Archive for the 'religion' Category

Coke Club - July 19, 1946

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Here's a new addition to the blog, courtesy of the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group.

"The Coke Club" was a quarter hour of song featuring Morton Downey that was syndicated by the Coca Cola Company in the 1940s and produced by the D'Arcey Advertising Agency.  The show, heard Monday through Friday, was aimed at women in the household and featured light music and sometimes an interesting story of a "Big Little American" who had made contributions in their local community.

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The program of July 19, 1946 starts out with Downey singing "So It Goes".  Since this is a Friday show, there's a religious segment with a hymn and a reading by announcer David Ross.  The show also features Jimmy Lytell and his Orchestra.

Downey was nicknamed "The Irish Nightingale" and, if Amazon.com were around in the 1940s, it would likely say that "People who bought Morton Downey also bought Dennis Day".  Downey had a long career in records and radio and is the father of television personality Morton Downey, Jr.

Digital Deli has a nice page about Coke's various sponsorships in radio over the years including "Singin' Sam" and many other series.  I'd like to thank OTRR for this disc and a few others from the series that they donated to my collection.  I'll drop in episodes of "Coke Club" on occasion.

The program was transferred from an original World Broadcasting vinyl transcription, matrix number bb45810.  Sorry for the rough sound - I had to use some serious click reduction on this one.  Other shows I have in the series are in a bit better shape.

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The Search - Pgm 14

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

A few weeks ago, I posted an episode of a rather mysterious series I found on some circa 1960 AFRTS discs.  "The Search" is a quarter-hour religious drama about everyday people facing moral choices and was hosted by Robert Young.  Many of the episodes have familiar actors from the otr era.  But I've been unable to find out anything about the show - I'm wondering if it was created by one of the mainstream churches for syndication.

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Program 14 is a drama about trapped coal miners who learn what courage really means.  The show features Douglas Kennedy and Willard Waterman, better known for his work on "The Great Gildersleeve".

The show was transferred from an original AFRTS vinyl transcription that also contains Bobby Hammack #213 and part of Jim Ameche Pops Concert #3.

Anyone figure out where this series originated?

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The Search - Pgm 18

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

"The Search" is a little dramatic series that's a bit of a mystery to me.  I found several episodes of it on some Armed Forces Radio and Television Service transcriptions I recently obtained.  Although the discs date from circa 1960, I haven't a clue on when the show was produced or where it originated.

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Each fifteen minute drama looks at individuals in a "real life" situation about jobs, family or relationships that's magically solved by regular church attendance.  The shows are hosted by Robert Young and include guest stars like Laureen Tuttle and Joseph Cotten.

In program 18, a judge has to deal with a group of teenagers that have been caught smoking "narcotic cigarettes", which is a nice way of saying that the kids are getting high on reefer.

Hmm...I wonder if regular church attendance might help the situation?

"The Search" was a religious series with something of a non-denominational "soft sell" and the episodes are usually more compelling and well-written than this particular unintentionally funny example.

Was the program was originally produced by one of the mainstream Protestant churches for general radio syndication?  Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to pick up a copy of Harry Mackenzie's "Directory of Armed Forces Radio Service Series" discography, since I'm spending my collecting funds on discs.  Anyone have it handy and know if "The Search" included in his book?

The show was transferred from an original AFRTS vinyl microgroove transcription.  The episode number on the label - 218 - is a misprint.  It's number 18 in the matrix, matching the number sequence of other programs I have in the series from this period.

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Joe Emerson’s Hymntime - Pgm 15

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Since many of you probably celebrate Easter, I thought I'd offer up "Joe Emerson's Hymntime", a program syndicated by Morton Radio Productions in Chicago in the 1940s. Program 15 in the series starts off with "Wonderful Words of Life". Although religious programming was a regular part of radio programming, little circulates from the otr era.

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I couldn't really find out much about Joe Emerson, except mentions of his radio work on religious programming in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Goldin lists this series and one from 1954 on ABC under his name. Newsweek mentions him in a 1939 article on religious programming, noting that he introduced the song "The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" while he was a student at Albion.

The show was digitized from an original Morton Radio Productions vinyl transcription pressed by RCA-NBC, matrix number CD7-MM013084.

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Greatest Story Ever Told - Pgm 55

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Here's another entry in the popular religious dramatic program, "The Greatest Story Ever Told", originally broadcast on ABC radio and based on the best-selling book that novelized stories from the Bible.

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Program 55 in the series, as heard on Armed Forces Radio, is the famous story of "The Prodigal Son".  This particular script was broadcast several times during the run of the series, but I think this performance may date from February 13, 1949, based on the sequence of shows in the set that I have.

The program was transferred from an original Armed Forces Radio vinyl transcription.

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Greatest Story Ever Told - Pgm 53

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Program 53 of the series as broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service is the story of "The Good Samaritan".  This particular script was used several times during the run of the show, but I think this was probably broadcast on January 30, 1949 on ABC based on logs of the show and the contents of other AFRS discs I have from the series.

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It's not one of the best structured scripts in the series - the opening spends almost ten minutes getting to the point where Christ actually tells the story and feels like it's being padded in some ways.

The transfer is from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.

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The Greatest Story Ever Told - Pgm 52

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I'm not the biggest fan of religious programming, but "The Greatest Story Ever Told" starts to rub off on you if you listen to a few episodes.  The series ran on ABC in the 1940s and 50s and was based on a popular book that retold stories from the Bible in a form that would be more understandable to today's audiences.  Some shows are based on specific incidents in the Bible, while others are fictionalized dramas crafted around one of Christ's teachings.

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Program 52 in the series, "The Figure at the Door", concerns a man who is obsessed with a little mystery - it seems one of his rivals in the community hasn't appeared in public for two weeks.  Is he hiding some kind of secret?  Otrsite's log on the series dates this episode, which may be uncirculated among Old Time Radio collectors, to January 23, 1949.  Other discs I have in the series seem to date from this time period.

The program was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.

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The Greatest Story Ever Told - Pgm 51

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

"The Greatest Story Ever Told" was an unusual series of Biblical dramas carried on the ABC network in the 1940s and 50s.  Based on a bestselling book that novelized great stories from the Bible, the program took basic moral questions and turned them into compelling dramas that could be thought of in everyday situations.  The approach can be a bit, well, cheesy at times and remind one of a Cecil B. DeMille movie.

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In this post, program 51 in the series as it was carried by the Armed Forces Radio Service, originally broadcast on ABC on January 16, 1949, according to Goldin and otrsite.  "The House in Darkness" looks at a woman who is obsessed with the death of her son and learns that charity to the living is more important than her own fears.  I think this may be an uncirculated program in the series.

It was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription and has undergone some scrubbing with some click reduction software.  I'll be posting more programs from the series in the coming months.

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Great Scenes from Great Plays - Pgm 12

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

"Great Scenes from Great Plays" was a dramatic half-hour program syndicated by the National Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church.  Using some of the top stars and performers of the day, the shows are well-produced entertainment that might remind you of shows like "Academy Award" or "Lux Radio Theater".

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In celebration of the July 4th holiday, we offer program 12 in the series, "Young Mr. Lincoln", starring Henry Fonda.  The play focuses on Lincoln's famous defense of two brothers accused of murder where a certain little book provides a vital clue in the trial.  The program includes some simple announcements at the end to encourage you to attend church next Sunday.

The show was transferred from an original vinyl transcription set pressed by Columbia, matrix numbers YTNY 10214 and YTNY 10215.

A special tip of the hat to blog listener Michael Utz for his donation of this disc to may collection.

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