Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
March, 2020

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 3-1-20

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 380


We continue with programs 11 and 12 of what jazz pioneer and Jazzology founder George H. Buck called “one of the greatest jazz programs ever aired in the history of jazz.” These shows of “This Is Jazz,” covering the period from 1870-1947 are virtually all collector pieces. When you listen to “This Is Jazz,” as Bing Crosby said to Louis Armstrong in the movie “High Society,” “Now you ‘has’ jazz.” (See more on Bing and Satch in NOTES below.)

Jazz historian and author Rudi Blesh is bandleader and narrator of the weekly Saturday afternoon thirty-minute broadcasts on Mutual station WOR in New York. Rudi emphasizes the improvisation nature of jazz and how improvisations almost miraculously fit together even though each new playing of a tune is different so that each performer is in effect a composer. Thus on this first show Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag,” written in 1897, virtually becomes new as the band adds improvisational nuances. Rudi adds, “It’s an American art form reflecting joy of living in both sweet and hot music.”

Joining regulars Pops, Baby, George, Danny, and Albert on the first program from April 19, 1947, are guest musicians James Johnson, Bill Davis, Sydney Bechet, and nineteen-year-old Bob Wilber.

Special tunes on the first of two 30-minute shows are:

Maple Leaf Rag
Basin Street Blues
Polka Dot Stomp
Dancin’ Through the Night
Jazz Me Blues
Carolina Shout
Panama March

The second broadcast of this episode is one of the series’ most famous productions, highlighting legendary Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong playing trumpet and adding vocals on tunes like:

When the Saints Go Marching In
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
Dipper Mouth Blues
Basin Street Blues
High Society
I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You


One of my greatest joys during my 37 years as professor at The University of Texas at Arlington came when “Satchmo” and his All Stars played a concert on campus. The following notes are compiled from RadioSwissJazz.ch and Wikipedia:

Louis Armstrong’s career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. Prior to Armstrong, most collective ensemble playing in jazz, along with its occasional solos, simply varied the melodies of the songs. Armstrong was virtually the first to create significant variations based on the chord harmonies of the songs instead of merely on the melodies. This opened a rich field for creation and improvisation, and significantly changed the music into a soloist's art form.

With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also very skilled at scat singing. Armstrong is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.

At a recording session for Okeh Records, when the sheet music supposedly fell on the floor and the music began before he could pick up the pages, Armstrong simply started singing nonsense syllables while Okeh president E.A. Fearn, who was at the session, kept telling him to continue. Armstrong did, thinking the track would be discarded, but that was the version that was pressed to disc, sold, and became an unexpected hit. Although the story was thought to be apocryphal, Armstrong himself confirmed it in at least one interview as well as in his memoirs. Actually, Ethel Waters precedes his scatting on record in the 1930s according to Gary Giddins and others.

The nicknames Satchmo and Satch are short for Satchelmouth. Like many things in Armstrong's life, which was filled with colorful stories both real and imagined, many of his own telling, the nickname has many possible origins. The most common tale that biographers tell is the story of Armstrong as a young boy dancing for pennies in the streets of New Orleans, who would scoop up the coins off of the streets and stick them into his mouth to avoid having the bigger children steal them from him. Someone dubbed him "satchel mouth" for his mouth acting as a satchel. Another tale is that because of his large mouth, he was nicknamed "satchel mouth" which became shortened to Satchmo. Early on he was also known as Dipper, short for Dippermouth, a reference to the piece Dippermouth Blues.

During his long career he played and sang with some of the most important instrumentalists and vocalists of the time; among them were Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, Jimmie Rodgers, Bessie Smith and perhaps most famously Ella Fitzgerald. His influence upon Crosby is particularly important with regard to the subsequent development of popular music: Crosby admired and copied Armstrong, as is evident on many of his early recordings, notably "Just One More Chance" (1931).

Armstrong had nineteen "Top Ten" records including "Stardust", "What a Wonderful World", "When The Saints Go Marching In", "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Ain't Misbehavin'", "You Rascal You", and "Stompin' at the Savoy". In 1964, Armstrong knocked The Beatles off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Hello, Dolly!", which gave the 63-year-old performer a U.S. record as the oldest artist to have a number one song.

Armstrong appeared in more than a dozen Hollywood films, usually playing a bandleader or musician. His most familiar role was as the bandleader cum narrator in the 1956 musical, High Society, in which he sang the title song and performed a duet with Bing Crosby on "Now You Has Jazz". Duke Ellington said, "If anybody was a master, it was Louis Armstrong." In 1950, Bing Crosby, the most successful vocalist of the first half of the 20th century, said, "He is the beginning and the end of music in America."


