I have to admit that I was a bit too young to grow up during the classic Old Time Radio period. So, I never experienced a personality like Arthur Godfrey first hand. Listening to him in recordings from the era, though, there's something that creeps me out about him. He reminds me of that annoying creepy uncle in everyone's family who is always trying to be funny but sounds a bit spaced out or something.
He's best remembered today for his work in fifties television, including "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts". Here we offer a sample of his work on the show, which was originally simulcast on CBS radio and television on November 28, 1949, and broadcast as program 14 in the "Arthur Godfrey" series on the Armed Forces Radio Service.
In the series, average people would appear on the program and introduce someone they knew who was talented in some way and audience applause determined who was crowned the winner and got a chance for a showbiz contract. Contestants on this episode include a wonderful harmonica player, Harry Breen, singer Andrea Lee and Bill Blockson and a quintet called the White Guards. Something a bit unexpected happens during the contest, but I'll let you listen in and find out how it turns out.
This previously lost episode of the series was digitized directly from a vinyl AFRS transcription. The date is from the disc matrix.
By the way, Goldin lists an episode of the series featuring contestant Lenny Bruce, introduced by his mother. I'd love to hear that one. ("You should hear my son Lenny - he's so funny! I keep telling him he should be on the radio!")