Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
December, 2018

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-2-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 325


This encore episode concluded Eddie Hubbard's series devoted to Great Song Writers, this time featuring George Gershwin in a broadcast from May 20, 1990. Of course, Eddie had many songs to select in Gershwin's discography including "I Got Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Embraceable You," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Love Walked In," "But Not for Me," "They All Laughed," "A Foggy Day in London Town," "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "Nice Work if You Can Get It," "Summertime," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Swanee," "Fascinating' Rhythm," "Oh, Lady Be Good," "Fidgety Feet," "(I'll Build a) Staircase to Paradise" (an example of Gershwin's significant role in the development of jazz and blues in American popular music), "'S Wonderful," and more.

Eddie selected several songs from Gershwin's stage and film compositions, along with a medley from "Porgy and Bess" and Paul Whiteman's recording of "Rhapsody in Blue." Joining Whiteman in performing some of Gershwin's songs are Lena Horne, Mel Torme, Buddy Clark, Michael Feinstein, Jane Froman, Artie Shaw, Ray Conniff, Jack Jones, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Eddie talks about George's life and also plays a tape recording of George's older brother Ira who wrote many of the lyrics for George's music. Ira talks about the song "A Foggy Day in London Town." Concerning his compositions George said that “’True music must reflect the thought and aspirations of the people and time. My people are Americans. My time is today." (Wikipedia)

George and Ira Gershwin (with lyricist Buddy De Sylva) proclaimed in a joyful show-stopper song that they'd "Build a Staircase to Paradise with a new step every day." Not exactly sound theologically, but Gershwin's songs did indeed build a staircase to musical paradise with a new song virtually every day! .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-9-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 326


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 12-16-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 327


It's a “Time for Christmas Joy," again as the Gaither Homecoming Friends declare on 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.

Also, 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 Emmy Lou 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



Welcome to a Classics & Curios "Christmas Card" program. Glenda, my bride of 54 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 12-23-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 328


At Christmas time and as the New Year approaches with very special memories and dreams from the past it's time for another Classics & Curios tradition, a special broadcast of Dreams & Moments to Remember. 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 Statlers 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 blessed season of happy talk and memories-- but also a time for making new memories, and for dreaming new dreams focusing on our risen Lord Jesus Christ who makes the dream of eternal life a reality for all who accept Him into their hearts.

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 the reality of a world with hearts truly transformed by the Christ of Christmas. May you and yours be blessed with a Merry and Meaningful Christmas!