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Entries Tagged as 'Treasury Department'

Guest Star - Pgm 679 - March 27, 1960

March 4th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s a program from late in the old time radio era, but the long-running series was well known during the era.

“Guest Star” was a program promoting US Savings Bonds.  It usually included musical guests that performed their latest tunes, but also included other types of performers hawking for the Treasury Department.

Program 679 for broadcast the week of March 27, 1960 features Warren Covington and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.  The first tune on the show is “The Tea for Two Cha-Cha”.  Del Sharbutt is the announcer.

At this point in the series, rock n’ roll had taken over AM radio and “Guest Star” was concentrating more on what we would think of today as “easy listening” or “adult contemporary” artists for their more adult audience.  This was from the microgroove era when four shows in hi-fi would be distributed on one 16” transcription.  It’s the type of show that might have popped up on the adult-oriented FM radio outlets of the period and gives us a glimpse of how the big bands and vocalists soldiered on through this new era of youth-oriented music that changed the industry.

Our show was transferred from an original 16” vinyl microgroove Treasury Department transcription.  My apologies for the skip that occurs during the opening tune.

Tags: music · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 383

January 10th, 2011 · Comments

A big thanks goes out to Michael Utz for this disc, program 383 of the popular and long-running Treasury Department syndicated public service show "Guest Star" from July 25, 1954.

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In this episode, we hear a short drama, "Object: Matrimony" starring favorite 50s television star Donna Reed.  The program also features John Conte and Harry Sosnik and the Savings Bond Orchestra.  It was transferred from an original Treasury Department vinyl transcription pressed by Allied.

Tags: drama · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 11

September 28th, 2010 · Comments

Here's another one of those very early programs in the long-running public service series "Guest Star", featuring famous guests giving us a bit of entertainment as they pitch US Savings Bonds.


Program 11 has Beatrice Kay with Kenny Delmar and Denes Agay and the Savings Bonds Orchestra.  Kay, doing her Gay 90s schtick, gives us "They Stuck Me with a Bustle" and reenacts a Gay 90's romance with announcer Kenny Delmar.  The flip side of the disc is the  Bob Hope-Bing Crosby episode with the atrocious laugh-track, posted on the blog earlier.

The show was digitized from an original Treasury Department vinyl transcription, matrix number ND7-MM-5426-1C.  The opening on the disc is slightly upcut.

A tip of the hat goes to George Brandon for donating the disc to my collection!

Tags: music · comedy · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 12

August 19th, 2010 · Comments

Finally this week, a hard to find early entry in the long running, star-studded Treasury Department public service series, "Guest Star". Program 12 in the series features Bob Hope and Bing Crosby along with host Kenny Delmar and Denes Agay and the Savings Bond Orchestra and Chorus.  Agay and the Orchestra kick off the show with "After You've Gone".  In the Hope and Crosby segment, the guys crack jokes about each other and savings bonds while Hope plugs his new movie, "My Favorite Brunette".  The side is dated April 10, 1947 in the matrix, so I'm assuming that's the date the master for the show was recorded.

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Episodes of "Guest Star" and programs featuring Hope or Crosby aren't unusual, but there's one thing about this show that makes it distinctive - it's an early (and likely the most atrocious) example I've run into of a canned laugh track.  If you listen closely, it's obvious that Hope and Crosby segment was recorded separately and some unseen engineer has layered in laughs and often inappropriate audience reaction to Hope and Crosby's banter.

I posted about the show's laugh track to the OTR mailing list.  Scholar Michael Biel sent in a helpful response, conjecturing the laugh track might be the work of Jack Mullin.  Mullin, of course, worked with Crosby to record his network radio show on a German tape machine and tape stock that Mullen brought back from Europe after the War.  Mullin says he saved snippets of laughs and audience reaction to "sweeten" Bing's show, "creating" the laugh track.

But I'm not sure this is Mullin's handiwork.  The show dates from April 1947 and Biel, in an earlier mailing list message archived on this site, noted that Bing's show on ABC was recorded and edited on laquers at this time - it was only mastered on tape starting October 7, 1947.  According to Wikipedia's article on Mullin, Bing saw a demonstration of the tape machines for the first time in June 1947, a couple of months after this "Guest Star" episode was mastered.

So, what do you think?  Is this an early attempt by Jack Mullin to show off what could be done with tape?  Or is it some anonymous radio engineer with some lacquers of laughs and audience twitters on a couple of turntables?  Perhaps if Bing heard this bad laugh track on the final version of this "Guest Star" episode, it might have made him even more excited about the possibilities of Mullin's tape recorder when he saw it a couple of months later.

