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Entries Tagged as 'historical'

Any Bonds Tonight - Dec 26, 1944, WCFL, Chicago

July 3rd, 2008 · Comments

Our final War World II era sound check from WCFL, Chicago is a show called "Any Bonds Tonight".  This fifteen minute show, broadcast December 26, 1944 from 8:45 to 9:00 p.m., sounds like it was a larger War Bond drive taking place at the station on that day.

Instead of recordings, like the "Americans at Work" show previously in the blog, this program features some local musicians.  Jack Kelly and his Orchestra provide music for the show and perform "Emblem of Peace March", and "Live the American Way".  A country swing group, the Pioneers contribute "San Fernando Valley".

The show includes salutes to local business such as Central Architectural Iron Works, Butler Brothers, Alloy Steel Gear and Pinion Company, Jefferson Electric Company and others.

Our old friend Carl E. Payne, sales manager for Oscar W. Hedstrom Corporation, gives a talk about the flag, patriotism and buying War Bonds.  The discs were probably created for Payne or his employer.

The show was transferred to digital from four sides of a set of 78 rpm 12" acetates.  Sound quality varies, but the show is in good shape overall.

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Tags: WW II related · historical · local radio

Americans at Work - Oct 12, 1942, WCFL, Chicago

July 3rd, 2008 · Comments

Here's another episode of "Americans at Work", a weekly series produced as a WW II morale booster by WCFL in Chicago.  These WCFL transcriptions were probably cut for the guest speaker heard on the show, sales manager Carl E. Payne, or his employer, Oscar W. Hedstrom Corporation.

Payne gives a short speech on working together towards common goals to aid the War effort.  Businesses referred to on the show include the Welsh Scientific Company, Modern and Dye and Drop Forge Company.  The program was broadcast October 12, 1942 from 7:30 to 7:45 p.m.

Songs on the show are almost exactly like the other episode in the last post ("I Am an American", "They Started Something (But We're Gonna End It)", "That's Worth Fighting For", "Arms for the Love of America", and the end theme, "God Bless America").  So, I wonder if they were running out of War-themed tunes to play or if the songs were popular enough to be repeated on the show.

This program was transferred from four sides of a set of 78 rpm 12" acetates.  The sound quality varies a great deal - one side in the set was "gouged" by a heavy stylus in a concentric circle all through the side, producing several ticks and skips, unfortunately.

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Tags: WW II related · historical · local radio

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

July 3rd, 2008 · Comments

"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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Tags: WW II related · historical · local radio

Man Against the Crippler, March of Dimes - 1953 Campaign

May 30th, 2008 · Comments

In this part of the world, summertime is upon us.  At one time, that meant one thing to many parents - polio.

This post features "Man Against the Crippler", a half-hour program that dramatizes the story of polio research.  It was syndicated to local stations in the summer of 1953 by the March of Dimes as part of their fundraising efforts.  The show features Mercury Theater alumnus Everett Sloane narrating and Kenneth Banghart announcing.  The style of the show might remind you of "The March of Time".

The year after this program was broadcast, the first double-blind tests of the Salk polio vaccine would take place on a large scale around the country.

The discs were pressed by RCA.  Matrix numbers are E3-KM-5532 and E3-KM-5533.

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Tags: drama · historical · public service · medical related

The Ballad Hunter - Pgm 2 - Blues and Hollers

May 16th, 2008 · Comments

Another entry in the 1940s radio series, "The Ballad Hunter", produced by the Library of Congress and featuring John Lomax and field recordings of American folk music.

"Blues and Hollers" is program number 2 from the series, matrix number MS 063262. This episode of the series includes recordings from Livingston, Indiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; Oklahoma and other locations. Songs heard include "I'm Gwine to Texas", "Two White Horses", and a discussion of the blues by Woody Guthrie.

You can read more specifics about the episode, including names of songs and singers in the show, at the Library of Congress website.

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Tags: music · historical · Library of Congress

The Ballad Hunter - Pgm 1 - Cheynne, Wyoming

May 16th, 2008 · Comments

"The Ballad Hunter" was a series of ten radio programs syndicated by the Radio Research Project of the Library of Congress and was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1941.  The series features John Lomax presenting field recordings and discussing various forms of folk music from around the US.  It's a forerunner of the type of documentaries one might hear now on public radio stations.

