Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
November, 2016

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 11-6-16

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 231


Here are two CLASSICS & CURIOS favorite patriotic productions from years past in celebration of Veterans’ Day and Election Day.

The first patriotic celebration salutes our armed forces in song, starting with "Wings Over the Navy" by Lew Stone, followed by Sammy Kaye's "Remember Pearl Harbor." Then Ted Lewis and his band perform "Buy American," and the Sons of the Pioneers perform "Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima Isle." Martha Tilton sings "I'll Walk Alone," the great war time song relating to lonely but brave gals on the home front, followed by William Bays' touching "A Soldier's Last Letter." This show's closing song is the 1942 World War II classic "White Cliffs of Dover" by Vera Lynn.

Our second show saluting America begins and ends with “This Land is Your Land" by Bing Crosby. Spaced throughout the program are patriotic recitations spoken by Senator Everett Dirksen whose deep euphonious voice underscores the depth of meaning of the words. The senator performs portions of "Gallant Men," including "The Mayflower Compact," and "The Battle of Fort McHenry" with the story of the birth of our national anthem. Actor Tyrone Power powerfully narrates "The Ballad of the Leatherneck Corps" by Herman Wouk -- a great piece of radio theater recalling achievements of our American soldiers through the years. A very special feature on this show is Red Skelton performing his classic and famous "Pledge of Allegiance" exposition and interpretation to children.

Interspersed are Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" by the Boston Pops and "The Halls of Montezuma." A high point of the program comes with Elton Britt's "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere."

So with that sterling song of America and God during the current violence and political/social upheaval in our land we pay continued heartfelt tribute to our armed forces, along with the first responders who serve gallantly and faithfully to keep us safe and free "in" — as the Mayflower Compact ends — "the name of God." So let us also praise the Lord for our freedom to vote — and may we vote wisely.

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." -- Abraham Lincoln

"There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy her citizens cannot cure." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 11-13-16

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 232


In the aftermath of the election of a new USA president and having just celebrated veterans who have served this country since its birth, it seems appropriate to reflect on some things that have made America great, even remarkable in the history of the world.

It was in 1776 that the completed document known as America’s Charter of Freedom or Independence brought into life the miracle of America, and that's exactly the name of this episode: "The Miracle of America," reflecting the title of the radio broadcast which aired in 1950 on CBS. On this special episode we play "The Miracle of America" once again to salute all the brave service men and women who made and make the miracle known as America and its freedom a reality.

Freely sharing laughter and joy on this program hosted by actor Robert Young are artists like Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Bing and Bob Crosby, Ronald Coleman, Dick Haymes, Jo Stafford, Smilin' Jack Smith, Jerry Gray, and Dinah Shore. Some of the songs performed include "Hoop-Dee-Doo," "The House I Live In," "The Lord's Prayer," and a medley of Stephan Foster songs performed by Lucille Norman and the Lud Gluskin orchestra. Jack Benny and Mary Livingston do a comedy sketch at the racetrack.

Charles Laughton shares his moving experience of becoming a U.S. citizen in 1950, and Governor Earl Warren delivers a short message about America, along with messages from the Secretaries of Commerce and Labor.

And, continuing the celebration of America, Classics & Curios also presents an Independence Day original special production. Phil Spitalny and his Hour of Charm twenty-two piece all girl orchestra and chorus begin the show with a great version of "American Patrol." (Spitalny came to this country from the Ukraine to become a U.S. citizen.) John Philip Sousa's stirring "Stars and Stripes," Bing Crosby's "Road to Victory," and Kate Smith's "God Bless America" highlight the musical celebration.

Quotes on the show from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln remind us of our heritage of faith and the price of freedom. Theodore Roosevelt adds, "Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood -- the virtues that made America."

Believing that those values must never fade, Sammy Kaye salutes our armed forces who keep us free with "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen," sung by Don Cornell.

