Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
December, 2015

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-6-15

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 196


As Christmas comes into view and as the approaching New Year begins to remind us of some very special memories and dreams it's time for another Classics & Curios tradition, a (slightly edited) reprise of Episode 149. Songs, of course, often play an important part in making dreams and memories special, and on this edition of Classics & Curios we'll listen to some of those wonderful songs that take us back to some special moments that remain precious songs that added such unique joy and feeling to our lives long ago and perhaps can do so again as we listen to them now.

The Four Lads start us on our dream and memory journey with their great "Moments to Remember," and joining the journey are performers like Perry Como, Andy Griffith, the Four Freshmen, the Pied Pipers, Doris Day and Les Brown, and ("pretty") Kitty Kallen.

Along the way, Woody Herman shares the touching "A Soldier's Dream" (on the battlefield), Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters sing "I Can Dream, Can't I?" from Bing's radio show, and Bob Hope and Shirley Ross do "Thanks for the Memory" from their film "The Big Broadcast of 1938." Other songs include "Graduation Day," "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time," "A Dreamer's Holiday," "Dream," "Happy Talk," "When You Wish Upon a Star," and "Precious Memories."

The Statler Brothers give us a fun memory quiz as they ask "Do You Remember These?" The Stattlers want to know if you recall things like Captain Midnight, Howdy Doody, Dixie Cup tops, sock hops, lemonade stands, white bucks, peddle pushers, fender skirts, Cracker Jack prizes, along with expressions like "He's a real gone cat," and "Only the Shadow knows." If you do remember those, you're about my age -- or a "keenager," as Frankie Laine called us."

Finally, we end our journey with clips from the Guy Lombardo Show. Guy introduces his brothers and a classic Lombardo medley which here includes the songs "Shine on Harvest Moon," "Button Up Your Overcoat," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," "My Gal Sal," and "Everywhere You Go. New Years Eve isn't quite here, but the band performs the Lombardo signature song "Auld Lang Syne."

Kitty Kallen closes the show to fadeout with a reprise of "Happy Talk" from the broadway musical "South Pacific." Truly 'tis a season of happy talk with a time for remembering, for making new memories, and for dreaming new dreams.

German poet Goethe wrote, "Dream no small dreams, for they have no power to move the hearts of men." Remembering C.S. Lewis' words that "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream," let us dream of a world with hearts transformed by the Christ of Christmas. .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-13-15

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 197


We start this annual Classics & Curios Christmas show with a musical "visit" to the wonderful 'Holiday Inn" movie of 1942 with Bing and his "Happy Holidays" and "White Christmas." In celebration of the Christmas holiday, joining Bing for this broadcast "at the Inn" are show guests Guy Lombardo, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Burl Ives, Tommy Dorsey, and Frank Parker.

Celebrating Christmas in music is what this show is about, and great tunes like 1935's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," the very first big band Christmas hit recording and performed by Tommy Dorsey. Guy Lombardo lights up the scene with "An Old Fashioned Christmas Tree" and "He'll be Comin' Down the Chimney." And army General Reynolds pays tribute to entertainers like Frank Sinatra for V-disc performances that gave our troops so many moments of joyful relief. After the general's words, we take you directly to a special V-Disc performance of Frank on "Guest Star" with an introduction by announcer Don Wilson.

Speaking of our troops, an interesting trivia note is that the Fourth of July celebration scene in the "Holiday Inn" movie ended up longer than what was originally planned, that is, with the striking Fred Astaire fire cracker dance. The reason: the attack on Pearl Harbor, which occurred half way through the making of that film.

A special feature in our celebration is the touching Civil War story about Longfellow's writing of the poem "Christmas Bells" followed by Burl Ives' moving performance of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Some question the story's validity, but people still question the existence of Santa Claus as well!

