Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Crosby-Clooney Show, Pt. 5

Reprinted in the January, 2009, Old Radio Times.

The Crosby-Clooney Show
Excerpts from Bing Crosby –– The Radio Directories (out of print)
compiled by Lionel Pairpoint
reprinted by permission

The versatility of this little group made them sound much bigger. They worked fast, recording on tape almost 500 different songs, all of which required arrangements and rehearsals. The announcer? Who else but faithful Ken Carpenter, who came aboard with Bing on the Kraft show in the mid-thirties and was there for the final, 675th program of Bing's last radio series. But Ken was more than just the commercial announcer on this program. He, Bing, and Rosie shared between them the topical comments, the humor, the intros and asides, even the commercials, which were often laced with musical parodies and little skits as well as straight “sell”.

To make it all come together were the two production geniuses Bill Morrow and Murdo McKenzie, the same pair who handled production for Bing on his radio shows of the forties and fifties - Kraft, Philco, Chesterfield and General Electric. Bill developed the format and wrote copy where called for - there was a lot of ad lib in every program - and Murdo, with his scissors and editing spools, put all the pieces of music and dialogue together, snipping where necessary to make the timing come out "on the nose." Yes, through the magic of audio tape (not a word was spoken live on the air!) this brilliant bunch of pros came up with a daily network show that not only held its own in the ratings game but crowned the last great daytime radio line-up.

Preceding the Crosby-Clooney Show were three of the radio/TV biggies of the period; Arthur Godfrey, Art Linkletter, and Garry Moore. Our man was supposed to carry their audiences through to the CBS news and he did so with gusto. Bing was never more bubbly and up-beat than on this 20-minute stint.


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