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 3-15-20

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 381


The bandstand is buzzing! Here come Woody, Artie, Jimmy, Charlie, and Harry -- Herman, Shaw, Dorsey, Spivak, and James, respectively, along with Claude, Les, Glen, and Dick -- Thornhill, Brown, Gray, and Jurgens, that is! It's sort of a "battle of the bands" featuring songs such as "Dancing in the Dark," "Fools Rush In," "Stardust," "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night," "Royal Garden Blues," "Deed I Do," "Maybe," "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me," "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World." Vocalists such as Bob Eberle, Helen Forrest, Eddie Howard, Doris Day, the Andrews Sisters, and Vaughn Monroe bring their talents into the "battle," and the result is a remarkable bandstand standoff, making you and me the winners!

On this great show the Browsers also bring a trivia question "battle" designed to bring back some music memories, to expand our knowledge of big band history, or to add to our inventory of purely trivial information. For fun, who, for example, had the original recording of "Royal Garden Blues"? Can you name the instrument that comedian Jackie Gleason played as a young man? Or what was radio's Harry von Zell's show business profession before he became an announcer? What instrument did Spike Jones play? Can you name the movie that featured the song "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night"? Or who wrote the song "Fools Rush In"? Maybe you know who first recorded the vintage song "Harbor Lights."

Also, can you name 3 instrumental versions of "Stardust"? Or perhaps Claude Thornhill's vocalists? You might know that Les Brown started his first band at Duke University, but can you come up with the band's name? How about identifying the president after whom Woody Herman was named? The first name of the singer on Phil's "Phooler" recording, by the way, is the same as the first name as one of the band leaders on this broadcast.

My favorite question involves the definition of a "sweet band." There was a "sweet band" that Louis Armstrong especially liked. Can you name it? And what "swing" band leader admitted to Sammy Kaye that he liked the "sweet band" sound during romantic moments, even though he made fun of Sammy's band with a recording that had the (here partial) title of "Swing and Sweat with ..."?

Of course, some of the Browsers occasionally can't come up with answers, but it's all great fun, and, of course, it's the music that is the main focus, and as usual Eddie keeps things moving along smoothly and adds a couple of Extras in place of commercials, such as the delightful curio "Civilization" with the Andrews Sisters and Danny Kaye. The program begins with Eddie's Extra, the recording of "Crazy Otto," that delightful ragtime instrumental by Johnny Maddox which my high-school pals and I used to listen to on the car radio back in 1955. The "Otto" tune actually included 3 tunes popular in Germany along with Irving Berlin's "Play a Simple Melody." I did not know about the German connection at the time, and ironically, the Lord soon led me on a career path of joy, learning and teaching German language, literature, and culture. So, Crazy Otto, Achtung! Fertig! Los! (Ready! Set! Take it Away!)

Again, special thanks to Jerry Haendiges Productions for adapting the original studio tape of this "Browsers" show for highest quality rebroadcast.


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 3-22-20
New programs added every Sunday

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 382


Time to return to Trivia Tower and the Browsers with several songs centering on the theme of love. The Mills Brothers set the stage for the show with "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," a song they originally recorded in 1932 with a tune on the flip side called "Diga Diga Doo." Phil's "Phooler" is "You Are Too Beautiful" by a captivating crooner who was killed in a plane crash at the height of his career at the age of 37. This singer's most popular recording was "Linda," which reached number one on the charts in 1947. His real name was Sam Goldberg. Enough hints?

Standout love tunes on this program include the lovely 1940 hit "Imagination" by Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. This recording focuses on the Browsers' question, "Who had the biggest hit recording of the song?" Louis Armstrong performs 1951's "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," which leads to the question, "What was the original title of the song?" Then there is "I'll Never Say Never Again, Again," made popular in 1952 by Benny Goodman and Helen Ward. The question for this tune is, "Can you name songs with 2 of the same words in the title?" Another great tune is "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans." The Browsers for that one ask, "Can you name which band had this for its theme song?" Oscar Peterson's orchestra performs "Shiny Stockings," which poses the question, "What other songs had only 2 words in the title?" Also, Wayne King brings a pleasing medley of "Wabash Blues" and "I Cried for You," but can you identify who had the original hits for these songs? Another question is based on the recording by Tony Pastor called "Paradiddle Joe" and asks us to give Tony's real name. (I had to go to the dictionary to discover that "paradiddle" means a regular series of drumbeats.)

In place of radio commercials Eddie Hubbard plays extras that fit into the love theme, such as Dick Haymes' 1952 recording "When I Fall in Love," Leroy Anderson's beautiful 1952 instrumental hit "Blue Tango," and the "Love Theme" from the 1980 film "Airport."

Then we arrive at 2 recordings that, for me, make up the "piece de resistance" of this set of songs: "Stardust" with Hoagy Carmichael and "A Dreamer's Holiday" with Perry Como. The question for Perry's recording has to do with his marriage, specifically how long they were married until his bride and best friend Roselle passed away in 1998. Mr. "C" sings 1949's "A Dreamer's Holiday" for us with lyrics that include poetic phrases like "scrambled stars" and "rainbow candy bars." The song takes us aboard a butterfly on breezes and asks us to "sprinkle [happiness] with mirth" all the while taking "along the one we love." Mr. "C" was probably one of the most loved and respected entertainers ever and arguably among the top 2 or 3 crooners of the 20th century. He remained faithful to Roselle throughout their marriage and was respectful and tasteful to all in all his performances. Whenever he performed he indeed took his audience with him on "A Dreamer's Holiday."

"Stardust," first recorded as "Star Dust" without lyrics by Hoagy in 1927 by "Hoagy and His Pals," -- among them the Dorseys -- combines melody and lyrics to make it perhaps the most beautiful popular song of the 20th century. Hoagy's song about a song about love turns out to be the perfect fit for lyricist Mitchell Parish's 1929 poetic phrases such as "the stardust of yesterday," "the stardust of a song," "a song that will not die," "the melody haunts my reverie." And "the purple dusk of twilight time steals across the meadows of my heart." Gently "the little stars" climb in the sky as reminders to the singer that he is apart from his lover. Evidence of the song's significance can be found in the ever growing number of recordings through the years, now approaching 2000. Perhaps the most important version was by bandleader Isham Jones who brought popularity to the tune as a ballad in 1930. A very young Bing Crosby cut a recording in 1931 which pretty well launched the "Stardust" tune into a "little stars" orbit of "cover" recordings. While Hoagy's recording here on this show is wonderful, moving, and appropriate, I believe no one yet surpasses Nat King Cole's version for beautiful lush arrangement, perfect voicing, unsurpassed orchestration, and heart. Reviewers have called "Stardust" the song of the century, and it has truly earned it's proper place in the Library of Congress. Mr. "C" and "A Dreamer's Holiday" is great, but "Stardust" itself is "A Dreamer's Holiday" come true.

Closing the show is Pete Fountain's recording of Sy Oliver's jazz/gospel song "Yes, Indeed!" as if to affirm the theme and celebration of genuine love touched on in the music of this episode. .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 3-29-20
New programs added every Sunday

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 383


Introductory Comments

The idea for a Frankie Laine Tribute show was actually conceived back in the year 2004 when I read Frankie's autobiography "That Lucky Old Son." I soon began collecting interview and radio clips and recordings, and finally started production. Any tribute could and perhaps even should play all of Frankie's 21 gold records and a huge stack of his wonderful recordings which would, however, extend the show to many hours. With limited time, my tribute's main goal was to let Frankie talk briefly about his career and as far as possible to focus on recordings that reflect some of his remarks within the framework of his remarkable diversity and his passionate "Desire" to bring joy to our ears, hearts, and souls.

The tribute premier broadcast took the form of a series of 6 shows in 2006 on YesterdayUSA, thanks to Bill Bragg and Walden Hughes. This 2013 broadcast on Jerry Haendiges' network is the premier for all 6 tribute segments to be broadcast together. So special thanks go to Jerry Haendiges Productions for making this possible, originally in conjunction with Team Frankie Laine's gala celebration of Frankie's 100th birth date at the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island, San Diego on March 24, 2013. My deep appreciation also extends to Team Frankie Laine, but most of all my ongoing appreciation to Frankie Laine for his music, for his interviews, for his kindness, and most of all for calling me his friend and Team Partner.


This first portion of the Frankie Laine Tribute focuses on the early years of Frankie's career. Frankie talks about his first "real recording," "Melancholy Madeline," with Oscar Moore and his Three Blazers, which sold 100,000 copies because, as Frankie explains, many people thought the singer was really Nat King Cole using "a phony name."

Then came "I May Be Wrong" which, as Frankie says, "started everything." Band leader Milton DeLugg, who recorded the song with Frankie, tells us in an interview about the "magic" and "fire" that Frankie had in his voice and which immediately came across in that recording and continued throughout his career. Frankie points out that "I May Be Wrong" was actually on the "B" side of the record. The "A" side featured one of the regular characters on Jack Benny's program played by Artie Auerbach, namely, Mr. Kitzel. Frankie shares in detail in his autobiography about Mr. Kitzel's nervousness during the recording session, how Frankie played a part in the background for Artie, and how Mr. Kitzel's problem affected the time left for Frankie to record "I May Be Wrong."

In 1947 came "That's My Desire," the first of his 21 gold records. In Frankie's autobiography "That Lucky Old Son" Frankie tells exactly what he told the audience at Billy Berg's night club in Los Angeles before he performed the song for the very first time, even before he even recorded it. You'll hear me tell what Billy Berg's audience heard that night.

Bing Crosby, who early on influenced Frankie and many others, often unselfishly invited contemporary crooners to share the airways with him on his "Bing Crosby Show," and so he did with Frankie in 1947, when Frankie sang "Desire" for all America to hear. Frankie was very nervous, but Bing gives him a great introduction, and they exchange a few words. On this clip from that "Crosby Show," we'll also hear Bing's "The Old Chaperone," along with a few words from Bing about the patriotic Freedom Train touring the country from 1947 to 1949 with the Declaration of Independence and precious historical documents.

One of Frankie's good friends was Herb Jeffries. Herb was the first black cowboy in a Hollywood film, appearing in 1939 as "The Bronze Buckaroo" and later became lead vocalist with Duke Ellington from 1940 to 1942. While Herb's biggest hit recording was "Flamingo," selling over 50 million copies in 1940, one of my favorites, and I think also of Frankie's, has been "As Time Goes By." So in honor of Frankie's memory and in honor of Herb, still going strong at the age of 100, we'll enjoy Herb's excellent recording of that great song about the passage of time and "the fundamental things."

Part 1 closes with an interview segment in which Frankie looks back at "how it all got started" back in 1928, and his story will continue in Part 2 of the tribute with more about the people who influenced him on his way to stardom.


This portion of the tribute highlights some of the influences in Frankie's life and career, including his mother and such performers as Al Jolson, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Hoagy Carmichael, band leader Carl Fischer, and even an actor on the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" who sang jazz songs as a child.

Young Frankie was really impressed with Al Jolson's singing style in 1927's "The Jazz Singer," but Bessie Smith provided the direction of his jazz style singing with her 1923 "Downhearted Blues," which Bessie sings on this show segment and which, incidentally, was included among the (controversial) "Songs of The Century" by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts in 2001.

Hoagy Carmichael was instrumental in getting Frankie's first night club booking, and we get to hear Hoagy and Satchmo perform "Rockin' Chair" from 1929, as well as Armstrong alone on 1931's "Sleepy Time Down South." Mentioned in Frankie's autobiography is a gal who later in life gained acting fame on the "Dick Van Dyke Show" on TV in the early 1960's. She was known early as "Baby Rosemarie" and even at the age of nine led Frankie to imitate her style on a particular song. Baby Rosemarie sings her 1932 recording "Take a Picture of the Moon."

We'll hear Frankie perform his 1948 "monster" million seller called "Shine" that came a year to the day after "Desire" appeared. Next it's "On the Sunny Side of the Street," from the 1949 movie "Make Believe Ballroom" on an edited portion of radio's "Big Show" from 1950. Frankie also sang that song in the 1951 film of the same name. On the same "Big Show" is a special treat: a portion of Meredith Willson's composition "It's Easter Time," a song perfect to reflect Frankie's faith and the nearness of his March 30 birth date to the holiday of Easter, this year on March 31.

Finally, on Part 2 of the tribute Frankie tells the story behind the recording "Music Maestro, Please," conceived and completed in 6 minutes. On the recording, Frankie talks with the "French waiter" Henry, actually a member of the Carl Fischer band, and Carl and his piano and Frankie perform their "Maestro" magic.

Thus Carl Fischer, Al Jolson, Bessie Smith, Hoagy Carmichael, Satchmo, and even Baby Rosemarie were among many who helped shape Frankie's style and performances that amazingly carried into his 90's.


The "Tribute to Frankie Laine." show continues to embrace some 6 decades of Frankie's recordings, his amazing diversity, and several songs from his 21 gold records. While the first 2 tribute parts highlighted early influences and his rise to stardom, in Part 3 we'll showcase Frankie's duets with some great ladies of song, including Patti Page, Doris Day, and Jo Stafford. Frankie performs songs like "Sugarbush" with Doris and "I Love You for That" with Patti. We'll hear Frankie and Jo on "Hey, Good Lookin'" and jazz versions of "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" and "High Society." Fun novelties include "If I Were You I'd Love Me" with Patti and "How Lovely Cooks the Meat" with Doris.

Then Frankie's unique energetic rendition of classic country tunes takes center stage in Part 4. Frankie adds his own observations from time to time, and performers like the late Patti Page and actor Clint Walker contribute their comments on Frankie. And Frankie shares the hugely popular theme song from TV's "Rawhide," along with wonderful western recordings such as "Mule Train," "Midnight Gambler, "The 3-10 to Yuma," and "Along the Navajo Trail." In his last decade of performing Frankie recorded the CD "The Nashville Connection," which has 2 of his final recordings that are my favorites. The first is "Contagious," which characterizes all of Frankie's energetic performances and "Father Time," which is a touching tune reflecting courage and never giving up in face of the adversity of passing time and diminishing performance.

Also in Part 4, we get a chance to experience some of Frankie's acting talent when in 1950 Frankie was a guest on "The Bob Hope Show," broadcast from Coronado Island Naval Base near San Diego. Frankie does a fun and funny cowboy sketch with Bob in which they sing an exaggerated but delightful duet of "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie." Frankie "hams it up," and Bob "stops the show" with an imitation of Frankie doing "That's My Desire." Earlier in 1949 Frankie joined Peggy Lee on radio's "The Chesterfield Supper Club." Peggy does "This Can't Be Love," and Frankie sings "September in the Rain."

In addition we'll hear another song from Frankie's friend Herb Jeffries, the screen's "Bronze Buckaroo" and Duke Ellington's great jazz vocalist. This time Herb sings "I'm a Happy Cowboy." That "Happy Cowboy" song title reflects both Herb's and Frankie's outlook on all of life and eternity as well. In fact, though Frankie went "Beyond the Blue Horizon" to the Lord in 2007, right now I can almost hear him saying it's his "Desire" to remind us of C.S. Lewis' words: "There are far better things ahead than anything we left behind." And until we have those "better things," virtually all of his recordings are still available on the Team Frankie Laine website at frankielaine.com.


Part 5 of our tribute show features Frankie's recordings that reflect his fervent faith and positive outlook on life. Among special performances, we'll hear a segment from a Bob Hope show on which Frankie sings "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die." A popular favorite is his "This Time You Gave Me a Mountain," written for Frankie by Marty Robbins. We'll also hear a portion of Frankie's "Answer Me, Oh My Lord," along with Nat King Cole's "Answer Me, Oh, My Love," both virtually the same tune, but only Nat's got radio time and was a commercial success.

After Mitch Miller and Frankie collaborated on "High Noon" Mitch brought him "I Believe," which was on "Your Hit Parade" for 23 weeks. Frankie said that to him the song was more of a prayer than a song. Then Frankie sings "Put Your Hand in the Hand (of the Man from Galilee)," and his rendition is joyfully upbeat in the finest tradition of southern gospel tunes. Another gospel great is "Rain, Rain, Rain," with Frank Busseri and the Four Lads. Frankie ends Part 5 with a prayer expressed by the song "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You."

Part 6, devoted to his love of jazz, begins with Frankie telling us who the artists were who especially influenced his jazz singing style, such as Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole. A special treat is Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five performing the 1928 recording of "West End Blues" followed by Frankie's 1947 version. One of Frankie's best jazz recordings is "Stars Fell on Alabama" from the album "Jazz Spectacular" with Buck Clayton, an album often praised by critics as one of the best jazz collections ever.

Frankie had a special friendship and professional association with Nat King Cole. Ironically, as he points out in his autobiography Frankie's first recordings led many to believe he was black, and Nat's led many to think he was white. It seems appropriate to play Frankie's recording of "Black and Blue." And interestingly Frankie had hoped to do a new album called "Black and Blues," but sadly it never happened. He talks about it among the interview comments on the show.

After Frankie performs on a 1948 Spike Jones' "Spotlight Review" program, we'll turn to Frankie's songwriting skill which he demonstrated with such notable composers as Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael. We'll hear Frankie's best composition, written in 1948 with Carl Fischer, the touching hit song "We'll Be Together Again." One of Bob Hope's vocalists talks about it.

Frankie's patriotism, energy, and lifelong love of jazz combine to produce a wonderful version of "Stars and Stripes Forever." That's a fitting song as we approach the end of our 6-part tribute journey with songs that reflect Frankie's very heart and soul, such as "He," "Beyond the Blue Horizon," "Lucky Old Sun," and "Young at Heart." Our tribute celebration appropriately comes to a close with Frankie's "That's All." And Happy Birthday Anniversary on behalf of millions of Frankie fans all over the world! .