Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 31 December: Here’s to the New Year
- 24 December: ‘Tis the night before Christmas
- 20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains
- 12 December: Eden rocked
- 9 December: The aftermath, continued . . .
- 8 December: Immediate aftermath
- 7 December: The date still lives in infamy
- 5 December: The mean widdle man-kid
- 21 November: Freed fall
- 20 November: A twin triumph for Lurene Tuttle
We’re building a history here . . .
Category Archives: Music/Variety
Writing in American Quarterly in 2004, Laura Rebecca Sklaroff wrote of AFRS Jubilee that the staffers of the Armed Forces Radio Service only thought the show could or would present predominantly black entertainment, or bills featuring black and white performers in equal measure, without stirring the racial pot. They didn’t count upon or necessarily understand the subtleties black performers could and did deploy in an era well before a time when less subtle conveyances could or would be accepted:
Film put a shot of high octane fuel Bob Hope’s radio career, and just in time, too, considering his first two very lame seasons aboard CBS and NBC Blue prior to 1938. Ironically, it was a radio sub-theme that cleared the fuel line and kicked the motor over.
What I called a “seeming resurgence” of vinyl records last year seems to be swelling considerably this year. So it’s still appropriate to review one of the most interesting pop culture explorations in old-time radio history, scripted in part by one of the medium’s best crime drama leads.
TUNE IN TONIGHT:
Biologist Vincent Arbolgast (Howard McNear) and teratologist Titus McFadridge (Lou Houston) stand firmly on the side of vintage 78 rpm shellac records and the more primitive recording technology of the earliest 20th Century, not to mention the popular performers of that period, such as Margaret Young.
In the end, you have to give The Big Show A for effort if nothing else. Valiant, often engaging, its aim was to preserve old-time, big-time radio variety against television’s metastasis. At its absolute best, The Big Show has lived up to its hyperbolic name. At its absolute worst, it’s still been more ambitious, more earnest, than nine-tenths of what television has thrown up thus far in the variety subgenre.
(A reader [I do have a few!] asks if I can repeat this essay. I’m pleased to do so.—JK.)
I was damned lonely in Dayton. So I just hooked into this idea and talked about my loneliness. And, you know, I found out there are a lot of lonesome people in this world.