Ben Bernie

Ben Bernie was a popular bandleader of the 1920s and 1930s. He is known for his composition of "Sweet Georgia Brown" which was popular in its time, but many would know the song decades later as the theme music for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, long outliving Bernie. A vaudevillian, like so many other entertainers who found success in radio, he had a trademark expression that people remembered him for. In his case, it was, "Yowsah, Yowsah!" He named himself "The Old Maestro" and his band was called "The Lads." He was a jazz violinist, but his skill in "snappy dialogue" made him a natural for radio entertainment. He was one of radio's early big stars. This recording is from his NBC Blue Network series that was sponsored by Bromo Seltzer. It is dated February 11, 1941. Bernie died less than two years later at age 52.  * * * Joe Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. The Joe Hehn Memorial Collection is comprised of many recordings and documents. The latter include scripts, program documentation, catalogs of fellow collectors, and old time radio fanzines of the period. These documents are being scanned into Adobe Acrobat PDF files. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.