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Entries Tagged as 'music'

Guest Star - Pgm 682 - April 17, 1960

April 8th, 2017 · Comments

Now another late era episode of the long-running program promoting US Savings Bonds, “Guest Star”.  The times are changing, as some upstart teenage rock n’ roll invades this showcase for vocalists and big bands.

In program 682, we hear the popular fifties vocal group from Canada, the Crew Cuts.  While we don’t get to hear their big hit, “Sh-Boom”, we get a reminder of how good they could be, turning in polished performances of less well-remembered tunes.  The first song is the upbeat “Let’s Fall in Love” and they also perform “Aura Lee”, recorded by Elvis four years earlier as the title song for his film, “Love Me Tender”.  As usual, the music is provided by Harry Sosnik’s Orchestra and the announcer is Del Sharbutt.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from a sixteen inch vinyl microgroove Treasury Department vinyl transcription.

 

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Tags: music · Treasury Department

Wade Lane’s Home Folks - Pgm 4

April 2nd, 2017 · Comments

Now, let’s sit by the fire for another fifteen minutes with everyone’s favorite unwanted guest in “Wade Lane’s Home Folks”.

In program 4, Lane starts off the show with a creepy little monologue about his fascination with peering into his neighbor’s windows and how the windows are an “eye to the soul”, leading to the first song, “Little Grey Home in the West”.  The usual assortment of slightly disturbing stories and corny old songs round out the quarter hour of your life you’ll never get back.

This show is so old-fashioned that, even for the late 30s, the target market must have been great-grandmothers or undead vampires who still had vivid memories of the pre-Civil War era.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original sixteen inch shellac transcription, matrix number B5090A.  The show was recorded in the Hollywood studios of Recordings, Inc. and probably pressed by Allied.  It was produced by Mertens and Price, 1240 South Main Street, Los Angeles.

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Tags: music

Guest Star - Pgm 681 - April 10, 1960

March 25th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another in our series of late era “Guest Star” programs that were syndicated by the Treasury Department to promote Savings Bonds.

Program 681 in the series features vocalist Betty Johnson and the first is “You Don’t Care a Rowboat”, which she released on Atlantic records.  Johnson, by the way, is a native of Guilford County, North Carolina.  Her vocal style reminds me a bit of Dinah Shore.  The show features  Harry Sosnik’s Orchestra and the announcer is Del Sharbutt.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from a sixteen inch vinyl microgroove Treasury Department vinyl transcription.

 

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Tags: music · Treasury Department

Union Leader Tobacco - April 1, 1940

March 18th, 2017 · Comments

Finally on the blog this week, an unusual fifteen minute musical show by a unique performer, Harry "Woo Woo" Stevens.

The Union Leader Tobacco program featured Harry Stevens playing banjo and singing old well-known tunes.  Stevens has a performing style that harkens back to the days of vaudeville and early radio, with friendly patter between (and during) the songs about his home town in Georgia and how great the “old songs” are.  The first song on the show of April 1, 1940 is “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.  The program was originally broadcast on NBC.  I can’t find an entry for this in any newspapers at JJ’s Radio Logs, so it might have been carried on the network on a regional basis.

You can read about the long and storied career of Harry "Woo Woo" Stevens in an article published in 2007 at the Orange County Register.

The show was transferred from an original set of twelve inch air-check lacquers running at 78 rpm made for Stevens.

 

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Tags: music

Sammy Kaye’s Showroom - Pgm 29

March 18th, 2017 · Comments

Let’s enjoy another quarter hour of “sweet band” music with “Sammy Kaye’s Showroom”, a syndicated series sponsored by Chrysler and produced by McCann-Erickson Inc.

The first song on program 29 is “My One And Only Highland Fling” sung by Laura Leslie and Don Cornell.  The commercials pitch service for your car available from your local Chrysler dealer.

The show was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Columbia, matrix number YTNY 11373.

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Tags: music

Guest Star - Pgm 680 - April 3, 1960

March 11th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another late OTR era episode of the long running Treasury Department public service program, “Guest Star”.

Program 680 in the series features singer Felicia Saunders backed by Harry Sosnik’s Orchestra.  The announcer is Del Sharbutt.

I won’t tell you what the first song is that Saunders performs - you’ll have to listen and find out yourself.  It’s one of the most bizarre arrangements of a well known show tune that I think I’ve ever heard.  Keep in mind, though, that the show this song came from was still on Broadway and hadn’t been made into one of the biggest musicals of the sixties - back in 1960, it was just another song from another Broadway show that could be shaped and rearranged by a variety of recording artists.

The show was transferred from an original 16” vinyl microgroove Treasury Department transcription. 

 

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Tags: music · Treasury Department

Wade Lane’s Home Folks - Pgm 3

March 11th, 2017 · Comments

Once again, we sit by the fire with everyone’s favorite deep bass creepy warbling home invader on “Wade Lane’s Home Folks”.  You can read what little background I was able to dig up on this 1930s-era show in a previous post on the blog.

The first songs in Program 3 in the series are “(In the Gloaming) By the Fireside”, a song recorded by English band leader Ray Noble with singer Al Bowlly, and “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny”.  (The organist has some slip-ups in the latter tune that will make you cringe.)  Lane rambles on about grandmother’s picture album and his old school chum, Ike, singing songs about rivers.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original sixteen inch shellac transcription, matrix number B5089.  The show was recorded in the Hollywood studios of Recordings, Inc. and probably pressed by Allied.  It was produced by Mertens and Price, 1240 South Main Street, Los Angeles.

 

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Tags: music

Guest Star - Pgm 679 - March 27, 1960

March 4th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s a program from late in the old time radio era, but the long-running series was well known during the era.

“Guest Star” was a program promoting US Savings Bonds.  It usually included musical guests that performed their latest tunes, but also included other types of performers hawking for the Treasury Department.

Program 679 for broadcast the week of March 27, 1960 features Warren Covington and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.  The first tune on the show is “The Tea for Two Cha-Cha”.  Del Sharbutt is the announcer.

At this point in the series, rock n’ roll had taken over AM radio and “Guest Star” was concentrating more on what we would think of today as “easy listening” or “adult contemporary” artists for their more adult audience.  This was from the microgroove era when four shows in hi-fi would be distributed on one 16” transcription.  It’s the type of show that might have popped up on the adult-oriented FM radio outlets of the period and gives us a glimpse of how the big bands and vocalists soldiered on through this new era of youth-oriented music that changed the industry.

Our show was transferred from an original 16” vinyl microgroove Treasury Department transcription.  My apologies for the skip that occurs during the opening tune.

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Tags: music · Treasury Department

Sammy Kaye Showroom - Pgm 28

February 2nd, 2017 · Comments

“The Sammy Kaye Showroom” was a fifteen minute syndicated music program sponsored by Chrysler-Plymouth distributed around 1949.  Although at least seventy shows were produced in the series, only a handful circulate among collectors.  Sammy Kaye led one of the “sweet” bands, so the show hasn’t gotten as much attention as work by other big bands and jazz performers of the period that are of more interest to jazz collectors today.

The songs on program 28 include “Kiss Me Sweet”, “Louise”, “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now” and a new tune Kaye had just recorded, “Belmont Boogie”.  The vocals are by Laura Leslie and Tony Alamo.  The Presto-Magic Fluid Drive Transmission and Chrysler service are promoted in the commercials.

The show was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Columbia, matrix number YTNY 11372.

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Tags: music · Sammy Kaye Showroom

Tune Test Audition

December 28th, 2016 · Comments

Once in a while, you run into the most puzzling things in batches of “throwaway” transcription discs.  This one had me asking “What the heck?”

This is an audition for a half-hour game show called “Tune Test”.  Similar to “Stop the Music”, the host of the show would call random numbers and ask contestants to identify a song and answer a music-related question.

What’s odd about this disc is that I can’t really decide if it’s a real audition for an actual proposed program or some kind of elaborate gag or parody of these game shows.

You never hear the contestants on the other end of the line - just the host, Jack Fuller, hawking the fake product "Dimaxio", which does everything and is available everywhere, and creating the most elaborate reactions to the “callers”.

Is this Jack Fuller the same guy who was an announcer for “Vic and Sade”?

I have no idea if he was working from a script or improvising around some loose notes - regardless, it’s a remarkable acting performance.

Our mp3 was transferred from a 16” thin vinyl transcription produced by Radio Ventures, Inc, 75 E Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois and labeled “Tone Test Audition with Merchandise Awards”.  The master numbers U-1629 and U-1630 and the numbers D-49034 and D-49035 are etched in the run-off.

My Google searching couldn’t turn up anything on Jack Fuller except listings at Goldin for his announcing work on “Vic and Sade” and absolutely nothing on “Radio Ventures, Inc”.  Based on references to "The Jolson Story" and similarities to "Stop the Music", I'm guessing this dates from the late '40s.

What do you think?  Is this a real audition or a satire made as some kind of joke?

update, 12.28.16

I knew if I put out a call on some OTR related Facebook groups, someone could find info on this.

Yes, it was a real show that made it air for a brief period.

Martin Grams found a review of the September 12, 1949 premiere of the program.  The show ran for 25 minutes, Monday through Friday, at 2:00 pm on WGN in Chicago.  It was directed by Carlyle Stevens and a combo called the Tune Testers that worked under other names on WGN’s other programs - Sam Porfirio, Ben Carlton, Fred Kissing, and Al Barathy.  Norman Kraeft was the announcer and Jack Fuller was the emcee.

The reviewer noted that there were four giveaway shows on WGN, “despite the recent FCC crackdown on phone gimmick lotteries”.  It sounds as though the format was the same.  “Fuller does a neat stint with the phones, but he has so many prizes to give away, with credit lines attached, that he has to race to stay with the schedule,” the reviewer said.  “Considering the load of yak carried, the direction kept the tempo bubbling well.  But less buzzing and fewer minor prizes could make the program a much catchier affair.”

Grams also found an article dated September 28, 1949 noting that Radio Features Inc was seeking a delay in Federal Court on it’s suit for a permanent injunction against the FCC’s ban on phone giveaway programs.  The president of the company, Walt Schwimmer, had secured a temporary injunction, preventing FCC action against “Tune Test” and another program, “Tele-Test”.  The company was pushing the case into what they thought would be a more favorable Federal court in New York, with a hearing scheduled for October.

Andrew Sternberg found a few references to the program host, Jack Fuller, in the June 28, 1947 edition of Billboard.  He was a personality on Chicago radio and television and the Billboard article reviews the “Sachs Amateur Hour” on WENR and WCFL, Chicago, a program where Fuller acted as an announcer.

It would be curious to hear one of the actual programs.  I wonder how Fuller could have kept up the pace on a five-day-a-week show like this with the kind of patter he was having to come up with.

 

Even though it's real, it still sounds like a parody of radio games shows to me.

 

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Tags: music · quiz show