rand’s esoteric otr

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Entries Tagged as 'public service'

Disabled American Veterans - Riot Squad

August 13th, 2009 · Comments

Of course, a more serious issue after the War were the struggles faced by disabled vets after they came home.

In this post, we listen to a drama syndicated by the Disabled American Veterans titled "Riot Squad".  The show features Henry Fonda in the true story of Dave Snyder who lost his legs in the War, but went on to become a member of the "riot squad", a social club for disabled vets.

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Goldin lists a series titled "Disabled American Vets Make Good", but the series title isn't identified on the label for this program, so I'm not sure if it's from the same series.  (Goldin lists the program on its own under the "Riot Squad" title.)  The show was transferred from an original WOR vinyl transcription, matrix number 12885A.

Tags: drama · WW II related · historical · public service

Guest Star - Pgm 107

July 24th, 2009 · Comments

We've offered a few episodes of the long running public service series "Guest Star" from the Treasury Department.  This one's interesting since it's a dramatic sketch, rather than the usual music programs one finds in this series.

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Program 107 in the series, intended for broadcast the week of April 10, 1949, features guest Alan Hale in a drama called "The Squirrel Cage".  The plot doesn't concerns small furry animals that gather nuts, but rather the "cage" or secure area that Hale's character works in where bank customers can access their safe deposit boxes.  The show features Win Elliot and Harry Sosnik and the Savings Bond Orchestra.

The show was transferred from an original Allied Record vinyl transcription.  Many thanks to listener Michael Utz for his generous donation of the disc to my collection.

Tags: drama · public service

Doctors Then and Now - circa late 1940s

July 1st, 2009 · Comments

I've run into several shows over the past few months where only part of the program survives.  I've resisted posting them since they're incomplete, but I'll start putting up one now and then that's particularly unusual or rare.

I think the name of this series is "Doctors Then and Now", judging by the show opening.  However, I haven't found any listings to confirm the title.  The program was carried on NBC, probably in the late 1940s, and was sponsored by the American Medical Association.  The series dramatizes "the story of 100 years of American medicine".  This particular program tells the story of a country doctor, Dr. Albert Wagoner, and how becomes a trusted member of the community.

Unfortunately, only part one of the show survives on this unlabeled lacquer.  The other side of the disc contains part of an episode of "Candy Matson" with an NBC Reference Disc label.

Goldin, by the way, lists a few episodes of a series called "Doctors Today" that may be related to this program.

Update, 7/5/2009 - Sharp-eyed reader Jim B found a New York Times article noting the original date of this broadcast as February 22, 1947. See the comments for more information about the series.

Tags: public service · medical related

Let’s Go to Town - Pgm 86

March 15th, 2009 · Comments

Winding up this week's blog entries is "Let's Go to Town", a National Guard recruiting public service series from the 1950s.  Each month, the show featured a different band and vocalist.

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Betty Madigan and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra are heard in program 86 of the series with announcer Corporal Eddie Carter.  Songs include "Be a Little Darling" and "Over the Rainbow", performed by Betty, and "Lover Come Back to Me and "Exactly Like You" from Sauter-Finegan.

The show was transferred from a vinyl transcription recorded by NBC and pressed by RCA, matrix F40720.

Tags: music · public service

Guest Star - 444 - Sept 25, 1955

July 31st, 2008 · Comments

Here's another episode of the popular Treasury Department public service program that ran for many years.  Program 444, originally broadcast the week of September 25, 1955, features Eartha Kitt backed by John Conte and Harry Sosnick and the Savings Bond Orchestra.

In the show, "Grenada"  and "Thine Alone" are performed by Sosnick and the orchestra and Eartha Kitt lends her unique voice to "C'est Si Bon".  She also does another number that I won't reveal here - I'll just let you listen to the show and be surprised by it.  It's not something you'd associate with Kitt's exotic image.

The program was transferred from an original Treasury Department vinyl transcription.  There's great sound in the show - a true hi-fi recording in near mint condition.

Tags: music · Treasury Department · public service

Guest Star - Pgm 443, Sept 18, 1955, Portrait by Cupid with Vincent Price

July 23rd, 2008 · Comments

"Guest Star" was a series with hundreds of episodes released to radio stations in the 1940s and through the early 60s to promote the sales of US Savings Bonds.  The program is more well-known for musical guests, but, on occasion, an actor or comedian would be given a turn at the microphone.

