Wednesday, December 14, 2016

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas - Day 14: Bob Hope and Friends at Sawtelle Veterans Hospital (1946)

Yesterday, I highlighted the great Jack Benny.  Today, I move to another icon of Old Time Radio and entertainment - Bob Hope!  Bob Hope was extremely generous with his time, spending many Christmases doing USO and Radio programs for soldiers and veterans.  It is at a Veteran's Hospital that we find Bob Hope on Christmas Eve in 1946.  This is the second time I have featured Bob Hope's Christmas Shows, but probably not the last.  Bob Hope has a special place at the top of old time radio performers.  Or for that matter, entertainers in the 20th Century.  Not only was he known for his movies (especially the road pictures with Bing Crosby), Bob Hope was one of the most recognizable figures on all mediums in the 20th Century. 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.

Los Angeles Maritime Museum (San Pedro, California) - Saturday November 2, 2013

Battleship Iowa in the Port of Los Angeles - November 2013

When I was a kid, I remember the Bob Hope specials on TV.  They hit at all the big holidays, but they never made a big splash with my family.  Not sure why, but I cannot remember watching them as a kid - though I knew they were on.  Fast forward many years...and it is happening...I am growing to like Bob Hope.  And while I did not love his comedy when I was a kid, there was never a moment that I can remember not respecting the work that Bob Hope did entertaining troops.  In fact, Bob Hope wrote a book in 1944 called I Never Left Home about his experiences entertaining the troops.

On Christmas Eve, 1946, Bob Hope's Pepsodent Show brought an all-star cast to the Sawtelle Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles.  Among the guest stars for this show were Doris Day, who sang The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open flame....), Desi Arnaz and his orchestra, Jerry Colonna and Barbara Jo Allen.  I'm forgetting one....oh yeah!  Bing Crosby was there as well.  He wanted Bob Hope to come to his house and play Santa for the Crosby gang.  They performed a skit called "The Road to the North Pole" and he sang Silent Night.  Also on the show was General Omar Bradley, who was the head of the Veterans Administration, giving a welcome to the veterans there and listening over the radio.

These Christmas shows are wonderful and I hope you enjoy them.  Thanks for the memories, Bob Hope!

Here are some links to programs relating to Bob Hope:

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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