Archive for the 'classical music' Category

Your Home Front Reporter - October 4, 1943

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

This month I'm on something of a World War II kick - in this post, we're revisiting a series I started running last year and I'll be running the last four episodes in my collection over the next few weeks.

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"Your Home Front Reporter" was broadcast in the afternoons on CBS starting in May 1943 and sponsored by the Owens Illinois Glass Company.  The program is a mix of light operetta music by Frank Parker and Met opera star Eleanor Steber and commentary and news on the War aimed at housewives.

Program 106 in the series was originally broadcast October 4, 1943, and includes news of advances by the Allies in Europe and the Pacific.  There's also commentary about how the Fall harvest celebrations and Thanksgiving are a little different during Wartime.

The program was transferred from vinyl transcription, matrix numbers BB37198 and BB37199, pressed by World Broadcasting System, Inc. for the Owens Illinois Glass Company.

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Hollywood Bowl - Pgm 78

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Here's a rare treat with a Halloween theme - some music composed especially for the spooky season.

It's a concert from the "Hollywood Bowl", distributed as Program 78 in the series when it was broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service.  According to Jim Hiliker of Monterey, California on the OTR mailing list, KFI locally broadcast the Hollywood Bowl concerts in the 30s and 40s, so the show probably originated at KFI.

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A Mario Lanza website dates this particular show to July 24, 1948.  It's "MGM Night", so we hear various musicians and personalities under contract to the studio.  The orchestra is conducted by Miklos Rozsa and we hear Mario Lanza, very early in his Hollywood career, and Kathryn Grayson doing the vocal duties.  The program opens with the overture to the "Bartered Bride" and we hear works by Puccini and Victor Herbert.

The highlight of the show is "The Halloween Suite" composed by none other than actor Lionel Barrymore, who also provides narration for the piece.  This "Time" magazine article from 1944, notes that Barrymore had composed hundreds of works in the since the turn of the century, a side of the famous actor not as well known as his work on the screen.

The show was transferred from an original undated AFRS vinyl transcription set and appears to be uncommon or uncirculated among old time radio enthusiasts.

updated 11.3.2009: Corrected spelling of "Miklos Rozsa".

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Kraft Music Hall - August 28, 1947

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Here's another one of those original line checks from 1947-48 I keep running into.  In this one, the August 28, 1947 edition of the "Kraft Music Hall" featuring Nelson Eddy with Nadine Carter, pianist Leonard Pennario and announcer Ken Carpenter.  Nelson kicks off the show with "The Ranger Song", and we hear "Smiling Through", "The Floral Dance" and other tunes.  All that great music makes you want to go out and stock up on Kraft Cheese Spreads and Kraft Prepared Mustard, doesn't it?

Transferred from an original lacquer line check recorded at an unknown local NBC station.  My apologies for the skip I couldn't work around in "I'll See You Again" in the second half of the show.

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Kraft Music Hall - July 3, 1947

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

We turn now to one of the great musical variety programs of the OTR era, "Kraft Music Hall".

During the show's long run, it featured stars like Al Jolson and Bing Crosby.  This program, originally broadcast on NBC July 3, 1947, is headlined by Nelson Eddy and features Met opera star Nadine Conner, announcer Ken Carpenter, and Robert Armbruster and His Orchestra.  Eddy kicks off the show with "Listen to the Band" and performs "Beautiful Dreamer" and "The Owl and Bobcat" (from "Naughty Marietta") among other tunes.  Of course, we get to enjoy Carpenter's wonderful commercials for Kraft Miracle Whip and Cheese Spreads.

Can you pass up the chance to hear Nelson Eddy operatically "meow" in "The Owl and the Bobcat"?

The program was transferred from an original lacquer line-check recorded at an unknown NBC affiliate and includes the NBC chimes.  It appears to be not in common circulation among old time radio collectors.

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Salvation Army at Christmas 1949

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

This week on the blog, we're featuring a couple of Christmas-themed public service programs.  Back in the days when radio played a much larger role in the media landscape, charities didn't just send public service announcements to stations to promote their work - they'd send full, slickly produced special entertainment programs featuring top stars that stations could play from transcriptions.

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First up, a very nicely recorded program of light classical music with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and many well known opera stars.  Lawrence Tibbett reminisces about the first time he sang publicly for a Salvation Army event and Jean Hersholt, radio's "Dr. Christian", makes an appearance.  Other performers heard include Set Svanholm, James Wallington, Glenn Wheaton, Licia Albanese, Jussi Bjoerling, Kirsten Flagstad, and Winifred Heidt.

