Saturday, November 23, 2013

Elgin Watch Company's Thanksgiving Specials (Old Time Radio)

Elgin Watch Company's Thanksgiving Specials (Old Time Radio)

On this week before Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a wonderful item that you can listen to as you are preparing your meal at home.  I will be doing the same. If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great Thanksgiving-themed programs available this week. You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web.

My Antique Radio

One of the really cool shows I recently discovered are 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. These shows are a combination of songs, skits and other performances that capture the best of radio.  The Internet Archives has five total shows (see the link below). Also, given that the program runs 2 hours, these are not commonly played on current radio programs like XM 82.

 Here is a link right to the two Elgin Thanksgiving Holiday Shows on the Internet Archive:

Here are additional Thanksgiving themed shows available on the Internet Archive:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Romance of the Ranchos (Southern California History on the Radio)

Romance of the Ranchos (Southern California History on the Radio)

Having spent the last few days in the Los Angeles area, I enjoyed listening to the Romance of the Ranchos from old time radio fame.  I will write more about this later - but I wanted to move this entry (first written for Valentines Day) over to the new blog.  When you are driving around here - all of these places come to lives through this great old series.  And Frank Graham (the wandering vaquero) was born in Detroit - so what is not to like.

Original Post:

There are so many ways to celebrate Valentine's Day this year, but this is probably not the one that comes to mind. I have wanted to share some links to the historical drama, Romance of the Ranchos for some time.

This seems to be a favorite of Greg Bell and I have heard it a great deal on Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82) on Sirius/XM or via the Internet Archive.

Romance of the Ranchos is not about romance (per se), but about the early settlers of California. The programs (recorded in 1941 and 1942) bring to life the true life records of the Title Insurance and Trust Company of Los Angeles and featured Frank Graham, the "wandering vaquero of "Romance of Ranchos." These accounts of the early settlers in California are pretty good, and are one of my favorite historical series that I can listen to via Old Time Radio. For more information, see this great article from the Digital Deli. So maybe not the romance that you are looking for on Valentine's Day, but some pretty cool historical depictions of life in early California.