rand’s esoteric otr

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Bob and Ray Show - circa January 1952

October 21st, 2010

In this post, another program from the same 70s era reel to reel that gave us "The Jack Webb Show".  It's an episode of "The Bob and Ray Show" carried on the NBC radio network after their successful late 40s series on WHDH in Boston.

I think, based on internal references in the program, that the show originally aired around January 1951 1952.  It includes Bob and Ray's Christmas tree warehouse sale and "Mr. Trace, Keener Than Most Persons" solving "The Broken Sweep Second Hand on the Wristwatch Murder Clue".

Perhaps a Bob and Ray expert out there could say if it's in circulation in digital form - I wasn't able to find a copy of it online from the usual suspects.

Update:  A comment from Dr. OTR (click the "Comments" link below) convinces me this is probably from January 1952.  My mistake ... Please update the name of the file after you download it from the site.


  • Pennywhistler

    Saint’s preserve us!

    Oct 23, 2010 at 10:19 am
  • Pennywhistler

    Whoops! I mean:

    Saints preserve us!

    Oct 23, 2010 at 10:20 am
  • Dr. OTR

    Awesome! I’m not a B&R expert, just a devoted fan, and I certainly hadn’t heard this one before. There is so little available between the end of their run in Boston in mid-1951, and the start of their CBS show in 1959. That’s basically 8 years — very busy years, from what I gather — when we have only a handful of shows. Is this one of them? It sounds like it. But I’m dubious about the 1951 dating. According Hickerson’s guide, Bob and Ray were still doing “Matinee with Bob and Ray” in Boston up through June 30, 1951. So if this really is a NBC program, it would have to be Jan 52 or later. (And it doesn’t sound like a “Matinee” program, not the ones I’ve heard. And weren’t they all 30 minutes?)

    What is the internal evidence you used? There are a number of OTR impressions within the show. Were you using their impression of Bill Goodwin saying “Here’s George and Gracie”? That would make sense, because Burns and Allen left radio in 1950 — but it’s not really hard evidence, since people would surely remember his introduction six months or so later, if this is early 52.

    Regardless of exactly when this program aired — it’s great to have it! I only wish you could uncover more!

    Oct 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  • randsesotericotr

    My dating was based on a couple of things. The year came from Goldin, which lists their NBC series in that year. They mention the Kefauver hearings, which ran from 1950 to 51. The January date would be from the mentions of New Year’s and the business about after Christmas.

    You’re probably right, however - it’s probably January 52, since the Goldin listings are for NBC shows from Aug 51.

    Oct 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm
  • ykw

    “There is so little available between the end of their run in Boston in mid-1951, and the start of their CBS show in 1959.”

    There is actually quite a bit of B&R material from that period trading. Several dozen NBC shows circulate in AFRS versions. There are also some AFRS-only original shows from that era still extant. These programs sometimes surface in the OTR and comedy binary groups.

    Oct 24, 2010 at 2:34 am
  • Dr. OTR

    YJW — it’s good to know there’s more mid-50s B&R out there than I had thought. My dad was a huge fan of Bob and Ray in high school — this would be about 55-58 — he still tells me about getting together with his best friend to re-enact Wally Ballou interviews and the like. I think I’ve got only about 7 shows from that era. I guess our definition of “quite a bit” may differ. For the CBS run, 59-60, there must be about 98% of their daily broadcasts surviving from the first six months. B&R ran daily for much of the mid-50s, plus many brief Monitor sketches — say, 250 shows a year, times six years, for about 1500 broadcasts (and that’s probably conservative). “A few dozen” is less than 2% of their broadcasts from that period. I’m happy we have at least that much! But it can hardly be termed a significant fraction of their output.

    Oct 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm