does recount some of the early history of Days and highlights the heroes, heroines, and villains who make the show must-see TV for some many fans, it's not only about the show. Everything is wrapped around the Corday family experience - warts and all.
Jim Halterman
The book is compelling not only because it gives a unique look at the behind-the-scenes working of a daytime drama producing five one-hour episodes 52 weeks a year but it also gives an intimate window into the Corday family where soap opera has run through its veins for decades.
New York Post
This memoir by the executive producer of the long-running soap opera has some fascinating tidbits.
Dollycas's Thoughts
If you are a fan you will love this book, if you were a fan but stopped watching because of the changes made over the years, you need to read this book.
Herald-Dispatch
Corday has a great writing style and the story of his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, and how they created "Days" is a good read.
DaysTalk
I thoroughly enjoyed this autobiography by the executive producer of Days of our Lives. I think for all of us hardcore enough to be involved in this blog, whether you are a regular writer, commenter or reader, it makes sense to get this back story. I definitely learned a lot about the show, the actors and the Corday family.
Connect With Your Teens
Fans of Days of our Lives will devour this book. However, as somebody that never watched that particular soap opera, I was still fascinated by the story. The family struggles were heartbreaking and I love reading anything about the inner workings of television.
Wichita Falls Times Record News/Las Vegas Review Journal's book blog
Ken Corday's memoir will be a fascinating read for fans of the daytime soap, as well as for anyone interested in the early history of television.
Library Journal
Sure to be popular with fans of the show, this light read might also be enjoyed by readers interested in soap operas and show business biographies.
My Book Views
The mix of family history, show history, and the happenings of the present-day ratings game and budget cuts is perfect. Even as a viewer of more than a decade, I learned quite a bit about Days of our Lives. I consider this a must read for fans of the genre and those interested in the history of television.
Book Pleasures
I found the book to be extremely interesting as it brought to life the many facets involved in producing a show of this nature and magnitude, keeping it alive for many, many years and how despite their own family's misfortunes, the Cordays were able to stay close-knit, loving and caring amongst themselves and the crew and cast of the longtime running show.
Midwest Book Review
"The Days of our Lives" is a must for any fan of the show, or those looking into insight of daytime television.
PopCultureGuy
"The Days of Our Lives" is a very interesting and involving read. Ken Corday does a very good job of detailing his family history and I give him credit for relaying so many personal and, I suspect, very painful, moments of his life. Clearly, he still has great affection for his family, as well as the family business, and his loyalty and hard work have led to the success of the series over the past three decades, thus keeping his parents dream alive and countless long time fans very happy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402242229
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 337,567
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Corday is the Executive Producer of Days of our Lives, which was created by his parents in 1965. Ken received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a Master's Degree in Music from San Jose State University. He lives in Toluca Lake, California.
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Read an Excerpt

From the Prologue:

Still dressed in her nightgown, the old woman slowly climbed the stairs to the roof of her Manhattan apartment building. In a dream that was rapidly becoming a nightmare, she had left the confines of the twelfth floor and the pain of another long, despairing weekend to reach her destination at last. It was a clear, bitterly cold Monday morning. She had not eaten in three days, but she had been drinking all the while.

She looked down from the top of the building, fourteen floors to the street below, Central Park West, and thought that she had chosen the right time and place to do the deed (as much as anyone really thinks in such a moment). Cars were starting to pile up at the stoplight on the corner of Ninety-first Street, but there was still little foot traffic. She looked down and, knowing the street was clear, walked to the edge of the roof without hesitation and jumped.

At exactly the same time on that winter morning, a fourth-grade boy, late for school, emerged from the building's lobby and made the most fateful turn of his life. He walked out from under the entry awning and felt the sudden rush of freezing air numb his face. He was aware that something else was not right...something above him had gone haywire. He looked up as he was about to reach the corner, and what he saw indelibly changed his life.

A naked blur of skin and hair whooshed by as she passed him and landed headfirst on the car parked nearest to him. She left most of herself in a splatter of red and pink and gray, and some of herself on his nicely pressed school blazer, white shirt, and tie. He stopped and couldn't move. Moments like this seem to move frame by frame, over in a matter of seconds, but then they last an eternity. She was dead, immediately out of her pain, but his had just begun.

