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Entries Tagged as 'rand's favorites'

Home Is What You Make It - April 20, 1946

August 13th, 2009 · Comments

Continuing our examination of the end of World War II, we turn to "Home Is What You Make It", a sustained NBC public service series focused on issues related to the War and the home front.  Only a couple of examples of the show are listed at Goldin.

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In this post, we'll hear the first half of the episode of April 20, 1946, "Promised and On the Way", the 74th program in the series.  Ben Grauer hosts a dramatized tour through the amazing new conveniences on the way for American home makers in the post-War period.

Mixing bowls in Technicolor!  Washing machines that make your wearables clothesline fresh!  Streamlined kitchen cabinets and ovens with timers that cook for you!  It's all coming, courtesy of the millions of dollars of industrial research and development!  Of course, the post-War period would also bring us the Cold War, McCarthyism, sprawling suburbs and rock n' roll, but that's a different story...

The show was transferred from an original line check lacquer from John Keating Studios, Portland, Oregon, probably at KGW, and includes the NBC opening system cue.  The program was previously lost and the second half, unfortunately, doesn't survive.

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Tags: WW II related · historical · women's issues · rand's favorites

Jack Berch - August 29, 1947

June 26th, 2009 · Comments

Here's another disc of a fun little morning program I ran into, featuring the "Whistle Man", Jack Berch in what they bill as "The Shortest Fifteen Minutes in Radio!".  Sponsored by Prudential Insurance, the show ran on NBC daily and is a mix of songs and banter and includes a trio made up of Charles Magnante, Tony Mottola, and George Schackle and announcer Eddie Dunne.

The show of August 29, 1947 starts out with a great crack-up by the announcer.  Songs include "It's a Good Day", "Apple Blossom Wedding", and the trio's version of Raymond Scott's tune "Power House".

Our mp3 was digitized directly from an original lacquer line check from an unknown NBC local station.  This appears to be a previously lost episode of the series.

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Tags: music · rand's favorites · Jack Berch

Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries, Pgm 7

February 13th, 2009 · Comments

I'd like to give a special acknowledgment to David Kiner for this week's mp3 transfer.  I recently arranged a trade for a couple of transcriptions with him and he generously threw in a digital transfer of the discs, complete with CEDAR processing.  Kiner sells high quality discs of old time radio material and you can find his cds at his ebay store.

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"Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries" is a distinctive series in many respects.  Marking the first appearance of a female detective, the show was syndicated in 1936 to about 250 radio stations and was structured for a unique sponsor promotional gimmick.  The show was sponsored by Philco and local dealers would give listeners a booklet to fill out clues from the mysteries for a chance at cash prizes.  Not only is the namesake detective ("Phyl" being short for "Phyllis") a sponsor tie in, but the show offered all kinds of opportunities for witnesses and suspects in the mysteries to casually listen to the radio and remark on great quality Philco sets and tubes!

In program 7 of the series, "Last Will and Testament", Phyllis is called in to solve a murder that centers around a will, a hat pin, and annoying relatives.  Even though we do find out the name of the killer, the complete details of how Phyl solves the mystery isn't revealed for purposes of the contest.  However, you can match your wits with one otr listener who has posted their possible solutions to the mysteries.

The show was transferred from an original World Broadcasting transcription and restored using CEDAR noise recution by David Kiner.  The matrix number of the disc is BB14924C1.

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Tags: drama · World Broadcasting · women's issues · rand's favorites · Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries

Fred Allen Show, Pgm 147

February 13th, 2009 · Comments

Here's an exciting little find for Fred Allen fans.  This appears to be an uncirculated episode of Fred's long-running series.

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Originally broadcast March 6, 1949, and distributed as program 147 by the Armed Forces Radio Service, it's "The Fred Allen Show" with guest Henry Morgan.  People along "Main Street" are asked if they think a child with a high IQ will be a success later in life.  Columnist Earl Wilson of the NY Post presents Fred with a Silver Mic award from "Radio Best" magazine.  Henry Morgan helps Fred with ideas to promote his radio show to compete against tv and we hear a cute parody of the Lucky Strike commercials heard on the "Jack Benny Show".  The program also includes a brief appearance by "Digby O'Dell" from "The Life of Riley".

Our mp3 was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription of the program.

