rand’s esoteric otr

rand’s esoteric otr header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'local radio'

Buckeye Barn Dance - December 4, 1948

January 17th, 2011 · Comments

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.


Tags: country music · local radio

Down Our Street - January 21, 1948 - Goodfellows

December 14th, 2010 · Comments

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.


Tags: local radio

Famous American Authors - circa 1947-48

November 14th, 2010 · Comments

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...


Tags: drama · local radio

Georgia Crackers - April 30, 1949

November 7th, 2010 · Comments

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.


Tags: country music · local radio

The Jack Web Show - April 10, 1946

October 4th, 2010 · Comments

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.


Tags: comedy · local radio

Georgia Crackers - April 29, 1949

September 9th, 2010 · Comments

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.


Tags: country music · local radio

WEEI Job Center - January 11, 1948

June 18th, 2010 · Comments

Now another one of my local radio oddities.  I've posted several local shows over the past few months that originated in 1947-48 and seemed to be grouped together for some type of competition.

transcription label

"WEEI Job Center" was a local program from a Boston station that announced jobs available for returning vets.  The show also includes an interview with a guest who discusses psychometric testing of job applications.  It was broadcast January 11, 1948 from 10:30 am to 11:00 am and, unfortunately, only the first half of the program survives.

This obscure little bit of history was transferred from an original WEEI lacquer.


Tags: WW II related · local radio

Kansas Farm Report - circa 1947

April 12th, 2010 · Comments

And now for another one of those mysterious "throw away" transcriptions.

This one isn't labeled, so I have no idea who the announcer is or the station where it originated.  But, based on the contents, I think it may be from late 1947 or early 1948.  (Google News has an article from January 1948 on the Congressional subcommittee that was discussing rationing, referred to in the program).  It's a transcribed farm report from what sounds like a Kansas station with original commercials for Staley's hog feed.  The topics on the show include discussions in Washington on rationing and appearances by the local announcer at a meeting of an egg co-op.  The disc was probably recorded so the show could be played later at the station - the announcer would likely be traveling or appearing at the egg co-op meeting when the broadcast occurred.

Farm-oriented reports like this used to be very common on radio when family farms were much more a part of the landscape, especially in the south and midwestern states.  You almost never hear a transcription of one of these local shows since there was no reason to record them at the time.

The program was transferred from an original single-sided 16" lacquer transcription with no label.


Tags: local radio

Down Our street - January 21, 1948

March 27th, 2010 · Comments

Well, here's another one of those local programs from 1947-48 I've been posting periodically over the past few months.  They're from a set of lacquers that I think originated from a competition from that year for local radio programming.

transcription label

"Down Our Street" is an entry from WXYZ, Detroit.  The series featured "Gramps and Betty" telling stories "from life" of average folks in the Detroit area.  This particular episode, dated January 21, 1948, dramatizes the story of a War hero, Audley Norton.  Fred Foy is your announcer.

The transfer is from original WXYZ, Detroit/American Broadcasting Company laquer transcription and the show appears to be previously lost/uncirculated.


Tags: local radio

WHB - Voices from the Air - 1925

March 21st, 2010 · Comments

Here's a little mystery disc I'm posting to the blog in the hope that someone can give us an idea of what we're listening to.  I recently won the disc in an auction and the seller didn't offer any further information about it or its origins.

The disc is a 10" 78 rpm one-sided lacquer with a label from WHB Kansas City.  Typed on the label is "Voices from the Air "Re Recorded" - 1925".

transcription label

The record, which has rather poor sound quality, includes various announcers giving station ids and sign offs.  First, we hear Bill Hay, KFKX of Hastings, Nebraska; someone from WSB, owned by the Atlanta-Journal; WBAP, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram; and finally WHB, Kansas City.  In the WHB id, they mention they're broadcasting from the "convention hall during the electrical and radio show" and  that the regular programs of WHB and WDAF were originating from the convention that week, along with some information on tomorrow's program.

Is this a genuine aircheck from a special broadcast in 1925, perhaps where there was a special multi-station hookup put in place?  Is it a recording not recorded from the air, but from the convention, where announcers were giving the crowd and listeners on WHB an idea of what their station ids sounded like at the time?  Or is it something else?

If this is a genuine aircheck or a record from an early radio convention, it's certainly a unique bit of radio history.  Elizabeth McLeod has a fascinating set of pages on "Documenting Early Radio", noting very few surviving airchecks or recordings of programs from that era.  Most were experimental recordings of special events or tests done by Western Electric and Victor.

I'm guessing this could be a dub, perhaps made in the 40s, from an original cylinder or disc recording made off the air or at the convention.  Remote or off-air recording was cumbersome, but possible, in the 1920s; the material could have been captured on a home cylinder recording device or perhaps some equipment that was brought in specifically for the convention.

Note the distance and primitive sound of the recording, which seems to have the ambiance of an event in a large hall, and how the information seems to be very specific to the event.  Since the dub was found on an original WHB lacquer, it would make sense that the original recording was owned by the station or someone associated with the station, and would have had some significance to the station's history.  And that does sound like Bill Hay.  So, I think it's likely a genuine 20s era recording of the convention or broadcast and not a later recreation.

I've done digging at the Google News archives, which includes items from the New York Times and ProQuest, but haven't found any article specifically mentioning a "radio and electrical show" from 1925 in Kansas.  There were several exhibitions in different cities - Hartford in 1924 and Chicago and New York in different years in the 1920s.  I did find some references to KFKX serving mid-West listeners with farm reports; it was moved to Chicago in 1927.  Some simple networks and experiments with remote broadcasts were heard at the time, particularly the Democratic Convention and National Defense Day broadcasts in 1924 and the Cooledge inauguration in early 1925.

I also found this curious little excerpt at archive.org of "The Rape of Radio", a book published in 1941 by Robert West, Director of the Radio Arts Guild of America:

"Bill Hay, the perennial Amos 'n' Andy announcer, once taught piano and ran a radio store. For two years he read and announced his own program, with potato sacks for sound-proofing and open windows to admit the air on the now extinct KFKX of Hastings, Nebraska."

Potato sacks for sound-proofing?  That certainly sounds like early radio.  Or a dot-com start-up company.

So what do you think about the recording?  Please feel free to leave your comments with your own ideas and any info you might run into.

update, 03.21.2010

Elizabeth McLeod quickly wrote in on the disc, as she's familiar with it.

The original is a New Flexo disc, a flexible celluliod record from the 1920s that was used for advertising.

"It's a dub of a souvenir recording made at the trade show -- all of those announcers were there in person and took their turns recreating their traditional station IDs. It was a gathering of mostly Southern and Western broadcasters of the sort that was very common in the mid-twenties. I don't have a specific date, but I imagine you'd find it mentioned in Radio Digest that summer.

"The WSB announcer is Lamdin Kay, who was one of the most famous radio personalities in the country at the time, and the first to use chimes as a station id signal. The Texas station is WBAP in Fort Worth.

"Bill Hay indeed started his radio career at KFKX, which was in the same building as the piano company where he'd worked as a salesman."

Thanks Elizabeth!


Tags: memorabilia · local radio · rand's favorites · early radio