Frank Parker's recording of "O Holy Night" reminds us of the meaning of Christmas, and Perry Como closes the broadcast with his merry reminder that "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

May all of us, especially our brave troops in harm's way, celebrate Christ's birth in the grace, hope, love, peace, and joy of our risen Lord and Savior! .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-20-15

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 198


Christmas is truly a "Time for Joy," as the Gaither Homecoming Friends' recording reminds us at the start of this special collection of Christmas music. Some 19 classic songs of the season will play without interruption, including a wonderful "Holiday Inn" medley by Bing Crosby on the Kraft Music Hall and another medley on the Armed Forces Radio Service by 4 gals named Dinah Shore, Judy Garland, Frances Langford, and Ginny Simms.

A few songs this week, by request, are reprises of my favorite winter songs, such as "Snow" from the 1954 film "White Christmas," "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting, "Winter Wonder Land" by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers, and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Dean Martin, plus Vaughn Monroe's version of "Let It Snow." Most songs, however, focus on the joys of Christmas or the anticipation of the New Year. Any playlist of favorites should probably begin with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams and end with "O Holy Night" by Perry Como. In between are favorites such as "Silver Bells" by Bob and Dolores Hope from Bob's TV Christmas show in 1978, "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Frank Sinatra, "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" by Perry Como, "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole, "An Old Fashioned Christmas" by Guy Lombardo, "The Only Thing I Want for Christmas (Is Just to Keep the Things That I've Got)" by Eddie Cantor in 1939, and "What Are You Doing New Years?" by Margaret Whiting.

Leading up to "O Holy Night" are "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by EmmyLou Harris, and "Mary, Did You Know?" by the Gaither Homecoming Friends. The medley by Dinah, Judy, Frances, and Ginny includes "Joy to the World," O Come All Ye Faithful," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and "Silent Night" with the Ken Darby Singers. Of all the wonderful recordings of "O Holy Night," Perry Como's version remains our family's favorite. Perry not only reaches the moving high notes, but he seems to sing from deep within his heart and soul. Listening to him now and recalling how he sang it on his outstanding Christmas shows sends chills of excitement from within -- to the very Christmas star of Bethlehem.

Bing's medley was broadcast on his "Kraft Music Hall" on December 14, 1944. Bing, accompanied by the John Scott Trotter orchestra and the Kraft Choral Society, sings songs from his 1942 film "Holiday Inn." He explains how each song follows the plot of the movie, which means we get not only great Christmas favorites but also great "bonus" songs of other holidays such as "Easter Parade" and "Be Careful, It's My Heart" (Valentine's Day). Of course, "Happy Holiday" introduces the medley, and "White Christmas" brings it to its high point.

It's interesting that Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" specifically in 1940 for the "Holiday Inn" movie, along with the other holiday songs, but he didn't think it was anything special. Bing assured him to the contrary and introduced the song on his "Kraft Music Hall' on Christmas day of 1941. By the end of World War II Bing's recording of the song had become the biggest-selling hit of all time. It hit the charts on October 3, 1942, and rose to number 1 by the end of that month where it remained for 11 weeks. Bing's recording was on the top 30 charts sixteen more times and was number 1 in 1945 and 1947.

At one point, we hear the Chief of Special Services during the war, General Reynolds, express his appreciation for the Victory-discs providing the troops with recorded entertainment from home -- entertainment such as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Frank Sinatra. Every month during the war a V-disc kit of 30 records was sent from the RCA plant in Camden, N.J. to ports of call and bases around the European theaters of war. The kit also included an assortment of steel needles for the phonograph, a set of lyric sheets, and a questionnaire asking the soldiers what they wanted to hear in the future. Of course, the most requested song was "White Christmas" by Bing. Sadly, most V-discs were destroyed after the war at the request of the American Federation of Musicians. Several survived, but that's a story that will be continued on another show.

Percy Faith's recording of "Christmas Is" remains on my favorites list, with its sweet melody of joyful sights and sounds that pervade our lives at "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," such as bells that jingle and the beauty of snow and holly. But the deeper and real reason for the season echoes in the words of great spiritual songs -- songs like "Joy to the World" with its lyrics declaring to the world that the Lord has come and for the earth to receive Him as the greatest gift of Christmas: The glorious Savior King and His free gift of eternal life to those who receive Him.

