Old Radio Programs

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The Kate Smith Hour

Kathryn Elizabeth Smith (May 1, 1907 June 17, 1986), known professionally as Kate Smith and The First Lady of Radio, was an American singer, a contralto, best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She had a radio, television, and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the 1940s. Smith became known as The Songbird of the South after her enduring popularity during World War II and contribution to American culture and patriotism. Smith was a major star of radio, usually backed by Jack Miller's Orchestra. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (193133), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (193435); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (193435); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (193536), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (193637). The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (193745). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as separate hit series in its own right in 1940. Smith also made a dramatic appearance, starring in "Little Johnny Appleseed" on Silver Theater May 14, 1944. [wikipedia]

 

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