rand’s esoteric otr

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Americans at Work - Sept. 29, 1942, WCFL, Chicago

July 3rd, 2008

"Americans at Work" was a locally produced morale-boosting series broadcast weekly over WCFL in Chicago.  In between recordings of popular war-themed songs, the announcers salute local businesses and manufacturers contributing to the war effort and the show features a short talk by a special guest.  The overall tone of the show might be influenced by the fact that WCFL was owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor, by the way.

These WCFL transcriptions appear to have been created as airchecks for the guest speaker heard on the show, sales manager Carl E. Payne, or his employer, Oscar W. Hedstrom Corporation.

In this episode, broadcast September 29, 1942 from 7:45 to 8:00 p.m., Payne gives a speech encouraging everyone to buy War Bonds.  Songs heard on the show, via recordings, includes the theme, "I Am an American" (by Kay Kyser, I believe), They Started Something (But We're Gonna Finish It) by Kate Smith, "Arms for the Love of America", "This Is Worth Fighting For", again by Kate Smith, and the closing theme, "God Bless America".

Some of the businesses that are referred to in the show are B. J. Dolan and Company, a synthetics manufacturer; National Photo Identity Corporation, which made tamper-proof identity cards and badges for workers; and Belmont Radio Corporation.

The show was transferred from three sides of 78 rpm 12" acetates, so the sound quality varies and you'll hear a couple of skips that I wasn't able to eliminate.

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