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Bing Crosby Chesterfield Program - December 19, 1951

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:30 pm

Welcome to something of a departure for the podcast, and the perfect example of how somedays it’s really cool being…well…me.

A while ago, I received a webmaster contact form from my website from Craig Rathbun asking about a very specific episode of the Bing Crosby Chesterfield Program, from December 19, 1951 which included Bing reading a poem, “A Korean Christmas Carol,” written by his father. Apparently Der Bingle had provided the family with a disk of the show, but time took its toll on the disk, which was eventually destroyed. Mr, Rathbun asked if I could help him in finding a copy of this program.

Of course, I immediately turned to the folks on the Internet OTR Digest. I was somewhat disheartened to hear from a handful of people who had either the show before it, or the show after it, but not this particular Christmas program. I had just about written off ever finding a copy when I received email from Frank McGurn telling me he not only had a copy, but knew he had recorded it off-air in 1978.

Frank provided me with not only the copy of this program you’re going to hear, but a precise provenance on his recording; it seems that in 1978, Frank had only two sources for Old-Time Radio…one was Chuck Schaden, who was on a number of different radio stations in the Chicago area, and the other a program that originated from a small station in Elgin, IL which, he said, had only enough power to be heard 10 or 12 miles away. The show, “Old Time Radio from the Attic,” was originated by George Barker and taken over at the time of his death in 1978 by a young man out of a community college in the area, who had apparently done some work with Chuck Schaden; a man named Carl Amari. It was from Carl’s program of December 24, 1978 that this recording originated…Frank mentions it is not excellent quality, but it does exist…and in an odd, time-warp sort of way, we have Carl Amari to thank for this podcast.

As I’ve mentioned before, I hate it when the winter holiday season ends, so I hang on to Christmas trees and New Years’ noisemakers much longer than most people do. So I hope you’ll join me in sitting one more time beside the fire, having one more cup of egg nog, and enjoying the music and fun of this program originally broadcast on December 19, 1951 sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes, with guests Trudy Erwin and Lindsey Crosby, and including a poem written by Lt. Col. Dareell T. Rathbun of St. Petersberg, Florida.

icon for podpress  Bing Crosby Chesterfield Program - December 19, 1951 [33:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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2 Responses to “Bing Crosby Chesterfield Program - December 19, 1951” »


  1. Rob Everest Says:

    Hi Charlie;
    Thanks for this one. I was just telling someone the other day that this was the first year I didn’t hear “Silver Bells” and here it was. Not Hope, who did it every year on his Xmas TV show, but a fine version with Bing, who is one of my favorites.


  3. Nostalgic Rumblings » OTR Digest Issue… Says:

    […] Maybe it’s me, but I’m becoming offended by this…it’s almost as if the subscribers to the OTR Digest are expected to be an unpaid research service for these commercial interests demanding information or programs, and it never occurs to these folks how self-centered that assumption is. Understand, I’m not talking about the folks who are involved in the hobby; we have boatloads of authors (Martin Grams, Jim Cox, Stephen Kallis, David Siegel, and Anthony Tollin, just off the top of my head, and probably dozens more) who routinely participate in the Digest discussions. And I’m not talking about “legitimate” questions from folks dealing with their relatives…heck, I’ve participated more than once in finding long-lost programming for someone. I’m talking about hit-and-runners who don’t give a whit about OTR, and are only interested in having someone else provide them with research material they need “right away” and then vanish into the night never to be seen again. […]

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