Columbia Square - home of CBS Radio Operations in Hollywood during the golden years (1940s & 1950s). Picture taken this year.
On this first day of December, I am going to try to showcase some of the Christmas and Holiday themed shows that are available via old time radio. If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great programs available this month. You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web.
One of the really cool shows I recently discovered were the Elgin Seasonal Specials for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the 1940s. The shows were sponsored by the Elgin Watch Company of Elgin, Illinois. Starting in 1942 for the soldiers overseas, the Elgin Holiday Specials were two hour programs that featured the brightest stars in radio and the movies. Heard on these programs is Bing Crosby, Mario Landa, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope and were all hosted by Don Ameche. The Internet Archives has five total shows (see the link below). One of the real treats takes place one hour into the show from 1945. Jack Benny gave a twisted performance of Sorry Wrong Number, one of the most iconic episodes of Suspense. Also, given that the program runs 2 hours, these are not commonly played on current radio programs like XM 82.
Here are links right to the Elgin's Christmas Shows (or use the links that should be on top of the screen):
- Elgin's 3rd Annual Christmas Show (December 25, 1944)
- Elgin's 4th Annual Christmas Show (December 25, 1945)
- Elgin's 7th Annual Christmas Show (December 25, 1948)
Here are all the episodes that are on the Internet Archive: Thanksgiving and Christmas specials sponsored by the Elgin Watch Company via the Internet Archive. See also 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive.