Saturday, 19 September 2015

Radio on Record

Those of us who weren’t around in the glory days of network radio had two ways to hear old broadcasts—either through nostalgia programmes on a local station or by picking up a record manufactured by one of a number of companies specialising in old-time radio.

Those of you who were around back then had two ways to hear the shows—either on the radio or by picking up a record containing the broadcasts.

No, I don’t mean transcriptions that were supplied to radio stations for broadcast. I was surprised to discover some ads for a company which pressed copies of radio shows on 78s for home listening.

The ads are from 1947. What’s disappointing is the records don’t feature actual broadcasts; I suppose back then it was a selling point as networks didn’t think anyone wanted to listen to rerun shows. So what’s on them? Jack Benny may have referred to these albums on his show of December 7, 1947.

Jack: You know, Dennis, I made a whole album of records. A lot of comedy with my cast and a couple of violin solos.
Dennis: You did?
Jack: Yeah. You know, you can get them in any music store.
Dennis: Is there anything else you want to advertise before I leave?

If anyone out there knows about these albums, post a comment.


  1. I've seen a few of these sets, but they were pressed on substandard shellac, and the records break easily. If you find an album set with all four records, and all of them intact, nice find!

  2. I've been listening to Old Time Radio on the internet, since May. I'm addicted. This stuff is great! The movie stars of the time, like Bogart and Bacall doing a regular radio series. Vincent Price as Simon Templar. I could go on and on. The commercials are like little musicals. I love the Bromo seltzer ads, like a train and that eerie Bromo seltzer being repeated over and over. Well, yours truly, Johnny Dollar.

  3. Kathy Fuller Seeley20 September 2015 at 16:09

    I am fortunate to have been given the Benny set as a gift. Now all I need is a turn table! I will report back. Great ad find!!!!

  4. Saturday, 19 September 2015 Radio on Record
    Curious coincidence that you post this now. I picked up that same JACK
    BENNY set in a local thrift just this past month for $2! Or rather the
    cover/book. Sadly the Benny records were all replaced by others. Though a
    few were goodies in their own right: "The Theme from THE EGG AND I" and
    the song noted for the longest title ever, "How Can You Believe Me When I
    Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?" by FRED
    ASTAIRE from the MGM film, "Royal Wedding." The Benny tracks do appear to
    be skits, "Getting a Haircut", "The Violin Lesson." One seems awfully
    interesting, "Schizophrenia" "based on a radio play by Arch Oboler"-
    Which takes both sides of one record! "Jack is split into two
    personalities." The BURNS AND ALLEN set is desirable too, it features Mel
    Blanc. So I wonder, when were the first radio shows sold to the public?
    Were there ever any 78s of actual radio shows commercially released soon
    after they were broadcast??? Or was it back in the early 70s when record
    bins were full of all those OTR LPS from Murray Hill Records, Radiola,
    Mark 56 labels? (Seemed like thousands!) Also MANY OTRs were seen back
    then on 8-tracks! One of my first 8-tracks was Superman radio shows with
    Bud Collyer.

    Questions?/Comments? * This Has Been e-mail From:
    "Dr. Mark" Hill * The Doctor Of Pop Culture /*/

  5. I have several of these sets...