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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Radio Hall of Fame




The Radio Hall of Fame was a variety show that ran from 1943 to 1946, sponsored by Philco, featuring the very best in comedy, drama and music while starring some of the greatest performers of the 1940's, such as Fred Allen, Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx, Jimmy Durante, Andrews Sisters, Burns and Allen just to name a few.





Monday, December 26, 2011

Destination Freedom



Richard Durham created Destination Freedom, a groundbreaking radio series that dramatized the struggle for civil rights in America. Destination Freedom aired on WMAQ, a Chicago radio station, on Sunday mornings from 1948 to 1950.


The premier of Destination Freedom on June 27, 1948 signaled a landmark in African American broadcasting history. Drawing on the talents of young intellectuals and entertainers including Oscar Brown Jr., Studs Terkel, Janice Kingslow, Wezlyn Tilden, Fred Pinkard and Vernon Jarrett, Durham developed scripts that captured the lives and struggles of everyday men and women as well as prominent African Americans. Unlike the typical radio fare of its time, Destination Freedom featured social dramas that eloquently appealed for racial justice. As Durham explained, “the real-life story of a single Negro in Alabama walking into a voting booth across a Ku Klux Klan line has more drama and world implications than all the stereotypes Hollywood or radio can turn out in a thousand years.” In striking contrast to the hackneyed images of blacks and as a remedy to the gross underrepresentation of blacks in radio production, Durham cast black actors in leading roles and told the stories of activists and leaders including Frederick Douglass, Toussaint L’Ouverture and Mary Church Terrell; writers and artists including Richard Wright, Katherine Dunham and Gwendolyn Brooks and cultural legends such as Stackalee and John Henry.

Hours of careful research at the George Cleveland Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library with Vivian Harsh’s assistance, close readings of autobiographies, monographs and speeches and skilled scriptwriting brought these historical and contemporary figures to life in poignant detail on Destination Freedom. Certain of the redemptive power of black history and education, Durham went beyond recounting the biographies of these figures and focused on the ways that they overcame racial injustice through resistance. Durham challenged network protocols to ensure that the series featured black women as equally important, history-making figures. The series lacked a sponsor for most of the time it aired on WMAQ, but by relying on his earlier connections, Durham persuaded the Chicago Defender to fund the first weeks of the broadcast and the Urban League sponsored several broadcasts in 1950. Despite Durham’s efforts to exercise authorial control over the series, WMAQ edited, controlled final script approval and rejected the more controversial stories of the lives of Nat Turner and Paul Robeson. Despite these conflicts, the station recognized the import and the success of the show when in 1949, it won a prestigious first-place award from the Institute for Education by Radio. On the anniversary of its first episode, Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson commended the program for its efforts in increasing racial tolerance and in educating the public on the contributions of African Americans. Despite these accolades, WMAQ canceled Destination Freedom in 1950, just as the rising tide of anti-Communist conservatism began to adversely affect radio and the arts.

Changed to Cold War ideas after 10-15-50 (known as the "Patriotic Format").


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Carter Sisters Show




The Carter Sisters, (better known as their later moniker, The Carter Family) were an American singing quartet consisting of Maybelle Carter and her daughters June Carter Cash, Helen Carter, and Anita Carter. Formed during World War II, the group recorded and performed into the 1980s.


In the 1920s through the early 1940s, Maybelle Carter was part of the historic country music trio The Carter Family with her cousin Sara Carter and Sara's husband A. P. Carter. Maybelle's contribution to the group was singing harmony to Sara's lead vocal as well as playing guitar. Maybelle was married to A.P.'s brother Ezra Carter and had three children: June, Helen, and Anita.


In March 1943, when the original Carter Family trio stopped recording together after their WBT-AM contract ended, Maybelle Carter formed "Maybelle Carter & the Carter Sisters" with her three daughters June, Helen and Anita. Maybelle's daughters had frequently appeared with The Carter Family on their radio broadcasts of the early 1940's. The girls were young when the new act began: June at age 14; Helen, 16; and Anita, the youngest, at age 10.


The group was said to have been a mix of traditional songs of the original Carter Family with pop, gospel, and vaudeville comedy. Each daughter made her own contribution to the band.


  • Helen: vocals, guitar, and accordion
    Anita: vocals, guitar, and bass fiddle
    June: vocals, autoharp and comedy (June struggled with pitch problems and soon began to focus more on her
    comedic addition to the group than her singing.

The group (originally from Poor Valley, Virginia) made their first move to Richmond, Virginia in 1943. (They were reported as having kept their travel low key, with their father Ezra driving the group in a van to and from their destinations.) The new group first aired on radio station WRNL in Richmond on June 1, 1943. This broadcast would serve as their first commercially sponsored program and their first radio debut as "Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters." The girls' next big break was offered to them by "Sunshine Sue" of WRVA-AM. In September 1946 the group was asked to be a part of The Old Dominion Barn Dance on WRVA. The show had just begun and started small, however by the end of its first year was selling out its 1,400 seat theater twice a night, every Saturday. The group soon became a headliner for the show. Having spent five years in Richmond, the girls were yet again offered a job opportunity, this time in Knoxville, Tennessee.


In 1948, towards the end of their time in Richmond, the girls were offered the chance to work for WNOX-AM in Knoxville. They accepted and were then played on both the evening show, Tennessee Barn Dance; and the daily show, Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round.




