Archive for the 'quiz show' 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.


Night Court Quiz - January 21, 1948

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Return with us now to those thrilling days ... of traffic court.

I'm proud to present a previously unheard program from a forgotten local series with a famous voice you're sure to recognize.  "Night Court Quiz" was a local show broadcast on WXYZ, Detroit.  The producers of the program pulled people from night court and got them to participate in a quiz about traffic laws and safety to win money to pay off their traffic tickets.  The program was mentioned briefly in a Billboard magazine article in 1947, noting that the show premiered April 26th and was produced in conjunction with the Detroit Free Press.

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WXYZ, you may recall, was the home of some classic old time radio series such as "The Lone Ranger" and "The Green Hornet".  Our host for "Night Court Quiz" is none other than announcer Fred Foy who provided the well-remembered signature opening lines of "The Lone Ranger" on radio and television.

This episode of the series is dated January 21, 1948 and was transferred from an original American Broadcasting Company/WXYZ lacquer dub transcription.  The program was previously lost/uncirculated.

The disc came from a small group of local programs from various stations from December 1947 and January 1948 that, I believe, were involved in some type of awards competition.  We previously heard "The Sandlotters" from WXYZ from this group; I'll be posting more in the coming weeks.

By the way - anyone else notice all the radio shows and public service announcements about traffic and highway safety in the late 40s and early 50s, (like the episode of "Suspense" with James Cagney, which is one long traffic safety psa)?  Returning GIs must have been hell on wheels when they got back from the War!


It Pays to Be Ignorant - Pgm 88

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Broadcast from 1942 to 1951 on Mutual, then CBS, and finally, NBC, "It Pays to Be Ignorant" was a parody of quiz shows that featured panelists of experts - it's a natural followup to our posts in recent weeks of the "Quiz Kids" and "Twenty Questions".  In this case, our "experts" are a group of regulars always ready for a quick one-liner or really bad pun.

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In this post, program 88 in the series as broadcast on AFRS, originally heard on CBS on December 21, 1945.  The first question during opening is "Why does the subway have to raise the fare?" and the first question during the main body of the show is "What is the color of the Little Red Schoolhouse?".  The show features host Tom Howard, George Shelton, Lulu McConnell, Harry McNaughton, and announcer Ken Roberts.  I think this particular episode might not be in common circulation among collectors.

Frank, a listener to the blog who has had a long  career in radio, remembered seeing "It Pays to Be Ignorant" and other shows live when he worked in the mailroom at Mutual.  Now that was an employee perk!

The show was transferred from original AFRS vinyl transcription.  Date is from the transcription matrix.


Twenty Questions - Pgm 51

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Here's the last episode in my collection of the popular panel quiz program, "Twenty Questions".

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Program 51 in the series, as broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service, appears to be previously lost or uncirculated.  The first quiz subject on the show is Henry Wallace, vice president during Roosevelt's 1940 term.  The guest panelist is baseball player and coach, Hank Gowdy.  Others in the program include host Bill Slater, Fred Van Deventer, Florence Rinard, Bobby McGuire, Herb Polesie, announcer Bob Martin, and the "Mystery Voice" Don Fredericks.

The show was originally broadcast on Mutual and there's no date on the disc matrix.  Goldin lists AFRS program 23 in the series dated to November, 1946, so this show was probably broadcast in early or mid 1947.  The Newspaper Radio Logs site has a listing from the New York Times for May 10, 1947 listing "Twenty Questions" with Gowdy as the guest, so that could be the original date for the show.

Our program was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.  Click reduction software has been used on the master .wav file to improve the sound.


Twenty Questions - Pgm 1

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Game shows aren't the most common old time radio shows floating around, but they can be fun to visit for some funny ad-libbing by a quick-witted host and guests.

Case in point - "Twenty Questions", originally broadcast on Mutual in the 1940s and 50s.  In this post, we offer program 1 in the series as broadcast by AFRS.  The first quiz subject is the Easter Bunny.  We hear host Bill Slater, Fred Van Deventer, Florence Rinard, Bobby McGuire, Herb Polesie, announcer Bob Martin, and the "Mystery Voice" - Don Fredericks.

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There's no date on the matrix of the disc, so the original broadcast date of the show is unknown.  Goldin has a listing for an AFRS program in the series dated to November 1946 that is number 23 in the series, so we might assume this broadcast comes from mid-1946.  According to Wikipedia, the show premiered on radio in February, 1946 and ran until 1954.  In the 1950s, it was also seen on the ABC and DuMont television networks.

A bit of trivia - the juvenile panelist on the show, Bobby McGuire, had to leave the show when he graduated high school and attended Duke University, the institution where I currently work.

The show was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.


