Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Horn, a Boss and an Anchor: The Way It Was, 4 August

1901: A HORN IS BORNIn terms of hard old-time radio history, this isn't exactly a hot date . . . unless, of course, you could predict that the infant born today in a poor New Orleans neighbourhood will grow up to learn his first music in reform school, after he fires a gun for a New Year's celebration at age eleven, never mind to revolutionise jazz and charm radio listeners (on The Pursuit of Happiness; Sealtest Village Store; The Story of Swing; and, The Frank Sinatra Show, among others) as well as ballroom goers and record buyers as Louis Armstrong.

Louis Armstrong was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music's history. As a trumpet virtuoso, his playing,beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, charted a future for jazz in highly imaginative, emotionally charged improvisation. For this, he is revered by jazz fans. But Armstrong also became an enduring figure in popular music, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging personality, which were on display in a series of vocal recordings and film roles.

---From All Music Guide.

I talked with Louis Armstrong one night in Basin Street and mentinoed his record of "When You're Smilin'" which I had early loved and too soon lost: "I was working in the house band at the Paramount when I was young," Armstrong said. "And the lead trumpet stood up and played that song, and I just copied what he did note for note. I never found out his name but there was kicks in him. There's kicks everywhere."

---Murray Kempton, introducing his anthology, Rebellions, Perversities, and Main Events. (New York: Times Books/Random House, 1994.)


1945-46: NEW YEAR'S RADIO DANCING PARTY---Leading a big band of his own, Armstrong delivers both an exuberant trumpet and vocal performance playing "Ac-cen-tu-ate The Positive." ("Well, flock!" "Yeah, leader!" "Have you hoid what Brother Moicer said?") That's one of the highlights of a New Year's Eve radio multi-remote---hookups from hotel to hotel---that also includes Harry James ("Sad Sack"), Count Basie ("One O'Clock Jump"), Jimmy Dorsey ("I Got Rhythm"), Artie Shaw with Roy Eldridge ("Little Jazz"), Stan Kenton ("Tampico"), Tommy Dorsey ("Song of India"), Duke Ellington ("Let the Zoomers Zoom"), and, perhaps needless to say, Guy Lombardo ("Auld Lang Syne"). (AFRS).

1950: AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'---Satchmo makes a swinger out of Meredith Willson, when the grandfather of the swing slips up from the Willson orchestra pit, banters with Bob Hope and hostess Tallulah Bankhead, then growls and blows a marvelous "Ain't Misbehavin'," on tonight's edition of The Big Show. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Phil Harris, Deborah Kerr, Frankie Lane, Martin & Lewis. Writers: Goodman Ace, Selma Diamond, Frank Wilson.


1944: THE EUROPEAN BATTLES CONTINUE---Including the continuing battle in and for Normandy, as future Radio Hall of Famer Douglas Edwards anchors this edition of World News Today. (CBS.)

1959: WHO WANTS TO KNOW?---Maybe you do, if you listen to today's edition of Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network. (Three guesses.)

Writers: Bob Elliot, Ray Goulding.


1889---William Keighley (host: Lux Radio Theater), Philadelphia.
1890---Carson Robison (singer: The Eveready Hour; The Dutch Masters Minstrels), Chetona, Kansas.
1897---Abe Lyman (bandleader: The Jack Pearl Show; Lavender and New Lace; Waltz Time), Chicago.
1903---Helen Kane (The Boop Boop-a-Doop Girl; actress: Today's Children), The Bronx.
1904---Theodore Newton (actor: Joyce Jordan, M.D.), Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
1905---Frank Luther (singer: The Frank Luther Show; The Happy Wonder Bakers Trio), Lakin, Kansas.
1908---Wally Maher (actor: One Man's Family; The Adventures of Nero Wolfe), Montreal.
1914---Dick Todd (singer: Avalon Time; Your Hit Parade; The Rinso-Spry Vaudeville Theater), Montreal.
1915---William Keene (actor: Land of the Lost), Pennsylvania.


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