Welcome to a Classics & Curios "Christmas Card" program. Glenda, my bride of 53 years, and I have put together some cherished Christmas moments from OTR, along with some favorite Christmas songs and thoughts on Christmas, including what Christmas means to the Keilstrup family.



Welcome to a Classics & Curios "Christmas Card" program. Glenda, my bride of 53 years, and I have put together some cherished Christmas moments from OTR, along with some favorite Christmas songs and thoughts on Christmas, including what Christmas means to the Keilstrup family.

Andy Williams opens our "Christmas Card" followed by Bing Crosby, Eddie Fisher, Bob and Dolores Hope, Vaughn Monroe, Percy Faith, and Perry Como. From the golden age of radio we hear some Christmas segments from such shows as "Burns & Allen," "Our Miss Brooks," and an "Elgin Christmas Show" with Jack Benny. Jack warms up his "classic" violin to do a delightful duet with Ginny Sims, and "Sugar Throat" George Burns, not to be outdone, makes our faces as well as our hearts smile as he leads the Beverly Hills Uplift Society Carolers' singing" of "Jingle Bells."

Glenda brings Christmas thoughts in verse and a Christmas prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Glenda and Duane share what Christmas means to the Keilstrups followed by their favorite Christmas song -- "O Holy Night" performed by Perry Como. Eddie Fisher's "Winter Wonderland," Bob and Dolores Hope's "Silver Bells," Vaughn Monroe's "Let It Snow," and Bing's "Joy to the World" and "White Christmas" are wonderful highlights, and Perry concludes the program with "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

To end the show with Perry after Andy started it is absolutely appropriate since these classic singers probably had the greatest Christmas shows in the history of television.

Also on this episode are various versions of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," including the classic one from "Fibber McGee and Molly," a cajun version, a Texas one, also one from Louis Armstrong, and more. A highlight is a touching soldier's version. So Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight! .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-27-15

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 199


Classics & Curios celebrates the New Year with a big band remote from 1958 featuring the Guy Lombardo orchestra performing at Lake Tahoe. From that broadcast Guy favors us with five songs in one of his popular Lombardo golden oldies medleys: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," "Button Up Your Overcoat," "Shine on Harvest Moon," "My Gal Sal," and "Every Where You Go." Guy will ask you to sing along, so be prepared!

Our celebration begins with Margaret Whiting asking a timely question in song: "What Are You Doing New Years?" Then we shift to 1945 to review top songs from that year and to highlight three of them, starting with two terrific songs from Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters: "Accentuate the Positive" and "Don't Fence Me In." Next Kitty Kallen and Harry James bring the song that soldiers and their sweethearts played on jukeboxes and sang in their hearts at war's end: "It's Been a Long, Long Time."

Kitty Kallen has stated in interviews that she always sang songs as they were written, without erratic embellishments that detract from the composer's intended melody. No doubt girl singers like Kitty, Helen Forrest, Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Margaret Whiting, Jo Stafford, and Patti Page surely do (or would) listen (with many of us) with concern at the current common practice of singing our National Anthem at many sporting events today with rambling, self styled, up and down phrasing, as if the performers are searching frantically but unsuccessfully for the correct way the song was written.

Kitty was a faithful vocalist to composers from her very first job with Jan Savitt's big band while still a teenager in 1936 continuing on to her hit recordings later in the 1940's and then still later in the 1950's with more hits such as "Little Things Mean a Lot" and "If I Give My Heart to You." She actually had her own radio show in Philadelphia as a pre-teen and never stopped singing songs the way the writers intended during her times with the big bands of Artie Shaw, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Dorsey, and Harry James. To me "little things" such as a good melody still "mean a lot" and that's been true for a "long, long time."

Of course our make-believe musical New Years Eve "party" nears conclusion at midnight with Guy's "Auld Lang Syne," and then Frank Sinatra drops by briefly to add a timely and true parting thought for the New Year. And it is that thought that we celebrate as we wish you a very blessed and Happy New Year from Classics & Curios and the Keilstrup family.

May God bless you with good melodies, good health, and much joy in the New Year! .