rand’s esoteric otr

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Nonsense and Melody - Pgm 13

April 12th, 2008

In this entry, the syndicated comedy variety show, "Nonsense and Melody" featuring the comic team of Gill and Doemling. The series was recorded and syndicated by Transco in the mid 1930s and takes place aboard a cruise ship; each show includes music and a comedy sketch based on the theme of the place being visited. In program 13, the group visits Paris. The series isn't well known or widely circulated among OTR enthusiasts, but is a fun example of Depression era snappy comedy with bad puns, unusual and long forgotten songs and performers (such as solo musicians accordian or harmonica), and the occasional bit of risque humor.

RR King, on the OTR mailing list dug up some references to the series. Los Angles Times articles from October 5 and 6, 1934 noted that Frank Gill, Jr. and Bill Doemling were formerly comics at KHJ and were working on the transcriptions for Transco at the Freeman Lang studios; there were 78 shows planned for the series. King also found an ad from the May 20, 1935 El Paso Herald-Post where the show was broadcast over KTSM at 8:15 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9:15 am on Wednesdays and Fridays. He also found references to a series with this title being broadcast through the 1940s on stations in Galveston, Sheboygan, and Chicago and as late as August 1950 in Charleston, West Virginia.

I got a group of ten discs comprising twenty shows in the series with almost all being red vinyl repressings of the show done by Bruce Eels and Associates, which bought all of Transco's programs when the firm went through bankruptcy. I'll periodically post others in the series in their original intended broadcast order.

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  • KL from NYC

    Thanks for the background info, especially re: Bruce Eels & Transco. I’d come across other series where the label names bounced back and forth from episode to episode and it was a bit confusing.

    Jun 24, 2010 at 4:19 am
  • Jon

    These are fun shows but must have sounded very dated to listeners hearing them as late as 1950.

    May 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm