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Entries Tagged as 'sports'

The Adventures of Frank Farrell - Pgm 2

August 27th, 2008 · Comments

For completists only, we continue our look at vapid children's programming, circa the 1940s, with uncirculated program 2 of "The Adventures of Frank Farrell", syndicated by the Russell C. Comer Company of Kansas City.  Frank's altercation with the school's bully Tony in the previous program is the talk of the town in episode 2.  We also learn that Jim, the son of the town banker, is mixed up with some of Tony's "bad" friends from the big city.

Transferred from an original Russell C. Comer vinyl transcription with no matrix number, this is the last program in the series in my collection.

One interesting note about the discs from this series.  Usually, if a program was syndicated and had space for a commercial at the beginning, they would play a music bed for the announcer to talk over or begin the next segment of the program in a new band on the disc.  Not so with this one - they recorded the brief opening and a long passage of silence for the commercial.  In episode one, the commercial break is about 1:15; in program two, it's more or less 1:30.  If I were a staff announcer or engineer, I'd be annoyed to no end, since it doesn't give you a good way to time or pace your commercial.

Enough with this dreadful series - let's move on to something more interesting.

Tags: sports · kids and juvenile

The Adventures of Frank Farrell - Pgm 1B

August 27th, 2008 · Comments

Proving that not all of Golden Age radio is classic, here's the premiere episode of "The Adventures of Frank Farrell", a low-budget rip-off of "Archie", albeit without humor or decent acting.  The show was syndicated, probably in the 1940s, by the Russell C. Comer Company, Kansas City.  We heard the audition program in a previous post.

In this uncirculated episode, program 1B, Farrell, ever the perfect athlete, wins the big football game and the coach jumps on the team for not being the shining example that Frank is.  And, to really get things going, there's a budding romance between Farrell and the new female cheerleader for the team.

The program was transferred from a Russell C. Comer vinyl transcription with no matrix number.  And, by the way, I have no idea if there was a program 1A (and really don't want to find out).  Thankfully, there's only one more episode of this series in my collection.

Tags: sports · kids and juvenile

The Adventures of Frank Farrell - Audition Program

August 13th, 2008 · Comments

Here's another rare old time radio series, "The Adventures of Frank Farrell", syndicated by the Russell C. Comer Company, Kansas City and probably dating from the 1940s.

In this Audition program, which isn't in circulation among otr enthusiasts, the local commercials are replaced by a pitch to potential advertisers about the great increase in sales that can happen when you sponsor "Frank Farrell".  The pitch also emphasizes the good, clean "all American" characters and notes that the show is "free from horror, shock, the supernatural and the abnormal".  But it's still exciting! (At least that's what the announcer tells us.)

The program itself is from later in the series; the plot involves Frank getting held up from playing in the big basketball game by the coach's arch-nemisis who hired goons to kidnap him and move all of his furniture out of his house! (Don't ask.)

I have a big tolerance for a wide range of old time radio programming and can find something entertaining and interesting about everything I've posted on the blog, even the "Sports Answer Man".  However, "Frank Farrell" has to be some of the worst scripting and acting I've run into.

The show reminds me a great deal of kids shows on PBS and Nickelodeon that are heavy on life lessons, role models and one dimensional characters.  "Farrell" seems to have been written by adults "talking down" to kids, thinking they knew how students talk or act.  I swear, if Spud, the goofy sidekick in the show, were in my high school, I'd be very suspicious - how sounds like he's in his mid-thirties and suffering from arrested development.  I feel sorry for kids exposed to this kind of non-entertainment.

Well, enough of my editorializing.  The show was transferred from an original vinyl transcription from the Russell C. Comer Company, matrix number C-9537.  Unfortunately (for me) or perhaps fortunately (for you, if you're interested in this show), I've got two other non-circulating episodes going up on the blog in a couple of weeks.

Tags: sports · kids and juvenile

Sports Answer Man - Pgm 25

July 23rd, 2008 · Comments

Another entry in the series "The Sports Answer Man", syndicated by Sherman Productions circa 1945-46.  The show features sports announcer France Laux and was transferred from an original red vinyl pressing done by Disco Recordings, St. Louis.

The questions include topics such as the origins of baseball's spring training, whether a player can own a major league ball club, systems for beating the horses and others.  In the feature story, Laux gives the highlights of that memorable year in sports, 1906.

This is the last show I have from this series in my collection.

Tags: sports

Sports Answer Man - Pgm 18

June 7th, 2008 · Comments

Another show in the series, "The Sports Answer Man", produced by Sherman Productions from 1945-46.

In this program, the Sports Answer Man, France Laux, tackles questions on the chances of a ball player getting five for five, measuring fresh water game fish, all time high scores for bowling teams and more topics.  The show has been transferred from an original red vinyl pressing by Disco Recordings, St. Louis.

Tags: sports

The Great Crepitation Contest of 1946

May 14th, 2008 · Comments

Note: This recording contains material that may be offensive to some listeners.

For those of you who collect such ephemera, here's an unusual bit of radio memorabilia that should be an upgrade from copies that have been floating around on lps and the web.

In this post, "The Great Crepitation Contest of 1946", the granddaddy of all "party records" and a recording surrounded by much rumor and misinformation. Apparently, this was originally produced as an in-house joke by CBC sports announcer Sidney S. Brown assisted by CBC producer Jules Lipton. Some sources indicate the recording was done in Toronto in late 1940 at "Red" Foster's Studios on Alcorn Avenue. There have also been rumors for many years that it found its way to some in the US military who released it as a V-disc, although a V-disc or AFRS copy has never surfaced to my knowledge.

What we do know is that someone at Columbia Records in 1947 dubbed the program to a set of 78 rpm masters and pressed the recording on two 12" 78's, matrix numbers xxx1-4. The resulting set, with cover art by influential in-house graphic artist Alex Steinweiss (crediting himself as "Joe Blow" on the cover) and bright yellow Trillblow Records labels, was given to Columbia Records distributors as a premium. CBS president Ted Wallerstein nixed the release, but some copies did circulate.

I've never seen anyone on the web claiming to have an original Columbia pressing of "The Great Crepitation Contest", even though copies of the 78s were dubbed many times and released on various party lps over the years. But, here's proof that Columbia actually pressed and released the records - the discs are Columbia's laminated pressings of the period and the cover art is most definitely by Steinweiss. It's also an opportunity to hear the recording in a first-generation copy from the original Columbia 78 release.

You can read more about Steinweiss and see examples of his work at the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and this site about Remington Records.

I obtained my copy of the "Great Crepitation Contest" in the mid 1990s, not really knowing what it was, from a man at a Winston-Salem flea market who owned a record store in the area for many years. I never had an opportunity to ask him where he got it.

Anyone seen another copy of this set? Any ideas on who the guys are in the photo in the inside front cover?

Tags: comedy · memorabilia · sports

Sports Answer Man - Pgm 17

May 14th, 2008 · Comments

Here's another oddity that I don't have much information on.  It's "The Sports Answer Man" a syndicated program from Sherman Productions and pressed in red vinyl on the Disco label (no relation to the later musical trend of the 1970s, I presume).  Based on the content, the show appears to date from circa 1945-46.

The show is hosted by France Laux, who was the announcer for the Browns and Cardinals over KMOX and who called World Series and All Star Games on CBS in the 1930s.  In this edition, the Sports Answer Man takes questions on the oldest golf tournament in the country, the most outstanding mile runner in the world and the origination of basketball.

Tags: sports

Eyes on the Ball - Pgm 12

April 20th, 2008 · Comments

In this post, episode #12 of "Eyes on the Ball", a public service program from the Better Vision Institute with Bill Stern and songs by Monica Lewis and the Alfredo Antonini Ensemble, from around 1947-48.

In this program, "Watch That Puck", Stern relates the story of a 1936 Stanley Cup game by the Detroit Redwings and the Montreal Maroons. Songs include "Always", a medley of tunes of "Rio Rita", and "It Had to Be You".

Tags: music · sports · public service

Eyes on the Ball - Pgm 11

April 20th, 2008 · Comments

"Eyes on the Ball" was a public service program distributed by Better Vision Institute featuring sports commentator Bill Stern spinning yarns and music by Monica Lewis and the Alfredo Antonini Ensemble.  This is another show that I haven't found any references to in various sources on the web; it probably dates from 1947-48.

Episode #11, "Eyes Score Touchdowns", features a story about a football game between Notre Dame and Southern California and how the Trojans went on to win based on what they had seen in the game and Stern's thoughts about how observation, rather than brute force, is important in football.  Songs in the show include "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Whispering".

Tags: music · sports · public service

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