Archive for the 'local radio' Category

WCBS “Skin” tape - Feb 12, 1955

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Update - click "Read the rest of this entry" at the bottom of the blog post to see an important update on the origins of this unusual tape.

In this post, a bit of a mystery.

Some months ago, I got some reel to reel tapes that came from someone that was connected with WCBS in New York.  In a previous post, I uploaded a lengthy excerpt from the October 30, 1957 edition of the "Lanny Ross Show" that came from one of the tapes in the group.

WCBS tape box cover

WCBS tape box - back

This tape is a 7" Scotch reel recorded in full-track mono at 7.5 ips.  The box is labeled "Skin/LB (piano) - Feb 12 55" on the back.

There's a slip of WCBS memo paper that was in the tape box with a handwritten list of songs.  I can't read the handwriting very well, but it looks like this.  (You can download a scan of the paper here.)

Act I -The Colder Day of the Year -Telegram! -The Whole Crooked Family -It's Cold

Act II -The Ancient Ordering Mermaids (?) -? (looks like "Kedel") -Sabrina -Evening (?) Senior Years -Two of Every Kid (Kind?)

Act III -Poor Before We Know It -Sweet Hong (?) -Hour of the Night/Magic -The Coldest Day/Frak (? - "Finale"?)

Also in the tape box was a standard postcard with the notation "Copy to SS" and someone's signature.  (Download a scan here.)

The tape itself contains different songs played on piano.  There's no announcements or other audio on the tape.  The mp3 in the post is the first song from the tape, or at least part of it - the tape is starting to curl and warp on the outer edges and doesn't have a leader at the beginning.  The reel seems to start in the middle of one of the songs.

I'm not sure if this is connected with some type of special show that was done for WCBS or maybe for CBS Television.  I did some searching on JJ's Radio Logs for 1955, Goldin's radio show database, and on Billboard magazine at Google Books, but didn't turn up any radio or tv show with "Skin" in the title.

Anyone know what this is?

Our mp3 was dubbed direct from a 7" full-track mono Scotch reel to reel tape running at 7.5 ips.

(more...)

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The Story Lady - January 10, 1948 - excerpt

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

"The Story Lady" was a local children's program on WHO, Des Moines, Iowa.  In this post, we hear the last fifteen minutes of the broadcast of January 10, 1948.  The show includes birthday greetings, songs, a segment where the kids try to come up with names for pets of listeners, and a child in the audience with a bad cold who coughs up a lung during the broadcast.

story-lady_1948-01-10.jpg

I couldn't make out the name of the host at the end of the program and didn't have any luck finding newspaper articles about her or the show - perhaps one of our readers can help us out with more information.  (Heck, it may be that one of our listeners was in the audience that day.)

Our program was transferred from an original WHO single-sided lacquer.  The disc came from a group of local programs from 1948 heard on stations around the country - I think they may have been entries in some type of contest for local programming.

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Lanny Ross - October 30, 1957 - excerpt

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Lanny Ross was a singer who had a long career on radio, nightclubs and in films.  His better known films include the 1939 animated feature "Gulliver's Travels" and "Stage Door Canteen" from 1943.  On radio, he appeared with Annette Hanshow on the "Maxell House Show Boat".  By the late 50s, Ross was hosting a morning program weekdays on WCBS in New York at 9:05 am each morning.  He would spin records and perform songs live in the studio.

In this 20 minute excerpt of his show from October 30, 1957, Lanny Ross is celebrating his 25th anniversary in radio and several song-pluggers from music publishers stop by and give him a cake and greetings on the anniversary.  The program includes live and recorded commercials for Bromo Quinine cold tablets, Pepperidge Farm (featuring Titus Moody), Libby's and Petrie Wine.

You can read a wire story about Ross's anniversary at the Google News archives.

The show was transferred from an original 10.5" full-track reel to reel tape running at 7.5 inches per second, probably recorded directly off the sound board in the studio.

This one was a mess to deal with - the tape, which came from the estate of a WCBS engineer, was covered in mold.  I had to discard the tape box and give the tape itself a thorough cleaning before attempting a transfer.  There's no picture, since the tape only included a brief handwritten notation of "Lanny Ross Anniversary".

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Sheboygan Red Skins versus Oshkosh All-Stars - March 17, 1946 - excerpt

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Next up on the blog, an aircheck of a National Basketball League game between the Sheboygan Red Skins and the Oshkosh All-Stars heard on March 17, 1946.  The recording features the last ten minutes of the game recorded from WHBL, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and includes a commercial for Friendly Finance with various locations throughout Wisconsin.  You can read an article about the game from the Milwaukee Sentinel here.

The National Basketball League was formed in 1937 and would merge with the Basketball Association of America in 1949 to become the National Basketball Association.  The NBL was concentrated in the midwest and the league featured corporate sponsored teams.  The League is also notable for helping to break down racial barriers in sports, adding African-American players during the 1942-43 season.

I've not researched otr era sports recordings in depth, but have an impression that recordings of professional basketball are fairly rare.  This mp3 was dubbed directly from a home recorded 10" unlabeled lacquer that ran at 33.3 rpm.

In the next post, we hear a little something from the other side of the disc.

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Buckeye Barn Dance - December 4, 1948

Monday, January 17th, 2011

A few weeks back, I posted two fifteen minute country music shows with the Georgia Crackers from April 29 and April 30, 1949.  This is the last show in my collection featuring the group.

transcription label

"Buckeye Barn Dance" was a half-hour country music show originating at WHKC in Columbus Ohio and sponsored by the Glick Furniture Company.  In the episode of December 4, 1948, the first song is "Steel Guitar Rag" and the Glick Furniture Company advertises the fine selection of Philco radios they have at the store along with a "Dream Home" decorated by them that was open for tours at the time.

The show was transferred from a original set of single-sided lacquer transcriptions and sounds as if it might be an aircheck.  It is previously uncirculated.

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Down Our Street - January 21, 1948 - Goodfellows

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

At this time of year, I like to feature some of the Christmas related shows I've obtained over the last few months.

"Down Our Street" was a local program produced by WXYZ in Detroit featuring stories about people in the local area.  This particular episode is a short drama about the inspiration for a local charity group, the Goodfellows, that occurred after a newspaper boy was robbed on Christmas.

transcription label

The transcription is dated January 21, 1948, but I think the date might be wrong.  This was part of a group of transcriptions I obtained that included discs of local shows from around the country from the same time period that, I think, were part of some type of competition.  Another disc in this set is another episode of "Down Our Street" that also carries the same date - you can listen to it in this post on the blog.

The show was transferred from an original WXYZ, Detroit/ABC lacquer transcription.  The show appears to be previously lost.

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Famous American Authors - circa 1947-48

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Awhile back I obtained a curious group of discs, all containing local programming from around the country originally broadcast in late 1947 and early 1948.  I think these might have been submitted to some type of competition, based on some notes I found on the disc sleeves.

transcription label

From that group, here's "Famous American Authors", a program produced by WSUI in Iowa City.  This episode dramatized the life of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.  It's an interesting glimpse into the wide range of shows, including drama, that were commonly heard on local radio many years ago.  WSUI, founded in 1919 by the University of Iowa, is still around and is the oldest surviving educational radio station west of the Mississippi.

The show was digitized from an original lacquer transcription from WSUI.

Correction, 11/15/2010 - In my haste to put together the post, I typed the name of the subject incorrectly in my original version of the post - it's on Oliver Wendell Holmes, not Longfellow...

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Georgia Crackers - April 30, 1949

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

A few weeks back, we heard a quarter-hour of country music from the Georgia Crackers on their Mutual network show that originated at WHKC in Columbus, Ohio.

transcription label

Here's the other episode I have in the series, broadcast a day after the last program I posted.  The show of April 30, 1949 has "Cimarron" as the fist tune.  The show appears to be an aircheck and was transferred from an original lacquer created by Anderson Custom Recordings, Columbus, Ohio.  The show is previously uncirculated.

Later, I'll post a half-hour "barn dance" type of show featuring the group that came from the same batch of discs.

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The Jack Web Show - April 10, 1946

Monday, October 4th, 2010

This show is floating around in mp3 format, but I've made a fresh transfer of it from an original 70s era early generation reel to reel tape of the program.

If you've not heard it before, you're in for a surprise.  It's a sketch comedy show.  And, yes, it features _that_ Jack Webb.  Originating in San Francisco and possibly carried on ABC's Pacific network, "The Jack Web Show" from April 10, 1946 includes sketches such as "Facts on Parade" and a private-eye spoof called "The Razor".

If you like this transfer, let me know and I can post the other existing episode of the series in the blog dubbed from the same tape.

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Georgia Crackers - April 29, 1949

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Once in a while, I turn up a nice little local or regional show featuring performers that were well known at the time in a particular area or with a certain audience, but are almost forgotten today.

Such is the case with "The Georgia Crackers", a quarter-hour hillbilly music show that originated at WHKC in Columbus, Ohio and was carried on the Mutual network.  I have a disc containing two shows from the series and another disc set containing a half-hour program featuring the Georgia Crackers.

transcription label

The program of April 29, 1949 features a composition by a member of the group, "Baby Doll", as the first tune.  The show is sustained.

According to this website, the group recorded a few sides for RCA Victor and were featured on a number of Mutual hillbilly shows.  One member of the Georgia Crackers, Al Myers, is in the Ohio Fingestyle Guitar Club Hall of Fame.

Our show was transferred from an original Anderson Custom Recordings, Columbus, Ohio, lacquer transcription aircheck.

I'll post the other shows I have with the Georgia Crackers in the next few weeks on the blog.

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