The Way We Were - Part Two : July-Dec 1946©JCMarion


JULY-The summer replacement for the popular quiz show Information Please is The Benny Goodman Show with Art Lund and Martha Tilton. The mc is to be Bud Collyer. Not to be outdone, Tommy Dorsey is announced as the summer replacement for Fred Allen. The show is called Dorsey Drive and features Stuart Foster and Ziggy Elman. Stan Shaw, the original mc of the Milkman's Matinee and Stan the All Night Record Man, is advised by doctors to give up the radio grind after 22 years. That most ethnic subdivision of big band music is served by radio's Yiddish Swing Program starring Jan Bart, the Barry Sisters, and the Sam Medoff Yiddish Swingtette and is sponsored by Manishewitz wines.Here's To Veterans begins airing with Joan Edwards and Mark Warnow's band. The biggest news in the recording industry during the month of July is news that MGM studios will start a record label. The first artist signed up - Kate Smith. "Who Told You That Lie" is recorded by Phil Brito(Musicraft), Connee Boswell(Decca), Vaughn Monroe(Victor), and Harry Cool(Signature). Other up and coming discs issued during the month are : "Route 66" Nat King Cole(Capitol), and Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters(Decca); "South America Take It Away"( introduced by Betty Garrett in the stage show Call Me Mister) by Betty Rhodes(Victor) and Buddy Clarke with Xavier Cugat(Columbia); "Girl Of My Dreams" Perry Como and the Satisfiers with Russ Case's orchestra(Victor); Frank Sinatra and Axel Stordahl record "Somewhere In The Night/One Love(Columbia); "Come Rain ,Come Shine" by Dinah Shore(Columbia) and Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes(Decca); "My Sugar Is So Refined" Johnny Mercer with The Pied Pipers and the Paul Weston orchestra(Capitol) "When The Angelus Is Ringing" by Vaughn Monroe and Betty Norton and the Moon Maids (Victor); "Give Me Five Minutes More" Tex Beneke(Victor) and "Surrender" by Perry Como (Victor). The 3 Suns, an instrumental/vocal trio records an album for the Majestic label in Chicago. The group had been the musical attraction at the Picadilly Hotel in New York for the past seven years.Appearing as an independent attraction, The Pied Pipers open at the Paramount Theater. Tony Pastor signs up the Clooney sisters, Rosemary and Betty (ages 17 and 15), and has to provide tutors for their schooling because they are minors. Casting for the motion picture "The Fabulous Dorseys" is set and as a gimmick the radio show Tommy Dorsey's Playshop aired on Mutual, will be broadcast live from the movie set. Dinah Shore with the Dick Stabile orchestra at the Paramount, and Mindy Carson with Harry Cool's band is at the Glen Island Casino.

AUGUST- During the last seven weeks of the summer, People Are Funny is replaced by Vacation With Music starring Phil Brito and Harry Sosnick's orchestra for the NBC network. Your Hit Parade is such a hit that CBS has it on twice-9pm and rebroadcast at midnight. Dinah Shore is reportedly readying a weekly radio show for Ford on Wednesday nights on CBS. Martin Block signs a 4 year deal with WNEW to carry transcribed daily shows to be flown in every day by TWA airlines. Bing Crosby makes big news in radio by ending his ten year association with Kraft and begin sponsorship by Philco. He is also the object of unhappiness from Tommy Dorsey for his refusal to do a cameo bit (for free) in the Dorsey brothers movie. Radio ratings as a whole are in a summer slump as Mr. District Attorney is the top show. The time of the new Bing Crosby show is set back as to avoid head to head competition with Frank Sinatra. The independent label ARA releases Hoagy Carmichael's "Old Buttermilk Sky" from the soundtrack of "Canyon Passage". The song will go on to win the academy award for best song of 1946. Phil Brito and Frank Sinatra are ahead of the pack with their versions of "Give Me Five Minutes More" from the picture "Sweetheart Of Sigma Chi". The Andrews Sisters with Eddy Heywood record "The House Of Blue Lights" for Decca to compete with Ella Mae Morse on Capitol. Starting to sell is "To Each His Own" by Eddy Howard, which is touted as the first record on an independent label (Majestic) to gain national prominence. Ben Selvin, long time band leader and head of A&R for the label, says none of the big 4 (Decca, Victor, Columbia, and Capitol) are boosting sheet music sales. Perry Como does super SRO box office at the New Haven (Conn.) Arena. Luna Park, Coney Island's amusement center shuttered since a spectacular fire in 1944 is slated to be demolished. Duke Ellington cancels a number of personal appearance dates in the south because of the policy of racial segregation. Sioux City Iowa plans to hold a "Sioux City Sue Contest", with one of the judges being Dick Thomas, co-author of the song. At the Meadowbrook is Louis Prima with Judy Lynn. Gene Krupa and his orchestra open at the Capitol theater featuring Buddy Stewart on vocals. Also on the bill is Mitzi Green and trumpeter Red Rodney. Dick Haymes sets the house record at the Boston RKO and expects to top Sinatra's all time box office take at the theater. Appearing with Haymes are Margaret Whiting and the Nicholas Brothers. Al Trace and his zany style of music hold forth at the Loewes State, and Elliot Lawrence signs to play at the Harvest Moon Ball at Madison Square Garden.

SEPTEMBER-Across the country, radio disc jockeys are being recognized as the true stars of the medium. Ted Husing drops his sports role at CBS and goes to WHN to dj against long time ratings king Martin Block. The CBS network finally agrees to change the call letters of it's New York flagship station from WABC to negate confusion with the ABC network. It's new designation is (surprise !) WCBS. Singer Vic Damone with a local radio show is tabbed as a stand-in for Andy Russell on Your Hit Parade. Some new shows for the fall-Paul Whiteman on ABC with "Forever Tops", Frank Sinatra starts his second season on CBS with the Pied Pipers, Andre Previn and the Axel Stordahl orchestra. Dick Haymes follows the next evening with co-stars Helen Forrest, Four Hits and a Miss, and Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra. Al Jolson plans a return to regular radio, and sponsors are in a battle to sign on. Dinah Shore and Ginny Sims each begin their new radio programs. And it is announced that on Nov. 1st WABC will become WCBS and WEAF will become WNBC, both flag stations for their respective networks. "Rumors Are Flying" is recorded by both Betty Rhodes(Victor) and Frankie Carle(Columbia). Bing Crosby(Decca) and Perry Como(Victor) record the standard "Blue Skies". MGM studios will name their new record label (surprise !) MGM. Lilli Ann Carol signs with National Records and will be backed up by Charlie Ventura. "In A Shanty In Old Shanty town" by Johnny Long(Decca) starts to get significant air play. "That Little Dream Got Nowhere" from the picture "Cross My Heart" is recorded by Bing backed up by the Eddy Heywood orchestra for Decca. The independent Signature label boasts new releases by Monica Lewis ("The Cat And The Canary"), Ray Bloch and his orchestra ("Jealousy"), Skinnay Ennis (a remake of "Got A Date With An Angel"), and ex-Navy vet Johnny Doyle's "Twilight Song". The Andrews Sisters set box office records in Chicago, The Million Dollar Theater in L.A. headlines Lucky Millinder with Bullmoose Jackson and Annisteen Allen. In New York-at the Roxy is Hildegard with Jan Murray and Patsy Kelly; the Apollo has Ella Fitzgerald and Cootie Williams; and at the Havana-Madrid Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear first as solo acts and then as a performing duo for the first time.

OCTOBER-The seemingly always present Monica Lewis lands a new radio show to be called Monica's Music Box, with Ray Bloch's orchestra. One of the midwest's leading stations, WGN in Chicago, drops band remotes from it's programming. Vaughn Monroe's new show begins. Joan Edwards set to return to Your Hit Parade. A first for radio-Bing Crosby's new musical variety show for Philco on the ABC network, was done as a recorded transcription and not live. It is thought to be a first and may set a new trend in broadcasting. His first show features Bob Hope, Skitch Henderson and The Charioteers. The musical numbers are recorded in the studio first, then the entire show is done before an audience. If the live take is flawed then the studio recording is edited in. The King Cole Trio starts a Saturday afternoon show, and due to a legal settlement with dj Al Jarvis and KFWB, the name "Make Believe Ballroom" cannot be used, so the new program will be called Martin Block Presents. Perry Como records "Temptation" for Victor records. Other promising new releases are "Why Shouldn't It happen To Us" by Hildegard and Buddy Clark(Decca), "You'll See What A Kiss Can Do" Eddy Howard(Majestic), and four recordings of the song "The Mission Of The Rose" - The Modernaires (Columbia), Vincent Lopez(Mercury), Al Donohue(4 Star) and Enoch Light(Continental). Percy Faith's orchestra is set to back up Hildegard on the "Park Avenue" album to be recorded for Decca. Other promising new releases are "For Sentimental Reasons" by the King Cole Trio(Capitol), "Apache Serenade" by Jimmy Dorsey(Decca), "Begin The Beguine" - Frank Sinatra(Columbia), "Things We Did Last Summer/Sweet Lorraine" by Bing Crosby with the Jimmy Dorsey band(Decca), "It's Better To be By Yourself" (from the picture"Breakfast In Hollywood") by the Bob Crosby orchestra with vocal by Gordon Polk, "Somewhere In The Night" by Sinatra(Columbia) and Betty Jane Rhodes(Victor) and "This is Always" by both Dick Haymes(Decca) and Harry James(Columbia). The first session for the new MGM label is set and will feature opera and classical vocalist Lauritz Melchior. At Ciro's in Hollywood-Carmen Cavallero and Gloria Foster. Tommy Dorsey is in the news again, threatening to drop his band because of a rift with entertainment giant MCA. At the Copacabana in New York, a new teenage singer Eddy Fisher performs. The Aquarium night club also includes a live radio broadcast by Barry Gray on WOR. Juke Boxes in Chicago increase to 10 cents and three for 25c. Singer Ray Eberle plans to organize a band and lead it. The last all-Black bill plays the Zanzibar. It stars the Ink Spots, PegLeg Bates, and Claude Hopkins and his orchestra. The club is dropping it's entertainment policy because of declining revenue and a shortage of top name talent being available.

NOVEMBER-Hoagy Carmichael begins a Sunday afternoon radio show. WMCA in New York plans a MR. and Mrs. Music radio program to star Andre Baruch and Bea Wain. Frank Sinatra's weekly show for Old Gold has eliminated the studio audience because of constant chaos and disturbances. Now that KFWB in Los Angeles has Martin Block on the staff, the station has a unique all dj format with Peter Potter, Gene Norman and others. New record pressings during the month include "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams" Woody Herman with Mary Ann McCall doing the vocal(Columbia), "A Gal In Calico" by Johnny Mercer and The Pied Pipers with Paul Weston's orchestra(Capitol), "For Sentimental Reasons" - Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys(Decca), Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole(Capitol), and "My Heart Goes Crazy" by Charlie Spivak with vocal by Jimmy Saunders and the Stardreamers(Victor). The new Walt Disney film Song Of The South provides two new tunes recorded by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers on Capitol-"Zip-Ah De Doo Dah" and "The Laughin` Place". Some additional promising records out this month are "Rickety Rickshaw Man" by Eddy Howard(Majestic), "The Beginning Of The End"-Perry Como(Victor) and "September Song"-Sinatra with Axel Stordahl(Columbia). Motion Pictures provided a few more recordings in November including "Either It's Love Or It Isn't" (from Dead Reckoning) by Frankie Carle with Marjorie Hughes on vocal(Columbia), "Same Old Dream"(from It Happened In Brooklyn) by Artie Shaw with vocal by Mel Torme and the Meltones(Musicraft), and "Life Can be Beautiful" (from Smashup) by Marion Morgan and "Oh But I Do" (from The Time The Place and The Girl) by Buddy DeVito both with the Harry James band for Columbia. Band leader Tommy Tucker tries a novel approach to marketing with a perfume(!) called Two-Timer (Swing and Sweet). Both scents are complete with the band's logo. Poor box office hits Benny Goodman at the 400 Club, and the Meadowbrook, long a big band showcase, drops it's band policy. The Havana-Madrid goes to weekends only, and Les Brown announces plans to break up his band. Another new teenage vocalist makes his debut-18 year old Vic Damone at LaMartinique. Betty Hutton in the middle of a massive hit record "Doctor,Lawyer, Indian Chief"(from the picture Stork Club), leaves Capitol records for RCA, with the result that Capitol ceases pressing the record. A continued demand, plus the resultant return to the label, leads to a reissue of the hit recording. Tommy Dorsey breaks up his band, and it's members decide to form a new band behind Ziggy Elman.

DECEMBER-At year's end the radio scene features Frankie Laine (subject of a big publicity buildup) on the Chesterfield Supper Club with Jo Stafford on the NBC network. WMCA pushing their Mr. and Mrs. Music show with Andre Baruch and Bea Wain as more than a typical dj show. Live singing and celebrity interviews are some of the features. A hot new song "Managua, Nicaragua" is issued by FrEddy Martin (Victor), Guy Lombardo(Decca), and Kay Kyser(Columbia). "A Gal In Calico" is covered by Bing(Decca) and Tex Beneke(Victor). The seasonal tune "Winter Wonderland"( originally written in 1934) is released by Perry Como(Victor) and the Andrews Sisters with Guy Lombardo(Decca). Bel-Tone records calls it quits, and "Kilroy Was Here" is out by Paul Page and the Masqueraders on the small Enterprise label. Jimmy Dorsey is reported to be signing with the new MGM label. At the Waldorf-Astoria in New York : Frank Sinatra and the Page Cavenaugh Trio. In attendance-The NYC Fire Department inspectors, observing to make sure of compliance with safety laws and prevent over crowding. Harry James, Woody Herman, and Ina Ray Hutton also reportedly breaking up bands as the end of 1946 seems to signal the swan song of the big band era. The last Broadway trolley car makes it's last run on December 14. Guy Lombardo's plans to serenade "Auld Lang Syne" aboard are nixed by the city because of a noise prevention ordnance after 11pm. Gracie Fields entertains at the Persian Room in the Plaza, and the Zanzibar has one more show featuring Ethel Waters, the Deep River Boys, Dusty Fletcher and Bunny Briggs. Frankie Carle is named the top band of 1946 in record sales, and the year end bill at the Paramount is the Andrews Sisters, with Tony Pastor's orchestra and the Les Paul Trio.

to next page . . . . .

back to title page . . .