The show was transferred directly from a set of transcriptions pressed by RCA, matrix numbers RR 17174 and RR 17175.

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Your Home Front Reporter - Pgm 103 - September 29, 1943

Friday, October 10th, 2008

We continue our look at "Your Home Front Reporter", a series that has been unheard since it originally aired during World War II.  Sponsored by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, the show was broadcast Monday through Friday afternoons and CBS and featured commentary and music aimed at housewives.

In the September 29, 1943 edition of the show, program 103 in the series, Don Regan looks at stories in the news about love during wartime, including a woman in Idaho arranging a marriage by proxy with her beau in England, and other lighter news items.  He also does a commentary on travel during wartime and how useful a good suitcase can be.

Eleanor Steber sings Gershwin's "Summertime" and "Alice Blue Gown"; Walter Castle performs "Through the Years".  Phil Regan sings "Take Me in Your Arms".  Steber and Castle sing "Make Believe" from "Showboat".  The music is by the David Brookman Orchestra and Hugh Conover is the announcer.

The MP3 was transferred from a vinyl transcription, matrix numbers BB37145 and BB37146, pressed by World Broadcasting System, Inc. for the Owens Illinois Glass Company.

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Your Home Front Reporter - Pgm 96 - Sept 20, 1943

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Another episode of “Your Home Front Reporter”, a series of discs I recently obtained of a program not heard since World War II.  A mix of music and hints and information about the War aimed primarily at women, the series was originally broadcast weekdays on CBS and sponsored by the Owens Illinois Glass Company.

In program 96 of the series, originally broadcast September 20, 1943,  Fletcher Wiley's commentary is on why service flags are a symbol of democracy.  Wiley also talks about making the most of clothes during wartime.  Phil Hanna and Diana Gayle sing "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" and "The West, A Nest, and You"; Phil Regan sings "Boy of Mine".  Wilbur Hatch conducts the orchestra.

Transferred from an original vinyl transcription, matrix numbers BB37016 and BB37017, pressed by World Broadcasting System, Inc. for the Owens Illinois Glass Company.

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Works Progress Administration Presents - 1938 Series, Pgm 46

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Here's the last transcription I'll be posting for now in the series "The Works Progress Administration Presents", a program featuring musical ensembles of the Federal Music Project and information about programs and services of the WPA to help communities with the Depression.

In program 46 of the 1938 series, we hear the Commonwealth Symphony and State Chorus of Boston, conducted by A. Buckingham Simpson, performing excerpts of Bizet's "Carmen".  The program was transferred directly from an original RCA Victrolac pressing, matrix MS 013478.

I have one more program in the series, featuring a Federal Music Project group performing folk music of Mexico, but it's badly pressed and doesn't have the best sound - if someone is interested, I can post it on the blog at a later time.

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Your Home Front Reporter - Pgm 26 - June 14, 1943

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Another entry in the series, "Your Home Front Reporter", originally broadcast weekdays on CBS and sponsored by the Owens Illinois Glass Company, featuring commentator Fletcher Wiley.  This is a series of discs I recently obtained of a series not heard since World War II. In program 26 of the series, broadcast June 14, 1943, Fletcher Wiley talks about a new "welding" sewing machine you can buy after the War if you buy and save up your War Bonds and offers a commentary on keeping a positive attitude and "getting along" with what's available in wartime.  Frank Parker sings "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes"; Parker and Eleanor Stebel perform "If You Were the Only Girl in the World" and Stebel sings Gershwin's "Summertime".  The show features the David Brookman Orchestra and announcer Hugh Conover.

The program was transferred from a vinyl transcription, matrix numbers BB35796 and BB35797, pressed by World Broadcasting System, Inc. for the Owens Illinois Glass Company.

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Your Home Front Reporter - Pgm 24 - June 10, 1943

Friday, September 12th, 2008

"Your Home Front Reporter" returns this week with the 24th program in the series, broadcast June 10, 1943 on the CBS network.

Fletcher Wiley reminds everyone to apply for their new ration books and gives a talk about gossip.  Frank Parker performs "Mother of Mine"; Eleanor Steber sings "Bartlett's Dream"; Steber and Parker sing the duet "'Neath the Harvest Moon".  The show features the David Brookman Orchestra and announcer Hugh Conover.

Transferred from vinyl transcription, matrix numbers BB35745 and BB35746, pressed by World Broadcasting System, Inc. for the Owens Illinois Glass Company, the sponsor of the program.

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