Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Treasury Of Christmas Radio Shows




In order to give you time to download and burn these shows to CDs as Christmas gifts, we are doing Christmas a little early this year.   No fear, however.  In mid December I'll post some Christmas TV specials you can download as well.



Radio shows of the 1940's and 1950's were not unlike the television shows that most of us grew up with.   There were variety shows, sitcoms, detective shows, westerns, and even science fiction and horror shows. 


While there genres differed, almost all took notice of traditional American holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years.  


Depending on the type of show, Christmas show offerings might be simply comedy, or music, or something heartwarming or poignant.  


Sometimes it would be a mixture of all of the above.


Of course, versions (and parodies) of famous Christmas stories were often used.   A Christmas CarolTwas The Night Before Christmas, and The Gift of The Magi were all done  . . . probably more times than we can count.


Bing Crosby would often have his wife and kids on his Christmas show, and would sing traditional Christmas Carols, and do a quasi-religious playlet called `The Small One'. 


Dinah Shore would serve up Christmas songs for the boys overseas.


But not every show tried to be heartwarming.


Jack Benny would drive a sales clerk (usually Mel Blanc or Frank Nelson) to the point of suicide each year as he dithered over buying cheap gifts for Rochester, Mary, and Don Wilson.   Even though you knew what was coming, it was always hilarious.


And even Sgt. Friday had holiday stories to tell, and they didn't always have a happy ending.


Such as in the .22 rifle for Christmas episode of Dragnet, where a young boy is accidentally slain by his best friend with the rifle he got for Christmas.  


Better remembered (and far less somber) was The Big Little Jesus, where the detectives investigate the apparent theft of a statue of the baby Jesus  from a Church Manger scene.


Even horror and suspense shows would use Christmas themes, although peace on earth and goodwill to men wasn't always part of the Christmas menu!  


Fair warning if you should download shows like Escape! , Suspense, Quiet Please, or Lights Out!, or even some of the detective shows.


But most shows were family friendly fare. 


In any event, what follows are a sampling of Christmas shows from the Internet Archive's  1930s-1947 Christmas Collection and their 1947-1959 Christmas Collection.



There are more than 200 shows in these two collections, so I won't try to post links to all of them. 


You can readily go to the download pages  HERE  and  HERE to select from the listing.    But here is a representative sampling.


(For most browsers Left Click to Listen - Right Click to Download)





Eddie Cantor Show  1935            5.5 MB

Benny Goodman 1935-12-23        5.3 MB

Song Of Songs  1937                    10 MB

Jack Benny Program   1938          5.3 MB

Snow White                                11 MB

A Christmas Carol                        10 MB

Fibber Cuts Christmas Tree         5.3 MB

Listening To Carols                      5.4 MB

Bing Crosby Christmas Program   10 MB

Gift Of The Magi                          2.3 MB

Holiday Inn Christmas                  5.3 MB

Amos and Andy Show                  5.0 MB

1945 Christmas Special                22 MB

The Night Before Christmas        5.1 MB

Meet Me In St. Louis                   9.7 MB

Milton Berle                                4.9 MB

Fibber McGee  A Lost Key Ring   5.0 MB

Jimmy Durante 1947-12-24          3.6 MB

Bing Crosby -The Small One         3.7 MB

Abbott & Costello 1947-12-24      5.3 MB

Bing 1947 Christmas Show           5.3 MB

Escape!  1947-12-24                     5.2 MB

Casey Crime Photo1947-12-25      5.1 MB

Family Theater 471225 (046)        5.2 MB

Henry Morgan Christmas Show    3.2 MB

The Special Christmas Present    4.8 MB

Sherlock HolmesNew Years Eve   5.3 MB

Quiet Please RainOnNewYear's    4.4 MB

Fibber McGee $10 Gift Certif       4.9 MB

Miracle Of The Bells 1948-05-31   10 MB

Fibber McGee Early Christmas     5.3 MB

Archie Andrews 1948-12-14         3.6 MB

Bob Hope                                    5.5 MB

Sealtest Variety 1948-12-16         5.2 MB

Gregory Peck - Lullaby Of Chris    2.2 MB

Jack Benny 1948-12-19                 5.3 MB

Box 13   The Sad Night                 4.7 MB

Ozzie/Harriet 1948-12-19             5.3 MB


And many . . . many . . .  more  . . . .

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