From "nationalww2museum.org" comes this moving recollection of the Stage Door Canteen, Hollywood branch:

‘The canteen was an instant success, and that success continued. Seven nights a week the building pulsed with hordes of servicemen and young women dancing to the sounds of the most famous bands in the country. Stars abounded...A young actress named Lauren Bacall volunteered at the canteen on Monday nights. ‘There was fierce jitterbugging,” she wrote. ‘Many a time I found myself in the middle of a circle…being whirled and twirled by one guy, then passed on to another, non-stop, until I thought I would drop…It wasn't much to do for the war effort, but it was something”. The sign over the door of the Hollywood canteen read, ‘Through these portals pass the most beautiful uniforms in the world’. ‘The most beautiful people’ could easily have been added to that. Some of those beautiful people made quite a stir on some memorable nights. One regular was movie star Marlene Dietrich. She caused mass hysteria one night when she arrived straight from the set of the fantasy film "Kismet" covered in gold paint. [Bette] Davis, who said volunteering at the canteen was one of the ‘few accomplishments in my life that I am sincerely proud of’, recalled a Christmas Eve that heartthrob crooner Bing Crosby showed up unannounced accompanied by his young sons. The Crosbys sang carols for an hour, she remembered, and ‘there was not a dry eye in the canteen’.”

So in the spirit of honored veterans and of Bing's carols to our Lord and Savior at this critical time in America’s history it’s especially appropriate to recall John Quincy Adam’s words: ”Posterity, you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." And, again, with the words of Theodore Roosevelt let us remind ourselves and the world what the Miracle of America has meant: ”Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood -- the virtues that made America."

May those virtues through God’s guidance miraculously revive and define America again in the days and years ahead as a new president takes office. God bless and save the miracle of America!


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 11-20-16

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 233


Welcome again to a traditional Classics & Curios Big Band Thanksgiving special, slightly edited from our Archives. If you're thankful for great Big Band recordings from all the way back to 1929, this is a show for you. Andy Griffith begins the show by asking you to "Turn Your Radio On" as we "tune" into God, the generous Giver of our blessings. We'll begin by jumping back to the 1940's as we listen to Evelyn Knight and the Stardusters perform "Powder Your Face with Sunshine." This recording was on "Your Hit Parade" for 15 weeks in 1948-1949, 2 weeks at number 1. Evelyn had a bunch of top 40 hits and was a pioneer in early TV, appearing on shows such as "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Colgate Comedy Hour," and "Abbott and Costello."

Peggy Lee blessed us with many songs, including one back in 1947 with the title "It's a Good Day." This is a song that will pick up your spirits and inspire you to sing right along with Peggy, who incidentally wrote the lyrics. Not surprisingly it was on "Your Hit Parade" for 11 weeks. Peggy hit the big time with Benny Goodman, taking Helen Forrest's place in 1941. Her first million seller was "Why Don't You Do Right" in 1943, and she went on to have top 10 hits in 3 consecutive decades. She had success on radio (for example, "Chesterfield Supper Club" and "Jimmy Durante Show"), wrote several song hits, and even mentored artists such as Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra in the art of jazz singing.

Another feel good tune takes us into the snow season and gets us looking not only at Thanksgiving but also toward Christmas. One of my favorite bands had a really great instrumental version of it: Les Brown's 1946 recording of Irving Berlin's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," and Les sent the tune on a “Your Hit Parade" sleigh ride serenade for 7 weeks. It first appeared in the film "On the Avenue" with Dick Powell and Alice Faye and was recorded first by the Mills Brothers in 1938. Later Les and his band of renown performed the song on the Bob Hope's Show, and the reaction was so great that Les' recording company, Columbia, asked him to record it. His response was to tell Columbia to check its vault of recordings because it was already there and had never been released. The Lloyd "Skip" Martin arrangement made it a true classic, and the song was one of the last great big band instrumental hits. Later in 1949-1950 the amazing Mills Brothers put the song back on "Your Hit Parade" for 11 more weeks.

The Mills Brothers give us cause to give thanks for their countless hits, many radio performances, and films. We hear them get softly sentimental with a tune called "Put Another Chair at the Table." A loved one coming home is a special heartfelt blessing, and the Mills Brothers make the most of it, first, as a ballad and, then, in their upbeat swing-touched style making us feel the joy of anticipation of reunited loved ones, as when soldiers return home from war. No group could sing better, ever!

Fred Waring was known as "the man who taught America how to sing" and "America's singing master." President Reagan appropriately awarded him the "Congressional Gold Medal" for his musical contributions to American society. His Fred Waring Banjo Orchestra in the 1920's eventually became Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians. His band performed "You Gotta Be a Football Hero" on radio in 1933 to great acclaim, and he went on to sell millions of records in the 1940's and 1950's. I especially enjoy his early band recordings, and also his popular later choral works like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." One of my Mother's favorite songs was one that she would often hum in the kitchen, and to her it told of her deep love for her family. That beautiful song: "I'll Always Be in Love with You." She first heard Fred Waring performing it on his 1929 recording. Now she sings it in the Lord's heavenly choir, and the message is still true.

