In which we journey into the distant entertainment past, through the magic of old radio shows preserved on vinyl... The sun set on the Golden Age of Radio roughly two decades before I was even born. By the 1970s, the warm glow of the living room radio dial had long been washed out in a cathode ray bath. I'm not going to lie and say that I feel I missed out on a special time in American entertainment -- I'm more of a classic TV man -- I have to admit there is something compelling about what is now known as Old-Time Radio. So, inspired by a recent 75th anniversary broadcast of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, I decided to blow the dust off a radio time machine I've had for years -- my six-record collection called Jack Benny Presents the Treasury of Golden Memories of Radio. It was iss
It seems inconceivable now, but until about the mid-1960s it was quite common to see celebrities hawking cigarettes like it was no big deal. In fact, many radio, TV, and movie stars literally owed their livelihood to sponsorship from tobacco companies. Imagine seeing someone like George Clooney or Angelina Jolie smiling widely in cigarette ads exhorting you to pick up a carton of Marlboro. Weird, isn't it? Anyway, here's a gallery of 20 such ads from the 1930s through the early 1960s featuring movie and TV stars, as well as famous athletes, using their star power to get you to buy cigarettes and cigars. Most of these ads are courtesy the Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising site.
Several years ago I shared eight of my favorite (and best, if I may humbly say so) Christmas albums. I think it's high time to add to that list, so here are another eight Yuletide platters that would make worthy additions to any holiday music collection. As on the first list, there's enough variety here that you should be able to find something new to love. So here we go, in no particular order... #1 A Time to Be Jolly (1971) Bing Crosby Bing was in his late 60s and in the last decade of his legendary career when this was released on the brand new Daybreak Records label in 1971. The only thing that gives this away, however, are the vintage late-'60s/early '70s MOR musical arrangements, which are really quite nice. Most of the tracks on A Time to Be Jolly kick off with some sl
Radio stations across America started playing Christmas (sorry, holiday) music at least a few weeks ago, but I refuse to acknowledge any of it until Thanksgiving dessert is done. So now that it's officially safe to enjoy some holiday tuneage, I thought I'd pass along some of my personal favorites to you. Because not all Christmas music is crap. #1 A Charlie Brown Christmas Vince Guaraldi Trio Let's just get this one out of the way now. I defy anyone to hear any part of "Skating" or "My Little Drum" and not be instantly transported back to their childhood. I can't say anything that hasn't been said a million times about A Charlie Brown Christmas, so I'll just implore you to add this to your collection even if you hate Christmas music. Just be careful what version you purcha