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February 11, 1940: 'The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street' premiered on NBC

February 11, 1940: The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street aired on NBC Blue Network for the first time. The famous musical variety program involved numerous eminent personalities like Zero Mostel and Dinah Shore and was presented by Milton Cross. "A Bostonian looks like he is smelling something. A New Yorker looks like he's found it……….." The program was a wonderful mix of jazz, satire, and blues.

Though the show was meant to be a satirical take on operatic and symphonic broadcasts, listeners would be transported into the world of the unmistakably great swing music of blues and hot jazz. Milton Cross, the show's announcer, spiced it up with his humor and witty remarks. The appearance of Dinah Shore and Lena Horne on the show as featured vocalists helped them achieve their popularity.


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