In program 443, dated September 18, 1955, we hear Vincent Price in a short drama called "Portrait by Cupid" that involves a talented painter, counterfeiting and, of course, love.  It's not the best-known or best work in Price's long career, but it's fun to hear him in this setting.  The fifteen minute format didn't allow for much character or plot development, so the script is a little simplistic; that's probably why they didn't try this format often for the series.

The show, in near hi-fi quality, was transferred from an original Treasury Department transcription in almost mint condition.  This comes from a period when the discs were pressed extra-thin - if you saw it and you were a knowledgeable record collector, it might remind you of RCA's "dynaflex" albums from the 1970s.

Tags: drama · Treasury Department · public service

Say It With Music - Pgm 153, March 25, 1951

July 12th, 2008 · Comments

"Say It With Music" was distributed by the California Department of Employment and features a different orchestra each week with host Bill Ladd.  It's a rare of example of a regionally distributed public service program that would have been heard on local stations during the OTR era.

In program 153, Buzz Adlam and His Orchestra perform "Singing in the Rain", "That Old Black Magic", "Ridin' on Two Flats", and "Rain".  Adlam, also known as "Basil Adlam", was a prolific composer, arranger and saxophonist, working with the Phil Harris and Ozzie Nelson bands; he was also producer and music director for the US Treasury Department public service series, "Guest Star".

There's some good music here, but the show is filled with technical issues.  The strange phasing you hear during the music numbers is part of the original recording and would appear to be a mistracking tape machine; there's also the bad sound quality of Bill Ladd's microphone and miscues during the end of the show.

Tags: music · public service

Say It With Music - Pgm 152, March 18, 1951

July 12th, 2008 · Comments

"Say It With Music" is an interesting example of a regional public service program that would have been a major component of the broadcast day for local stations during the classic old time radio era.  In this case, the show promotes services from the California Department of Employment and features a different band each week to provide the music.

Program 152 features Lyle Bardo and His Orchestra performing "There's Going to Be a Great Day", "Just One of Those Things", "I Cried for You", "Should I?" and "Canadian Capers".  The host of the show is Bill Ladd from the Department of Employment.

Tags: music · public service

Lum N’ Abner, Accidentally Yours - July, 1947

June 12th, 2008 · Comments

As a special treat, here's an episode of "Lum N' Abner" that appears to be uncirculated among otr enthusiasts - "Accidentally Yours" from July 1947, created especially for National Farm Safety Week.

The program was transferred from an original RCA Orthacoustic vinyl transcription disc, matrix number ND7-MM-10097, and was used during the Farm Safety campaign run between July 20 and 26, 1947 by the National Safety Council, Chicago. The other side of the disc contains short segments by various political figures about farm safety that could be used in local farm and news programs.

In the show, Lum and Abner hang up a poster promoting Farm Safety Week and, of course, create many opportunities for accidents in the Jot'em Down Store. Cedric Wehunt and Ben Withers pay a visit.

Chester Lauck and Norris Goff began their run as Lum and Abner in 1932 and the series continued in one form or another until the mid-1950s, appearing on all four major networks during the run of the series. The characters inhabit the mythical small town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas, but Lauck and Goff based them on people they knew growing up in the state.

One of the fun things about the show is that you can hear Lauck starting to break up during one part, where he tosses out some figures on the number of accidents and deaths each year on farms, but he regains his composure and they go on with the recording session.

Tags: comedy · public service · Lum and Abner · rand's favorites

Man Against the Crippler, March of Dimes - 1953 Campaign

May 30th, 2008 · Comments

In this part of the world, summertime is upon us.  At one time, that meant one thing to many parents - polio.

This post features "Man Against the Crippler", a half-hour program that dramatizes the story of polio research.  It was syndicated to local stations in the summer of 1953 by the March of Dimes as part of their fundraising efforts.  The show features Mercury Theater alumnus Everett Sloane narrating and Kenneth Banghart announcing.  The style of the show might remind you of "The March of Time".

The year after this program was broadcast, the first double-blind tests of the Salk polio vaccine would take place on a large scale around the country.

The discs were pressed by RCA.  Matrix numbers are E3-KM-5532 and E3-KM-5533.

Tags: drama · historical · public service · medical related

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