As the great English author Thomas Carlyle said, "Music is well said to be the speech of angels." So it follows that through good music angels often remind us of precious past blessings and anticipate future blessings together. Appropriately Andy Griffith sings "Precious Memories" to end our show as we briefly celebrate Thanksgivings past and present with some of God's blessings in music. My Thanksgiving wish for you, in the words of a Meredith Willson song title, is: "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You."

On a personal note, I am especially thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who enables us to sing and soar in His glory, grace, love, joy, and eternal hope. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And please pray in the name of the Lord for the USA!


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 11-27-16

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 234


Time for another favorite traditional CLASSICS & CURIOS episode. After Thanksgiving it's almost the Christmas season again and time for classic winter songs about cold weather, snow, and of keeping warm with love and a delightful fire. On this slightly edited reprise of Episode 195 here are a few of my family's favorites, such as 1950's "Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter" by Bing Crosby, "Button Up Your Overcoat" by Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest, "The Skaters' Waltz (in Swingtime)" by Bob Crosby (originally on a V-Disc recording), and "Happy Holiday" by Bing Crosby from the wonderful 1942 film "Holiday Inn." I especially love songs like "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer, "Snow" by Bing, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen from the 1954 movie "White Christmas," and "Sleigh Ride" by Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers.

More great snow songs are "Winter Wonderland" by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers (on a radio broadcast), "Let It Snow" by Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers, 1959's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," by Dean Martin, and "Frosty the Snowman" by Gene Autry. Gene and Rosemary Clooney also bring cute snow song curios like "What If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas" and "Suzy Snowflake," respectfully. Les Brown provides our opening and closing theme with his famous 1946 instrumental version of "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm."

Back in my early teens in Nebraska my parents often took me to Omaha's Orpheum Theater to enjoy stage shows that featured great bands, such as those of Sammy Kaye, Gene Krupa, Horace Heidt, and others, Frankie Carle among them. Frankie was known as "The Wizard of the Keyboard" and became very well known while with Horace Heidt's band and even became co-leader of that orchestra. He later formed his own band in 1947 and his daughter Marjorie Hughes became the lead female vocalist. I can still hear the band at the Orpheum playing Frankie's theme "Sunrise Serenade," one of his several big hits in the 1940's and 1950's including "Oh, What It Seemed to Be." Frankie's delightful winter song on this show is "Little Jack Frost Get Lost" sung by Marjorie.

Several stars on our show have a history of performing together: Dick Haymes with Helen Forrest on recordings and on their CBS radio show from 1944 to 1947 and Margaret Whiting with long time friend and mentor Johnny Mercer. Sinatra harmonized exceptionally well with the Pied Pipers after his experience at the start of his career with the Hoboken Four in 1935. Jo Stafford was part of the original 8 member group which, after reducing their number to 4 when Tommy Dorsey could only afford that many, became famous with Dorsey and later on Capitol records. Band leader Paul Weston observed that the Pipers were ahead of their time. He said that "Their vocal arrangements were like those for a sax section and a brass section, and they would interweave, singing unison or sometimes sing against each other's parts. It was revolutionary and we'd never heard anything like it." That comment led Tommy Dorsey to hire the group to sing on the Raleigh Kool cigarettes program. All in all the group had some 13 charted hits with Dorsey, 9 of them with Sinatra. When Johnny Mercer's Capitol records signed the Pipers in 1945, 12 more hits resulted. Interestingly, that Capitol connection came about indirectly because Tommy's temper led him to fire one of the group for giving him wrong directions at a train station in Portland, Oregon. That in turn led the Pipers to quit the Dorsey band together in a display of unity.

Spring or fall may still be in our hearts, but the season is almost winter, and winter brings a special reason to sing on this episode. Winter's gentle snowflakes signal the advent of the Christmas season and its reason: the birth of Jesus Christ, when "the mountains and hills will break forth with shouts of joy ... and all of the trees of the field will clap their hands." (Is. 56) Time to toss some logs on the fire, turn on the old phonograph to spin some golden records, and rejoice in the beauty of the Lord's wintry musical majesty as we set the scene for Christmas.

See Wikipedia and several online sources for more on the topic of the Pied Pipers