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National Radio Advertising Company Transcriptions

May 3rd, 2010

From my collection of rare Old Time Radio lps, here's a selection of parts from very rare syndicated programs from the late 1920s.

The National Radio Advertising Company was one of several syndication companies that popped up during the early years of radio, sending out discs to radio stations.  In the early days, one show would be packaged on several 12" 78 rpm discs, since many stations didn't yet have the equipment to play the new 16" discs.

This file includes parts of several programs from the company.  In the file, you'll hear:

  • "Heat" with Red Nichols, Part 3 of Program I - "Ballin' the Jack/Walkin' the Dog Medley", recorded in New York, 25 August 1930, matrix number XE 34058
  • "Heat" with Red Nichols, Part 3 of Program 3 - "Call of the Freaks", recorded in New York, 1 August 1930, matrix number XE 33549
  • "Sunny Meadows" with Ray Miller and his Orchestra, Part 2 of Program D - "You're the Cream in My Coffee" and "I Ain't Got Nobody", recorded in Chicago, 18 January 1929, matrix number XC 2826-A
  • "Sunny Meadows" with Ray Miller and his Orchestra, Part 2 of Program E - "I'll Never Ask for More" and "He, She, and Me", recorded in Chicago, 25 January 1929, matrix number XC 2862
  • "Sunny Meadows" with Ray Miller and his Orchestra, Part 6 of Program E - "Tell Me Who" and show closing, matrix number XC 2866
  • "Maytag Frolics" with Coon-Sanders Orchestra, Part 6 of program - "Kansas City Kitty", "What a Girl, What a Night", and show closing, recorded in Chicago, 1 March 1929, matrix number XC 3025

The Red Nichols sides, by the way, feature  Glenn Miller, Adrian Rollini, Gene Krupa and either Bud Freeman or Benny Goodman.

Besides the music, the excerpts are interesting as a glimpse into how shows of the early radio days were structured and announced.  The original syndication discs are extremely rare - I've only seen one disc from a NRAC program turn up on ebay at auction over the past few years.  Goldin lists a handful of programs from three series - "Maytag Frolics", "Heat", and a minstrel program - but the company issued programs in a wide range of genres, from classical music to drama.  Excerpts turn up like this on occasion in mp3 format, but without the helpful dating and discographical information you find on this lp.

There must have been some big money in radio syndication at the time - I'll bet getting these sets of discs recorded, pressed and shipped wasn't cheap.  The Pittsburgh Press ran an article in their January 13, 1929 edition about these syndicated shows from NRAC, noting that a special ruling from the FCC was required before they could be broadcast.  The company, interestingly enough, was acquired by Warner Brothers in May, 1930, according to a NY Times piece.

The excerpts were taken from the lp "Radio Rarities", released on the Broadway-Intermission Records label in Brighton, Michigan; the catalog number is BR-101.  All the information on the tracks are from the extensive liner notes of the album by Edward F. Polic.  The disc also includes excerpts of 1930s band remotes by the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Hal Kemp, and Mitchell Ayers and His Fashions in Music.

Broadway-Intermission released several albums in the 1970s and 80s of rare twenties and thirties jazz, focusing on performers like Red Nichols and Bing Crosby.

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