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Tags: comedy · rand's favorites · Fred Allen

My Son Jeep - Pgm 7

January 2nd, 2009 · Comments

This week, our next to last episode of the rare 1950s radio sitcom, "My Son Jeep".

Program 7, as broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service, deals with Jeep seeing an ad for a physique building course, sort of like one of those Charles Atlas ads in the comic books, and deciding he's going to become a bodybuilder.  The program was originally broadcast on NBC, probably around March, 1953; it appears to be a "lost" episode of the series.

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The show is interesting for a look at the popular stereotypes of bodybuilders at the time, which associated them more with circus strongmen than the modern conception we have today of someone like Steve Reeves or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Our mp3 was transferred directly from an original set of vinyl AFRS transcriptions.  I've got one more show in the series due up next week from an original NBC reference acetate.

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Tags: comedy · sports · rand's favorites · My Son Jeep

Suspense - Pgm 365 - The Rescue

November 22nd, 2008 · Comments

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I was trying to think of a way to connect this week's shows with a holiday theme.  I suppose the only way this one might fit is that it makes you thankful you're not on the window ledge of a high-rise building with a mad doctor trying to kill you.

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In this post, "Suspense", originally broadcast April 19, 1951 on CBS and presented as program 365 in the "Suspense" series on Armed Forces Radio.  Jimmy Stewart plays a businessman who is drawn into helping a young woman who says she is being pursued by a doctor that's trying to kill her.

The circulating copies of this show are missing the last ten minutes.  (This would lead me to believe that they're dubbed from a network copy of the show that was given to one of the staff or performers or done as an aircheck on 12" 78 rpm discs and that one of the discs is missing.)  This version of the show is complete - a real treat since this particular episode of "Suspense" has an ending that relies on sound effects and great acting to create a tense climax to the story.

The show was dubbed directly from an AFRS vinyl disc.  There's a couple of sections with pops in the disc, but the sound is quite good otherwise.

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Tags: drama · Suspense · AFRS · rand's favorites

Jungle Jim - Pgm 13 - January 25, 1936

October 30th, 2008 · Comments

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

Continuing with our short run of episodes from the adventure series, "Jungle Jim", we take a listen to program 13 in the series, originally broadcast January 25, 1936 and syndicated by Hearst newspapers to promote their Sunday funny pages.

In this episode, Jim continues battling with the nefarious Bat Woman.  Hoping to convince her to free Rev. Chalmers, Jim gives himself up to the Bat Woman.  She seems to be enjoying the scene with her assistant and the bullwhip a bit too much...

The show was transferred from an original Victrolac transcription pressed by RCA, matrix number MS 98709.

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Tags: kids and juvenile · Jungle Jim · rand's favorites

Joyce Jordan MD – July 3, 1947

October 30th, 2008 · Comments

Can a woman doctor be a woman … and a doctor … at the same time?

That’s the question asked by "Joyce Jordan, MD", a daily soap that ran on NBC in the 1940s. In this post, a previously lost episode of the series, originally broadcast July 3, 1947.

As we join our story in progress with this July 3, 1947 episode, sponsored by Dreft and their snappy little jingle, there are several problems in store for our lead character. An old enemy is headed for New York to work for a newspaper to take her revenge on Joyce. Joyce’s foster son is on the brink of running away from home. But, the most immediate problem is that the mother of Joyce’s boyfriend, Dawson, is plotting to keep them apart and marry the poor boy to some nurse that is Joyce’s arch-enemy at the hospital. Dawson has been recuperating from some kind of accident that has him paralyzed and Joyce hopes to help him walk again. But, Dawson’s mother has arranged to take him away from the hospital. What will Joyce do to help Dawson?

Our fifteen minutes of heartbreak, tears, and grouchy female doctor sidekick that sound like they have a three pack a day smoking habit was transferred from an original Audiodisc acetate; the show was recorded by an unknown local station from their NBC network line.

Sorry – there’s no picture of the label on this one since it’s an acetate with just some grease pencil notations of the name of the show and the date.

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Tags: soap opera · women's issues · rand's favorites

American Family Robinson - New Series, Pgm 78

October 3rd, 2008 · Comments

I just finished transferring to digital several discs in this series that have been obtained by the Old Time Radio Researchers Group.  As a special treat, they've given me permission to share this program on the blog.  Many thanks!

