Sunday, January 10, 2010

Exiting An Era, Side By Side




By the early 1960s television had pretty much reduced radio in the United States to the playing of various genres of music, and the budding `talk radio’ format.  


Gone were most of the radio dramas, comedies, and variety shows that had plied the airwaves for more than 30 years.  Those shows could now be seen and heard on TV.  


Radio was in transition, and while it would reinvent itself during the decade that would follow, there were a few attempts to recapture the `golden age’.   


One such attempt was the Bing Crosby – Rosemary Clooney Radio Show.



While most of you probably don’t remember this radio show . . .it aired at 11:40 weekday mornings, and ran for 20 minutes to lead into the noon news, it was one of the last radio variety shows.

Unlike many radio shows, these were cobbled together with banter recorded weeks in advance, and recorded songs inserted into the show by the producer.  Some would be single efforts by Bing or Rosie, and some would be duets.


The first dozen or so shows opened with the ending strains of `Side by Side’, but eventually that opening was dropped in favor of a conversational `hook’.


The third leg of this show was Ken Carpenter, a well known radio announcer from the 1940s and 1950s, who worked with Bing Crosby for 27 years.


Bing and Rosie, of course, had been a big hit six year earlier in the Christmas classic `White Christmas’, and had appeared together often during the 1950s  (see Hardly An Edsel Of A Show for a terrific example).


The Crosby-Clooney show was obviously aimed at housewives.  The sponsors were generally household products, like Fels-Naptha soap or G.E. Softwhite light bulbs.   The music was mostly pop standards, to appeal to adults, not the teenagers of the time.


This show, along with Arthur Godfrey Time,  Garry Moore and the audio from Art Linkletter's House Party TV show, were part of the CBS radio morning lineup during the early 1960s.


We’ve 222 single episodes of this charming, music filled radio show on The Internet Archive.


The Bing Crosby-Rosemary Clooney Show - Single Episodes - Old Time Radio Researchers Group

THE BING CROSBY - ROSEMARY CLOONEY SHOW In 1960, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney teamed together in The Bing Crosby - Rosemary Clooney Show on CBS. This was a 20 minute show aimed at female listeners and was broadcast at 11:40 a.m. daily. Bing and Rosie would tape the dialogue weeks in advance and songs would be interpolated. The songs would usually feature Bing and Rosie singing solos and often a duet.



You can listen to individual episodes, or download them from this link.  If you want the entire collection, you can download 4 CD’s of MP3s from here.


By the end of 1962, CBS decided to drop the Crosby-Clooney show as they continued their attempts to revamp their radio offerings.


Luckily, we’ve got hundreds of episodes to enjoy.

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