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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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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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