Bob and Ray WNBC Early 1953 from Reel 412


(5 stars; 1 reviews)

This episode has not yet been properly dated. Any information to help date the show is appreciated. Some hints from Harry Wilson; At 16:20, Bob and Ray mention that Helen Harkness had been in England to cover the coronation. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth took place on Tuesday June 2, 1953, so this episode would be after that date. According to The New York Times radio listings, the duo ended this program on WNBC (and, presumably, other NBC stations) in mid-September 1953, so this episode would be from late spring to late summer, 1953. During this era, Bob & Ray aired from 12:05am to 12:55am, Monday to Friday nights. At least three episodes identified by the OTRR group as mid-October 1952 also include mentions of the 19 Mule Team Goodwill Tour discussed on this episode. This could have been a very long-running routine (as many Bob & Ray routines were), or perhaps this recording was assembled from different episodes which aired many months apart. Episode information; 0:00 - Bob and Ray discuss 'The 19 Mule Team Goodwill Tour'; Mary McGoon (Ray) questions the wisdom of such an expense, and Wally Ballou (Bob) reports that another network has begun a mule team tour of its own, originating from Hollywood. The tour was likely inspired by the 1952 return of 'Death Valley Days' as a television program, sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, makers of 20 Mule Team Borax. Death Valley Days had aired as a radio program, with the same sponsor, from 1930 to 1951, although beginning in August 1944 it became known as 'Death Valley Sheriff' or simply 'The Sheriff'. 2:20 - A visit to a theatrical rehearsal from the Atlas Theatre, where the chorus line is learning their dance to the tune of 'The Darktown Strutters' Ball' Things aren't going well for the show, which opens the following day; the rehearsal is further hampered by Madeline, the husky-voiced costume lady (Ray). 6:45 - A member of the Howdy Doody audience (Bob) has lost his hat, and holds Bob and Ray responsible. (Howdy Doody's studio was just down the hall from Bob & Ray) 7:50 - An audience member, a colonel at West Point (Ray), is interviewed by Bob. 8:35 - A brief return to the Atlas Theatre in Times Square. 8:55 - Bob and Ray's music man Paul Taubman (sounding a lot like Webley Webster, voiced by Ray) plays a brief tune on his organ. 9:45 - A discussion of what's coming up in the show, in particular the episode of Helen Harkness, Sob Sister. 11:45 - The cleaning man (Ray) shows up and talks about trying to sell the dust he vacuums up to cigarette companies. 13:00 - Tex Blaisdell (Bob) drops by and discusses the new instrument being introduced into the band. 14:20 - An interview with audience member Chester Hardwood (Ray), who is somewhat underwhelmed by a 'This Is Your Life' style surprise guest. 15:25 - An episode of Helen Harkness, Sob Sister, written for radio by O. Lee O'Lahey. After travelling to England to cover the coronation, newspaper reporter Helen is missing and suffering from amnesia, a mental disorder that strikes one in ten mystery programs. Episode description provided by Harry Wilson.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.

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Unknown BnR Reel 412 19:28

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Possibly May 1953 per this:

(0 stars)

(badly OCR'd) Publication: Tucson Daily Citizen Location: Tucson, Arizona Issue Date: Wednesday, May 27, 1953 Page 16 Radio And Television By JOHN CROSBY If You Write Bob Or Ray Make Sure It's Simple Station KVOA will carry the Bob 'and Ray show from 11:15 to 11:55 p. in., Monday through Friday, beginning next Monday night. It will replace "What Do You Think?" during the summer months. Those two amiable sharp- tongued satirists, Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding, now have pretty well wandered over NBC's program schedule. They have been on t ire early morning, midmorning, mid- a f t e r n o o n , early evening and now they have a 50-minute program which comes on at midnight.. T h a t doesn't leave t-h e m a n y place to go from here on in except possibly the 3 a. m. slot, following all those post midnight philosophers, which might not be a bad idea at that. The newest of the Bob and Ray shows, which is broadcast, the'y say, "approximately coast to coasti" resembles all the other ones in that it is entirely .Bob and Ray and their' illimitable supply of voices. , . You'll m e e t ' s o m e of^ the old characters like Mary McGoon (Ray) who still turns out those dizzy recipes. The last one was 'a "dessert-type salad" calculated to turn the strongest stomachs. Mary"also tarried long enough to report t h a t she hadn't heard from her boy friend, Grover, for almost two weeks -- "but then you know it's planting time." IT'S ALWAYS been d i f f i c u l t to pin down the'' p a r t i c u l a r humor of this pair because so m u c h of it depends on timing and inflection. A lot of it, too, is their sheer delight in the unexpected. ' Just after, let's say, Mary McGoon's "dessert-type salad" will come a voice, saying: "The department of roofs has requested public-minded citizens to stop t h r o w i n g things on roofs." Then comes a personal appeal from the commissioner of roofs. "If you want clean roofs, I'm your man." And right after that, Bob's voice: "What kind of a day-has this been?" THE PAIR has a matchless ear for all the cliches of radio and television, its announcers, its commercials, its comedians --and they pitch them in 'recklessly at the most inappropriate moments. The next thing you know they will be interviewing some non- celebrity like a jockey who has never won a race or perhaps just Clement, the night vacuum cleaner man. They're wonderful interviews, being largely a collection of polite ana hopelessly meaningless .platitudes /which will still remind you strongly of most of the day-time interview programs. NATURALLY, Bob and Ray couldn't get through a whole 50 m i n u t e s without a smattering of soap opera, something for which they have a rather terrible weakness. The current one is "Helen Harkness, Sob Sister: The engrossing behind-the-scenes story of newspaper life as seen through the eyes of an attractive widow." ( F r a n k l y , 1 think they'll never improve on one of their soap opera titles "Life Can Be Contagious or the American Album of Familiar Maladies.") When I last listened in, "Helen Harkness, Sob Sister," had just been thrown from a horse; her fiance had crashed in mid- 'Atlantic and life was real grim all the v/ay around. THEN THERE'S Pemberton, the weatherman. "How's the weather for this week end?"-"It's hard for me to explain. Suffice to say ills going to be peachy."-Or Steve Bosco, their · sports reporter, who opens each report with:."This is Steve Bosco, rounding third and being thrown out at home." As a matter of fact, the boys now have a sports editor, Biff Burns, who engages in crusades, the last of which was the promotion of night croquet. "Has night croquet caught on anywhere?" "It's caught on in coal mining areas--people with the little lamps on the heads. Once it's caught on people feel the better for it.''. "Have you got any message for the kids of America?" "I'd like to tell any kid listening to me--get that croquet mallet out and hit that ball." WHEN THEY run out of this. form o'f nonsense, there is a question-and-answer period, the questions being little gems of 'pointlessness. "What about homogenized milk? signed Alfred.' One letter writer said that while riding on trains, he got mighty worried about spots on the countryside'and was advised to check the windows. "When you write us questions, friends, make them simple," advised Bob (or maybe Ray). In that way, you're making our job simpler and at the same time you're Making your job aim- less' © 1953