Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 1941: 'The Great Gildersleeve' Debuted on NBC

August 31, 1941: The Great Gildersleeve started on NBC. It was a spin-off of Fibber McGee and Molly.

The Great Gildersleeve was one of the earliest spin-off programs in the history of radio broadcasting. The show featured Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, the lead character of the radio sitcom  Fibber McGee and Molly. This popular character was portrayed by American actor Harold Peary, who also starred in the film adaption of the sitcom.

Enjoy this debut broadcast from the Old Time Radio Collection of Great Gildersleeve:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29: Happy Birthday, Charlie Parker!

August 29: Happy Birthday, Charlie Parker!

Live From Birdland, "the jazz corner of the world, 52nd and Broadway in New York City, we bring you Count Basie and his Orchestra!"

When New York emerged as the top jazz house in the country after the 1920s, Count Basie and his Orchestra quickly made the bigapple, and Birdland, their home. Birdland opened its doors in 1949, inspired by the great Charlie Parker (knowyn as Bird, a shortened nickname of Yardbird), Parker was headlining the joint.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26: Happy Birthday, Phil Baker

August 26: Happy Birthday, Phil Baker!

Phil Baker had his career beginnings on the stage of his local movie house, then later in the vaudeville circuit. He went on tour in the 1920s with Ben Bernie as an accordion-violin playing headliner. His early work included accordion music and radio skits with an English butler character who had a love for Shirley Temple dolls.

Phil Baker was a very nervous actor, and would get the trembles before he went on the air. To calm his fears, he created a heckling character nestled somewhere in the audience that would shout at him through a megaphone. The heckler shouted that he was no good and should get off the air. By creating and thus controlling his worst fear, the heckler, this helped Phil to relax and allowed him to proceed with his show in a calm manner. It also provided great comedy relief that kept the show moving.

August 26, 1939 : The NBC Symphony Debuts in Arch Oboler's Plays

August 26, 1939: Arch Oboler's Plays presented the NBC Symphony as the musical backdrop for the drama, "This Lonely Heart."

The NBC Symphony orchestra served as a house orchestra for the network that lasted for 17 years from 1937 until 1954. It was especially created by National Broadcasting Company's David Sarnoff for the legendary Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25: Happy Birthday, Bob Crosby!

Aug 25: Happy Birthday, Bob Crosby!

"Welcome to Bob Crosby's Club Fifteen... [toot toot toot] ... Fifteen Minutes of the best in popular music..."

Every weeknight at 7:30pm, listeners tuned into Club Fifteen.  Debuting in 1947, this fifteen minute musical variety show, sponsored by Campbell's Soup Company, was hosted by charismatic crooner Bob Crosby.  Crosby, brother of Bing and a reknowned Dixieland jazz singer, was joined on the show by The Andrews Sisters and Margaret Whiting and the Modernaires.  (Source = Club 15 with Bob Crosby Old Time Radio Show)

August 25, 1949: Radio Comedy Series 'Father Knows Best' airs on NBC