One Night Stand with the Big Bands
- From: "Tuba Bob" <tubabob@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 19 Dec 2005 07:12:47 -0800
The latest "Golden Age of Radio" programs with Dick Bertel
and Ed Corcoran, and "A One Night Stand with the Big Bands"
with Arnold Dean can be heard at www.goldenage-wtic.info.
Each week we feature three complete shows in MP3 format
for your listening pleasure or for downloading; two "Golden
Age of Radios" and one "One Night Stand." We present new
shows every week or so. The current three programs will be
available on line at least until the morning of 12/27/05.
Program 7 - October, 1970 - Rudy Vallee
"The Fleischmann Hour," nationally known as the Rudy Vallee
Hour--the first-ever radio talk show--debuted in 1928 with
200 million listeners. It was a live variety revue and Rudy's
guests were a mixture of the famous and the unknown. He
was the first to invite black musicians to be on his show,
and in appreciation, artists such as Louis Armstrong and
Josephine Baker invited Rudy to their clubs in Harlem.
Among his blunders: turning down the Andrew sisters and
believing that Barbra Streisand had no talent.
We were fortunate enough to interview Mr. Vallee at length,
and broadcast this Golden Age program as a two-hour special.
We present it here, uncut, in two parts.
"A One Night Stand with the Big Bands" With Arnold Dean
This program was originally broadcast on WTIC in 1969, on
the 25th anniversary of Glenn Miller's death, December 15,
1944. It predated the "One Night Stand with the Big Bands"
series. We present it here to mark the 61st anniversary.
In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Glenn decided he
could better serve those in uniform by putting one on himself.
By doing this, the band gave up a $20,000 weekly income.
Too old to be drafted at age 38, Glenn first volunteered for
the Navy but was told that they didn't need his services. Not
giving up, Glenn wrote to the Army's Brigadier General
Charles Young on August 12, 1942. Miller persuaded the
Army to accept him so he could in his own words, "put a
little more spring into the feet of our marching men and a
little more joy into their hearts and to be placed in charge
of a modernized army band."
Glenn soon became part of the Army Specialists Corps with
the rank of captain. For the next year and a half, besides
arranging music, Glenn created and directed his own 50-
member band. Captain Miller's mission was morale building,
bringing a touch of home to the troops and modernizing
military music. Glenn was also a talented fund raiser, and
raised millions of dollars in war bond drives. He also
attracted Air Corps recruits through his I Sustain the Wings
weekly radio broadcasts.
Still wanting to do more, Glenn arranged for overseas duty
for the band. The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band was
extremely busy and Glenn wrote home that in one month
they played at 35 different bases, while performing 40
radio broadcasts in their spare time.
Finally, on December 15, 1944, Glenn boarded a single
engine C-64 Norseman aircraft to travel to Paris, France
where he was to make arrangements for a Christmas
broadcast. Tragically, the plane never reached France and
was never found.
In the 1970's WTIC decided that there was a market in
the evening for long-form shows that could be packaged
and sold to sponsors. Two of those shows were "The
Golden Age of Radio" and "A One Night Stand with the
Dick Bertel had interviewed radio collector-historian
Ed Corcoran several times on his radio and TV shows,
and thought a regular monthly show featuring interviews
with actors, writers, producers, engineers and musicians
from radio's early days might be interesting. "The Golden
Age of Radio" was first broadcast in April, 1970; Ed was
Dick's co-host. It lasted seven years. "The Golden Age
of Radio" can also be heard Saturday nights on Walden
Hughes's program on Radio Yesteryear.
Arnold Dean began his love affair with the big band
era in his pre-teen years and his decision to study
the clarinet was inspired by the style of Artie Shaw.
When he joined WTIC in 1965 he hosted a daily program
of big band music. In 1972, encouraged by the success
of his daily program and "The Golden Age of Radio"
series, he began monthly shows featuring interviews
with the band leaders, sidemen, agents, jazz reporters,
etc. who made major contributions to one of the great
eras of music history.
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