Carter Sisters.zip (All Shows)



carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_01_first_song_-_cimmaron_audition.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_02_first_song_-_country_girl.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_05_first_song_-_no_vacancies.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_06_first_song_-_eight_more_miles_to_louisville.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_08_first_song_-_plain_old_country_girl.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_13_first_song_-_stay_a_little_longer.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_14_first_song_-_wish_i_had_a_nickel.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_15_first_song_-_sugar_hill.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_17_first_song_-_divorce_c.o.d..mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_18_first_song_-_an_old_fashioned_hoedown.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_19_first_song_-_skip_to_my_loo.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_20_first_song_-_oklahoma_city.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_21_first_song_-_cindy.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_22_first_song_-_sourwood_mountian.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_23_first_song_-_a_feudin_a_fussin_and_a_fightin.mp3
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carter_sisters_4x-xx-xx_24_first_song_-_the_beautiful_morning_glory.mp3
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pat Novak, For Hire


Pat Novak, for Hire was an old-time radio detective drama series which aired from 1946-1947 as a West Coast regional program and in 1949 as a nationwide program for ABC. The regional version originally starred Jack Webb in the title role, with scripts by his roommate Richard L. Breen. When Webb and Breen moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles to work on an extremely similar nationwide series, Johnny Modero, for the Mutual network, Webb was replaced by Ben Morris and Breen by other writers. In the later network version, Jack Webb resumed the Novak role, and Breen his duties as scriptwriter. The series is popular among fans for its fast-paced, hard-boiled dialogue and action and witty one-liners.

Pat Novak, for Hire is set on the San Francisco, California waterfront and depicts the city as a dark, rough place where the main goal is survival. Pat Novak is not a detective by trade. He owns a boat shop on Pier 19 where he rents out boats and does odd jobs to make money.

Each episode of the program, particularly the Jack Webb episodes, follows the same basic formula; a foghorn sounds and Novak's footsteps are heard walking down the pier. He then pauses and begins with the line "Sure, I'm Pat Novak . . . for hire". The foghorn repeats and leads to the intro theme, during which Pat gives a monologue about the waterfront and his job renting boats. Jack Webb narrates the story as well as acts in it, as the titular character. Playing the cynic, he throws off lines such as "...about as smart as teaching a cooking class to a group of cannibals". He then introduces the trouble in which he finds himself this week.

Typically, a person unknown to Pat asks him to do an unusual or risky job. Pat reluctantly accepts and finds himself in hot water in the form of an unexplained dead body. Police Inspector Hellman (played by Raymond Burr) arrives on the scene and pins the murder on Novak. With only circumstantial evidence to go on, Hellman promises to haul Novak in the next day for the crime. The rapid, staccato dialogue between Webb & Burr is typical of harboiled fiction and is often humorous. Pat uses the time to try to solve the case. He usually employs the help of his friend Jocko Madigan (played by Tudor Owen) - a drunken ex-doctor typically found at some disreputable tavern or bar - to help him solve the case. As Pat asks for his help, Jocko launches a long-winded philosophical diatribe, full of witty and funny remarks, until Novak cuts him off.

Jocko and Pat unravel the case and Hellman makes the arrest. Finally, we hear the foghorn and Novak's footsteps on the pier again before Novak spells out the details of the case for us. At the end, Novak informs us that "Hellman asked only one question", which Pat answers with a clever retort. The dialogue is rife with similes found in pulp fiction. Example: 'The neighborhood was run down - the kind of place where the For Rent signs look like ransom notes.'

























Sunday, August 14, 2011

Amos and Andy

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/43/Amosnandy.jpg

Amos 'n' Andy was a situation comedy popular in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s. The show began as one of the first radio comedy serials, written and voiced by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll and originating from station WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois. After the series was first broadcast in 1928, it grew in popularity.

In its early prime, the early 1930s, it was common for entire towns to be listening to the show. Stores would close, even movie theatres would stop the film while the Amos and Andy show was played instead for the movie audience. The national audience was estimated at 40 million, and that very large audience (nearly a third of the American population) was made up of Americans of many races and national backgrounds.

Amos 'n' Andy was officially transferred by NBC from the Blue Network to the Red Network in 1935, although the vast majority of stations carrying the show remained the same. Several months later, Gosden and Correll moved production of the show from NBC's Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago to Hollywood. After a long and successful run with Pepsodent, the program changed sponsors in 1938 to Campbell's Soup; because of Campbell's closer relationship with CBS, the series switched to that network in April 1939.

In 1943, after 4,091 episodes, the radio program went from a 15-minute CBS weekday dramatic serial to an NBC half-hour weekly comedy. While the five-a-week show often had a quiet, easygoing feeling, the new version was a full-fledged sitcom in the Hollywood sense, with a regular studio audience (for the first time in the show's history) and an orchestra. More outside actors, including many African American comedy professionals, were brought in to fill out the cast. Many of the half-hour programs were written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, later the writing team behind Leave It To Beaver and The Munsters. In the new version, Amos became a peripheral character to the more dominant Andy and Kingfish duo, although Amos was still featured in the traditional Christmas show where he explains the Lord's Prayer to his daughter.













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Times Past has no affiliation with Old Time Radio Researchers. Any related content is provided here as a convenience to our visitors and to make OTRR's work more widely known.

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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