Magic Key Of Radio

RCA Magic Key was a successful offering to demonstrate radio’s wide capabilities in delivering entertainment and culture to the American home. The program offered comedy, classical music, opera, popular music, big band music, drama, and much more. Newspapers described it as “a high type variety program.” The hour-long program aired from September 1935 to September 1939. This particular episode from November 3, 1935 wa s already in circulation among collectors but was incomplete. This Hehn recording was in better quality and is a complete program. Among the stars are legendary operatic singer Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink (74 years old at the time of broadcast; she would pass away a year later), New York Metropolitan Opera contralto Rose Bampton, actors Eleanor Powell (she sings… and tap dances!), Roland Young appears in a scene from his starring role in the Broadway play A Touch of Brimstone , big band leader “Tom” Dorsey (who would rise to great prominence as Tommy Dorsey), and other supporting cast members, and the Holland Symphony Orchestra. * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. 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.