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Friday, March 29, 2013

Melody Hour, The


The Carnation Contented Hour was a long-running radio music series, sponsored by the Carnation Milk Company, which premiered April 26, 1931 on the regional NBC West Coast network. The full network series began January 4, 1932 and was heard for two decades until its final broadcast on December 30, 1951.

With its opening theme, "Contented," the musical variety show featured Percy Faith and his orchestra. Performers varied but usually included Buddy Clark, vocalist; Reinhold Schmidt, bass; and Josephine Antoine, soprano. The announcer was Vincent Pelletier. The program's producers were Harry K. Gilman and C. H. Cottington.

Until October 24, 1932, the program featured Gene Arnold and Herman Larson, broadcast over NBC Blue on Mondays at 8pm. Buddy Clark joined the cast on October 31, 1932. From October 2, 1949 until December 30, 1951 it was heard Sundays on the Columbia Broadcasting System with Dick Haymes starring.

During World War II, the Armed Forces Radio Service obtained rights to rebroadcast the program to military personnel. Recordings were made on 16" electrical transcription discs for playback at 33 1/3 rpm over AFRS. Commercial messages were edited out, and the program was re-titled The Melody Hour.

Jay Hickerson's The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide to all Circulating Shows (1992) indicates that the program was on NBC at 8pm from October 31, 1932, moving to 10pm from November 21, 1932 until September 26, 1949. He reports that there are 43 recorded shows available, 36 bearing dates.

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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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