Musicmakers of Network Radio

24 Entertainers, 1926–1962

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About the Book

Before television, radio was the sole source of simultaneous mass entertainment in America. The medium served as launching pad for the careers of countless future stars of stage and screen. Singers and conductors became legends by offering musical entertainment directly to Americans in their homes, vehicles, and places of work and play.
This volume presents biographies of 24 renowned performers who spent a significant portion of their careers in front of a radio microphone. Profiles of individuals like Steve Allen, Rosemary Clooney, Bob Crosby, Johnny Desmond, Jo Stafford, and Percy Faith, along with groups such as the Ink Spots and the King’s Men, reveal the private lives behind the public personas and bring to life the icons and ambiance of a bygone era.

About the Author(s)

Jim Cox, a leading radio historian, is an award-winning author of numerous books on the subject. A retired college professor, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Cox
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 380
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6325-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8962-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Prelude: Real-Life Stories Set to Music      1

1. STEVE ALLEN Bigger Than a Breadbox      5

2. HOWARD BARLOW The Vitamin of the Soul      19

3. JACK BERCH The Cheerful Little Earful      33

4. ARCHIE BLEYER A Musician’s Musician      39

5. ROSEMARY CLOONEY Girl Singer      52

6. BOB CROSBY The Front Man      67

7. JAN DAVIS The Pride of Pine Bluff      80

8. JOHNNY DESMOND The Creamer      94

9. MORTON DOWNEY The Irish Nightingale      106

10. PERCY FAITH With Strings Attached      121

11. RED FOLEY No Trouble I See      131

12. WILBUR HATCH Company Man      146

13. JEROME HINES America’s Basso      162

14. THE INK SPOTS High Tenor & Talking Bass      175

15. THE KING’S MEN A Little Musical Relief      187

16. ROBERT Q. LEWIS The Comeback Kid      198

17. VINCENT LOPEZ The Piano Kid      210

18. SMILIN’ ED MCCONNELL Katty Wampus Superdoo      225

19. VAUGHN MONROE Old Leather Tonsils      244

20. LANNY ROSS Troubadour of the Moon      258

21. JACK SMITH A Smile in His Voice      273

22. JO STAFFORD G.I. Jo      284

23. MARTHA TILTON Sweetheart of Swing      298

24. HELEN TRAUBEL A Different Drummer      312

Notes      325

Bibliography      351

Index      359

Book Reviews & Awards

“I guarantee that readers will discover at least one surprising thing they did not know about each of those covered. Well researched and written, making it a pleasurable learning experience. It would be a great addition to any OTR fan’s library.”—Radio Recall; “tons of information on each entrant in the book”—Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusiasts.