Old Time Radio

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Lew Stone and His Band - Wings Over the Navy (1939)

Lew Stone and His Band recorded the song "Wings Over the Navy" with the singer Sam Browne for the Decca label on November 13, 1939. The personnel were Stone as director, Chick Smith and Bert Bullimore on trumpet, Lew Davis and Eric Tann on trombone, Joe Crossman, Jim Easton, Laurie Bookin, and Dan Barrigo on reeds, Bobby McGee on piano, Dan Perri on guitar, Arthur Maden on string bass and Jock Jacobson on drums. Stone was a jazz pianist, bassist, cellist, arranger, and dance band ... (read more)

'I Can't Stand Jack Benny' Contest Received 277,104 Entries

Jack Benny with judges in the I Can't Stand Jack Benny contest So you tore off a carton top? Visualizing thousand-dollar bank notes, shiny new automobiles and post-war electric refrigerators, you were a "goner"' before the announcer's pear-shaped vowels reached "in twenty-five words or less." On the back of the cart top you detailed in pulsating prose why you simply cannot exist without Fluffo Flakes. With fingers crossed, you dropped it in the corner mailbox and went home to wait for the ... (read more)

Jack Grose and His Metropole Players (Jay Wilbur) - Alone With My Dreams (1932)

Jack Grose and His Metropole Players performed the song "Alone With My Dreams" in London on September 6, 1932, for Eclipse records. The personnel included Jay Wilbur as director, Billy Farrell and Bill Shakespeare or Max Goldberg on trumpet, Ted Heath or Tony Thorpe on trombone, Laurie Payne, Jimmy Gordon, and George Clarkson on reeds, Norman Cole on violin, Billy Thorburn or Pat Dodd on piano, Bert Thomas on guitar, Harry Evans on string bass, Jack Kosky on drums, and Jack Plant on ... (read more)

Cobina Wright Jr. Makes Radio Singing Debut at 17

Cobina Wright Jr. on the cover of Life Magazine, Feb. 17, 1941 At 17, attractive Cobina Wright, Jr., isn't the least bit worried by microphones. In fact, says she, "I love 'em." And she speaks from a wealth of experience, for the blond and beautiful daughter of an equally well-known mother has appeared before some of the nation's best mikes. These ventures into radiodom include guest appearances on We, the People, with Eddie Cantor's Camel Caravan, Consolidated Edison's City of Light, and the ... (read more)

Ray Starita and His Ambassadors Band - Blue River (1938)

Ray Starita and His Ambassadors Band recorded the song "Blue River" with Eddie Collins on vocals in London on April 5, 1938, for the Columbia label. The performers were Starita, who played clarinet and tenor sax and directed the band, Andy Richardson and Sylvester Ahola on trumpet, Bill Hall on trombone, Chester Smith on alto sax, Reg Pursglove on violin, Donald Thorne on piano, Jack Hill on guitar, Arthur Calkin on brass bass and Rudy Starita on drums and vibes. Ray Starita was a ... (read more)

What's in a Name? A Lot in Portland Hoffa's Family

Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa on Radio Stars, February 1935 When Fred Allen met Portland Hoffa on the vaudeville circuit in 1922, he was telling jokes and performing badly as a juggler. She was a dancer. The two future comedy stars hit it off because of a conversation about her name: "I'm a doctor's daughter," Hoffa advised him. "My father named me after the city where I was born. Out in Oregon, you know." "I know," said Allen. ''You ought to be glad you weren't born in Terre Haute or ... (read more)

Book Covers the Years Ellery Queen Fought Crime on Radio

Poster for Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring (1941) Martin Grams Jr. has gained the reputation of being somewhat of a research dynamo. Rarely will you speak to Grams when he's not engrossed in researching a particular show for an article, a book or simply for the sake of knowing more about it. He's gotten the reputation of being one of the most productive old time radio scholars today. For his latest book, The Sounds of Detection: Ellery Queen's Adventures in Radio, Grams teamed up with Francis ... (read more)

Maryland Dance Orchestra - How I Love That Girl (1924)

The Maryland Dance Orchestra recorded the song "How I Love That Girl" in New York in November 1924 for the Coliseum label. The performers were Ben Bernie and His Orchestra, featuring Donald Bryan and Harold Rehrig on trumpet; Frank Sarlo on trombone; Mickey McCullough, Len Kavash and Jack Pettis on reeds; Al Goering and J "Kenn" Sisson on piano; Paul Nito on banjo and violin; Al Armer on brass bass; Sam Fink on drums; and Irving Kaufman on vocals. Ben Bernie, whose real name was ... (read more)

Betsy King, the Youngest Disc Jockey on Radio

Radio's newest program type to run the gamut and come through a success is the kid disc jockey. The latest is Betsy King, daughter of Gene King, program director of WCOP, Boston. Betsy handles a much longer session than most of the disc jockeys who have to sit on phone books to cue up discs. She handles the program as though it were two half-hours from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. She calls her hour Let's Have Fun, and she does. Because she feels that Sundays must have prayers, she ends each ... (read more)

Piccadilly Dance Band (Allan Selby) - Kitty's Kisses (1928)

The Piccadilly Dance Band recorded the song "Kitty's Kisses" in London for Piccadilly Records in August 1928. The recording was directed by Allan Selby and includes Phil Lever on trumpet; L. Cooper on trombone; Sid Lenton and H. Brooks on reeds; Bobby Davis on piano; Hal Pike on banjo; R. del Perugia on brass bass; and G. Marshall on drums. "Kitty's Kisses" was the title song from a 1926 summer musical that faded to obscurity until its music was rereleased by PS Classics in 2009. The ... (read more)