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.