×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Radio Stars of America
     

Radio Stars of America

by Jack Benny
 
Show business does the darnedest things to people. Benjamin Kubelsky, for example, chucked a career as a concert violinist to become Jack Benny, a mainstay in vaudeville, Depression-era, and wartime radio, as well as early television. His wife, Sadie Marks, became a regular character on his show (as Mary Livingstone) and even ended up legally changing her name to

Overview

Show business does the darnedest things to people. Benjamin Kubelsky, for example, chucked a career as a concert violinist to become Jack Benny, a mainstay in vaudeville, Depression-era, and wartime radio, as well as early television. His wife, Sadie Marks, became a regular character on his show (as Mary Livingstone) and even ended up legally changing her name to become one, as it were, with the Livingstone persona. As with each installment in Living Era's Radio Stars of America series, the Jack Benny volume features heavily scripted comedy routines performed in front of noisy live audiences (lots of tittering, shrieking, and giddy laughter) while being broadcast over the radio to the "folks at home." These primitive "sitcoms", originally aired in 1949, 1950, and 1952, variously feature the amazing Mel Blanc, Ronald and Benita Colman, Edgar Bergen and his wisecracking wooden pal Charlie McCarthy, good-life vocal group the Sportsmen (who perform a commercial for Lucky Strike cigarettes), Red Skelton, and white guys in blackface Amos & Andy. In the first skit alone, joke topics include the postwar transition from radio to TV, cross-dressing (as Benny wears facial makeup), transvestism and draft dodging (as wholesome Dennis Day assumes that Benny is doing this to avoid conscription), and wardrobe malfunction (as Benny's gravel-voiced valet Rochester periodically brings the house down with dire predictions of Benny's pants either plummeting or splitting apart at the seams). The inclusion of Amos & Andy and the perpetual presence of Rochester, a talented Afro-American comedian cast as a servant to his white "Boss," are sobering reminders of the bigoted nature of U.S. culture midway through the 20th century. On a more frivolous level, this is good old-fashioned corny entertainment. Even if Jack Benny preferred the medium of radio, he would come across remarkably well on television, particularly when pausing and looking exasperated with the violin tucked under his arm. Indeed, it might be said that he is best remembered for what he didn't say, and the manner in which he didn't say it.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/06/2005
Label:
Asv Living Era
UPC:
0743625559521
catalogNumber:
5595

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews