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Radio Stars of America

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/6/2005
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • UPC: 743625559521
  • Catalog Number: 5595

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jack Benny Primary Artist
Mel Blanc Guest Appearance
Ronald Colman Guest Appearance
Red Skelton Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer
Jack Benny Composer
Mel Blanc Composer
Ronald Colman Composer
Lionel Newman Composer
Amos & Andy Composer
Red Skelton Composer
Greg Gormick Liner Notes
Mark Ranshaw Cover Design
Benita Colman Composer
Elliott Stein Remastering
Mildred Hill Composer
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