rand’s esoteric otr

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Entries Tagged as 'comedy'

The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour - March 14, 1935

April 22nd, 2010 · Comments

It looks like folks are interested in hearing some of the more unusual shows in my collection that I've dubbed from reel to reel tapes and lp discs.  So, here's a test post to get us started.

"The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour" was, for several years, one of the biggest shows on radio and is probably the program that defined the radio variety show format for the 1930s.  I particularly enjoy the series, at leas the few examples I've heard, since it's a throwback to a style that's closer to vaudeville.

The program of March 14, 1935 has Rudy Vallee and the Connecticut Yankees playing host to Dennis King in a dramatic sketch about an Irish patriot, "Robert Emmet".  A highlight of the program is comedian Monroe Silver recreating his famous Victor recording, "Cohen on the Telephone".  The show also includes comedy by George Shelton and Tom Howard and much more.  The show, originally broadcast on NBC, was sponsored by Fleishmann's Yeast and probably comes from a WEAF, New York aircheck.

This particular file was digitized from a 3 3/4 ips quarter track tape from an unknown dealer and probably dates from the 1970s.  You'll hear some dropouts in the first couple of minutes of the show, a common problem with reel to reel tapes of this vintage, but the sound is pretty good overall.

This is one of four broadcasts from this period on the tape that I've not run into in mp3 format.

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Tags: music · comedy · variety

Charlie McCarthy - Pgm 85

April 3rd, 2010 · Comments

Note:  This program has been removed from my site, as of August 21, 2010.  Recently, Radio Spirits has issued take-down notices to archive.org and other sites concerning claims they have on particular series and shows.  These claims not only include exclusive license for particular series, but also claims on images, likenesses and recordings of particular personalities.  Since Radio Spirits doesn't publicly provide a list of shows they license or estates they represent, I'm taking preventive action and removing some programs from my site, based on forum posts and archived news articles I've seen on their claims and the estates they say they represent. - rand

I never really understood the point of a ventriloquist on the radio, especially with one like Charlie McCarthy - a little boy in a tuxedo, constantly in trouble like a little kid, but skirt-chasing like a late-teen with overactive hormones.  Creepy!

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In this post we give a spin to the broadcast of December 10, 1944 from NBC, rebroadcast as program 85 in the series on the Armed Forces Radio Service.  Charlie tries sell his pet porcupine and also answers a lonely hearts ad for Bergen.

The guest on the show is Signe Hasso.  You probably don't remember her today, but RKO signed her for a contract and promoted her as the "next Garbo".  Her career stalled a bit, but she did get some nice roles in "Heaven Can Wait" and "A Double Life".  Wikipedia notes that she won acclaim in later life for her writing and poetry, including translations of Swedish folk songs into English.

The show was transferred from an original AFRS Navy Department vinyl transcription and the date is in the disc matrix.

Many thanks to listener Michael Utz for his donation of the disc to my collection!

Tags: comedy · Radio Spirits removals

Grand Marquee - January 23, 1947

April 3rd, 2010 · Comments

"Grand Marquee" is a series I'd never heard of before getting a line check lacquer of one of the shows in the series.  It sounds like an anthology series directed at women and the show originated in Chicago.

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From January 23, 1947 broadcast on NBC, we hear Olan Soule, Beryl Vaughn and announcer Kleve Kirby in "Love is a Better Word", a comedy about a young woman who is surprised to find a stranger at her door who asks her to marry him.  (You might recall Beryl Vaughn from another series on the blog, "Choose a Song Partner".)  The program is sponsored by Rayve Shampoo and Yankee Clover Toilet Water and Perfume.

And a bit of trivia about Beryl Vaughn - she was a featured player on radio's "Sky King".  Oh, and her husband might sound familiar - Ken Nordine.

The show was transferred from an original line check lacquer transcription set from an unknown NBC station.  The recording includes the NBC id and chimes, but no system cue

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Tags: drama · comedy · women's issues

Bob Burns Show - November 16, 1944

March 2nd, 2010 · Comments

In listening to many classic otr shows over the years, I never paid much attention to Bob Burns and he isn't particularly well-known today.  But, at the time, he was a major personality.  He started out on the Paul Whiteman and Rudy Vallee shows in the 1930s and was a regular on "Kraft Music Hall".  He hosted his own radio show from 1941 through the end of the decade and had a syndicated newspaper column.

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In this post, we dig up what I think is a previously lost episode of the "Bob Burns Show" from November 16, 1944.  Originally broadcast on NBC, this version was heard on the Armed Forces Radio Network and was distributed as a replacement for program 62 in the "Village Store" series.   Bob talks about being recognized as a celebrity in Hollywood and does routines around his upcoming trip to Chicago.

The show was transferred from an original Navy Department AFRS vinyl transcription; the program date is from the transcription matrix.

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Tags: comedy

Nonsense and Melody - Pgm 26

February 14th, 2010 · Comments

We haven't heard episodes of "Nonsense and Melody" in quite some time, so I'll start putting up the remaining episodes in my collection of this syndicated comedy variety show produced by Transco in 1935-36.

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The show takes the form of a kind of world cruise and the troop has just left Switzerland.  Featured comedians Gill and Doemling kick off the program, introducing a number by a crack banjo player giving us a jazzed up version of "Oh Susanna".  Fifi sings a sexy little French number then Gill and Doemling doing a sketch where a drunk man visits a real estate agent.  The Jack Tars close out the show with an unidentified song.

The program was transferred from an original red vinyl Bruce Eells and Associates vinyl transcription that dates from a later reissue of the show in the 1940s.

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Tags: music · comedy · Nonsense and Melody · Transco

Eddie Cantor - November 29, 1944

January 10th, 2010 · Comments

Here's a fun comedy variety show featuring show-biz veteran Eddie Cantor.  Cantor, a big star of screen and records in the 20s, was on-hand for the birth of sound movies and starred in a series of early Technicolor musical comedies in the early 30s.  He was still going strong on radio a decade later.

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This episode of the "Eddie Cantor Show" was originally broadcast November 29, 1944 on NBC.  The version heard here was a replacement for the "Charlie McCarthy Show" program 88 from the Armed Forces Radio Services.

The show originates at the Navy's Sixth War Loan Exhibit in Chicago.  In one of the sketches, Eddie delivers messages to folks in Chicago from people in Los Angeles, including delivering a birthday present for Jack Benny's father.  The program features Bert Gordon, "The Mad Russian"; Joe Kelly; Leonard Sues; Nora Martin; Roy Shield and His Orchestra.  At the end of the program, we hear an AFRS announcement for the Globe Theater radio play writing contest.

The show was transferred direclty from an Armed Forces Radio Service vinyl transcription and is dated in the disc matrix.

Special thanks to listener Michael Utz for his donation of this disc to the collection.

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Tags: comedy

Hollywood’s Open House - Pgm 50

January 10th, 2010 · Comments

I've got a few episodes of "Hollywood's Open House", a nicely produced syndicated variety show hosted by Jim Ameche, that I'll be putting up on the blog periodically.

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Program 50 in the series is dated to November 18, 1948, according to a log at otrsite.com.  Ray Bloch and the orchestra kick off the show with "Five Minutes More".  Guest Bert Lahr does different segments in the show based around gags where he's going to night school.  Vocals on some of the songs are by Diane Courtney and Danny O'Neil.

Our show was transferred from original Kermit-Raymond Corporation syndication vinyl transcription pressed by Columbia, matrix numbers YTNY 6445 and YTNY 6446.

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Tags: comedy · variety

Garry Moore - Pgm 64

January 1st, 2010 · Comments

Last week we heard a Christmas edition of the "Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore Show".  This week, we take a look at Garry Moore's career after his teaming with Durante.

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CBS featured Garry in a daytime talk and variety show on the air each day for an hour.  In this post, we hear an AFRS version of the program, edited down to a half hour and broadcast as program 64 in the AFRS series.  According to the vinyl trail-off of the disc, this episode was compiled from two episodes of "The Garry Moore Show", originally broadcast 11/18 and 11/23/49 on CBS.

The show includes members of the audience commenting on how much they enjoy the show and asking Garry how it can stay on the air without a sponsor.  Announcer Howard Petrie does a little routine about he and his wife celebrating their "Insurance Anniversary".  This mix of music, talk and comedy is a great showcase for Moore's laid back and genial personality that would be a fixture on CBS for almost twenty years.

The show was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.

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Tags: comedy

Comedy Caravan - Pgm 19

December 24th, 2009 · Comments

For your holiday enjoyment, we now offer some Christmas comedy, courtesy of the "Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore Show".

Broadcast as "Comedy Caravan" on Armed Forces Radio and marked as program 19 in the network's Christmas series, the show was probably originally broadcast on CBS on December 21, 1945.  The main sketch has Durante and Moore operating a zoo and looking for a six-legged octopus.  Moore also does his version of "White Christmas".

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This appears to be a previously lost episode of the series and finding it was a treat for me since I've always enjoyed Durante and Moore's program.  However, it can be hard to tell sometimes with AFRS shows of this period - it could have been assembled from other Durante-Moore shows just for the AFRS holiday programming schedule.

The show was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription; the date is from the transcription matrix.  The original is the worse for wear and has gone through click reduction to make it more listenable.

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Tags: comedy · Christmas related · Durante and Moore

Your Movietown Radio Theatre - Pgm 24

December 20th, 2009 · Comments

Let's return to "Your Movietown Radio Theatre", a seldom heard series syndicated by Frederick W. Ziv circa 1947-1948.

Program 24 is, I think, a previously uncirculated episode, "The Sound of Her Voice", a charming, dark little comedy about a man who finds a genie in a bottle.  Our star is Robert Hutton.  Since the show was syndicated, you don't hear the opening, just a music bed, since a local announcer would have kicked off the program with a plug for a local sponsor.

The show was transferred from an original vinyl Ziv transcription, matrix numbers UR 174915 AU1 and UR 174916 AU1.  The disc set is very scratched, so I had to run it through some click reduction software.  Sorry, but no label on this entry - the discs had water damage and the label is obscured.

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Tags: comedy · Ziv syndication · rand's favorites · Your Movietown Radio Theatre