Bob and Ray WHDH August 2nd 1949

(4.5 stars; 2 reviews)

0:00 - After a slightly upcut opening, Mary McGoon (Ray) drops by to discuss her upcoming swim to 'Boston Light' and back. Boston Light is the lighthouse on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, first lit in 1783. The original Boston Light (America's first lighthouse, built in 1716) suffered much damage during the American Revolution, and was finally blown up by the British in June 1776. The eight-mile marathon Boston Light Swim has been an annual tradition since 1907 (with a hiatus during WWII), although the first documented swim from the mainland to the lighthouse was Peter McNally's ten-mile swim on September 3, 1898, which originated from Charlestown Bridge. 'Shirley May France', whom Mary references, was a marathon swimmer and native of Fall River, Massachusetts who made three attempts to swim the English Channel, the first on September 6, 1949, about five weeks after this broadcast. A few weeks before this broadcast, at age 16, she swam fourteen miles from Lower Manhattan to Coney Island in 5 hours 40 minutes. At 1:20, Bob asks Mary "Are you going to swim the way...?"; Mary replies "Oh no, oh no, no no, absolutely not, Bob. No no, absolutely not, Bob! There may be photographers there to take my picture..." This exchange refers to a much-ballyhooed, and completely untrue, rumour that the wholesome Miss France would make her English Channel swim in the nude. 4:15 - Bob and Ray's regular WHDH musicians Ken Wilson (organ) and Bill Green (piano) play the 1935 Cole Porter song 'Just One Of Those Things'. 6:20 - Bob comments on Ken and Bill looking good in their best bib and tucker. 'Best bib and tucker' was a phrase originating in the 18th century, already archaic in 1949, for one's best clothing. (In the 1700s and 1800s, bibs and tuckers were decorative items of clothing worn on the upper front of a lady's dress). Bob then introduces the comedy stylings of 'Bib & Tucker'. 6:50 - 'Garcia' comes in with lunch for the boys, and endures some ribbing about his (blue) outfit, and even strains of Gershwin's 'Rhapsody In Blue' on the organ, accompanied by whistling. At the end of the segment, Ray refers to the visitor as 'Norm'. 8:55 - Ray thinks he is King Arthur, yet retains a rough-edged Yankee accent. Robin Hood and his 'band' are soon invoked as well, in a commercial for 'The Sherwood Forest Inn'. 10:50 - A singing commercial for Chesterfield cigarettes. 11:20 - Bob mentions that they had a request to sing more songs; they then reprise 'Just One Of Those Things' accompanied by Ken and Bill on piano, organ, and bells. 13:25 - Ray, in a somewhat 'medicine show' voice and demeanor, does a commercial for New Haven Railroad. 14:45 - Another episode in the life of the homely little philosopher, Ben Dover (Bob). Ben is visited at his candy store by Eddie (Ray); they discuss candy, and the sheriff running Eddie out of town. 18:20 - Bob uses Ray's milkshake as a segue into a commercial for The Park Lane Restaurant; the discussion turns to musicians in restaurants, and their very relaxing music. 22:50 - A visit from Fu Manchu (Bob), who seems to be hosting a 'Mr. Anthony' style program, offering people advice for dealing with their problems. 24:35 - A brief discussion of Ray's sandwich, followed by Ken and Bill playing 'If This Isn't Love', possibly to give Ray time to finish his lunch. This version of the song, from the 1947 Broadway musical 'Finian's Rainbow', may not be familiar to modern listeners, as the 1968 film version used quite a different arrangement. 26:20 - A very slow commercial for Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, Massachusetts, commonly known as 'Wonderland Revere'. Ken and Bill play music, nearly drowning Bob out. Episode annotation by Harry Wilson

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



BaR1949-08-02 31:03



(4 stars)

These free-wheeling Matinees on WHDH can be lots of fun and this is one of the better ones. I always enjoy appearances by announcer Norm Prescott, mainly because he's better known to people as one of the owners of the Filmation animation studio in the 1960s-70s. It appears we're privy to a station inside joke here. Norm must have been a fashion plate. On one show, he did a spot for a local clothier (I suspect he had a contra deal where they supplied him with tailored suits). Here, he and Bob and Ray are kibbitzing about clothes. The sound quality of this transcription dub is good so you can hear what Norm's saying off mike. Bob and Ray singing the Chesterfield jingle (and, earlier, the one for Mission Bell Wines) is always a treat, and we get more singing later in this show (they picked Ray's key, not Bob's). Fans will know Mary's swim was re-written when B&R moved to NBC in 1951. Board op Eddie Collins has some accidental fun with the Wonderland fanfare transcription.

Thank goodness for sanity

(5 stars)

Dear Bob and Ray, Thank you...your radio broadcasts as we have them now in The Archive are splendid antidotes to whatever it is that these broadcasts are anti to...They certainly are pro-humanity... Please record more 1940's early 50's need to stop now while the momentum is at such a peak. Oh, and Ken and Bill - youse guys areda best...good music, too.