Sunday, December 11, 2016

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas - Day 11: A Radio Nutcracker

It's Nutcracker Weekend for me in Michigan, so I will go with a repeat here from last year that gives me a bit of time to catch up...and it is so very appropriate!  What could be a better story for the holidays than the Nutcracker!  Here is a gem from the Railroad Hour variety show when they broadcast their Christmas special in 1952.  Here is a link to all the previous 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 close to Christmas.

Ann Arbor Dance Classics Nutcracker Rehearsal 2016 (Milan High School, Michigan)
Ann Arbor Dance Classics Production of the Nutcracker
Milan (Michigan) High School December 2016

A ballet is a hard thing to convey via the radio.  But that was just what happened in 1952 when the Railroad Hour broadcast their Christmas Party on December 22nd of that year.  The Railroad Hour is a classic variety show that was sponsored by the Association Of American Railroads and was on the NBC Network.  This show features great songs and music and Gordon MacRae was the longtime host.  Ironically, it never was an hour (as far as I can tell).  This episode is 30 minutes.

From their site - you can read that the Association of American Railroads (or AAR):
America's freight railroads operate the safest, most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sound freight transportation system in the world — and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) is committed to keeping it that way. Founded in 1934, AAR is the world's leading railroad policy, research, standard setting, and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry. AAR Full members include the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. AAR Railroad Affiliate and Associate Members include non-Class I and commuter railroads, rail supply companies, engineering firms, signal and communications firms, and rail car owners.
This show is called Christmas Party and is hosted by Gordon MacRae.  Included among the stars on the program (from the great RadioGOLDINdex) are: Dorothy Kirsten, Noreen Corcoran, , Marvin Miller (announcer), Carmen Dragon (conductor), Norman Luboff (choir director) and Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee as writers (pretty sure that we are not talking about THAT Robert E. Lee).  This musical variety show has great Christmas carols, including the 12 days of Christmas, Silent Night, O Holy Night, among others.  The reason I wanted to showcase this today was the Nutcracker portion of the Christmas party.  In the second half of the program, they created a radio version of the Nutcracker, with words set to the great Tchaikovsky music.   Hope you enjoy the great music from this episode.  Bet you did not know that the Nutcracker had words!

Christmas Party (December 22, 1952)

Another 25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2016) & Other Links

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

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

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