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Pick and Pat - March 21, 1938

September 3rd, 2009

Note:  This program contains racial stereotyping themes that may be offensive to some listeners.

We continue our look this week at "Pick and Pat", a rare comedy variety show broadcast on CBS and featuring blackface comedians Pick Padgett and Pat Malone.  Despite a radio career on all the major networks that spanned from the early 1930s to the mid 40s, only a handful of their shows survive.  These shows, unheard since their original broadcast, are drawn from a set of airchecks recorded for the producer of the show, Frank Macmahon.

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Unfortunately, many of the shows in this set are missing sides.  In this post, we hear parts 1 and 3 of the show of March 21, 1938.  Pick and Pat do a short opening routine with one of them dissing the other for being so dumb.  Tenor Edward Roecker sings "There's a Goldmine In the Sky".  In part 3 of the program, Edward Roecker sings "I Got Plenty of Nothin'" and Pick and Pat's last segment has them staging a melodrama titled "Be a Gentleman" or "Never Hit a Lady With Your Hat On".  During the show, we get to hear commercials for the sponsor, Dill's Best and Model tobacco.  Also, the company that recorded the aircheck captured the last couple of minutes of the previous program on the station and the one following "Pick and Pat", "Lux Radio Theater".

The show was transferred from an original WABC aircheck laquer recorded by the Advertiser's Recording Service, New York.  The file has been run through click reduction software to improve the sound, but it's still a little rough in places - the lacquer on these one of a kind discs is deteriorating and cracking.

Another note of interest - this week's episode of Mad Men included a scene where the main character in the show donned blackface, creating some interesting discussion on the topic.  Also, a blogger at Slate discusses how we should look at the work of artists who worked in blackface at some point in their career.

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