Thursday, December 17, 2015

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 16 - Dennis Day's The Boy Who Sang For The King

For many of us who love Old Time Radio, we have family members who share our passion for these great recordings from years gone by.  For some of us, we have family members who tolerate it.  And while my wife is supportive....I know there are some things that I should not have on when she is around.  She is not a huge fan of the comedies, but she is a sucker for a good Irish Tenor - so when Dennis Day is involved, I am all set!

I am happy to feature this series for the Christmas series.  This is the second year I have showcased different Old Time Radio programs for Christmas.  Here is a link to all the 2014 OTR Christmas entries.  If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148).  He does a great job of showcasing great holiday themed episodes, especially as we get closer to Christmas and the end of December.  I actually heard this driving the other week as part of the Frank Sinatra blocks that he setup to celebrate the centennial of his birth.

188/365/2744 (December 16, 2015) - Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan (December 15 & 16, 2015)
Squirrel at the University of Michigan on December 16, 2015.
Dennis Day is one of the great figures of American radio.  The story goes that he was moonlighting as a singer while in college when he was discovered by Mary Livingstone, who was Jack Benny's wife and co-star.  And what a voice he had.  He was one of the best "Irish Tenors" of his time.  Mary Livingstone recruited him to the Jack Benny Show starting in 1939 and the rest is history.  Dennis Day served in the Armed Forced during World War II and returned to the Jack Benny Program in 1946.  At the same time, he also was given a show by NBC called A Day In The Life Of Dennis Day. The show featured comic scenarios, as any radio comedy did, with Dennis singing a song or two.

On Christmas Day, 1946, a few weeks after their first episode that fall, A Day In The Life Of Dennis Day featured a beautiful Christmas story, "The Boy Who Sang For The King" by Frank Pachling.  In this story, Dennis cheers up a young boy, Cecil, who because of his braces, is not allowed to sing with the other kids in the neighborhood.  Dennis cheered up the young boy by telling him the story of a modest young man who one day sings for the King of Kings.  Cecil was played by Bobby Driscoll, who was a famous child actor with roles including Jim Hawkins in the 1950 Treasure Island,  and Johnny in the Song of the South (1946).  Dennis sings both "A Gal In Calico" and "Ave Maria" as solos, and everyone, sings "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."  All in all, a sweet Christmas episode to enjoy.

Here are some links to programs relating to Dennis Day:

            25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links

            25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

            No comments:

            Post a Comment