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Hollywood Bowl - Pgm 78

October 29th, 2009

Here's a rare treat with a Halloween theme - some music composed especially for the spooky season.

It's a concert from the "Hollywood Bowl", distributed as Program 78 in the series when it was broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service.  According to Jim Hiliker of Monterey, California on the OTR mailing list, KFI locally broadcast the Hollywood Bowl concerts in the 30s and 40s, so the show probably originated at KFI.

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A Mario Lanza website dates this particular show to July 24, 1948.  It's "MGM Night", so we hear various musicians and personalities under contract to the studio.  The orchestra is conducted by Miklos Rozsa and we hear Mario Lanza, very early in his Hollywood career, and Kathryn Grayson doing the vocal duties.  The program opens with the overture to the "Bartered Bride" and we hear works by Puccini and Victor Herbert.

The highlight of the show is "The Halloween Suite" composed by none other than actor Lionel Barrymore, who also provides narration for the piece.  This "Time" magazine article from 1944, notes that Barrymore had composed hundreds of works in the since the turn of the century, a side of the famous actor not as well known as his work on the screen.

The show was transferred from an original undated AFRS vinyl transcription set and appears to be uncommon or uncirculated among old time radio enthusiasts.

updated 11.3.2009: Corrected spelling of "Miklos Rozsa".

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