rand’s esoteric otr

rand’s esoteric otr header image 1

Hollywood Bowl - Pgm 78

October 29th, 2009

Here's a rare treat with a Halloween theme - some music composed especially for the spooky season.

It's a concert from the "Hollywood Bowl", distributed as Program 78 in the series when it was broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service.  According to Jim Hiliker of Monterey, California on the OTR mailing list, KFI locally broadcast the Hollywood Bowl concerts in the 30s and 40s, so the show probably originated at KFI.

transcription label

A Mario Lanza website dates this particular show to July 24, 1948.  It's "MGM Night", so we hear various musicians and personalities under contract to the studio.  The orchestra is conducted by Miklos Rozsa and we hear Mario Lanza, very early in his Hollywood career, and Kathryn Grayson doing the vocal duties.  The program opens with the overture to the "Bartered Bride" and we hear works by Puccini and Victor Herbert.

The highlight of the show is "The Halloween Suite" composed by none other than actor Lionel Barrymore, who also provides narration for the piece.  This "Time" magazine article from 1944, notes that Barrymore had composed hundreds of works in the since the turn of the century, a side of the famous actor not as well known as his work on the screen.

The show was transferred from an original undated AFRS vinyl transcription set and appears to be uncommon or uncirculated among old time radio enthusiasts.

updated 11.3.2009: Corrected spelling of "Miklos Rozsa".


  • joe salerno

    Rand, thanks for posting this. I first became interested in LB’s music when I encountered an ET of his “In Memorium” which he wrote as an expression of love for his brother John B when he died. Not s great composer maybe, but a competant one.

    Oct 30, 2009 at 8:32 am
  • Hank Verrijt

    Very interesting to hear this Miklos Rozsa conducted concert. (never heard of Miklas Roza). We also have a transcription disc featurig Rozsa that needs digitalization. Anyone in the Netherlands able to help?

    Nov 3, 2009 at 9:21 pm
  • William McCrum

    Very interesting to hear Miklos Rozsa conduct a complete concert. He himself was an accomplished concert composer with concerti etc. commissioned by Heifetz and the like, and his film scores were of very high quality…. he had Oscars for ‘Spellbound’, ‘A Double Life’ and ‘Ben-Hur’. Very good sound on this old disc. There might be a little irony in that 1948 was also the year Warner Brothers released their Errol Flynn spoof movie, ‘The Adventures of Don Juan’ where it would be a kindness to say that Max Steiner didn’t ‘borrow’ from Smetana’s ‘Bartered Bride’ score for that score. Rozsa was with MGM.

    Nov 4, 2009 at 11:21 am
  • Eric Goldberg

    Thank you for the Barrymore recording. I have always been curious about his music.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm
  • Eric Goldberg

    Seeing that you have a number of AFRS recordings I wonder if you might have this one. Roswell Rudd is also interested in getting a copy. Thank you.

    Eddie Condon Sextet > Chicago, November, 1960 > > Johnny Windhurst, trumpet; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Pee Wee > Russell, > clarinet; Johnny Varro, piano; Eddie Condon, guitar; > possibly Phil > Failla, drums > > That’s The Blues AFRTS ONS 5263 > Muskrat Ramble AFRTS ONS 5263 > Black And Blue AFRTS ONS 5263 > Clarinet Marmalade AFRTS ONS 5263 > Medley: After Awhile, September In The Rain, Pennies From > Heaven AFRTS > ONS 5263, IAJRC-28 > That Da Da Strain AFRTS ONS 5263 > As Long As I Live AFRTS ONS 5263 > Royal Garden Blues AFRTS ONS 5270 > Improvisation For The March Of Time AFRTS ONS 5263 > > and this separately listed session from same period: > > unknown bass > > That’s A Plenty AFRTS ONS 5270 > Ain’t Misbehavin’ AFRTS ONS 5270 > Love Is Just Around The Corner AFRTS ONS 5270 > Diane AFRTS ONS 5270 > > Both sessions from the London House.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm
  • Don Goodyear

    Thank you for making this rare transcription available.I’ve only heard the 78 rpm MGM vinyl studio version of Mr. Barrymore’s “Hallowe’en” recorded especially for records in 1947, so to hear this rare Hollywood live version is a REAL treat.

    Feb 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm
  • Hank Verrijt

    Another rare transcription disc can be heard over at the Miklos Rozsa Society website. http://www.mrs.miklosrozsa.info/interviewfiles/Heres%20to%20veterans,%20Miklos%20Rozsa.mp3

    Mar 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm
  • Hollywoodbowltix

    Hank - what a great find! Rand, thanks for posting the info too

    Jul 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm