THE KRAFT MUSIC HALL

 

In March 1933, nine men met in the offices of the J. Walter Thompson Company.  Their objective was to fashion a show to introduce a new product called ‘Miracle Whip’ for the Kraft Cheese Company. This was at that time when advertising agencies wrote and produced radio shows for their clients and those present at the meeting were, John U. Reber, Vice-President in charge of radio for the Thompson Company; Carroll Carroll, writer for the Burns and Allen/Guy Lombardo Show; H. Calvin Kuhl and Robert T Colwell, two more of the Company’s top producers; Abbott K. Spencer, producer of Eddie Cantor’s highly popular radio series for Chase & Sanborn; George Faulkner and Gordon Thompson who, together, created the Fleischmann Yeast Hour for Rudy Vallee; Robert A Simon, at that time, music critic for ‘The New Yorker’ and musical adviser to the Thompson Corporation and Sam Moore, another successful writer of radio shows.

In order to incorporate the brand name of the product and to establish an identifiable locale for the listeners, they decided to christen the yet ‘unborn baby’, ‘The Kraft Music Revue’. The other prime decision made at the meeting was that the host should be Paul Whiteman whose orchestra and entourage contained sufficient talent and variety to sustain the show.

There was the up and coming young songwriter and comedy singer, Johnny Mercer; Ken Darby and The King’s Men (Jon Dobson, Bud Lynn and Rad Robinson), a quartet so-called because they appeared with Whiteman - ‘The King Of Jazz’; Johnny House, a ballad singer and Ramona (Davies) the popular pianist/vocalist.  In addition, the orchestra featured some of the best musicians of the day, in the shape of Joe Venuti, Oscar Levant, Tommy Dorsey, Frankie Trumbauer, Roy Bargy, Mike Pingatore and Jack Teagarden. To inaugurate the series and to ensure a ‘smash’ send-off, a two hour show, from the New Amsterdam Roof, starring Al Jolson, was planned for 26th June 1933.  Typically, the egocentric Jolson was still going strong at the scheduled close of the programme, obliging the Thompson Company to hurriedly negotiate for a further fifteen minutes of air time. The series, featuring Whiteman together with special guest stars, ran successfully for two years from New York with the name being changed to ‘The Kraft Music Hall’ in 1934. Bing made a guest appearance on 15th August 1935.  Later in 1935, it was decided that the Kraft Music Hall would move to Hollywood, following the more popular radio stars who were heading NBC2.JPGWest to fulfil screen contracts.

The new host was named as Whiteman’s former ‘Rhythm Boy’, Bing Crosby and on 2nd January 1936 the Kraft Music Hall was presented from Hollywood.  The show was produced by Calvin Kuhl and written by Sam Moore until the spring of 1936, when Moore left and Carroll Carroll took up the writing chores.  Carroll Carroll publicly claimed on many occasions to have been responsible for the development of the personality, which the world would recognise as Bing Crosby.  The much maligned but nevertheless, informative book, ‘The Hollow Man’ by Don Shepherd and Robert F. Slatzer, recounts the familiar story of ‘Bing’s reluctance to talk’ and of how, ‘Guests were given ‘wild’ lines that were not in the script, thereby forcing Crosby to respond’.

Bing’s ‘character’ has always been a matter of some contention, particularly since his death.  In the 1940’s, there were those who were unkind enough so say that he never played anyone but the character that appeared in his first Mack Sennett short - a theory that time proved to be palpably untrue.  Further quotes from the same book, however, offer some sharp contrasts to Carroll’s claims.  For example, referring to the period when Bing was Master of Ceremonies at the Paramount Theatre in 1931, it notes, ‘his relaxed manner, together with his natural wit and humor were so popular that Paramount Publix extended his engagement for a further ten weeks and on his Chesterfield Show (‘Music That Satisfies’),  Bing began establishing a format that he would perfect later on the Kraft Music Hall, (pleasant banter, both written and ad-libbed - Bing was very sharp at ad-libbing) that would eventually make him one of the most popular radio personalities of all time.’

The musical accompaniment for the re-located Kraft programme was supplied by the recently formed Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and to counter-balance Bing’s role as the worldly, hyper-articulate host, the perfect foil was available in the hillbilly humour of Bob Burns - ‘The Arkansas Philosopher’.  Burns has achieved a claim to immortality by appearing in both Webster’s and the Oxford dictionaries as the originator of the ‘bazooka’, a curious instrument, composed of a few lengths of piping, from which he extracted tones, more amusing, than musical and which later gave its name to an anti-tank weapon, first used in the Western Desert during World War II.

For a short period, Don Wilson announced the programme and there is also a mention of Roger Krupp but there is now, little doubt, that Ken Carpenter began performing this duty, much earlier than had been previously supposed.  Carpenter’s contribution to the ‘Hall’s’ popularity should not be under-estimated.  In addition to his announcing duties, he was, on occasions, encouraged to sing (never too seriously), played a wide range of characters in sketches and for the commercials, became a student at ‘Doctor’ Crosby’s imaginary, KMH University which had been created by Carroll Carroll.  The college’s colours were pomegranate and puce and the school poet, Edna St. Vitus Mitnick.  Football games were contested with rival universities, rejoicing in such names as Tich Tach Tech and Pulse Normal.  The school song, ‘Hail, KMH’, written by Carroll Carroll and John Scott Trotter, survived for many years as the closing theme of the show and could still be detected in the later series, hosted by Al Jolson.

It was on 8th. July, 1937 that John Scott Trotter became the Musical Director for KMH and conflicting reasons are given for the departure of the Dorsey outfit.  Dorsey’s own version is that he felt that he was losing his identity and a weekly radio show was not providing sufficient exposure for the band.  However, this may have been inspired to offset the implied slur in the other reason given, that the sponsors considered the orchestra inadequate when handling the mandatory classical ‘spots’ in the programme.

Among the criticisms that have been levelled at Trotter’s arrangements is that he was repetitive and possibly, there is some evidence which may support this.  Students of Bing Crosby’s recordings may well be surprised when listening to the existing Kraft material, for the first time, to hear arrangements to which they had become familiar, as the opening bars in the recordings of ‘East Side Of Heaven’, ‘And The Angels Sing’ and ‘You Lucky People You’ respectively, serving as introductions for, ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well’ (March 2, 1939), ‘Hurry Home’ (December 8, 1938) and ‘My Mind’s On You’ (March 20, 1941) and there are other examples.  Others have denounced his work as ‘unimaginative’ and it is true that one can detect slight acknowledgments to ‘Rustle Of Spring’ in ‘Sweet Little You’ (October 21, 1937) and more overtly, ‘The Entry Of The Gladiators’ in ‘Marie’ (October 28, 1937) but it would be naive to suppose that John Scott really intended to deceive with these tongue in cheek ‘plagiarism’s’.  A few, unable to express their disapprobation more coherently, merely labelled his accompaniments, ‘hackneyed’ or ‘corny’ but his prodigious workload for the Kraft Music Hall series cannot be denied, including not only arrangements for Bing but also for the Music Maids’ backgrounds, the various female singers’ vocals and at times, some of the guests.

Perhaps it would be as well to leave the last words on this subject to the person who was in the best position to judge. Bing maintained an association with Trotter which endured for twenty years of broadcasting and recording without, it is said, any formal contract.  At the commencement of this comfortable alliance, he is quoted as saying, ‘I just know he is very good and he has marvellous taste’ - and towards the end, that opinion had not changed when he described John’s orchestrations as, ‘....never obtrusive...always in good taste’.

To add a little romantic interest to the proceedings, a regular place was found for an attractive ‘chanteuse’ who, on occasions, dueted with Bing, in addition to having her own solo spot.  Among those engaged to fill this role were Connie Boswell (her adoption of the name ‘Connee’ coincided with her departure from the Hall), Mary Martin, Janet Blair, Marilyn Maxwell, Eugenie Baird and Trudy Erwin.

During his radio career, Bing Crosby seems to have found somewhat more affinity with a ‘backing group’ than some other solo performers.  He would probably have said, ‘I like somebody to share the blame!’ but it is a personal belief that Bing enjoyed this dueting, relishing the competition and at times, taking the opportunity to indulge in musical ‘ad-libs’ and asides, thus enhancing the ‘laid back’ quality of the performance, to the benefit of the listener.  Appertaining to this, the previously mentioned Trudy (Virginia) Erwin had graduated from ‘The Music Maids’, a quintet which joined the programme in February 1939, replacing the Paul Taylor Choristers who had been providing vocal support for Bing until that time. Apart from Trudy, the other four members were June Clifford, Dorothy Messmer, Alice Ludes and Denny Wilson.  Inevitably, the personnel altered over the years and the group was eventually reduced to a quartet, later still to become, variously, ‘The Music Maids & (Hal) (Phil) (Lee) (Men)’.  Other combinations who filled this role were, The Charioteers, a coloured group, composed of Wilfred ‘Billy’ Williams, Eddie Jackson, Ira Williams, Howard ‘Doug’ Daniel and James Sherman (Piano) who were, ultimately, to be carried forward by Bing to his Philco Radio Time series and The Kraft Choral Club (Society) (Group), originally composed of 90 employees from Kraft’s home office in the East, who, invariably made featured contributions at Christmas and Easter.

Sometime, scriptwriter and ‘warm-up’ man for the Hall, Leo ‘UkieSherin found some measure of permanence, for a couple of seasons, playing a buffoon whose general ‘dumbness’ was only exceeded by his ambitions to be the star of the show.  One of KMH’s outstanding discoveries was Victor Borge who came for a week and stayed for more than a year!  On occasions, he hosted the programme, eventually progressing to his own, internationally acclaimed, one-man show. 

Two other popular comics emerged from the ranks of the Trotter orchestra.  Jerry Colonna, a trombonist, described by Bing as, ‘the only singer who started on his high note and then went up’ went on to became an invaluable member of the Bob Hope ‘troupe’ and appeared in several movies including two ‘Road’ pictures.  There was also Spike Jones who, together with John Scott and Perry Botkin, created the inimitable musical style of Spike Jones and his City Slickers, originally intended to accompany Bob Burns’ efforts on the ‘bazooka’.

While not necessarily being regarded as the supreme accolade, it was considered a reasonably prestigious compliment to make a guest appearance on the Kraft Music Hall and indeed, some stars actually asked to appear, even though the remuneration was some way below that by other shows of similar standing.  There were, however benefits in the form of minimal time spent on tiring rehearsals and a bumper hamper of Kraft products from the sponsors.  A perusal of the relevant index reveals that the guest list was nothing short of breathtaking.  Stars from Hollywood and the concert hall, top sporting personalities, as well as literary figures and even politicians dropped in.  There appeared to be a tacit rivalry between the Fleischmann show and KMH as to who could come up with the biggest and the best.  While Rudy Vallee rubbed shoulders with Gertrude Lawrence, Noel Coward, Eddie Cantor and Tyrone Power, Crosby chatted to Leopold Stokowski, Amelia Earhart, Spencer Tracy and John McCormack.

In the beginning, the show was to have no audience, due, it is said, to Bing’s reluctance to ‘dress up’ and to wear his toupee but a compromise was reached when it was decided that an audience was needed to provide the essential laughter for timing ‘gags’.  Members of the show were permitted to bring along friends who were allowed to laugh but not applaud.  Very soon, On Thursday nights, these ‘friends’ were forming extensive queues outside the NBC studios until, in the end, it became so difficult to prevent the audience from breaking into spontaneous applause that the rules had to be abandoned.

After Pearl Harbour and to some degree, even before, KMH became a typical wartime radio programme.  Members of the armed forces and officials from government agencies were featured and in line with other leading radio shows, ‘allocations’ were received from the Office of War Information.  These allocations were in the form of broadcast appeals to the public to join in the war effort of the nation.  The effectiveness of these propaganda ‘plugs’ can be judged by the erroneous announcement (read by Bing), of a minimum age requirement which resulted in a flood of under-age volunteers having to be turned away on the very next day.  The musical content of the shows altered, quite dramatically.  To some extent, the more mawkishly sentimental songs were eschewed in favour of the rousing marching songs of the various branches of the armed services and the patriotic products of Tin Pan Alley, such as, ‘Comin’ In On A Wing And A Prayer’; ‘Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition’,; ‘Vict’ry Polka’; ‘The Bombardier Song’; ‘A Hot Time In The Town Of Berlin’; ‘Ridin’ Herd On A Cloud' etc., and musical invocations stressing the need to invest in War Bonds, as in ‘The Road To Victory’ and ‘Any Bonds Today?’.

Possibly, the most poignant story connected with the show occurred very soon after the beginning of the war with Japan, when General Douglas MacArthur and his troops were beleaguered by the Japanese invaders in the Philippines and a weary corporal in the Signal Corps, felt lonesome for the voice of Bing Crosby.  He sent a coded message requesting a short wave broadcast to the Philippines, ‘in order to divert our thoughts from the pressure of battle’.  The request was transmitted by MacArthur to Washington which resulted in a personal telegram being sent to Bing, saying, ‘General MacArthur is specifically asking you to broadcast to the men in the Philippines on Bataan Peninsula’ and thus on the 29th January 1942, the complete programme was dedicated to the fighting men in that far-off Theatre of Operations. The end of the war roughly coincided with the commencement of hostilities which presaged Bing’s departure from the Kraft Music Hall but by this time, the programme was assured of its rightful place in ‘The Golden Age Of Radio’ and this, surely, was also the Golden Age for Bing Crosby, when he was at the peak of his career, commanding a listening audience measured in excess of an astonishing fifty million!

           

Compiler’s Notes  

      From a personal viewpoint, the Kraft Music Hall radio programme has been always been the Holy Grail of  Crosbyana, covering ten years, during which an emergent crooner, with an agreeable personality, rose to be a Twentieth Century icon. Unlike the later, Philco, Chesterfield or General Electric series of which, complete copies exist, providing a perfect continuity and means of verification, the Kraft series (with the exception of some of the later shows) has no such continuity and relies on hearsay and (notoriously flawed) newspaper columns.  Without being too critical of ‘hearsay’ on which, a great deal of the World’s history is based, it is an accepted fact that a great proportion of the programmes do not survive in complete form, making it impossible for anyone to be certain of their exact content.

It would seem that even regular participants in the shows are not immune to confusion.  A quote by Trudy Erwin appears in the sleeve notes for the LP issue Spokane 23 ‘Bing & Trudy’, thus, ‘one of the songs Bing and I sang together was ‘Stay As Sweet As You Are’.  Strange as it seems, when I was a senior in high school, I had harmonised that very same song with a record of Bing, in a little recording booth at the World’s Fair’.  Discographers would be as delighted to find this record, as I would to find a place for the duet in this Directory!  Or, is Trudy remembering, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ which qualifies on both counts and has some vague lyrical resemblance.

Fifteen years ago, I produced a very limited edition of twenty-five copies of a Directory for this series.  At that time, I bemoaned the fact that I still had a list of guest stars who were supposed to have appeared and songs that were alleged to have been sung for which I could find no place.  Further research, has resolved many of these queries but some remain and I have little doubt that there are copies of shows in existence that I have not had the benefit of hearing. For example, there is evidence that a copy of the programme of the 18th April 1940 endures, featuring a Crosby duet of ‘Alice Blue Gown’ with Anna Neagle.  (Come on, own up. Who’s got it?).  I am equally sure that there are those whose knowledge is greater than mine who could add more detail to this Directory.  In spite of these pitfalls, a strenuous effort has been made to avoid assumption and I have resisted including the names of even the most regular of the personnel, unless there is a modicum of evidence to support their inclusion.  

There is no doubt that excerpts from the Kraft Music Hall were used in programmes generated by the Armed Forces Radio Service. The transcribed AFRS Music Hall series which was short-waved at noon on Sundays provides glimpses of shows which may no longer be available in their original form.  Here, the hazard to the researcher is that although they may have been based on an original Kraft programme, ‘wild’ songs have been inserted, by Bing or others, from other shows, in order to produce a full hour/half hour, without commercials.  It is also an accepted fact that Kraft provided the source for many of the V-Discs that were issued during World War II. There is a school of thought which suggests that Bing performed the show twice, explaining the difference, between the broadcast version of a song and that issued on V-Disc but it has been established that many of these ‘alternates’ were recorded from same day rehearsals for the programmes.  I would further suggest that these ‘rehearsals’ were somewhat more formal than usual as it has been noted that, at a rehearsal, Bing might ‘la, la, la’ his part, saving the lyric (and his voice) for the actual broadcast. Please note that I have chosen to link these V-Disc issues with either the original programme or its rehearsal, on occasions, pointing out the salient differences.   

As with other sections of this Directory, the 385 separate programmes, which comprise the Kraft Music Hall series, have been divided into ‘seasons’.  Special mention is made because although the ‘seasons’ may still, roughly, coincide with Bing’s annual vacations, compared with other series, they were, perhaps, slightly more unpredictable.  It should be pointed out, however, that the Kraft Music Hall was a year-round programme and during Bing’s absences, ‘The Hall’ was hosted by other personalities, including, Bob Burns, Mary Martin, Bob Crosby, Victor Borge, George Murphy, Frank Morgan etc.   

It has not been deemed practicable to show details of commercials, comedy routines or sketches but when known, musical items by other artistes have been included. Please note that some titles may not be shown in the original order of their presentation.


2023 Update

When Lionel prepared his magnificent listing of these Kraft shows, the only details available to him for the first few seasons were the titles of Bing’s solos and the names of the guests. All the scripts for the Kraft shows are held in the J. Walter Thompson archives at Duke University in North Carolina however and we have subsequently employed a researcher to copy the scripts for us. This has enabled us to provide more comprehensive information of the shows and it’s fascinating to discover that Bing sang duets with top opera stars on occasion. We are particularly grateful to David Currington for his work on deciphering the Program Director's notes. A sample of one of the scripts can be seen here.



1935 Season

Programmes Nos.one to four were hosted by Paul Whiteman, in New York and each show included two cut-ins from Hollywood, featuring Bing Crosby.  He was accompanied by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra although there are contra indications that Tommy Dorsey accompanied Bing for the last two shows and Jimmy Dorsey for the first two.  The rift between the Dorsey brothers occurred in May 1935 when Tommy Dorsey left the band.  Bing Crosby regarded both of them as friends and they were persuaded to make one final appearance as the Dorsey Brothers to record Bing’s songs from “Two For Tonight” and “The Big Broadcast Of 1936” on August 14th.  The following is an extract from “Variety” dated 18th September 1935, reviewing a Kraft Music Hall programme, then still under the aegis of Paul Whiteman, “Bobby Burns, a funny, (though) not convulsively so, man who sought laughs by gentle, homey, Will Rogeresque methods and reveals a delivery which has warmth and sincerity was vastly superior to his own material.  This formula will be employed until December 1st when Whiteman takes his crew off the show and Bing Crosby and the Dorsey’s enter.  Crosby should walk into an audience riding at peak size, for the present day set-up makes for edification.  Whiteman’s own announcing is no small measure of the pleasure dished out by the show”. 

From the same journal, there are further references in December showing personnel listings for the relevant programmes which identify the brothers separately.  By this time, Tommy Dorsey had his own orchestra, having taken over the Joe Haymes band, virtually intact.  Is it possible that they both had a crack at the job?

(NOTE: It has now been confirmed that Tommy Dorsey was not involved. He was busy in New York establishing his own band.)

 

No. 1  5th December 1935

 

 With Ford Bond, Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Jack Teagarden, Durelle Alexander, Ramona and The King's Men.


  No Other One                                                                                     Durelle Alexander

  Mississippi Mud                                                                                 Paul Whiteman Orchestra


Medley:        (a)                                                                                    accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Please

*Learn To Croon

*June In January

*From The Top Of Your Head (To The Tip Of Your Toes)


  Blow Gabriel, Blow                                                                            Ramona and The King's Men


*Red Sails In The Sunset                     (a)                                             accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*On Treasure Island                            (a)


Note:

(a)        CD - JSP6701 - “Bing Crosby - Kraft Music Hall - Lost Radio Recordings”
          CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“As star of the Kraft Music Hall series on NBC/KFI at 7 pm, Paul Whiteman will introduce his buddy with a fanfare of tunes made famous by Crosby.  Whiteman opens the program in New York City and then Bing will take over the microphone in Hollywood.  Crosby will sing, ‘June In January’, ‘Learn To Croon’, ‘From The Top Of Your Head’, ‘Red Sails In The Sunset’ and ‘Without A Word Of Warning’”. 

(“Los Angeles Times” 5th December 1935)

 

“Crosby air-fanatics may rejoice, for the maestro of croondom inaugurates his new series of weekly broadcasts, tonight.  His Majesty, the King of Song joins His Majesty, the King Of Jazz, for one month, in a series of programs originating in New York with at least two cut-ins from the Hollywood, during each broadcast. At the end of that time, Crosby himself, will take over the entire Music Hall series, bringing the cast to the Pacific Coast.  Perhaps, the most noteworthy and incidentally, most recent addition is bazooka tootin’ Bob Burns.  Burns, at the present time has a 26 week contract with the sponsors.  However, it is quite possible that he will launch a cinema career on arrival in Hollywood.” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 5th December 1935)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented: "Band still nervous at playing with Bing. It'll wear off shortly."

 

No. 2  12th December 1935 

 

 With Ford Bond, Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Jack Teagarden, Durelle Alexander, Ramona and The King's Men.

 

  Dance My Darlings                                                                 The King's Men, Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  Somebody Ought To Be Told                                                  The King's Men, Paul Whiteman Orchestra


Medley:   (a)                                                                              accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Thanks

*Temptation

*Love In Bloom

*I Wish I Were Aladdin

 

  Waiting For The Robert E. Lee                                                   Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  If You Were Mine                                                                       The King's Men, Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  Impromptu In F Sharp Major                                                      Ramona (piano solo)

  Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage, Mrs. Worthington        Ramona

  Three Little Words                                                                      Jack Teagarden, Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  Bass Drum Dan                                                                           Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  I Dream Too Much                                                                      Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  I've Got A Feeling You're Fooling                                               Durelle Alexander


*Here’s To Romance                                            (a)                                                      

*After You’ve Gone                                             (a)

*Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle           (a)


  Introduction To A Waltz                                                               Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  Drums In My Heart                                                                      Paul Whiteman Orchestra


Note:

(a)        CD - JSP6701 - “Bing Crosby - Kraft Music Hall - Lost Radio Recordings”


Paul Whiteman will salute a fellow radio star in the Music Hall program tonight when he plays a medley from Sigmund Romberg’s new musical play, “May Wine.” Aside from Romberg himself, Whiteman will be the first to play the music on the air. Bing Crosby will again broadcast his portion of the Music Hall Show from Hollywood with Whiteman and his entertainers in New York during the program over WEAF from 10:00 to 11:00.

Bing, accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey’s orchestra, will sing several numbers which he first popularized.  Among them “Thanks,” “Temptation,” “Love in Bloom" and “I Wish I Were Aladdin.”

Unusual features to be provided by the Whiteman troupe include a banjo novelty played by Mike Pingatore, one of the best-known banjoists in the country and a member of the Whiteman band.  With the orchestra Pingatore will play “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.” On the classical side, Ramona presents a piano solo, Chopin’s “Impromptu in C Sharp Minor.” In sharp contrast she will sing a novelty number called “Mrs. Worthington.”

(Brooklyn Times Union, December 12, 1935)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented: "TECHNICAL: O.K  Balance and pick-up definitely superior to last week because (a) New studio and equipment better. (b) Band played softer, music stand between Bing and the mike kept him from coming in too close. ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent"


No. 3  19th December 1935 

 

With Ford Bond, Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Anna Hamlin, Jack Teagarden, Durelle Alexander, Ramona and The King's Men.


  Just One Of Those Things                                                             Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  Begin The Beguine                                                                       Ramona

  Me And Marie                                                                              The King's Men


Medley:        (a)                                                                              accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*I Kiss Your Hand, Madame                                                        

*I’m Yours

*I Surrender Dear

*From Monday On

 

  Spring Song                                                                                 Anna Hamlin

  A Kiss In The Dark                                                                      Anna Hamlin

  Jail House Blues                                                                          The King's Men

  Southern Holiday                                                                         Roy Bargy, Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  St. Louis Blues                                                                            Jack Teagarden, Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  On The Nodaway Road                                                               Ramona


*Alone                                                                  (a)

*Dinah                                                                  (a)

*Red Sails In The Sunset                                      (a)


  Rhythm In My Nursery Rhymes                                                   Durelle Alexander

  Blue Danube Waltz                                                                        Paul Whiteman Orchestra


Note:

(a)        CD - JSP6701 - “Bing Crosby - Kraft Music Hall - Lost Radio Recordings”
 

 “Paul Whiteman and Bing Crosby will, again be 3000 miles apart for their current Music Hall program over NBC and KFI at 7 pm.  Maestro Whiteman will present Anna Hamlin, popular American soprano, on his portion of the bill while Crosby will contribute tune hits of the past and present, including ‘Alone’, ‘Dinah’, ‘I Surrender Dear’ and ‘You Are My Lucky Star’”.

(“Los Angeles Times” 19th December 1935)

 

“Anna Hamlin, popular American soprano, will be the guest of Paul Whiteman during the Whiteman Music Hall on NBC-WSMB at 9 pm.  Bing Crosby and his Orchestra (sic), Ramona and the King’s Men also will be heard.”

(“New Orleans Times-Picayune” 19th December 1935)



No. 4  26th December 1935  

 

With Ford Bond, Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Bob Burns, Anna Hamlin, Ramona and The King's Men.


  Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin)                                              Opening Theme 

  I Feel A Song Comin’ On                                                      Ramona and The King's Men

 

Anything Goes Medley:     (a)                                                 accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Sailor Beware                                                           

  I Get A Kick Out Of You                                                      Kay Weber

  Anything Goes                                                                      Dorsey Trio

*Moonburn

*My Heart And I


  Farewell  Blues                                                                     Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  When Hearts Are Singing                                                      Anna Hamlin

  I Dream Too Much                                                                Anna Hamlin and The King's Men

  Little Jackie Horner                                                               The King's Men

  Caprice Viennois (Kreisler)                                                   Paul Whiteman Orchestra 

 

*Thanks A Million                                     (a)

  Jingle Bells                                                                             Bob Burns (bazooka)

*You Are My Lucky Star                          (a)


  You Took Advantage Of Me                                                  Ramona

  When Day Is Done                                                                Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin)                                               Closing Theme


Note:

(a)        CD - JSP6701 - “Bing Crosby - Kraft Music Hall - Lost Radio Recordings”

It's always difficult to say goodbye to an old friend—but that's what it'll be tonight when Paul Whiteman and orchestra come to the Music Hall microphone at 10:00 p.m. over NBC-WIOD. Paul and his troupe of entertainers will be making their last appearance on this show. But there are two facts that make it easier for us, who listen. One is that Paul and his troupe will undoubtedly be back on the air before long—after they've had a bit of a vacation. The other is that the show has an able star to carry on.

That star is Bing Crosby who has been featured on the Music Hall program for the past few weeks. And in addition, Bob Burns, the Arkansas Traveler, has been signed up for a 26-week contract to appear as regular star. Bob will make his initial appearance on next week’s broadcast.

 (The Miami News, December 26, 1935)

 

1936 Season with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

The Hooper rating for the season was 14.8, which put the show in 17th. position for evening programs. The top program with a rating of 45.2 was the Major Bowes Amateur Hour that was broadcast every Sunday evening. Rudy Vallee’s show had a rating of 28.2.

 

No. 5  2nd January 1936 

 

With Don Wilson, Bob Burns, Ruggiero Ricci, Eleanore Whitney, Bobby Wilson, Bobby Grayson, Kay Weber, The Four Blackbirds, Paddy Patterson and Cecil B. De Mille.           

 

*Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Mo                                            (a)   

  Bobby Wilson and Bobby Grayson spot

  Old Man Harlem                                                                        Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra

  Night Winds                                                                               The Four Blackbirds

  The Lonesome Road                                                                   Bob Burns (bazooka)

  The Gentleman Doesn't Believe In Making Love                       Kay Weber

  Tchaikovsky Melody                                                                  Ruggiero Ricci

  Moto Perpetuo                                                                            Ruggiero Ricci

*I’ll See You In My Dreams                                        (a)

  Music for dance routine                                                               Eleanore Whitney

  Double Trouble                                                                            Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra

  Cecil B. De Mille spot

  Banjo Solo                                                                                    Paddy Patterson

*Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle                   (a)


Note:

(a)        CD - JSP6701 - “Bing Crosby - Kraft Music Hall - Lost Radio Recordings”

 

It was from this point onwards that Bing became resident host of the show, which was produced in Hollywood. His first shot at hosting the Kraft Music Hall was not too enthusiastically received:

“About the only thing missing from the conglomeration of entertainment that served to debut Bing Crosby as the master of this Thursday evening spot was a pair of Australian woodchoppers.  (The) program was not only, badly routined and paced but talked itself into a state of painful boredom.  Even allowing for the fact that the producers equipped him with a lollapalooza of a script, Crosby must have been largely to blame for the fog he walked himself into. There may be many moments in the session when hosts of listeners must have wished that the guy would quit blabbering and go into one of his songs. Introductory stanza as fashioned and run-off did little to bring Jimmy Dorsey’s outfit into favourable relief.  Sparse were the passages permitted this aggregation, while the selections, with one exception, that which gave Dorsey free swing of his clarinet, made this up and coming outfit seem pretty thin.  (The) bill mixed boy violin prodigy, Ruggiero Ricci with the innocuous patter of the gridiron berserkers, Bobby Wilson and Bobby Grayson, the swift and finely clipped tap-dancing of Kay Weber (i) with Cecil B. De Mille’s reminiscences of is struggles and early success as a producer. Crosby had to talk it over, at length, with each act before they could go into their routine but the top piece of awkwardly contrived self-characterisation came when the baritone assumed the pose of a little schoolboy, asking questions of the Dean of Hollywood producers.  It was a self-effacing attempt that had phoniness written all over it.  Nevertheless, Crosby did a version of ‘Boots And Saddle’ that was cooked to the queen’s taste.”

 (“Variety” January 8th 1936)


"The new Kraft cheese show continues in the vein similar to the one over which Paul Whiteman presided. A guest star program, with Bing Crosby now as the star. In addition to Crosby the steady acts will be the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and Bobby Burns. Hillbilly humourist. These three insure a good show by themselves, and with a heavy budget for guest stars, as the sponsor affords, it’s difficult to see how the show can go wrong. Agency on the show is the J. Walter Thompson Company and the style is similar to its pet formula, as evidenced in the Fleischmann Yeast and Shell Oil programs.

Principal trouble with the first program was that there was a plethora of talent. It seemed like a benefit—the acts came with seemingly no cessation. This caused too slow a pace. The acts exclusive at the three named, included Ruggierio Ricci, 15-year-old concert violinist; Cecil B. DeMille; Bobby Wilson and Bobby Grayson, football stars: Eleanor Whitney, Paddy Patterson, the Four Blackbirds, the Dorsey Trio and Kay Weber. Last two are integral parts of the Dorsey outfit. Ricci’s playing was the program high spot. While DeMille spoke entertainingly on the early days of pictures. Patterson gave a pip of a banjo solo and Miss Whitney did some tap dancing. She’s a good dancer, but tapping still remains rather meaningless over the air.

Crosby, as expected, did his usual crooning. He remains radio’s stylist in his line, which he created and of which he is the best exponent. Burns could have done more than his one shot. His humor is productive of steady laughs. Dorsey’s Orchestra plays in the style previously used by the Dorsey Brothers’ outfit.

Commercials plugged the English cheddar product of the sponsor. They were handled by Don Wilson, a headliner in his field."

(Billboard, January 11, 1936)


Note (i) Along with juggling, tap-dancing could hardly be called ‘the greatest act on radio’.  Kay Weber, who was featured in subsequent programmes is later described as a ‘singer’ and indeed, she vocalised with several bands, including those of Smith Ballew and Bob Crosby but more significantly, in this context, with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.  In truth, the reviewer has become confused.  EleanoreWhitney is the tap-dancer of the assembly. A piece of sheet music for “Go Fly A Kite”, published in 1939 by the Famous Music Corporation, New York, carries a biographical note on Tommy Dorsey and offers the following, “the Dorseys sometimes made recordings together with radio studio musicians rounding out the band.  The success of these records led them to forming their own band and in the spring of 1934 they were playing at the Sands Point Beach Club, with Bing (sic) Crosby and Kay Weber as the vocalists”. (A case in point - A genuine error or has history been twisted for dramatic effect?  The male vocalist would have been brother Bob)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:

"TECHNICAL: Trouble with Crosby keeping into the mike too closely.

ENTERTAINMENT: Good show – with De Mille interview a highlight.  Ricci, only fair, as fiddler.

GENERAL: Show may need a bit of working over to find correct formula for fit to Crosby style and personality."

 

No. 6  9th January 1936      

 

With Don Wilson, Bob Burns, Joe Venuti, Rupert Hughes, The Clark Sisters, Mischa Levitzki, Kay Weber and The Radio Rogues.

 

*A Little Bit Independent                                             (b)

  Pardon Me, Pretty Baby                                                                Joe Venuti (Violin)

  Rupert Hughes interview

*Some Of These Days                                                (a) (b) (c)

  Ida (Sweet As Apple Cider)                                                           Bob Burns (Bazooka)

  Rock And Roll                                                                               The Clark Sisters

  When I Grow Up                                                                           The Clark Sisters 

 *I Found A Dream                                                     (b)

  La Campanella (Paganini)                                                               Mischa Levitzki (Piano)

  Waltz In A-Major (Levitzki)                                                           Mischa Levitzki (Piano)

  The Dorsey Dervish (Dorsey)                                                         Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain /

  Where The Blue Of The Night / Thanks A Million     (d)                The Radio Rogues

*With All My Heart                                                    (a) & (b)

 

Notes:

(a)          JSP1076 - “Bing Crosby In The Thirties - Volume One”      

            Spokane 14 - “Bing In The Thirties - Volume Two”

            CD- JSP 934A – “Bing Crosby – The Vintage Years 1932-1937”

(b)          CD - JSP6701 - “Bing Crosby - Kraft Music Hall - Lost Radio Recordings”

(c)        CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

(d)       Brief imitations by The Radio Rogues of Kate Smith, Bing Crosby and Dick Powell as part of their act.


 “Two extremes of musical interpretation will be represented on Bing Crosby’s program tonight when Mischa Levitzki, world-renowned concert pianist and Joe Venuti, etherdom’s hottest fiddler share the radio spotlight with Rupert Hughes, novelist, advocate of the public finger-printing identification system and considered to be the most authoritative source on biographical facts concerning George Washington. In the double role of singer and Master of Ceremonies, Bing will present the guest stars and his regular cast, comprised of Bob Burns, the Arkansas comedian, Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra and Kay Weber, vocalist” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 9th January 1936)

 

Crosby again, will be Master of Ceremonies in gruff manner.  Alas for him, he apparently, will have to run out his contract in this role so unfitted to him.  Everybody makes mistakes and Crosby certainly chalked up an error when he agreed to an m.c. part.  His singing will have to be awfully good to offset it”

(“Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News” 9th January 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“TECHNICAL: Well engineered – Crosby now keeping away from mike.

ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent show – fast moving and distinguished by performance of Levitzki and Hughes.

GENERAL: Crosby in fine fettle – show changed from opening program and now is more in the Crosby style – which is distinctive and different.”


In his program report for the first show, Kuhl complained about Bing’s stubborn hugging of the mike and worried, “Show may need a bit of working over to find correct formula to the Crosby style and personality. Improvement was immediate. Following the second installmentKuhl exulted, “Crosby in fine fettle. Show changed from opening program and now is more in the Crosby style, which is distinctive and different.” He found it well engineered and fast moving, especially praising contributions by classical pianist Mischa Levitski and commentator Rupert Hughes. Bing even held back on the mike. The jazz and humor quotient were raised by old friend Joe Venuti, whose impertinent, monosyllabic wit invariably made Bing laugh and who, in the argot of musicians, could swing you into bad health.  On the next few shows, guests included John Barrymore (who arrived in his cups yet, steadied by Bing, flawlessly rendered Hamlet’s soliloquy), Percy Grainger, Joe E. Brown, Leopold Stokowski, and Marina Schubert, a minor actress whose singing made her an early KMH favorite.

(Gary Giddins, Bing Crosby, A Pocketful of Dreams, The Early Years, 1903-1940, pages 399-400)


(Some confusion has been caused, according to which source is consulted regarding a singing group which makes the first of four appearances on this programme.  The Clark Sisters are also referred to as The Clarke Sisters, The Park Sisters and The Park/Clark Kids.  It might be reasoned that they were the singing group who appeared with Blue Barron and his Orchestra in the Thirties, on the other hand they could be three entirely different acts! There may be those who will be more impressed by the fact that Rupert Hughes was also Howard Hughes’ uncle.

UPDATE: The Clark Sisters at that time comprised Jean (12), Ann (10) and Peggy (8). The Park Sisters were their cousins)

 

No. 7  16th January 1936 

 

With Don Wilson, Bob Burns, Kay Weber, Raphael, Nina Koshetz, Marina Schubert, The Roberts Brothers, and John Barrymore.

 

*Someone Stole Gabriel’s Horn

  Top Hat, White Tie And Tails                                                    Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Where The Blue Of The Night                                                   Bob Burns (Bazooka)

  You Gotta Have Rhythm                                                            The Roberts Brothers

  The Stuff Is Here                                                                        The Roberts Brothers

  Soliloquy from Hamlet                                                               John Barrymore

*Please Believe Me

  Zigeunerweisen                                                                          Raphael (concertina)

  Dinner For One Please, James                                                    Kay Weber

*My Blue Heaven

  Dorsey Stomp                                                                            Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Margeurite's Song                                                                      Marina Schubert

*The Music Goes ‘Round And ‘Round

*One Night In Monte Carlo                                       (a)

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

           

“John Barrymore and Nina Koshetz, famous operetta star of the Imperial Russian Opera during the Tsarist regime will headline today’s Music Hall show.  Barrymore will be heard in the first dramatic presentation of the new series and Mme. Koshetz will be heard as featured soloist.  Barrymore inaugurates a new policy which will present stage and screen stars on future Music Hall broadcasts.  Mme. Koshetz was born in Kiev and studied at the Moscow Conservatory; she made her concert debut at the age of seventeen and later became a famous personality of the Imperial Opera.  During the Revolution she was forced to flee with other Tsarist supporters, her flight eventually taking her to America.  Her first appearance was in Detroit, since then she’s been soloist with the leading Symphonies and a star of the Chicago Civic Opera Company.  Bing Crosby as master of ceremonies will introduce the stars at his weekly party and will sing some of the songs he has popularised during his movie and radio career, in addition to several new numbers”.

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 16th January 1936) (NOTE: Nina Koshetz is interviewed on the show but says she is unable to sing so her daughter Marina Schubert takes her place)


In January, Bing Crosby began his tenure of the Kraft Music Hall with the help of Jimmy Dorsey and his band. In the same month, the band played the Los Angeles Palomar, the most important ballroom spot for bands on the west coast. And, in the same month, Cork O‘Keefe returned east to see if his New York office was still there. For Jimmy and the band, Hollywood was home base for the next year and a half. Landing the band spot in the Kraft Music Hall with Bing Crosby was a good break for Jimmy. With that Thursday night exposure on the network, nobody had to wonder what had happened to him. Most variety shows used a studio orchestra. Jimmy gave them a swing band, but a versatile swing band, adaptable and musically tasteful. It was right for Bing, and it worked well with the guests. Jimmy and the band enjoyed the show, with its wide-ranging variety of guests. Yehudi Menuhin, then a child prodigy on the violin, made his first radio appearance with Bing. Jim Crowley, the Fordham coach, was in town on a scouting trip when he was invited to drop in for a visit on the show. His conversation with Bing on the air made an entertaining spot, with a script tailored for Bing’s delivery. Some who were in the band at that time still remember the night John Barrymore was scheduled for the “Hamlet” Soliloquy. The problem that night was that Barrymore had reached for the bottle too many times. It didn't appear that he would deliver the Soliloquy in the usual Barrymore manner. But when the moment came, he straightened up and delivered it flawlessly. This was a feat for Barrymore and a credit to Bing for his expert handling of the preceding talk. When he finished the Soliloquy, Barrymore retreated to the comfort of his previous state.

(Herb Sanford, writing in Tommy and Jimmy: The Dorsey Years)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director commented: "Entertainment - Very good show. Barrymore excellent and Marina Schubert making big hit. Raphael the weak spot but routined so as to cover this fault. Koshetz introduction of her daughter excellently done and affectionately."


No. 8  23rd January 1936 

 

With Bob Burns, Kay Weber, The Sons of the Pioneers, Bee Ho Gray, Percy Grainger and Joe E. Brown.

 

*You Hit The Spot

  Learn To Croon                                                                         Joe E, Brown

  Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Mo                                                           Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Toccata (Debussy)                                                                     Percy Grainger (piano)

  Shepherd's Hey                                                                          Percy Grainger (piano)

  Country Gardens                                                                        Percy Grainger (piano)

*A Beautiful Lady In Blue

  Sweet Sue                                                                                  Bob Burns (Bazooka)

*Margie

  Way Out There                                                                           Sons of the Pioneers

  Lights Out                                                                                  Kay Weber

  Tap Dancer's Nightmare                                                             Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Sweet Birds                                                                                Bee Ho Gray and his singing coyote "Chink".

*Roll Along Prairie Moon                                            (a)

 

Note: 

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

            Universal CD B0027588-02 "Among My Souvenirs - More Treasures from the Crosby Archive"

 

“Continuing with what seems to be a policy of presenting distinct opposites of the entertainment field on his program, Bing Crosby presents comedian, Joe E. Brown and pianist, Percy Grainger as guest artists on tonight’s broadcast.  A comedy sketch will provide Brown with the opportunity to display his unique humour and Grainger will offer several piano solos, some of his own composition.  Bing will croon currently popular songs to accompaniment by Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra.” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 23rd January 1936)

 

“Joe E. Brown, screen comedian, and Percy Grainger, pianist and composer, have the guest spots on this evening's Music Hall (KFI, 7o’clock). The singing master of ceremonies, Bing Crosby, will present Brown in a comedy sketch, while Grainger offers several of his own compositions at the keyboard. KFWB’s pride, “Sons of the Pioneers,” also will take part in the show.”

(“Los Angeles Examiner” 23rd January 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director commented: "Technical comments - OK. Exception Bing refusing to stay on mike during coyote set. Entertainment - Excellent show. Grainger made hit as did Joe. E. Brown. Show off the air for six or eight minutes during hour. NBC equipment failure."


No. 9  30th January 1936 

 

With Bob Burns, Kay Weber, Dixie Dunbar, Charles Bourne, Val and Ernie Stanton, Nina Koshetz and Leopold Stokowski.

 

*Stay On The Right Side Of The Road

  Dinah                                                                                          Charles Bourne (piano)

  We're On Our Way To The Poor House                                      Val and Ernie Stanton

  Georgian Melody                                                                        Nina Koshetz

*I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

  Leopold Stokowski spot

  St. Louis Blues                                                                            Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Etude In E-major (Chopin)                                                         Nina Koshetz

*I Never Knew

  I've Got My Fingers Crossed                                                       Dixie Dunbar

*With All My Heart            (a)


Note:

(a)               CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“Leopold Stokowski steps down from the podium to chat informally with Bing Crosby on tonight’s Music Hall program.  The world famous conductor will take part in one of the interviews, which have become a regular feature of the Crosby air show.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, Bob Burns will toot an accompaniment for a new supply of his Ozark anecdotes on the bazooka.”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 30th January 1936)


Shakespeare at Minsky’s…Beethoven on a hurdy-gurdy…and Leopold Stokowski with Bing Crosby. It’s the latter we had last night (WEAF—10 to 11). The most altitudinous browed of conductors was the guest of the king crooner … and it was a swell show!

(Ben Gross, Daily News, January 31, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J.Walter Thompson Program Director comments very indistinct but appear to say: “Entertainment, good show. Crosby is much improved in his whole performance. Koshetz was very bad. Her voice had not recovered from recent attack of laryngitis. Comedy act needed audience reaction as paced to (sic) fast without laughs to slow it down.”

 

No. 10  6th February 1936 

 

With Bob Burns, Kay Weber, Cleo Brown, Josef Lhevinne, Cleo Brown, Marina Schubert and Walter Huston.

 

*I’m Shooting High

  Boogie Woogie                                                                                 Cleo Brown

  When Hollywood Goes Black And Tan                                            Cleo Brown

  Passage from "Othello"                                                                     Walter Huston

  The Gettysburg Address                                                                    Walter Huston

  Soda Jerker                                                                                        Kay Weber

  St. Louis Blues                                                                                  Bob Burns (bazooka)

  Chopin Preludes numbers 17 and 16                                                 Josef Lhevinne (piano)

  Spring Night                                                                                      Josef Lhevinne (piano)

  Why Speak Of It                                                                               Walter Huston

*I’m Sorry Dear

  The Soldiers Dream                                                                           Marina Schubert

  Parade Of The Milk Bottle Caps                                                       Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Moon Over Miami                                                    (a)

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“It’s a field day for film stars on the air lanes and of probably of most interest to the San Francisco dialler, is the air appearance tonight of Walter Huston who completed a local engagement, last week.  Huston’s role for tonight is not known as yet but in few of his recent stage role here it is possible that he will do an excerpt from ‘Dodsworth’.  Joseph Lhevinne, a protege of the great Anton Rubenstein, in Russia and one of the foremost classical pianists of the generation will offer a group of classic compositions.  Nina Koshetz who was Bing’s guest, last week has sent along her daughter, Marina Schubert, whose soprano voice will be lifted in operatic aria.  Miss Schubert recently sang in place of her mother when the famous individual was taken ill, just before ‘going on’ time” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 6th February 1936)

 

“There will be much to do this evening when Music Hall takes the air through KFI at 7 o’clock.  For various reasons, Bob Burns and Bing Crosby will be in exceptionally good humour and entertaining mood.  Earlier this week, Crosby was named the nation’s outstanding male vocalist of popular songs.  Burns was chosen the outstanding new radio star.  Since both appear on the same program, felicitations are expected to fly back and forth”

 (“Los Angeles Examiner” 6th February 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“TECHNICAL: Program not as smoothly maintained as usual. ENTERTAINMENT: In studio seemed an excellent show – well paced and extremely interesting. GENERAL: Huston scored in song – poor in his dramatic readings but strong personality helped ? deficiency.  Schubert in excellent voice and ? heavily.  Lhevinne beginning to show his age - the mike is cruel.


The February 6 show was memorable. Walter Huston’s dramatic reading fell flat, but he enchanted listeners by reminiscing about his years in vaudeville and movingly croaking a song—in effect, a prelude to his triumph in the 1938 musical Knickerbocker Holiday and his renowned recording of the score’s only hit, “September Song .” Elusive Russian pianist Josef Lhevinne, however, showed a slackening in his fabled technique; “the mike is cruel,” Kuhl wrote. Most important, that night marked the KMH debut of Bing’s new announcer, Ken Carpenter.

Don Wilson was well known as Jack Benny’s corpulent foil, and KMH wanted a fresh personality to serve as Bing’s man. Ken Carpenter was made to order. Mildly stentorian and quick on his feet, he was a sincere, gentle, and never unctuous pitchman. Like Benny’s Wilson, Carpenter became an essential part of the show, an agile straight man who relished every opportunity for clowning. Bing called him “a genuine professional radioman. He made me look good every time. He could do a lot of things with that big voice of his. He’d kinda surprise you. He could break you up putting on some kind of character - a rube or something like that.”

(Gary Giddins, Bing Crosby, A Pocketful of Dreams, The Early Years, 1903-1940, pages 399-400)

 

No. 11  13th February 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, Andres Segovia, Marina Schubert, Alice Faye and Spencer Tracy.

 

*I Feel Like A Feather In The Breeze

  I’m Shooting High                                                                  Alice Faye

  Dorsey Dervish                                                                       Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Gavotte (Bach)                                                                        Andres Segovia (guitar)

   Etude (Tarrega)                                                                       Andres Segovia (guitar)

  (Back Home Again In) Indiana                                                Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Please Believe Me

  Yankee Doodle Never Went To Town                                     Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

   Medley of Poems                                                                    Spencer Tracy

*A Beautiful Lady In Blue

  By Heck                                                                                  Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Connais-tu le pays                                                                   Marina Schubert

*If I Should Lose You                                                  (a) 


 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

               CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“Spencer Tracy and Alice Faye are Bing Crosby’s guests in the Music Hall, tonight.  Crosby and Tracy will reminisce a bit while Alice Faye is slated to sing a bit.  Andres Segovia, guitar virtuoso, will perform difficult feats on his guitar.  Bob Burns, homely philosopher from Van Buren, Arkansas, Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra, songs by Kay Weber and swinging tempos in the Crosby rhythm will complete the broadcast over KPO tonight” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 13th February 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“ENTERTAINMENT: This show had the spirit that we have been striving for.  Unlike its predecessors it was impromptu but planned and orderly impromptu.

GENERAL: The Spencer Tracy interview was excellent due to a fine script and the expert team play of Crosby & Tracy.  Marina Schubert suffered from a case of extreme nervousness and inexperience.  This was the best treatment Segovia ? and helped to save a poor radio act at best."

 

No. 12  20th February 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, Kay Weber, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Johnny Bejshak, J. R. Budstoller, Dorothy Wade, Leonard Pennario and Charles Ruggles.

