The persona Phil Harris created on the radio was one who was easy to like. He was a happy-go-lucky hep cat who never met a bottle or a pretty girl that he didn't like. By reputation, he made acquaintances with plenty of both. Most of all, the radio Phil Harris was easy to like because he was a fundamentally happy fellow, as willing to laugh at himself as he was to laugh at those around him. When your boss is Jack Benny , of course, there is plenty around you to laugh at. Phil is best remembered as one of Benny's many “second bananas”, although he had a relatively successful career beyond the Jack Benny Program. He was never quite a superstar, but that seems to have been just alright with him. On June 24, 1904, Wonga Philip Harris was born to circus performers Harry and Dollie Harris in Linton, Indiana. Harry, a circus band leader, taught the lad to play several instruments and gave his son his first gig, playing drums under the big top. The boy played in movie houses
On June 24 of 1904, Baloo...well the voice of Baloo...was born. Phil Harris (first name Wonga ) was an actor, jazz musician, singer, comedian and so many other talents. Raised in Tennessee, Harris began his foray into entertainment as a drummer for a circus. He later formed a band that many runs at the St. Francis Hotel. Following a dissolution of the band, Harris formed a new band that still exists to this day. Through the 1930’s, Phil Harris made recordings for a variety of major labels, including Columbia, Decca and Victor. From the 30’s through the 50’s, Harris would be cast alongside some of the big names in the industry, like Walter Brennan. He also performed in a film that also created Flying Down to Rio, which set in motion a couple of top names in Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire . During the 1930’s, Harris made his radio debut by being the Musical Director and comic relief for the Jack Benny Program. The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show also spent time on the airwa
Alice Faye was born on this day in 1915, and took a somewhat circuitous path to eminence in the universe of old time radio . She started in vaudeville and went on to a brief but very successful film career . Her leap to radio came from very personal circumstances. After ending her first marriage in 1940, Faye began a romantic relationship with radio icon Phil Harris . We know Harris has the hipster bandleader of The Jack Benny Show. After Faye married Harris, she joined him in his radio career. It began with their collaboration on the music show The Fitch Bandwagon , which aired on NBC. That show evolved into a sitcom and was re-named The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show . Their real-life marriage and family was re-created--to perhaps some small degree of realism--on the show, with actors playing equivalents or their two young daughters. The couple remained married until Harris's 1995 death. Faye died three years later. We salute this talented actress and songstress.