Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The History of KFRC, San Francisco, and the Don Lee Networks, Pt. 9

Originally published in the January, 2009, Old Radio Times.(

The History of KFRC, San Francisco, and the Don Lee Networks
John F. Schneider

Blue Monday Jamboree

At KFRC, in addition to their own program, the Pearce Brothers were heard as regulars on another program, The Blue Monday Jamboree. This was the most popular West Coast program ever to come out of KFRC, if never as great a sensation nationally as Al Pearce. The Jambouree was Manager Harrison Holliway's own creation. It was a studio musical and comedy extravaganza first heard January 10, 1927. The program began as a fifteen minute feature heard Monday evenings at 8:00. Public acclaim was so sudden and overwhelming that by February 7, less than a month later, it had been expanded to two hours.

Here's how the Oakland Post-Enquirer described the Blue Monday Jamboree:

"The weekly frolic attracts more listeners probably than any other local program. Now an institution, the Jamboree each week parades the import personalities of the station before the microphone for two hours. The important factor that makes the Jamboree attractive is its spontaneity. Listeners never know what is coming next, and the surprise element adds auditors.

"It's a treat to watch the Jamboreeadors in action -- Frank Moss wearing his hat; stars standing behind a roped section waiting their turn to perform; Simpy Fitts playing a tune with a knife and fork on a plate borrowed from a nearby restaurant; Harrison Holliway wondering what Schnitzel or Eddie Holden, the Japanese, is going to ask him next; the Pearce Brothers, ever ready with an idea; Charles Bulotti, singing for the fun of it, leading a burlesque opera group; and some sixty or seventy people seated in the studio already crowded by a large orchestra, Mac's Gang and the artists."

Another newspaper, the Los Angeles Inside Facts, added:

"The studio itself is packed way out to the sidewalks on a Monday night, when an invited list of guests attend for a first-hand glimpse of their favorite entertainer, and are surprised to learn that Al Pearce, who sings "Barnacle Bill" in a high register, is a six footer; that Cotton Bond is not colored but white, and that Frank Watanabe is not a Japanese houseboy, but just Eddie Holden under another name."


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