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Entries Tagged as 'Cold War'

Douglas MacArthur Speech - April 19, 1951

December 22nd, 2018 · Comments

In this post, a historic broadcast that’s widely available, but we hear it dubbed from a line check done by a local station.

From April 19, 1951, this is a full recording of General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech (aka the “Old Soldiers Never Die” speech) before a joint session of Congress.  Truman relieved MacArthur of command a few days earlier and the speech was the centerpiece of much publicity when the General returned to the United States from Asia.  You can read about the full controversy, including the debate about civilian control of the military, at Wikipedia.

This recording includes only the introduction of MacArthur and the address with no commentary before or after.  It was recorded on by station WDNC in Durham, NC, presumably so it could be rebroadcast later in the day or so they could play excerpts of it in their news programming.  This is likely from the CBS feed of the speech, since WDNC was a CBS radio affiliate.

The show was transferred from a three-sided 16” lacquer set from WDNC, Durham, NC.  The fourth side of the set contains the April 23, 1951 broadcast of Grady Cole and the Johnson Family Singers, heard in another post on the blog.


I’m not sure if this is any better or worse than other versions of the same broadcast that are floating around.

Tags: Cold War · news

Drew Pearson - January 4, 1948

June 10th, 2017 · Comments

And here’s a final disc of time-shifted network programming from a collection of “throwaway” discs from WHBC in Akron, Ohio, a news broadcast from columnist Drew Pearson.

In the program of January 4, 1948, Drew Pearson is heard via shortwave transcription from Milan, Italy, where he is traveling with the Friendship Train.  The show was broadcast on ABC and is sponsored by Lee Hats.

Pearson reports that Russia has sent fighter planes to Albania to help the Communist army in Greece and is concentrating more former Nazi POWs in Belgrade to help with the effort in Greece.  The Italian crew of the Friendship Train has threatened to go on strike at Bologna because they didn’t want to switch crews.  Franco is concerned about trouble in Spain this winter.  Pearson describes the reception of the Friendship Train in Rome, Florence, and Bologna.  The Communist mayor of Bologna refused to meet the train because of reports about him by Pearson.

In the last segment of the program, Pearson gives some of his famous predictions.  The first is that a bill requiring Senators and Congressmen to register their securities with the SEC will be introduced in the next session of Congress and will be killed in committee by two Republicans.  Pearson predicts revolution in Italy, due to the presence of Tito’s Communist forces poised on the Italian border, but that it will not succeed.  Pearson encourages Americans to help the fight against Communism by writing to their relatives abroad to dispel the lies being spread about America in Europe.

The Friendship Train was an unusual project that Drew Pearson advocated.  The Train was packed with food and supplies from different states as a gift to war-torn Europe.  In return, the Europeans sent gifts back to the states.  There are still some museums in different states that display these gifts.  You can see a short Pathe newsreel clip of the Freedom Train in Italy, taken during the period when our radio broadcast was originally recorded.

This appears to be a previously lost episode of Drew Pearson’s series; Goldin lists thirty that surive from his long-running series.

The program was transferred from an original sixteen inch Audiodisc lacquer recorded at WHBC, Akron.


Tags: Cold War · news

How About That - Pgm 2

May 6th, 2017 · Comments


Here's our second and final program in the syndicated series “How About That”, hosted by Gregory Abbott.

In program 2, the first story is about a “lighthouse” to call waiters at restaurants.  We also hear about “emergency umbrellas”, creating sterling silver objects as a hobby, cooking a perfect poached egg, and the work of CARE rebuilding libraries in war-torn Europe to combat the rise of Communist propaganda.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription distributed by the Faught Company, 342 Madison Avenue, New York, matrix number 3132.  Apologies for the rough sound on this one - as you can see from the photo, this was a pretty beat up disc.

Tags: Cold War · commentary

VA Hospital Christmas Show 1955

December 19th, 2010 · Comments

Did you know that VA hospitals were a part of the Armed Forces Radio Service?  Those with AFRS referred to it as "The Bedpan Network" and the facilities received the full AFRS distribution of music library and radio show discs - many of the AFRS discs we have today were salvaged after being thrown away by VA hospitals.

transcription label

In this post, we have a program that was distributed just to VA hospitals for Christmas Eve, 1955.  The show features holiday greetings from  Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dinah Shore, along with the director of the Veteran's Administration.  It's not a radio broadcast, per se, since it was probably played over a closed circuit pa system, but it's close enough to include on the blog.

The show was transferred from an original one-sided Allied Record vinyl transcription, matrix number 57533.

