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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Amos and Andy


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.

Radio Interview

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Radio Interview


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jack Carson Show, The


The Jack Carson Show first appeared on CBS radio for Campbell Soups, on June 2, 1943. The show ran for about four years until 1947 when Carson became the M.C. on The Sealtest Village Store.

The Jack Carson Show centred around Jack’s hectic home life at 22 North Hollywood Lane and his encounters with a variety of strange relatives, friends and neighbours. As in their vaudeville days Dave Willock was the sidekick playing the part of Carson’s nephew Tugwell. Eddie Marr was Jack's press agent, Arthur Treacher his butler.


John Elmer Carson was born in Carman, Manitoba on 27 October 1910 to Elmer and Elsa Carson. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Milwaukee, which he always thought of as his home town. He attended high school at Hartford School, Milwaukee and St. John's Military Academy, Delafield - but it was while attending Carleton College, Northfield that he got a taste for acting Jack Carson, because of his size - 6ft 2" and 220lbs had his first stage appearance as Hercules in a college production. During a performance he tripped and took half the set with him. A college friend, Dave Willock, thought it was so funny he persuaded Carson to team with him in a vaudeville act - Willock and Carson, and a new career began. In 1936 they decided to try their luck in Hollywood - and landed at RKO where they were able to work in bit parts. Jack Carson quickly qot on the RKO treadmill through a gruelling series of films, sometimes changing costumes four times a day. Willock and Carson meanwhile got their big radio break on the Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall program in 1938, and it was that appearance that lead to a string of other radio appearances and hosting opportunities which would culminate in his own radio show in 1943. (Jack Carson Fansite)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Cavalcade of Kings

A Cavalcade of Kings is historical stories of the British Monarchy. Live the wonderful and highly entertaining history of the British Isles through battles, marriages, and other royal roguery beginning in the 10th century up to the reign of Queen Victoria.

Life with Luigi

Life with Luigi was a radio comedy-drama series which began September 21, 1948 on CBS, broadcasting its final episode on March 3, 1953. The story concerned Italian immigrant Luigi Basco, and his experiences as an immigrant in Chicago. Many of the shows take place at the US citizenship classes that Luigi attends with other immigrants from different countries, as well as trying to fend off the repeated advances of the morbidly-obese daughter of his landlord/sponsor.

Luigi was played by J. Carrol Naish, an Irish-American. Naish continued in the role on the short-lived CBS television version in 1952 and was later replaced by Vito Scotti when the series was briefly revived in the spring of 1953. With a working title of The Little Immigrant, Life with Luigi was created by Cy Howard, who earlier had created the hit radio comedy, My Friend Irma. Other characters on the radio show included Pasquale (Alan Reed), another Italian-American who was always trying to set Luigi up with his daughter Rosa; and Shultz (Hans Conreid), a German immigrant and fellow student in Luigi's citizenship class.

The show was sometimes regarded as the Italian counterpart to the radio show The Goldbergs, which chronicled the experience of Jewish immigrants in New York.


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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