As the police and ambulance sirens began to be heard in the distance, he stood mesmerized. The doorman found him and ushered him back inside. The boy went up to his apartment and rang the doorbell. My mother and I answered the door. We looked out on a face of shock, one that had aged years in the minutes since my older brother had left for school. He explained what had happened. It was only after noticing the residue on his clothes that our mother stopped doubting his story, which at first had seemed to be another excuse for truancy. She ran to the front window of the apartment to see the truth for herself. The truth was hideous.

Spread out over a large bloody circle were the remains of the jumper, now covered by a dark gray New York City Morgue blanket. Even from the fifth floor, the smell of the disinfectant and street cleaner was pungent and sweet at the same time. Like cold cream mixed with Lysol...a smell that would forever haunt us. For the rest of our lives, those smells would stop us and remind us of "the incident," as our mother later referred to it in psychiatrists' offices all over Manhattan.

"Oh, God, Chris...Christ Jesus." She hugged him close to her.

"Are you all right?" she asked. Of course he wasn't, as he recounted the entire experience without really saying what he felt. He was emotionally scarred for life.

Our mother, for one of only a few times in her forty years, was dumbstruck, without any words or, for that matter, comprehension. What had happened to her elder son? Why had this nightmare been visited on him, he who was in need of care, love, nurturing, and above all else, really in need of being dealt some new, good cards?

A lot of expectations had been placed on my brother as the firstborn son. But he was always a problem child, tormented by God knows what and always in need of better experiences. He seemed to live under his own storm cloud, and my mother, my father, and I never truly understood why. He was bright and talented but was never really happy with his soul.

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Table of Contents

Prologue ix Foreword xv
1. Providence and the Past 1
2. The New Pioneers 7
3. Fat Cans and Superbombs 13
4. Betty 17
5. My Back Pages 21
6. The Move 37
7. How the West Was One 49
8. The Beginning and the End 59
9. He Speaks in Riddles, Metaphors, and Clich├ęs 69
10. Coming of Age 75
11. Brother Eagle, Sister Sky 97
12. Gone to an Hour 101
13. The Once and Future King 107
14. Do or Die 113
15. Not So Fast, You Lucky Dog! 117
16. The Glory Years 125
17. There She Goes 137
18. The Hourglass Ladies 147
19. There He Goes 163
20. I Need a Hero 169
21. The Gay Nineties 179
22. "The Barbarians Are at the Leveraged Gate" 183
23. "Bang! You're Alive" 187
24. Behind the Scenes 193
25. "Forty Years, Ten Thousand Episodes, and Growing" 205
26. The Dirtiest Half Dozen 209
27. Life after Forty 223
28. Life Support 231
Epilogue 241
Special Thanks 249
Biography of Ken Corday 251

Ken Corday is the Executive Producer of Days of our Lives, which was created by his parents in 1965. Ken received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a Master's Degree in Music from San Jose State University. He lives in Toluca Lake, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    You can't miss with this as a Days fan!

    I'm a longtime Days Of Our Lives fan and found this book fascinating. The first part of the book is primarily about the Corday family. I had no idea of the hardship and heartache they've experienced and triumphed over. Betty Corday's rules provided in the book an apply and provide inspiration for anyone in their day to day life.

    The story of Days presented is fun to read. Ken Corday disusses all the main characters and the story of the growth and starting over cycle the show has been through over the decades. It was quite eye-opening to someone that isn't at all involved in the business of telelvision.

    Ken Corday writes well and the book flows easily. Obviously, people interested in soap operas and Days in particular will find it the most enjoyable. But, anyone interested in television, family owned businesses or a family's story of survival would enjoy it.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2011

    Great book for Days fans

    Ken does a great job in telling his family's story and the history of Days. I was unaware of all of the pressures of keeping this show alive. The book highlights how dedicated Ken and the Days cast and crew are. I am a busy mom with a 13 month old infant and I managed to read the book in 2 days. I just couldn't put it down. If you love Days, you will love this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Days of our lives

    This is the best book i ever read. I'm a big Days fan. I've been watch Days since 1981.
    I enjoy reading about Ken Corday family how his dad started the show. Its the best soap opera out their. I just wish they would put Days of our Lives on Dvd so we could see how the show started in 1965.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    I wouild highly recommend this book for people who faithfully watch this show.

    I have watched Days of our Lives since 1965 and have never been aware of the history behind it. It gives me a greater appreciation for the Corday family. I have sometimes wondered why a lot of seemingly negative things came about on the show but now I have a better understanding. Ken Corday's account of his life has given me a great sense of respect for him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Nice but missing a lot!

    I was a little disappointed I though there would be more information (reading) to this book. The pictures were great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted December 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

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