rand’s esoteric otr

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Stanley Telephone Radio Quiz - February 16, 1948

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.


  • Eric Cooper

    JUst for the heck of it, heear is the New York Times radio listing for that time slot and date:

    10: 00-WNBCTed Dale Orchestra : Buddy Clark. Songs; Guest. Frankie Carle WORRadio-Telephone Game WJZDrama: This Is Adventure; With Margo and Eddie Albert: Edwin C. Hill. Narrator; Salter Orchestra WCBSComedy: My Friend Irma; Marie Wilson and Cathy Lewis WMCANews; Bing Crosby, Songs WINSPeter Donald Show WNEWThe Author Speaks His Peace: WHInoewlaaords iWnehi iCtmaanne, lGaouleasntd vs. Hal Anspach. at St. Nicholas Arena WOVPrairle Stars WQXRThe New York Times News

    Apr 2, 2009 at 8:07 pm
  • randsesotericotr

    Eghads … I think I would have rather listened to “My Friend Irma” or Bing Crosby that night….


    Apr 2, 2009 at 8:16 pm
  • Jim B.

    Randy, Eric did what I just did. It’s likely a local show. WGN was running “Fishing and Hunting Club” which it says was a Mutual offering in that time slot (9pm Central). Maybe it was feeding the network at that point. As for my choice were I in New York at that moment, I’d probably have picked Peter Donald, transcribed I think.

    Apr 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm