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Supper Club - Pgm 85

August 25th, 2010

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

Now a fascinating little oddity that had me doing a double-take.

The "Chesterfield Supper Club" was originally broadcast on NBC and featured vocalist Perry Como.  I had seen listings for this show around for years and never really paid much attention to it until I ran into this episode.

transcription label

Program 85 of the series as it was broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service as "Supper Club", was originally heard on NBC on May 23, 1945.  The program is done in the style of a minstrel show, with Como singing the opening tune, "Mammy", and trading jokes an Interlocutor with Blackface comedians "Pick and Pat", who we heard in a their own series on the blog a few months back.  The show also features Martin Block, The Satisfiers, Mary Ashworth and Ted Steel and His Orchestra.

Pick and Pat were regular guests on the series during a certain period, so this wasn't a "one off".  It's a little cringe-worthy to think about the cool smooth Como belting out minstrel tunes on a regular basis.

Oh, the things that tobacco companies would get performers doing on the radio.

I'm glad that Perry Como's career recovered from this series - he's a real pro to hang in there and pull it off.

It reminds me of Frank Sinatra, appearing as a guest on the "Fred Allen Show" in a hillbilly sketch where he does a duet with Fred in a parody of Zeke Manners - the recording is something like listening to an aural train wreck slowly unfolding, leaving you grasping for your lp copy of "Come Fly With Me".  (You can give a listen at this page at archive.org - look for the show of October 21, 1945.  Sinatra's bit is the sketch at the end.  There's some good Jack Benny appearances in the set as well, btw.)

The show was tranferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.  The date is in the disc matrix.

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