"American Family Robinson" was so successful that the National Industrial Council produced a second series of programs in 1940.  With the Depression at an end and war on the horizon, there were a whole new set of issues they wanted to present to the American public.  And there were some changes in the characters and setting of the show as well to make it more contemporary.

In program 78 of the series, for release week of October 20, 1940, Mr. Robinson has run away from home - literally.  His wife has been doing a radio program with advice for women and promoting herself and her husband as "the perfect couple" as a gimmick to drive business to the wife's sister's department store.  Luke tires of the whole sham and hops on a train for a kind of vacation, hoping to just wander and explore the country.

In this episode, Luke tries to find some entertainment to pass the the time in a hotel and finds life on the road less than ideal.  It's a rather odd storyline in the series - this whole series of programs depicts life for traveling salesmen as something remarkably sad and empty.  Meanwhile, back at home, Mrs. Robinson and the family have to deal with a public appearance of "the perfect couple" without Mr. Robinson in attendance.

This "New Series" of "American Family Robinson" works in little conversations about concerns of businesses on the eve of war, with topics such as whether government should take over production and ways that high taxes are stifling business.  One episode even spends a good portion of its running time discussing the "failed experiment" of a thirty hour work week in France and how it made the French less capable of defending themselves from the Germans.

The program was transferred from an original NBC Orthacoustic transcription, matrix number MS 056442-1.

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Tags: drama · WW II related · American Family Robinson · rand's favorites

Special Command Performance - AFRS Fourth Anniversary

August 20th, 2008 · Comments

Well, I've only got a couple of shows for you this week, but this one's a doozy.

Direct for a set of Armed Forces Radio Service transcriptions, here's a special ninety minute edition of "Command Performance" from May 29, 1946, celebrating the fourth anniversary of AFRS.

The show is a compilation of excerpts representing all of the major series produced especially for personnel in the Army, Navy and Marines during World War II.  The program, introduced by Bill Goodwin and hosted by Bob Hope is framed by a "letter" that is a kind of retrospective of major events in the War.

Hope opens the show with one his topical monologues.  Then, after setting up the show with the "letter", we hear the following excerpts:

  • "Downbeat" featuring a couple of tunes from drummer Ray Bauduc (who played with the Bob Crosby Orchestra)
  • "Melody Roundup" with the Riders of the Purple Sage doing "New San Antonio Rose" and Abigail and Buddy performing a "hillbilly" version of "Begin the Beguine"
  • "Showtime" with Janet Blair singing Cole Porter's "I Love You"
  • "Mail Call" where Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy do a routine on Dickins's "Oliver Twist", introduced by Bill Goodwin
  • "GI Jive" hosted by GI Jill with the King Sisters singing "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano"
  • "Jubilee" where the Slim Gaillard Trio perform the hit novelty tune, "Cement Mixer (Put-Ti Put-Ti)"
  • a religions program with "Ave Maria" performed by the Bob Mitchell Boys Choir
  • "GI Journal" with Kay Kyser joining Jerry Colonna as the Journal's "star reporter", then "copy girl" Linda Darnell and Mel Blanc in character as Private Sad Sack in an extended comedy sketch that includes "The Life of the Sad Sack"
  • Fred MacMurray hosting a program reminiscing about the year 1935 where the King Sisters sing "I've Had My Moments"
  • "Words With Music", with Donald Crisp reading Thomas Hood's "I Remember"
  • "Command Performance" with Bill Goodwin, Bob Hope and Janet Blair in a parody of radio soap operas, "The Ups and Downs of Brenda Scuttlebutt, Girl Yo-Yo"; Fred MacMurray joins them for a sketch about an annoying little boy on the set of a Hollywood movie
  • "Purple Heart Album" with Francis Langford singing "We'll Be Waltzing Again"

If you've never listened to AFRS programming, which was produced especially for military personnel and not broadcast stateside, the show gives you a good idea of the range of shows that were a part of AFRS's schedule alongside their rebroadcasts of material from the major networks.  It's a really entertaining ninety minutes and an intriguing immersion into the popular songs, topical jokes and military culture of World War II.

The program was transferred from an original three-disc AFRS transcription set in near-mint condition.

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Tags: music · comedy · AFRS · WW II related · historical · rand's favorites