 

*I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

  The Music Goes ‘Round And ‘Round                                    Bob Burns (bazooka)

  If I Had Rhythm In  My Nursery Rhymes                              Kay Weber

  Zigeunerweisen                                                                       Dorothy Wade (violin)

  Discussion about horse racing                                                Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Johnny Bejshak, J. R. Budstoller

*Dinner For One Please, James

  (Lookie, Lookie, Lookie) Here Comes Cookie                      Charles Ruggles.
*Dear Old Girl

  Fantasie-Impromptu                                                               Leonard Pennario (piano)

  You Hit The Spot                                                                    Leonard Pennario (piano)

  Parade Of The Milk Bottle Caps                                            Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*I’m Building Up To An Awful Let-Down                    (a)

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“The ‘Sport Of Kings’ will be the main topic of conversation on Bing Crosby’s show, tonight.  Crosby, who freely mentions that he has one of the finest stables, will have as his guests on the broadcast, none other than the millionaire turf man, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.  With Vanderbilt will be his jockey, Bejshak and trainer, J.R. Budstoller who will indulge in the four way conversation to be broadcast on a coast to coast NBC network.  Charles Ruggles, screen comedian, will be featured in an original sketch written especially for the program.  Musical highlights will be reflected by two prodigies, Leonard Pennario, 11 year-old pianist and Dorothy Wade, 10 year-old violinist who will offer solos.  Comedy by the Arkansas humorist, Bob Burns and popular music by Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra with Kay Weber, vocalist will round out the evening’s entertainment from the Music Hall”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 20th February 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“ENTERTAINMENT: One of the duller shows.  With Crosby developing a Jolson complex and killing many of Ruggles’ laughs deliberately.

GENERAL: The violinist, Dorothy Wade, played with style and talked interestingly.  Pennario ruined his first ? ? ? ?  “you ? ? ? . Ruggles excellent.  Crosby in excellent voice."

 

No. 13  27th February 1936

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, William A. Brady, Lotte Lehmann and Ann Sothern.

 

*Saddle Your Blues To A Wild Mustang

  But Where Are You?                                                           Ann Sothern

  Dorsey Stomp                                                                     Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Lights Out

  My Gal Sal                                                                         Bob Burns (bazooka)


Medley:

*Moon Over Miami

*I Found A Dream

*Here’s To Romance

 

  Interview with William A. Brady

*You’re Driving Me Crazy

  Ungeduld (Schumann)                                                          Lotte Lehmann

  Canto Di Primavera (Cimarosa)                                            Lotte Lehmann

  Do Not Chide Me (Ralogh)                                                  Lotte Lehmann

  Serenade To Nobody                                                            Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Happy Birthday To You                                             (a)       with Lotte Lehmann, Ann Sothern & Bob Burns (bazooka)

*West Wind                                                                 (b) 

 

Notes:

(a)                Sung as brief tribute to Lotte Lehmann and to Jimmy Dorsey whose birthday was 29th February.

(b)               Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall” (Date shewn as 23.2.36)

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)


…Mme. Lehmann, on her birthday, will sing a number written especially for her by her accompanist, Erno Balogh. It is called “Do Not Chide Me” and was a birthday present two years ago. She also sings “Ungeduid” (sic) by Schumann and “Can di Primovera” by Cimara (sic). Bing Crosby will introduce her for a short interview of the human interest type which he has popularized on the Music Hall.
(Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, February 27, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:  “ENTERTAINMENT: This show one of the best of the present series.

GENERAL: Lehmann stole the show with her singing and her buoyant personality. Crosby and Sothern ? ? so much that audience had no opportunity to enjoy their work.  A case of F.I.S.  Crosby in good voice.  Bravo ? .  “Audience” a bit too large”


 

No. 14  5th March 1936

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, Marina Schubert, Wini Shaw, Alexander Brailowsky and Jack Oakie.

 

*Goody, Goody


  "Follow the Fleet" medley                                                     Wini Shaw

  I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

  Let's Face The Music And Dance

  Let Yourself Go

 

  Alexander's Ragtime Band                                                      Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra


Medley:

*With All My Heart

*Please Believe Me

*If I Should Lose You


  C-Sharp Minor Waltz (Chopin)                                              Alexander Brailowsky (piano)

  Scherzo (Mendelssohn)                                                          Alexander Brailowsky (piano)

  The Old Oaken Bucket                                                          Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Deep Night                                                                            with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  You Hit The Spot                                                                  Jack Oakie

  T'ain't No Use                                                                       Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Forever And Ever                                                                  Marina Schubert

*The Touch Of Your Lips

 

“Music Hall introduces the first actor to be a radio stooge and heckler and ranking Number One figure in heckledom is Jack Oakie, who has been hired to heckle Bing Crosby on the Thursday night series.  Jack would probably heckle even if he wasn’t paid for it - he loves to heckle and it’sjake’ and ‘okay’ with Bing to be heckled by Jack Oakie (gag).  Actually, the idea grew from a good-natured feud between the two screen stars that has been carried on for years.  Oakie has interrupted Crosby’s public appearances all over the cinema capital.  This is the first time he’s been paid for it, however.  Bing’s guest from the world of art is Alexander Brailowsky, who is a Russian pianist of note and he will offer a group of concert numbers.  Wini Shaw will sing popular songs and Marina Schubert will appear for the third time as a guest on the show.  The regular cast of Burns, Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra and Kay Weber will be led by maestro, Bing.” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 5th March 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented: "Technical comments - great deal of whistling but not fault of engineer. Entertainment - show seemed slow and laboured until Oakie spot which had the true virtue of spontaneity. Oakie’s mugging deplorable – was most discourteous during Brailowsky spot and ruined second commercial.  Show got good reaction but seemed forced.  Wini Shaw was only fair. Marina Schubert sang beautifully and with a tremolo."

 

No. 15  12th March 1936

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, Marina Schubert, Owen Davis, Bronislaw Huberman and Patsy Kelly. 

 

*Sing An Old-Fashioned Song (To A Young Sophisticated Lady)

  Give Me Your Hand For Luck, My Love                                     Marina Schubert

  Atta Boy                                                                                       Marina Schubert

   I'm Gonna Clap My Hands                                                          Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Owen Davis Interview


Medley:

*I’m Shooting High

*Lights Out

*A Beautiful Lady In Blue

 

  Some Of These Days                                                                       Bob Burns (bazooka)

*’Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

  Patsy Kelly Interview

  Stop, Look And Listen                                                                    Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Sonata (Franck)                                                                               Bronislaw Huberman (violin)

  Waltzes, Op.70 (Chopin)                                                                 Bronislaw Huberman (violin)

*But Where Are You?                                                            (a)

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall” (Shown as ‘Where Are You?’)

               CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)


"Owen Davis, one of the most prolific writers of the American theatre, is to face the microphone on Bing Crosby’s KFI broadcast at 7 p.m. when the song star will query him about his experiences in the theatrical world. Patsy Kelly, screen comedienne, also is scheduled to appear."

(Los Angeles Times, March 12, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“ENTERTAINMENT: Good show.  Schubert and Kelly high spotting the bill.

GENERAL: Mr Huberman after taking his time to tune up didn’t quite perform up to his tuning – Marina Schubert sang with feeling for the text and spirit of the music.  The trio with ? sang in the best Russian tradition.  The Owen Davis interview very good.  Kelly’s best laughs were ad libs.”

 

No. 16  19th March 1936    

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, Lyda Roberti, Emanuel Feuermann, Fred Stone, Dorothy Stone and Paula Stone.

 

*It’s Been So Long

  Sweet And Hot                                                                                 Lyda Roberti

  Sing, Sing, Sing                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

 

Medley:

*I Wish I Were Aladdin

*West Wind

*The Touch Of Your Lips

 

 You Made Me What I Am Today                                                      Bob Burns (bazooka)

*In A Little Spanish Town

  Let Yourself Go                                                                 (a)           Paula Stone

*Goody, Goody

  Sonata in A-minor                                                                             Emanuel Feuermann (cello)

  The Spinning Song                                                                            Emanuel Feuermann (cello)           

  Stop, Look And Listen                                                                      Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Everything’s In Rhythm With My Heart                              (b)

 

Note:

(a)        Dorothy Stone taps dances while Paula sings. Bing, Fred Stone and Bob Burns join in briefly at the end.

(b)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

Fred, Dorothy and Paula Stone, representing two generations of the American musical comedy stage’s most famous family, will be Bing Crosby’s guests on the Kraft Music Hall tonight. Bing will interview all three on their careers and adventures in the theatre. Other guest stars heard in the show will include Lyda Roberti, vivacious stage and screen comedienne, and Emmanuel Feuermann, famous cellist.

Comedy will be provided by Miss Roberti, and the concert part of the program by Herr Feuermann, who in his early 30s, is regarded as one of the world’s greatest cellists.

(The Miami News, March 19, 1936)


(Fred Stone, better known as a vaudeville and musical comedy performer (he played The Scarecrow in the original Broadway production of “The Wizard Of Oz”) had character parts in movies for most of the major companies.  He appears here with two of his three daughters, all of whom aspired, without any notable success, to film careers)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                              

“ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent show – One of the best.  Orchestra good - Feuermann superb and nice personality.  Roberti gave the best interview yet given on the show.

GENERAL: This should be an archived show – even with Bing’s break ­which he covered beautifully.  The Stones were a distinct disappointment.”


 

No. 17  26th March 1936

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Grete Stueckgold, Jean Hersholt and Virginia Bruce.

 

*From The Top Of Your Head (To The Tip Of Your Toes)

  Virginia Bruce interview

*Just One More Chance

  Wah Hoo                                                                                         Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Say The Word And It’s Yours                                             (a)

  Margie                                                                                             Bob Burns (bazooka)

  Voces de Primavera                                                                         Grete Stueckgold

  More Than You Know                                                                     Grete Stueckgold

*A Melody From The Sky

  Jean Hersholt interview

  Weary Blues                                                                                      Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Let’s Face The Music And Dance


Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)


"A behind-the-scenes story of the Dionne quintuplets as motion-picture stars is to be presented to dialers today on the Bing Crosby show over KFI at 7 p.m. by Jean Hersholt, who played the title role in “The Country Doctor.” Other guest artists on the bill are Grete Stueckgold, opera and concert soprano, and Virginia Bruce, motion-picture actress."

(Los Angeles Times, March 26, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“TECHNICAL: O.K.  Bing was particularly bad about moving into the mike.  I recommend building a guard rail.

                        ENTERTAINMENT: Very good show.  Bruce spot ? ? but not meaty.  Seemed ? and only for its informality – There was no falling over each other.

GENERAL: Hersholt spot a fine joy.  Stuckgold fine personality. Her choice of opening number bad and her voice had not been warmed up completely until her second number.  She did not sing well.  Burns’ material beginning to wear thin.  This needs watching."



No. 18  2nd April 1936    

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Albert Spalding, Edward Everett Horton, and Binnie Barnes.

 

*What’s The Name Of That Song?

  Our Movie Honeymoon                                                                        Binnie Barnes

  Tap Dancers Nightmare                                                                        Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra


Medley:

*It’s Been So Long

*Sing An Old-Fashioned Song (To A Young Sophisticated Lady)

*Everything’s In Rhythm With My Heart


  The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine                                                            Bob Burns (bazooka)

*A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody

  History                                                                                                     Edward Everett Horton

*So This Is Heaven

  Adagio from B Minor Sonata (Brahms)                                                   Albert Spalding (violin)

  The Dragon Fly                                                                                        Albert Spalding (violin)

  Beebe                                                                                                        Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Twilight On The Trail         (a)


Note:

(a)               CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“Albert Spalding, renowned violinist, Edward Everett Horton, screen comedian and Binnie Barnes, cinemactress, are headliners on Bing Crosby’s current Music Hall broadcast over KFI at 7 pm”

(“Los Angeles Times” 2nd April 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“TECHNICAL: O.K.  Bing better at mike this week.

ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent show except for Barnes spot.

GENERAL: Spaulding superb – the best concert artist of series excepting ?. Horton very amusing.  Burns improved.  Barnes was out of breath - the ? that gets much  ?  in the movies can’t get into a mike.”


No. 19  9th April 1936

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Rudolph Ganz, Florence Gill and Joan Crawford.

 

*Robins And Roses

  Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor                                                              Florence Gill

   Stop, Look And Listen                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

                       

 Crosby medley

*What’s The Name Of That Song?

*So This Is Heaven

*But Where Are You?


  Little Dutch Mill                                                                                          Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Alexander’s Ragtime Band

  Maiden's Wish                                                                                             Rudolph Ganz (piano)

  Fireworks                                                                                                    Rudolph Ganz (piano)

  Liebestraum                                                                                                 Rudolph Ganz (piano)

  Traumerie                                                                                                    Rudolph Ganz (piano)

  Dorsey Stomp                                                                                              Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Joan Crawford interview

*Lovely Lady

*Lost                                                                           (a)                               with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“Celebrities in a variety of fields will be presented on Bing Crosby’s show at 7 pm.  Joan Crawford, in an interview with Bing, will tell about some of her experiences in pictures and some behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood.  In keeping with the season Madame Schuman-Heinck will sing several, familiar Easter songs.  Rudolf Ganz, concert pianist, will play and Florence Gill, ‘Queen Of Cackle’, will offer animal imitations”

(“Los Angeles Times” 9th April 1936)

 

“Crosby has taken a leaf out of the Vallee book.  It wasn’t long ago that Bing, fresh from Gonzaga, was just a singer with Gus Arnheim.  Tonight, my friends, he is the Master of Ceremonies who will introduce the grand old Ernestine Schuman-Heinck, pianist Rudolph Ganz, cinemactress Joan Crawford and Van Buren’s own, Bob Burns.”  

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 9th April 1936)


NOTE: Mme. Schuman-Heinck, a mezzo soprano of German/Bohemian birth, was 75 years old and at the last minute she was not well enough to appear on the show. She died on November 17, 1936.


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented: “ENTERTAINMENT: Good show.  A bit languished and a trifle too high-brow GENERAL: Gill was very funny & Ganz was excellent but there was a little too much of him for the overall balance of the show.  Crawford spoke well and intelligently but I fear that customers were terribly disappointed.  Such pranks as Burns encore belong elsewhere.


When Joan Crawford made her first radio appearance with Bing, she was so nervous she nearly fainted. In her first book, she wrote how I physically held her up at the microphone while the show went on.

(Carroll Carroll, writing in The Old-Time Radio Book)


No.  20  16th April 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Zasu Pitts, Efrem Zimbalist and Maxine Lewis.

 

*I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

  Zasu Pitts interview

*Blue (And Broken-Hearted)

  T'Aint No Use                                                                                              Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  My Melancholy Baby                                                                                  Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Would You? (Freed/Brown)                                                                         with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  Malaprop Mixture                                                                                        Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Nocturne in G-major (Chopin)                                                                     Efrem Zimbalist (violin)

  Chopin waltz                                                                                                Efrem Zimbalist (violin)

  Let Yourself Go                                                                                            Maxine Lewis                                                                    

 

Medley:

*A Melody From The Sky

*Lovely Lady

*Let’s Face The Music And Dance

 

*Desire                                                                        (a)                               with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)


The inimitable comedienne, Zasu Pitts, Efrem Zimbalist, outstanding concert violinist, and Maxine Lewis, popular singer, will share guest star honors on the Music Hall program tonight…Miss Pitts, who is well now for her comical characterizations in a score or more motion pictures, will tell Bing the story of her career and how she got into the movies. Among her most recent film successes are “The Affair of Susan,” “Ruggles of Red Gap” and “Dames.”

(Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 16, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:  “ENTERTAINMENT: Very good show. GENERAL: Zimbalist played with great feeling but technically there were flaws.  Pitts very interesting in interview.  Maxine Lewis good – nice personality and sang in typical style.”


 

No. 21  23rd April 1936       

 

With Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Fritz Leiber, Fred Keating and Grete Stueckgold.

 

*It’s No Fun

  Fred Keating interview and song

  Weary Blues                                                                                                  Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Exactly Like You                                                                                          Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Swanee River (The Old Folks At Home)                                                      with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  Il Bacio                                                                                                          Grete Stueckgold

*With All My Heart                                                                                        with Grete Stueckgold & Chorus

  Fritz Leiber interview

*Come Again Sweet Love

  Serenade To Nobody                                                                                      Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*We'll Rest At The End Of The Trail


 “One of the most noted Shakespearian actors of our time, Fritz Leiber, is to appear on Bing Crosby’s show on KFI at 7 pm and others on the bill are Grete Stueckgold, Metropolitan Opera star and Fred Keating, stage and screen comedian”.

(“Los Angeles Times” 23rd April 1936)


Note: Although he appeared in musicals for most of the big Hollywood production companies in the Thirties, one might be excused for overlooking Fred Keating were it not for his appearance as the ‘baddie’ in “Doctor Rhythm” where he almost ran off with Mary Carlisle.  One newspaper of the time describes him as ‘magician’- another ‘natural’ for a radio spot!


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented: “TECHNICAL: Crosby kept crawling into mike. ENTERTAINMENT: Good – snappy – varied & interesting show. GENERAL: Stueckgold in much better voice than ? ? ?.  Duet with Crosby great.  She can sell a  ?  song with the best.  Keating refreshing in manner and ?. - worked a little too hard.  Leiber excellent  ? ? good.  Crosby good in Shakespearian ballad.  Dorsey band at its best.”

 

No. 22  30th April 1936  

 

With Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Una Merkel, Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Orchestra and  Louis Prima and his Jam Band.

 
  Siciliana (Bach)                                                                                                
Philadelphia Orchestra

  Moment Musical (Schubert)                                                                              Philadelphia Orchestra

  Prelude 3rd Act Lohengrin                                                                                Philadelphia Orchestra

  Afternoon Of A Faun (Debussy)                                                                        Philadelphia Orchestra

*Yearning (Just For You)                                                      

  Dinah                                                                                                                  Louis Prima and his Jam Band

  (In My) Solitude                                                                                                 Louis Prima and his Jam Band


Crosby Medley

*Robins And Roses

*Would You

*Lost

 

Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented: “ENTERTAINMENT: Good – Definitely worth doing. GENERAL: If we had had an hour more – i.e. if the show had begun at 7.00 instead of 6.00, we’d have had time to do just enough more discovering with Stokowski (who came as early as his itinerary permitted) in that the script (which was all ad lib as far as Stokowski was concerned) would have been perfect.  This would have made show ?  more affective.  ?   ?     ?     


“Leopold Stokowski dominated practically all of the Kraft program on Thursday night, with the first half solid for the Philadelphia Orchestra together with certain stanzas in the last portion, taken up by the guest conductor.  Bing Crosby in top singing and MC position, handled the crossfire banter but it was flat.  Louis Prima’s crew was in the last ten minutes and while a marked contrast to the Wagner and Debussy fare by Stokowski’s contingent, did not create any excitement - the regular Dorsey Band was better.  Kraft has been delivering some sock entertainment of late. This program seemed overboard on guests but the J. Walter Thompson office, smoothed it out quite expertly.  (The) idea of allotting the Symphony first place was OK and a quartet of classic examples were distinguished for ether listeners.  Especially, the Debussy composition which took up nearly 16 minutes - first commercial came at 10.35, showing the free rein permitted the conductor for this appearance. Crosby managed to bring the program around for the Prima flash while tracing certain milestones in US musical and front page history.  ‘Dinah’ was Prima’s offering with typical variations running riot and most attention centred on extended trumpet blasting.  Bob Burns and program’s chorus were pushed into the background for this broadcast.  Singer’s chores were also clipped.  Closing conversation between Crosby and Stokowski took in the currently RCA sponsored tour of the Philly Orchestra.”    

(“Variety” 6th May 1936)

 

“Bing Crosby has his heart set upon startling the listening American, tonight and from this angle it appears that he will do that little thing.  Mr. Crosby is to sing with the Philadelphia Orchestra while famed Leopold Stokowski conducts.  In itself a novelty, the idea suggests that the eminent Stokowski is no chump in getting publicity.  From an artistic point of view, there is no excuse for Mr. Crosby singing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, many will argue.  In the meantime the program will have a tremendous audience.  Astute Crosby goes a step further, or two, or three; he adds to Mr. Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, two other instrumental groups, Louis Prima’s Hotcha Band and Jimmy Dorsey’s swinging combination then throws in Bob Burns and Una Merkel for good measure.  The hour will remind of the all-star shows of Dodge Brothers and other days.  The time is 6 to 7 pm over KPO and it is sad that it isn’t at least an hour later”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 30th April 1936)

 

No. 23  7th May 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Toscha Seidel, Una Merkel and George Raft.

 

*Let Yourself Go

  Pardon My Southern Accent                                                                                Una Merkel

  Nocturne Disillusion                                                                                             Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*I’ll Stand By                                                                                                         with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  M.O.T.H.E.R. (A Word That Means The World To Me)                                      Bob Burns (bazooka)

*June Night

  George Raft interview

 

Medley:

*Desire

*Twilight On The Trail

*I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

 

  Symphonie Espagnole Op 21 - II. Scherzando Allegro molto                                        Toscha Seidel (violin)

  Schoen Rosemarin                                                                                                   Toscha Seidel (violin)

  Coolin' Off                                                                                                               Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*The Touch Of Your Lips

 

“Then there is the matter of Bing of the Crosby’s who comes to the ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience with another humdinger of a program.  With the eminent violinist Toscha Seidel, heading a bill which includes Bob Burns, Una Merkel, George Raft and Mr. James Dorsey.”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 7th May 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented:                                            

“TECHNICAL: O.K.  Bing in too close on mike as usual, an elephant never forgets and a Crosby never remembers.

ENTERTAINMENT: Show suffered from Spring fever – lacked usual ? , pace and vibrancy.  Crosby was disrespectful of Seidel a la Jolson.

GENERAL: Seidel good but not exciting.  Merkel topped the show but should learn to play comedy.  Raft had no material.  Burns was good.  Crosby had trouble finding ? ? ? ? ? ? . ? ? ? ?”


No. 24  14th May 1936

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, Mayor Tom English, Murdo McKenzie, Ted Dante, and Jean Stoddart.

 

*Goody Goody

  Tom English interview

  St. Louis Blues                                                                                                    Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Let's Face The Music And Dance                                                                        Jean Stoddart

*You (Gee! But You’re Wonderful)

  School Days                                                                                                         Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Sleepy Time Gal

  Mutiny In The Brass Section                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (Toots Camarata on trumpet)

*You Started Me Dreaming                                                                                    with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  Oh Marie                                                                                                               Ted Dante

  T'Ain't No Use                                                                                                       Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*All My Life

 

“Bob Burns will have as his guest on the Music Hall program over NBC-WSMB at 8 pm, Mayor Tom English of Van Buren, Arkansas, scene of the bazooka playing comedian’s fantastic stories.  Bing Crosby, as singing star and Master of Ceremonies will be heard with Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra”

(“New Orleans Times-Picayune” 14th May 1936)


"Bing Crosby will introduce various members of the group that assist in his broadcasts but are never heard at 6 p.m. today over KHQ. Murdo McKenzie, sound technician; Tex McKinley and Pat McCarthy, Jimmy Dorsey’s arrangers; Bonnie Lake, who wrote Dorsey’s theme, and Jean Stoddard, telephone operator and hostess; are a few that will appear."

(Spokane Chronicle, May 14, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented, inter alia: "This show did not materialize in actuality as well as it did theatrically due to the inexpertness of the guests. Crosby tried to carry on but Burns, not adept at ad libbing, was not a good foil or aide."


No. 25  21st May 1936          

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, The Avalon Boys, Mischa Levitzki and Frank Morgan.

 

*Wake Up And Sing
*Home On The Range                                                                                               
with Frank Morgan

  Honeysuckle Rose                                                                                                    Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Alpha Delta Pi Sweetheart                                                                                        with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  You Started Me Dreaming                                                                                         Bob Burns (bazooka)

  Rockin' Chair                                                                                                            The Avalon Boys

  No! No! A Thousand Times No!                                                                               The Avalon Boys

*Do You Ever Think Of Me

  Andante and Rondo Capriccioso (Mendelssohn)                                                       Mischa Levitzki (Piano)

  King Porter Stomp                                                                                                     Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Moonrise On The Lowlands                                     (a)                                             with The Paul Taylor Choristers 

 

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

               CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)


“Diversified entertainment is the theory in Bing Crosby’s 6 pm KFI show with Frank Morgan, screen actor, The Avalon Boys and Mischa Levitzki, concert pianist, as the headliners.  Bing and Bob Burns, the Arkansas philosopher are to be rushed to Hollywood, by a special car from Lone Pine where they are in the midst of filming ‘Rhythm On The Range’”

(“Los Angeles Times” 21st May 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented, inter alia: "Drastic cutting late in the game, hurt show - but not as much as if Bing, with typical Quixotic gallantry, hadn't insisted Avalon Boys do two numbers at expense of his own medley which we cut."

 

No. 26  28th May 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, John Erskine, Rose Bampton, Harmon O. Nelson and Bette Davis.

 

*You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes

  Bette Davis interview

  All My Life                                                                                                                   Harmon O. Nelson

  Swing Band                                                                                                                  Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

 

Medley:

*The Touch Of Your Lips

*I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

*We’ll Rest At The End Of The Trail

 

  Yes, We Have No Bananas                                                                                            Bob Burns (bazooka)

*Remember

  Pace Pace Mio Dio!                                                                                                        Rose Bampton

*I'll Stand By                                                                                                                    with Rose Bampton and The Paul Taylor Choristers

  American Polonaise                                                                                                        John Erskine (piano)

*Robins And Roses

*You (Gee! But You’re Wonderful)                          (a)                                                    with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

            CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

               

 

“Bette Davis is to be interviewed by Bing Crosby on his 6 pm KFI broadcast and she will present her husband, Harmon O. Nelson (conductor and singer).  Other celebrities on the bill, include Rose Bampton, Metropolitan star and John Erskine, writer”.

(“Los Angeles Times” 28th May 1936)

 

“Two young fellows who, today, might have been just a couple of other singers in a dance band, occupy prominence with an ‘earring’ nation, this afternoon and tonight.  They are Rudy Vallee and Bing of the Crosby’s who did pretty well with a megaphone in days gone by but really went with ‘Mr. Deeds’ after some smart inventor moulded a microphone.  Today, they are American institutions, having sung their way into the hearts of millions, although vocal teachers will insist that they defy every musical law and violate a flock of musical traditions.  They both are to admired for the manner in which they have megaphoned and microphoned themselves to fortune and fame and today, they are smart enough to surround themselves with the best talent available and are not afraid of the competition in their hours.  Crosby, who had already taken on Stokowski, Stueckgold and others will have Metropolitan’s, coloratura, Rose Bampton in his show, tonight, along with Bette Davis and her husband, Harmon Nelson.  John Erskine, the writer and Bob Burns and Jimmy Dorsey, after making a flock of friends here and in Oakland will be another drawing card.  They’ll all be on KPO at 6”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 28th May 1936”)


The cinema favorite, Bette Davis, was interviewed by Bing Crosby on his Music Hall program last night. It sounded like one of those impromptu affairs and kept your interest. Topping it off Harmon Nelson, Bette’s husband, sang a song. He was formerly a member of the Jimmy Dorsey band which supplies the music for the program. It was like a family reunion with the boys and Bette indulged in a lot of the kidding.

(Tim Marks, Brooklyn Times Union, May 29, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented, inter alia: "Entertainment excellent. An ad lib of Bing's, forced upon us when we had to cut so much, won John the prize of a couple orchids. What a pleasure to do the show when it's like this week."

 

No.  27  4th June 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Jackie Searl, Edith Fellows, Feodor Chaliapin, Norma Talmadge and George Jessel. 

 

*The Glory Of Love  

  Norma Talmadge and George Jessel interview

*The Last Of My Past                                                                        with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  I Like Bananas                                                                                 Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Jackie Searl, Edith Fellows interview

  Only A Rose                                                                                     Edith Fellows

*Ja-Da

  What's The Reason I'm Not Pleasing You                                         Bob Burns (bazooka)

  La Calumnia                                                                                      Feodor Chaliapin

  The Song Of The Flea                                                                       Feodor Chaliapin

  Swing On Down To Memphis                                                           Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*There’s A Small Hotel

*All My Life                                                               (a)

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall”

                CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“Feodor Chaliapine, famous Russian basso will make what is said to be his only American appearance, in 1936, on the Bing Crosby hour from KFI at 6 pm.  Mr. Crosby’s other guests will be George Jessel (comedian) and his wife, Norma Talmadge; Edith Fellows, 12 year-old screen player and Jackie Searle, 14 years, also of the motion picture world.”

(“Hollywood Citizen News” 4th June 1936)

 

“First time on the air for Norma Talmadge and George Jessel (Mr. & Mrs.), as a team, was an auspicious one.  They were presented with an ingratiating routine, indulging in three-way ribbing that put them right with the listening audience.  The stunt started as something of an interview with Miss Talmadge by Crosby, bringing out the fact that she’s retired from the screen and is now, just, Mrs. Jessel, with plenty of work in just phoning Jessel’s relatives.  Then Jessel broke in and from thereon it was a ribbing session that even included Bob Burns.  One of the elements of their bit was the Crosby and the Choral Group singing, ‘The Last Of My Past’, lyrics of which were written by Jessel, title by Miss Talmadge and music by Paul Oakland.  Jessel’s material was strong on the humorous side.  His take-off on himself, speaking to his relatives in Bob Burns’ Arkansas twang, being especially neat.  Coupled with his wife Madge as the ideal American pair, Jessel and his frau were a natural for the Kraft Phoenix product and they fit perfectly into the underlying ‘June Bride’ theme of the Crosby broadcast.”           

(“Variety” 10th June 1936)

 

“Bing presents Norma Talmadge and her husband, George Jessel plus 12 year-old Edith Fellows who was in ‘She Married Her Boss’, 14 year-old Jackie Searle of ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’, Bazooka Bob Burns and Jimmy Dorsey.” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 4th June 1936)


I’ll never forget Chaliapin, the giant blond Russian with the steely blue eyes and lusty good humor. I suppose he was greatest basso who ever lived. When he zeroed in on one of those rich, low notes, the diapason he developed must have jiggled the needle on the Pasadena seismograph. Merely being in the same room with this man was a thrill.

(Call Me Lucky, page 151)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented, inter alia: "Entertainment - OK, not up to last week. Cutting necessitated by Burns spread and Chaliapin ad lib ?? (illegible)."


11th  June 1936 - No program due to Republican Convention although some newspapers stated that a show hosted by Bing with guests Ernest Hutcheson, Virginia Bruce, and Bert Wheeler was to take place.

 

It was a toss-up again last night as to which programs would be forced from the air by the doings at Cleveland. The political show had originally been scheduled for 8 but at the last minute was postponed to 9 o’clock. This eliminated such features as the “Showboat” and the Bing Crosby period.

(Daily News (New York), June 12, 1936)


No. 28  18th June 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Virginia Bruce, Pat O’Brien and Josephine Tumminia.

 

*You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes

  Pat O'Brien interview

*A Pretty Maid Milking Her Cow                                                                    with Pat O'Brien

  Sugar Foot Stomp                                                                                          Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*These Foolish Things

*What's The Name Of That Song?                                                                   with Virginia Bruce & The Paul Taylor Choristers,

  Sing An Old-Fashioned Song (To A Young Sophisticated Lady)                   Bob Burns (bazooka)

*All Alone

  Pracht's Variations                                                                                           Josephine Tumminia

  Sing, Sing, Sing                                                                                               Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*We’ll Rest At The End Of The Trail

           

 

“The big fight will be on KPO tonight, starting at 6 o’clock.  Joe Louis is to tangle with a chap called Schmeling who comes from a small town in Germany.  The broadcast will be short-waved to Germany.  An hour of airtime will be reserved for the scrap but if it starts at 6 o’clock we should be in for some Hollywood musical entertainment at about 6.20 (according to the boxing experts).  But boxing experts are often confounded as those who heard the Braddock/Baer waltz will remember.  Mr. Vallee will be in at 4 o’clock, Amos ‘N’ Andy at 7.  The mentioned Hollywood entertainment will include Bing Crosby singing and discussing the fight with Pat O’Brien.  San Francisco’s Josephine Tuminia will be with Crosby, if time permits - all these are from KPO.  Crosby’s program on this particular day, was scheduled to start at 6.45” 

(“San Francisco Chronicle 18th June 1936)

 

(The promised, ‘Hollywood musical entertainment’ did not occur.  Not on this particular evening, anyway - The contest, scheduled for the Yankee Stadium in New York, was postponed until the following night, due to heavy rain and the ‘boxing experts’ were confounded!  Although the fight lasted twelve rounds, Joe Louis suffered the only defeat in his career until he retired in 1949)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, commented, inter alia: "The fight - scheduled to take at least a part of our time, probably 30 minutes, was cancelled at 11 a.m. necessitating some scurrying for talent."


…Crosby swapped wordage with Pat O’Brien, movie favorite and introduced Virginia Bruce, another Hollywood personality who sang “What’s the Name of That Song?” Bob Burns pleased as usual with his dry humor and Tommy Dorsey’s (sic) band did right well with the swing business, Bing offered the biggest kick, though, with his interpretation of “These Foolish Things,” one of the better tunes and made to order for him.

(Tim Marks, Brooklyn Times Union, June 19, 1936)

 

25th  June 1936 - No programme due to Democrat Convention although it had been planned that Bing would host a show with guests Bert Wheeler and Jean Arthur.

 

“Do you know what they’re saying about Bing Crosby?  They’re saying he’s more interested now in winning new fame as a showman than fortifying his reputation as a crooner.  They are further saying, that he sees the handwriting on the ‘ether walls’, realises he can’t get along forever on his touchy vocal chords and is hoping for the same solution that saved Rudy Vallee from the discard.  This slow transformation is apparent in his Thursday night, Music Hall shows.  They slid down the ways as ‘Bing Crosby and guest artists’, now they are, ‘Guest artists presented by Bing Crosby’.  Tonight’s line-up shows the trend.  He offers Toscha Seidel, world-famous violinist, Jean Arthur and Bert Wheeler, two of filmland’s more personable folk.  Yes, Bing will sing a few songs accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey’s band and Bob Burns, bazooka and all will be on hand.  There’s a rumour that Burns will attempt a piano solo, tonight.  Dial KPO at 6 o’clock and find out.  The Crosby extravaganza just misses being pushed off the air by the Democratic Convention”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 25th June 1936)

 

Note: The last sentence provides another enigma. There are no songs or show for this date.  However, Jean Arthur and Bert Wheeler turn up on Programme No. 30 of the 9th July.

 

‘Bing Crosby is set on a string of options for a 3-year contract with Kraft.  The deal calls for an increase each year.  At the same time, he has agreed to remain on the current series for another six weeks before he takes his vacation’

(“Variety” 24th June 1936)

 

No. 29  2nd July 1936  

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Toscha Seidel, Frank Morgan, Frances Farmer and Martha Raye.

 

*The House That Jack Built For Jill

*Why Don't They Play With Me                                                                         with Frank Morgan

  There's No Substitute                                                                                        Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  You’ll Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini)                                                            Martha Raye

  Martha Raye, Norman Taurog, Frances Farmer, Bob Burns interview

*I’m An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)                                                  with Martha Raye, Frances Farmer and Bob Burns

  Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 2                                                                        Toscha Seidel (violin)

  Polichinelle                                                                                                        Toscha Seidel (violin)

  Funiculi Funiculà                                                                                               Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*I Can’t Escape From You

*Empty Saddles                                                                                                   with The Paul Taylor Choristers


 

“Radio previews of motion pictures are fast becoming the rule, rather than the exception.  In fact Hollywood’s producers apparently believe a new show is not completely ready for the market until it has been once-overed via the air and they aren’t letting the fore-doomed mediocrity of twenty minute condensations daunt them either.  Each week ‘Hollywood Hotel’ does its little bit, along this line and today, Bing Crosby’s Music Hall joins the parade.  You’ll hear Bing, Bob Burns, Frances Farmer and Martha Raye skip through scenes from ‘Rhythm Of (sic) The Range’, the forthcoming Crosby vehicle in which Burns, the Van Buren bazooka player, makes his screen debut.  Also on the sixty minute show are, Toscha Seidel, famed violinist, Frank Morgan, hesitant character star and Jimmy Dorsey’s Band.”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 2nd July 1936)   

 

At four o’clock on broadcast day we stood in line at the NBC studios in Hollywood. Then the usher told us to take our seats silently, and my friend and I sat approximately in the fourth row. The rehearsal was in progress and Bing was singing a song that turned out to be “Empty Saddles”. Bing was surrounded by the Paul Taylor Choristers. We noticed that two young women with bright red hair were also standing in the back. They were the guests of the evening, Frances Farmer and Martha Raye. Their strange hair color I understood, was designed to be more photogenic for the film Rhythm On the Range which they had just completed. In the middle of the stage sat Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra.

Just before air time, Bob Burns, known as the “Arkansas Traveler”, addressed the audience and said, “My name is Bob Burns and this musical instrument is a bazooka. And that fella back there in the corner is Bing Crosby.” Bing tipped his cap, and continuing, Bob Burns added “Our guests tonight are Frances Farmer and Martha Raye, who are starring in the new Bing Crosby movie Rhythm On the Range opening in Paramount theaters around the country.” Bob Burns continued, “The Kraft people welcome you all here and ask you not to applaud, but if you find something funny, feel free to laugh. Now, when that green light turns to red, we will be on the air. And then, when the red light goes off and the green light comes on again, if you feel like applauding, please do.”

When the broadcast began, Bing opened with “I’m An Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)”, and later he sang “Empty Saddles.” Bing interviewed Frances Farmer, and Martha Raye sang “You’ll Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini)”. This was the first time that Martha Raye was heard on national radio. Bing seemed to always open the KMH with a peppy song in those days. Bob Eberly, the vocalist with the Jimmy Dorsey band, was not allowed to sing on the KMH broadcast and just sat in a chair during the program. This was because the Kraft people who paid good money believed this was Bing’s show and Bob Eberly wasn’t needed. Helen O’Connell had not yet joined Jimmy Dorsey at that time.

Upon leaving the Kraft Music Hall broadcast, we passed by the Fred Astaire radio program. Fred was dancing on a small platform with the microphone close to the floor. Outside, a large crowd was standing as Bing drove away in a convertible with a driver, waving to them.

(George McCabe, writing in BING magazine, Spring, 1999)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, in his report complains about Bing making an unfortunate ad lib but his writing is so bad that it is not clear what it was all about.

 

No. 30  9th July 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Jean Arthur, Henri Deering and Bert Wheeler. 

 

*Wake Up And Sing

  Say It Isn't So                                                                                                  Bert Wheeler

  T'ain't No Use                                                                                                  Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Waiting For The Robert E. Lee

  Stormy Weather                                                                                               Bob Burns (bazooka)

*I Can’t Escape From You                                                                                 with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  Swanee River (The Old Folks At Home)                                                         Jean Arthur

  Polichinelle                                                                                                       Henri Deering (piano)

  Tango                                                                                                                Henri Deering (piano)

  Beebe                                                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*There’s A Small Hotel

  Station House Blues                                                                                          Bob Burns (piano)

*Take My Heart (And Do With It What You Please)                                          with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

“Dempsey versus Willard? - Not bad.  Dempsey versus Firpo? - Fair enough.  Louis versus Schmeling? - Pretty good.  But - Crosby versus Vallee - There, fans, is really a tussle and it’s a weekly brawl, too.  Each Thursday Bing and Rudy take the ring, not to toss fists but to throw glittering guest line-ups about the ether and hope for your shouts of approval.  Today, the odds are about even - In the Vallee corner, repose Josephine Hutchinson and June Knight.  Reclining on Crosby’s side are Jean Arthur and Bert Wheeler who have been trying, vainly to get on the air.  On his first billing he was shoved off by the Republicans, next time the Democrats elbowed him out, so, he’ll probably vote Socialist.  Bob Burns and Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra round out Bing’s contingent”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 9th July 1936)


“Many radioites are nursing grudges against politicos for hogging all that network time but not Bert Wheeler. Comic was cancelled twice on the Kraft show before he went on Thursday but drew triple pay”.

(Variety, July 15, 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, in his report commented: "Entertainment OK, good show. Crosby had severe cold in the head."

 

No. 31  16th July 1936 

 

With Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Marjorie Gateson, Rose Bampton and Robert Taylor.

 

*The Glory Of Love

  Robert Taylor interview

*Polly Wolly Doodle                                                                                         with Robert Taylor

  Ah-woo! Ah-woo! To You                                                                               Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Great Day

  If You Knew Susie                                                                                           Bob Burns (bazooka)

  One Fine Day                                                                                                   Rose Bampton

*My Romance                                                                                                    with Rose Bampton

  Hollywood Pastime                                                                                          Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*I'm An Old Cowhand                                                                                       with Marjorie Gateson, Rose Bampton and Robert Taylor

*These Foolish Things

*A Rendezvous With A Dream                                                                           with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

“In case you have been sprouting grey hairs and developing wrinkles trying to figure out the reason for Robert Taylor’s meteoric film rise, you will be relieved to know that your worries are at an end. This burning question, certainly one of the utmost importance, will be answered tonight when Bing Crosby interviews the handsome youth on KPO at 6 pm.  Taylor is definitely pretty and the mere sight of him on the screen causes the gallery gals to either swoon on their escorts shoulder or stagger blindly into the sunlight, to be revived by the corner cop, then they are ready for another sight of him.  Tonight’s dialogue should run like this - Crosby: ‘Well, Bob, uh, how come you’ve gotten so high, so soon?’ Taylor: ‘Well, Bing, uh, I dunno really, guess I just got the breaks.  Well, g’night Bing’- And so another of life’s major problems will be settled.  Other guests tonight, include Rose Bampton, Metropolitan Opera contralto, Marjorie Gateson, prominent character actress and of course, Bob Burns and of course, Jimmy Dorsey.  Crosby, incidentally can claim a technical victory in the battle of crooners inasmuch as Rudy Vallee’s guest talent hasn’t been announced but Rudy probably doesn’t know himself!”

(“San Francisco Chronicle’16th July 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, in his report commented: "Bampton lost the melody in the duet. Taylor surprisingly good."


23rd  July 1936  - No programme (Speech by Governor Alfred Landon, the Republican nomination for President)

 

“Lucille Friml, daughter of composer Rudolf Friml, is a member of the Paul Taylor Choristers.”

 (“Variety” 29th July 1936)

 

No. 32  30th July 1936 

 

With Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Albert Spalding, Dolores Costello Barrymore and Vera Van.

 

*On The Beach At Bali Bali

  Dolores Costello Barrymore interview

*Honest And Truly

  Don't Look Now                                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  The Lonesome Road                                                                                          Bob Burns

*Take My Heart (And Do With It What You Please)           (a)                           with The Paul Taylor Choristers

  Fare Thee Well To Harlem                                                                                 Vera Van

  Until Today                                                                                                        Vera Van and The Paul Taylor Choristers

  Boston Tea Party                                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Romance                                                                                                            Albert Spalding (violin)

  Jota                                                                                                                     Albert Spalding (violin)

*Would You (Freed/Brown)

*Long Ago And Far Away (Rainger/Robin)                          (a)                           with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

Note:

(a)                Limited Edition Club JGB1011 - “Music Hall” (Dates shewn as 9th July 1936)

               CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“Bing Crosby also bids heavily for attention on today’s radio market.  His guests include Dolores Castle Barrymore in one of her infrequent air appearances, Albert Spalding, renowned violinist and Vera Van who sang in San Francisco with Ted Fio Rito’s orchestra, not so long ago." 

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 30th July 1936)

 

“For once nothing interferes with Bing Crosby and his Music Hall program, unless some unforeseen emergency bobs up at the last minute.  Today, he presents as featured soloist the eminent Albert Spalding, who does as many tricks with the violin as Thurston does with cards.  Crosby will also have blonde, Vera Van on for this one show.  Miss Van is a sister of Jimmy Grier’s, Dick Webster and does some right smart torch singing, in her own right.  Bob ‘Movie Actor’ Burns contributes a solo or two on his famed bazooka, father of all the little bazookas which are now making their appearance”

 (“Los Angeles Times” 30th July 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, in his report commented: "Entertainment good. Burns not up to standard. Burns took 2 and a half minutes more than scheduled and unfortunately not because of laughs, necessitating cutting and bringing Crosby's closing over chorus in middle of last number."

 

No. 33  6th August 1936      

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Ernest Hutcheson, Robert Young and Ann Sothern. 

 

*It Ain’t Right

  Robert Young interview

  Chicken Reel                                                                                                Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*Jealous

  John L. Kraft speech re third anniversary of Miracle Whip Salad Dressing

*Robins And Roses

  Where’s The Boy? Here’s The Girl!                                                             Ann Sothern

  Stompin' At The Savoy                                                                                 Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Fantasy Impromptu                                                                                       Ernest Hutcheson (piano)

  The Spinning Song                                                                                        Ernest Hutcheson (piano)

*Did I Remember?

*Empty Saddles                                                                                              with The Paul Taylor Choristers 

 

“The radio world joins with Bob Burns in mourning the death of his wife.  Some Eastern theatres, incidentally, are giving Burns preference over Bing Crosby in advertising, ‘Rhythm On The Range’ not that Crosby would care, anyway - he’s that kind”

(“San Francisco Chronicle” 6th August 1936)

 

“Ann Sothern, RKO film player made a guest appearance on Bing Crosby’s, Kraft Music Hall Hour on Thursday evening the 6th, with a George Gershwin song.  While being no knockout in giving out with the number on the air-waves, Miss Sothern’s vocal efforts compensated greatly for the meaningless chatter, she indulged in, ahead of it, with Crosby.  The talk intended to give the impression (that) Miss Sothern was hungry. This opened the opportunity for a Kraft ‘plug’- J.L. Kraft, head of the commercials sponsoring Crosby’s program was on the air that night and offered to send Miss Sothern a basket of his products.  That’s apt to be a businessman’s idea of showmanship.  Miss Sothern also said something about her tennis playing.  However, with adequate material, listening to her would be more of a pleasure.  If any complaints, at all, the film industry has a squawk coming against radio for the dumb material afforded players - it makes them seem like amateurs.”        

(“Variety” 12th August 1936)

 

“Bob Burns and his bazooka will be absent from the Music Hall at 6 over KFI but they will return to the series with next week’s program.  

(“Hollywood Citizen News” 6th August 1936)

 

No. 34  13th August 1936  

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Josephine Tumminia, Anita Louise, Alison Skipworth and Louis Armstrong.

 

*I’m An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)

  Anita Louise interview

*Until The Real Thing Comes Along

  Shoe Shine Boy                                                                                            Louis Armstrong

  Swing That Music                                                                                        Louis Armstrong

  Sweet Sue                                                                                                     Bob Burns (bazooka)

*No Regrets

  Alison Skipworth interview

*Sometimes I’m Happy

  Dippermouth Blues                                                                                       Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

  Voices Of Spring                                                                                          Josephine Tumminia

*Rendezvous With A Dream                                                                          with The Paul Taylor Choristers

 

“A pot pourri of entertaining offerings is to be found on Bing Crosby’s Kraft Music Hall over KFI at 6 pm today.  Anita Louise and Alison Skipworth, ingenue and comedienne, respectively, are to represent the motion pictures.  Josephine Tuminia of the San Francisco Opera is to represent the cultural field and Louis Armstrong, ‘world’s hottest trumpeter’, dispenses the jazz”

(“Los Angeles Times” 13th August 1936)

 

“....there’s the Crosby show with Anita Louise, Alison Skipworth, Josephine Tuminia and Louis ‘Satchelmouth’ Armstrong, as guests.  No introductions are needed to the above, at least, none should be needed.  Miss Louise and Miss Skipworth will stage a short skit.  Miss Tuminia, San Francisco coloratura, featured so successfully by Sigmund Romberg will sing a song or two and Armstrong will demonstrate his distinctive ‘hot’ trumpet playing.”

“San Francisco Chronicle” 13th August 1936)


Cal Kuhl, J. Walter Thompson Program Director, in his report commented: "Skipworth couldn't use script - part was entirely ad lib. Burns excellent. Show very short due to Skipworth being short 2 minutes."


 

No. 35  20th August 1936 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers, Harold Bauer, Dorothy Lamour and Joan Bennett.  

 

*You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes

*There's A Small Hotel                                                                                     with Joan Bennett

  It Ain't Right                                                                                                   Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*I Can’t Escape From You

  I Can't Give You Anything But Love                                                               Bob Burns (bazooka)

*These Foolish Things

  Take My Heart (And Do With It What You Please)                                        Dorothy Lamour

*Just One Word Of Consolation

  Impromptu in A-flat                                                                                        Harold Bauer (piano)

  Butterfly Etude                                                                                                Harold Bauer (piano)

  Boston Tea Party                                                                                             Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

*South Sea Island Magic                                     (a)                                          with The Paul Taylor Choristers


Note:

(a)            CD "Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall - Rare Original Survivors" (International Club Crosby 75th Anniversary Issue)

 

“....then the Bing Crosby/Rudy Vallee guest star battle rages on with all the fervour of a Spanish revolt.  Crooner Crosby offers, concert pianist Harold Bauer, Joan Bennett, film favourite and Dorothy Lamour, a singer who really deserves the adjective, ‘glamorous’.”

 (“San Francisco Chronicle” 20th August 1936) 

 

After this programme Bing took his customary break, which included a vacation in Hawaii while Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choristers and The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra “held the fort”, during his absence.  Bing was away for seven programmes. During this time guests included, Jose Iturbi, Joel McCrea, Alice Faye, Olivia de Havilland, Jack Oakie, Glenda Farrell, Beverly Roberts, Billie Burke, Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Ganz, Frederick Jagel and Madeleine Carroll.

 

Go to 1936-37 season

 

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