Tags: AFRS · Cold War · Christmas related

USO - On With the Show

November 30th, 2010 · Comments

Here's an unusual little special public service show assembled to promote the good work of the USO with our troops.  It features stars George Murphy, Eddie Bracken, Jack Carson, Danny Kaye, Dinah Shore, and Danny Thomas along with Michel Periere and his Orchestra.  Based on the matrix numbers on the disc, it probably was broadcast around 1949.

transcription label

The program was transferred from an original USO vinyl transcription, probably pressed by RCA, matrix numbers D9-QM-10580-1 and D9-QM-10581-1.

Tags: music · variety · Cold War

Bing Crosby Show - March 5, 1953

July 24th, 2009 · Comments

The old crooner ambles his way in to the blog again this week as we hear the "Bing Crosby Show" broadcast of March 5, 1953.  It's one of a set of KCBS/KCBS-FM airchecks I came across a couple of months ago on Radio Recorders lacquers.

transcription label

The first tune on the show is "Bye Bye Blues" and guests Jimmy Boyd and Joe Venuti show up for the proceedings.  Announcer Ken Carpenter and Bing engage in the usual banter, mentioning UFOs, and Venuti gives us a spirited version of "I Got Rhythm" later in the program.  You might not remember Jimmy Boyd too well today, but he was pretty famous in the early 50s with his hit record "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".  Boyd doesn't do that number here, but gives us a taste of the country-western music he would pursue in his later career.

Being an aircheck, the show has an interesting "extra".  The start of the show is delayed for a special CBS news bulletin on the death of Stalin, noting that the President is sending his condolences to the Soviet Union.  (I guess the condolences weren't too warm since we were in a Cold War at the time.)  Also, since Bing's show was transmitted from tape, you get to hear some dropouts and other anomalies with the master recording as it was originally heard on the network, no doubt causing Ampex execs all manner of distress.

The mp3 was transferred directly from an original KCBS/KCBS-FM aircheck recorded on a Radio Recorders lacquer.

Tags: Cold War · Bing Crosby

Elmer Peterson and the News - August 13, 1947

November 22nd, 2008 · Comments

Lets take a pause to catch up on the news.

Newscasts are something that don't seem to get much attention from old time radio collectors and listeners except for network coverage of major events of World War II.  It's instructive to give a listen to an everyday newscast from the period to get an idea of how styles of delivering the news have changed and the types of concerns on the people's minds at the time.

In this August 13, 1947 newscast by Elmer Peterson, sponsored by Planter's Nuts, the news stories include a summit in Brazil that was being held to consider aid to Latin and South American countries after the War and conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.  There's also a short item on the World Boy Scout Jamboree and how it can help overcome political differences between countries.

The show was transferred from an original acetate line check recording from an unidentified NBC affiliate.

Tags: historical · Cold War

Tex and Jinx - September 3, 1947

November 17th, 2008 · Comments

Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenburg were hosts of an early light entertainment morning program that mixed chat with interesting guests with music, much in the manner of television's "Regis and Kathy Lee".

This program, from September 3, 1947, is from a summer replacement run of the series that was aired in evening primetime on NBC.  The episode features Broadway star Nancy Walker very early in her career; tennis star Jack Kramer; and a Russian actress and singer, Kirov Petroskiva, who was a sniper during World War II and was hoping to make a career in the States.  The show was sponsored by Ipana Toothpaste and Ingram Shaving Cream.

Jinx Falkenberg was a model and actress and, with her journalist and public relations specialist husband Tex McCrary, started their popular morning show in 1946 and published columns in the New York Herald Tribune.  You might remember Nancy Walker from her work in 1970s sitcoms, but I like to recall her only directorial credit, helming the film "Can't Stop the Music, a major studio flop that was a vehicle for the Village People.

The segment with Kirov Petroskiva is quite interesting; she talks about entertainment and life in the Soviet Union in the early days of what we'd later call the Cold War.  Petroskiva was one of a handful to Russian women who married GI's during the War that were being allowed citizenship in this country.  One wonders what happened to her after she immigrated to the US.

The program was transferred from an original line check Audiodisc acetate recorded at an unknown local NBC affiliate.

Tags: music · comedy · variety · Cold War

The American Legion Asks: How Good is American Air Power? - Pgm 4 - 1953

July 12th, 2008 · Comments

This program was syndicated by the American Legion as a public service during the Korean War.  Different shows in the series dealt with various aspects of America's readiness with air power.  The program is a curious relic of the Cold War - the changes in air fighting technology after World War II, such as the jet airplane and nuclear weapons, were fascinating to the public and the series seems to be an attempt to explain these changes in warfare in the face of Communist aggression.

Lt Gen Thomas D. White of the US Air Force and Rear Admiral Thomas Combs of the US Navy are the guests in episode 4 with moderator Bruce P. Henderson, Chairman, National Security Commission, the American Legion.  The show was transferred from an original RCA pressing, matrix number E2-KM-5229.

Tags: historical · Cold War

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