In the first episode of the series, "Cheyenne, Wyoming", Lomax tells the story of talking with Teddy Roosevelt about writing a forward to his book on Western folk songs.  Heard in the program are field recordings of songs such as "Jesse James", "Sioux Indians" and "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie".  The matrix number of the side is MS 063263.

More information on each program in the series is at the Library of Congress website.  It's one series I'm hoping to complete on original transcription pressings.

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Tags: music · historical · Library of Congress

The Marine Story - Program #4

May 3rd, 2008 · Comments

Another show in our series of Marine Corps adventures starring William Bendix from 1947-48.  This episode looks at Francis De Bellevue, a hero of the Battle of New Orleans.  Doesn't Bendix sound like a New Orleans native in this one?

The original disc has a warp that affects the sound for the first couple of minutes.  An Orthacoustic disc produced by NBC's Radio Recording Division and pressed by RCA, matrix HD7-MM-11941  There's a pencil notation on the label that is was played on WMIN on 2-1-48.

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Tags: drama · historical · public service · US Marines

The Marine Story - Program #3

May 3rd, 2008 · Comments

Another dramatic series designed for Marine Corps recruitment, this one produced in 1947-48, and using a different storytelling style than the earlier "Leatherneck Legends" in previous blog posts. "The Marine Story" presented stories from the Corp's history like "Leatherneck Legends" in the blog last week, but focused on individual tales of heroism and Marine know-how.  The series featured William Bendix as star.

Program #3 tells the story of Captain James Willing and how he assembled a ragtag ship and crew during the Continental era.  This is an Orthacoustic disc produced by NBC's Radio Recording Division and pressed by RCA, matrix HD7-MM-11942.  Pencil notation on the label notes it was played on WMIN on 1-25-48.

Oddly, the RadioGOLDindex lists this series with a different cast and stories, but dating to the same time period.  I'm not sure if there's some mix-up with the title of the series of if this show was done as a parallel to another with the same title.  (This one promotes the Marine Corps Reserve, so the other may have been aimed at recruiting for the Marine Corps itself.)

Apologies for the "thumps" during the first few minutes of the show - the disc is warped.

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Tags: drama · historical · public service · US Marines

America’s Famous Fathers - Pgm 24

April 20th, 2008 · Comments

Continuing from the previous post, here's program #24 of "America's Famous Fathers". In this episode, Col. Theodore Roosevelt and the wife of author John Phillips Marquand debate the role of fathers in the household.

Roosevelt relates some fun and interesting stories about his own father, President Roosevelt. Howard Lindsay, who normally was host of the show, was ill and unable to appear, so announcer Ray Green conducts the interview. The program was syndicated by the Kermit-Raymond Corporation and the commercials were added by a local announcer; the show appears to date from circa 1941.

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Tags: historical · World Broadcasting · Kermit-Raymond Corp · rand's favorites

America’s Famous Fathers - Pgm 12

April 20th, 2008 · Comments

"America's Famous Fathers" is an obscure syndicated radio that dates from around 1941; I haven't been able to dig up much information about it, but the label indicates that it was distributed by World Broadcasting and syndicated by the Kermit-Raymond Corporation. The commercials were added locally to the program.

The show seems to be connected to the hit Broadway play "Life with Father", which opened at the Empire Theater in November 1939 and ran for over 3,000 performances. The premise of the radio is that the co-author and star of the play, Howard Lindsay, would play host to "famous fathers". Program #24, in the next post, takes the form of a conversation and interview about fatherhood, while the program in this post, #12, features Lowell Thomas telling a dramatized story about two men that are stranded after their airplane crashes. Ray Green is the announcer.

I'm not sure I quite understand the concept behind the series - the show in the next post, with Col. Roosevelt, is a conversation about fatherhood, but this episode with Lowell Thomas doesn't seem to have anything to do with the topic of fathers.

If anyone has further info about the series, leave a comment or send me an email and I'll add some info the post. I'm wondering if it may have had a limited regional distribution in the Northeast because of the connection to the Broadway show or activity by the sponsor only in certain areas of the country.

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Tags: drama · historical · World Broadcasting · Kermit-Raymond Corp