Variety

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Command Performance Radio Entertains the Troops

Bing Crosby and Jimmy Cagney on Command Performance (August 30, 1942) A few Sundays ago, a young and unknown radio producer sat down to a telephone in the War Department in Washington and called Leopold Stokowski, in New York. "Mr. Stokowski," he said, "I want you and your orchestra to appear on my radio program two weeks from today." Stokowski -- who won't lift a baton for less than $4,000 -- gasped. But before he could hang up, Glenn Wheaton, radio producer for Uncle Sam, explained. "We ... (read more)

Major Bowes: The King of Radio's Amateur Hour

Major Bowes and Amateur Hour performer Frank Sinatra in 1943 It's a bit puzzling, on first meeting Major Edward Bowes, to decide whether you are looking at a churchman or the head of a prosperous money-lending agency. His manner is faintly pious; his eyes are as cold as a polar bear's paws. Still, it's his nose that really gets you. It is a great, engulfing over-riding thing which makes Jimmy Durante's look like a wemple. The man behind it is about 66. He has hair which is thin and ... (read more)

Phillips Lord Gives Voice to Bums of the Bowery

Seth Parker portrayer and creator Phillips Lord Criminals, bop-heads, panhandlers and other breeds of down-and-outers of New York's Bowery have combined with one of radio's best-known characters to present a series of programs over National Broadcasting Company networks, hailed as one of the unique broadcasts of the year. America's radio audience demanded variety, and Phillips H. Lord, 28-year-old creator of Seth Parker and His Jonesport Neighbors, supplied it. In a dingy, smoke-filled ... (read more)

WDAF Nighthawks and the Merry Old Chief

"Station WDAF, the Kansas City Star Nighthawks, just doing a little hawking" is a phrase familiar to radio listeners all over the United States and other parts of the world. For when the Merry Old Chief starts to dispense his happiness and good cheer at 11:45 p.m., fans invariably dial for Kansas City. The Merry Old Chief is the most popular feature of the Nighthawks program. His original style of announcing, his ready wit, his million-dollar laugh and his unusual singing voice have ... (read more)