WRAK Quiz Kids - October 12, 1948

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The "Quiz Kids" was a popular NBC radio series that ran from 1940 to 1953 and featured a panelist of children with high IQs answering questions sent in by listeners .  What you might not realize is that there was more than one "Quiz Kids" series on radio.

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NBC ran promotions where local stations staged their own "Quiz Kids" programs, with winners on the local editions winning a chance to compete on the network series.  In this post, the first program in the series "WRAK Quiz Kids", originally broadcast October 12, 1948.  The  station was located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and the show is sponsored by the Lundey Paint Store.

The program was transferred from an original vinyl transcription, possibly pressed as a demonstration disc for sponsors or for local stations as an example to follow in their own "Quiz Kids" promotions.  Matrix numbers are matrix 8980A1 and 8981A1.  I've based the date on some internal references in the show.


Cliche Club - June 14, 1950

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

This week, we feature a guest post from fellow otr collector Daniel Sears who shares an episode of a rare panel quiz program. Daniel is the Creative Director for GrumpyFILMS, inc in New York.

Many thanks to Daniel for sharing the show and the blog post. - Randy

Here's an episode from a series that I have rarely heard anything about, which is a shame because it's great fun - "The Cliche Club" from June 14, 1950.  Your host is Walter Kiernan, ABC News Analyst and future co-host of NBC Monitor.

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The listening audience sent in funny little stories that represent certain cliches or old hat sayings, and the panel was supposed to guess which saying within two minutes.  If a listener's story was used, they got a Rand-McNally Cosmopolitan World Atlas, and if the panel did not guess the cliche, the listener then got a lovely Wittnauer watch.

This week's panel is made up of regulars Carol Lynn Gilmer, Associate Editor of Reader's Digest, Agnes Rogers, author and poet who was published in many magazines of the era like Harper's, and Ed Hill, who (from the research I've been able to dig up) was also a news analyst of the period.  The special guest on the panel is Bennett Cerf, author, humorist, and co-founder of Random House publishing.

The show is a lot of fun, and it sounds like the people involved genuinely had a great time doing it.  I've not been able to find the series mentioned on RadioGOLDINdex, and the only other episode I've seen anywhere is posted on the random pages of  That episode happens to be the one following this, where the special guest is Gypsy Rose Lee.

The show was transferred directly from a pair of ABC Network lacquer discs.


Stanley Telephone Radio Quiz - February 16, 1948

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Once in a while, we have to listen to an old time radio show that's significant for what it says about changes in the radio business, but ranks low as entertainment.

"The Stanley Radio Telephone Quiz" is one of those shows.

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Originally broadcast on WOR, New York (and perhaps on part of the Mutual network), the series was a call-in game show, one of many that became popular after the War.  After listening to this program, which is basically an audio version of Bingo combined with a trivia quiz, we can begin to see how a radio talent like Fred Allen was dismayed when his own show tried to compete with this kind of non-entertainment programming.  I can't imagine something like this working today - the actual game play that involves circling numbers on your card based on the answers to questions would be hopelessly confusing to most radio listeners.  (And using your Social Security Number for the quiz?  Sheesh...)

Take a listen to this dreadful show and be appreciative of the many fine drama and comedy programs that survive from the old time radio era.  If we weren't so lucky, the legal departments of the network would have had shows like this recorded and preserved to the exclusion of everything else.

"The Stanley Radio Telephone Quiz" was sponsored by Stanley, which made shaving supplies.  Our example episode was originally broadcast on February 16, 1948.  The show includes the Mutual ID at the end, but, based on the contents of the show, it's unclear if it was actually broadcast locally on WOR or on a part of the network.  There appears to be only one other recording of the program in the hands of a private collector; it is half of the program of August 9, 1947.

The mp3 was directly transferred from a set of WOR reference acetates, number 12-3826.


Farm Fresh Audition, May 9, 1949

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Up next on the blog is an interesting little local program of special interest to our listeners in the Southwest.

"Farm Fresh Audition", likely titled "Ghiz Quiz", is a quiz show recorded in a grocery store in Pheonix, Arizona by radio station KTAR.  In the show, housewives going about their shopping try their hand at winning groceries at the Farm Fresh Market #3 in downtown Phoenix by answering trivia questions about Arizona.

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I'm not sure if this program was actually broadcast since it's labeled as an audition.  Anyone know what the phrase "Dubbed FM Wire" might mean on the disc label?

KTAR, according to Wikipedia, was originally licensed as KFAD in 1929 and changed their call sign to KTAR in 1930.  The station was the hub of the Arizona Broadcasting System, which fed programs to various stations around the state, from 1939 to 1975.  The station's been through a number of ownership changes over the years; it's currently a sports-talk station broadcasting programs from ESPN radio and acting as the flagship station for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks and other area teams.

The show was transferred from an original KTAR lacquer.