The use of prerecorded laughs in radio isn't as well documented, but this show seems like an early and very primitive attempt at giving an impression of a "live" audience - I still wonder if it might be the earliest surviving example.   Certainly, some Armed Forces Radio programs had applause inserted, particularly when they were covering an edited commercial segment or were making a transition in the sides of the show.  But I'm hard pressed to think of an example where audience reaction for a whole segment is being simulated.  It's certainly worth more research on this show and other resources by someone to see how early use of canned laughs developed on radio before it became such an annoying presence on television sitcoms.

The program was transferred from an original vinyl Treasury Department transcription, matrix number ND7-MM-5430-1C.

Thanks to blog listener George Brandon for donating this intriguing disc to my collection!

Tags: comedy · variety · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 271

May 13th, 2010 · Comments

Let's pause for a bit of light music.  It's the long-running Treasury Department public service program, "Guest Star".

Program 271 is from June 1, 1952 and the guest is Jane Pickens.  Harry Sosnick kicks off the show with "Younger Than Springtime" and Jane sings "I'll Be Seeing You" and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love".  The announcer is John Conte.

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The program was transferred to digital from an original Allied Record vinyl transcription.

Many thanks to blog listener Michael Utz for contributing the disc to my collection!

Tags: music · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 108

January 10th, 2010 · Comments

"Guest Star" was a long-running series originally broadcast from the 1940s through the 1960s to promote the sale of US Savings Bonds.  It may be the most common transcriptions that you run into as a collector.

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Usually, the show concentrated on musical performances, but earlier shows in the series did feature short fifteen minute dramas on occasion.  Here's one of those unusual little compact dramas, "The Old Character" with guest star Edward Arnold, program 108 in the series originally heard April 17, 1949. In the show, "the old character" is hired to pan gold in exhibit for the centennial of the discovery of gold in California.  The program also features Roger Bowman and Harry Sosnik and the Savings Bond Orchestra.

Our mp3 originated from original Allied Record vinyl transcription.

Thanks again to blog listener Michael Utz for the disc

Tags: drama · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 272

September 18th, 2009 · Comments

Don't have time for a full, hour-long drama?  Well, try "Guest Star", a quarter-hour public Treasury Department service program promoting US Savings Bonds.  This long-running series usually featured musical performances, but many consisted of comedy or drama, such as program 272 in the series, distributed for broadcast June 8, 1952.

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Harry Sosnik and the Savings Bond Orchestra start things off with a peppy arrangement "Dizzy Fingers".  Then we hear the main feature, radio favorite and "Night Beat" star Frank Lovejoy in a short drama about a soldier in Korea called "Nothing Happens Here".

The show was transferred from an original Allied Record vinyl transcription.

Thanks again to Michael Utz for his donation of the disc to my collection.

Tags: drama · Treasury Department · Korean War

Guest Star, Pgm 18

March 21st, 2009 · Comments

We've heard the long-running public service series, "Guest Star", sponsored by the Treasury Department and promoting the sale of Savings Bonds, on the blog before.  This week, we investigate an early entry in the series when they would book more famous actors and comedians for the show.

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Program 18 of the series will be of interest to fans of the "Sherlock Holmes" radio series.  Guest Basil Rathbone and series announcer Kenny Delmar stage a comedy sketch about a famous detective and his not-too-bright assistant.  The show also features music by the Three Dollars with Denes Agay.  If the incomplete log of the series at otrsite is accurate, then this show would have dated from circa 1947.

The program was transferred from an original transcription pressed by RCA, matrix number ND7-MM-5435.

Tags: comedy · Treasury Department

Guest Star, Pgm 17

February 8th, 2009 · Comments

Up next on the blog is an early episode of the long-running Treasury Department public service series, "Guest Star" that promoted the sale of US savings bonds.

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In this show, Kenny Delmar plays host to Hildegarde who sings "Among My Souvenirs" and "My Belle Aime".  The Savings Bond Orchestra with Miklos Schwab as the piano soloist gives us a short piece based on themes by Paganini.

The mp3 was taken directly from a Treasury Department vinyl disc, matrix number ND7-MM-5434-1C, probably pressed by RCA/NBC.  The show is dated January 18, 1947 in the vinyl trail-off area, which likely indicates when it was recorded.

Tags: music · Treasury Department · gay and lesbian · Hildegarde

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

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