Archive for the 'Ladies Be Seated' Category

Ladies Be Seated - October 30, 1945 excerpt

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

"Ladies Be Seated" was an audience participation game show that also had a run on early television.  Hosted by Johnny Olson and sponsored by Aunt Jemima pancake mix, with Jemima portrayed by Amanda Randolph, the show has only survived in a handful of examples.

Here we have the second half of the show of October 30, 1945 as it was originally heard on ABC radio.  In the program, a young newlywed couple from Ohio on their honeymoon in New York are interviewed in the first segment and, of course, given some prizes including a year's supply of Aunt Jemima pancake mix.

This previously lost excerpt was transferred from an original line check lacquer recorded by WREN in Lawrence, Kansas, probably to time-shift the show.

Listen Now:


Ladies Be Seated - September 14, 1945

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Continuing from our previous post, here's another half-episode of the rare audience participation program "Ladies Be Seated, hosted by Johnny Olson and carried on the ABC radio network.  This is the first half of the program of September 14, 1945 has a woman doing a stunt where she has to engage in a conversation with host Johnny Olson and, at the same time, sing a song.  Then we hear a contestant play out a "puppy love" scene as a puppy.  The next stunt involves couples having to play out a scene where they're being completely honest about their spouses.

Our mp3 is a direct transfer from an original line-check lacquer from WREN in Lawrence, Kansas.  The file has been run through click reduction software.

Listen Now:


Ladies Be Seated - December 21, 1944

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Note:  This program contains racial stereotyping themes that may be offensive to some listeners.

This past week, I spent time transferring a group of "throw away" discs from station WREN in Lawrence, Kansas.  We heard one show from this set of discs a few weeks back, a local country music program by Ted West and His Range Riders.  The discs contained snippets and parts of local and network programming that were recorded for time-shifted broadcast or to test equipment.  Several contained half-episodes of a rare, seldom heard game show called "Ladies Be Seated", originally carried on ABC in the 1940s.

"Ladies Be Seated" was a "stunt" show, similar to "Truth or Consequences", hosted by Johnny Olson.  It was sponsored by Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and Aunt Jemima herself shows up to engage in banter with Johnny about the product.  Not well remembered today, there was also an "Aunt Jemima" minstrel-type program that was carried on network radio from 1929 to 1951.  According to John Dunning's "On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio", the character was played by Black actress Amanda Randolph for part of the run and it sounds like it may be Randolph in the role here.  (Amanda Randolph also appeared on the television version of "Amos N' Andy" and many other programs of the time such as the "Danny Thomas Show".)

In the listing for "Ladies Be Seated" in Dunning, he notes that the show grew out of another program that lampooned household hints shows and was originally carried on NBC's Blue Network, starting in 1944 and, after the network was sold to create ABC, "Ladies Be Seated" was carried there until 1950.  "Ladies Be Seated" was also one of the first game shows broadcast on the ABC television network, starting in 1949.

In the previously lost program of December 21, 1944, we hear Aunt Jemima doing a commercial with Johnny Olson, then one of the contestants in the "Ladies Be Seated" singing contest, some talk about the rarity of nylons during the War when the contestant gets her prizes, and a stunt that has a man from the audience playing "Spin the Bottle".  This is part two of the program only; the first half of the show doesn't survive.

The show was transferred from an original lacquer from WREN in Lawrence, Kansas.  It's been run through some click-reduction software to eliminate as much surface noise as possible.

Listen Now: