Showing posts with label Mail Call. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mail Call. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 8, Happy Birthday: Tito Guizar


Guizar was a classically-trained Mexican singer who starred with Roy Rogers and Bob Hope in Hollywood films. His acting and singing career spanned an astonishing seventy years. He's probably best known for his song "Alla en el Rancho Grande," the title song from a 1936 film.

His radio appearances were on Duffy's Tavern, Hello Americans, Its Time to Smile, Mail Call, and Quiz Kids.

His appearance on Duffy's Tavern had him singing "La Feria De Las Flores," just before Talullah Bankhead read from Boris Voitekhov's "The Last Days of Sevastopol." You just can't find radio like this anymore, folks!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6: Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball



Bios of Lucille Ball abound, and most people know at least a little bit about the famed comedienne. But on the occasion of her birthday, we get a chance to look at her contributions to oldtime radio.

Her first big break was the chance to star in the radio program My Favorite Husband along with Richard Denning. The two played a Minneapolis couple, with Lucille's character Liz, being a goofball housewife. She signed each time with a cordial "Jell-O, everybody," to plug the sponsor, General Foods' Jell-O. The show would later make the jump to television.

But what a lot of people may not realize is that she also made the rounds as a guest on just about any radio show you can name: The Kraft Music Hall, Screen Guild Theatre, Mail Call, The Campbell Playhouse, and The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre to name a few.

Many things to many people, Lucille Ball was a giant of old time radio. Happy birthday, Lucille!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June, 30: Happy Birthday, Lena Horne

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917. This versatile lady would grown to become an inspiring actress, singer, dancer and involved in civil rights. This descendant of notable early American colonists, John C Calhoun; Lena Horne spent a very uninspired childhood shuffling from grandparents to mother to an uncle growing up. Her mother was involved in a roving black troupe and that had an early impact on Horne’s desire to entertain.

By 1933, Ms Horne became a part of the Cotton Club in NYC. She later became a part of Noble Sissle’s Orchestra, with whom she made her first recording with Decca Records. She then became the main vocalist for the The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street with NBC. during the 30’s and into the 40’s she made a few low-budget films. In 1944, Lena was featured in the radio mystery program Suspense, which featured her singing and acting as a nightclub performer. Also during the period of WWII, Lena Horne could be heard singing on radio programs like, Command Performance, Mail Call and G.I. Journal.

These on-air programs were major hits with the servicemen overseas. By the 1950’s and into the early 90’s, Ms. Horne would be seen on television programs with the likes of Bill Cosby and Frank Sinatra. She was very involved with civil rights issues that affected African-Americans. Lena Horne was married twice and had a son (passed away of kidney disease) and a daughter, Gail, that became a noted author. Lena Horne left this earth in 2010 after a heart attack. The Grammy award winning singer and actress had finally gone home.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 3: Happy Birthday, Victor Borge

January 3: Happy Birthday, Victor Borge

Victor Borge was a Danish and American comedian affectionately known as “The Great Dane” and “The Clown Prince of Denmark.”

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Borge was a talented pianist. He spent much of his younger years learning and playing concerts. When the Nazis occupied Denmark during World War II, Borge was playing a concert in Sweden and was able to escape to Finland. He traveled to America on the USS American Legion, the last ship to make it out of Petsamo, Finland.

Borge didn’t speak any English when he arrived in America, but he quickly learned by “studying” in movie theaters. Rudy Vallee offered him an opportunity on his radio show, and Borge soon became part of Kraft Music Hall. He also made many guest appearances on Command Performance, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jubilee, and Mail Call.

Victor never stopped working. He continued to perform and tour throughout his life. Even at the age of 90, Borge was still making 60 appearances a year.

Many of Borge’s performances had physical elements that were more suited for television and the stage than radio. He made many appearances on both throughout his storied career of almost 75 years.

Victor Borge, the melancholy Dane, passed away on December 23rd, 2000 at the age of 91.