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Showing posts from July, 2012

Tex Williams: Star of "Western Caravan" July 1950

Tex Williams July 1950 Star of NBC’s “Western Caravan” When the faint wisps of the novelty song, “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!” first attracted the attention of the entertainment world, few observers recalled the old saw about “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” When the smoke cleared away, however, the song had sold over 2,000,000 copies and had established Tex Williams, one of its composers and singing star of NBC’s new dramatic Western series, “Western Caravan” (Sundays, 6:30 p.m., EDT) as one of the brightest stars on the entertainment horizon. A native of Ramsey.III., Tex had more than the ordinary obstacles to overcome before he could pursue his musical career. Stricken with polio as a child, it took years of long, grueling exercise to strengthen his body to the degree needed to carry out his ambition. In 1937, he joined a traveling band and. as has happened to many an aspiring artist. was stranded without funds, in this case in Oregon. A generous couple. Mom and Da

Old Time Radio Mp3 CD Player with Sleep Timer

I've yet to come across a good MP3 player that has a sleep timer to play your old time radio shows , but there are a few other alternatives: When you play the shows on your computer, you can create a playlist on a program such as WinAmp or Windows Media Player (and just put a single or two episodes in the playlist); you could have computer speakers piped into your room or by using a low-power AM-FM transmitter , you could play the shows on your computer and have them come out on a nearby radio. nother alternative would be to have a plug-in timer power the Mp3 player (and turn off after an hour or so). Many TV's have sleep timers on them - if you have a DVD player that plays the old time radio shows through your TV, you could have the sleep timer on the TV turn off the sound as well. An old time listener recently emailed this Timex alarm clock radio which plays old time radio MP3 files . I've never used this model before and couldn't vouch for its reliability, b

Mach 30, 1940: "Believe It Or Not"

Mar. 30, 1940 “BELIEVE IT OR NOT” (A Review) “ BELIEVE IT OR NOT .” With Robert L. Ripley, Linda Lee and the orchestra of B. A. Rolfe . Friday, Columbia Broadcasting System 10:30 p.m. EST, 9:30 p.m. CST, 7:30 p.m. PST Sponsored by Nehi Corp. for Royal Crown Cola, produced by Balten, Barton. Durstine and Osborn, Inc., New York, originates in New York CBS studios. Show reviewed was heard on March 8 DEFINITELY tempoed for the ice-gripped winter trade was this program of Ripley’s “Believe It or Not.” And its music, as well as its two dramatized unbelievables, had to do with tropical islands in sun-kissed seas. The Rolfe orchestra started the torrid program with a hot little number called “Holy Smoke.” followed by the first of the Ripley dramatizations. It was the story of how a French warship, in 1859, had been sent to subjugate a native island in the South Seas and, on the shoals off the very island, was shipwrecked, its sailors captured and sentenced to death

I REMEMBER GROUCHO by George Fenneman

I REMEMBER GROUCHO BY GEORGE FENNEMAN                                                                                          PART ONE Harry von Zell’s column “Memories” will not appear this issue because as we go to press Harry is hosting a Silver Circle cruise to the South Pacific. He’s asked his friend George Fenneman to be the guest columnist and to write about his experiences with Groucho Marx . Since the recent death of  Groucho Marx  , I’ve often been asked what he was like. And I have to say he was unique, and he was fearless. It was a great privilege to work with him for 15 years and to be his friend for 30. How did I start working with Groucho? I think it was sheer luck. I won the audition for “You Bet Your Life” because I happened to be standing on the corner of Hollywood and vine. A man I’d worked with in San Francisco came up to me and said he was holding an audition for a new show with Groucho Marx. Although 30 other announcers were there, som

Summer Replacement Old Time Radio Shows

During the Golden Age of Radio , there were no networks that aired recorded shows, so broadcasting reruns was not popular. Radio stars of high-rating, money-making broadcasts requested breaks every summer be included in their contracts. When the lead star goes out of town, it is only normal that the entire cast of the show stops working too. Since the volume of expected listeners were not really that much, radio networks did not usually put as much effort as usually do for these summer replacement broadcasts . And most of the time, the sponsors would choose not to support the replacement, except probably when the program it replaced was quite successful, so that the stars of such program can “come home” once the summer season is over. One good example of such case would be The Johnson Wax Company, which was said to be very committed to the series Fibber McGee and Molly and its spot every Tuesday night. Some replacement series of the said show included Cousin Willie , Presenting