Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hit Parade radio show, 1952

In 1951, when my mother joined the cast of Your Hit Parade, on NBC (at first, to sing in the TV show’s Lucky Strike commercials—known as “extravaganza” commercials, in that they were presented as full production numbers—and then, later, becoming a featured vocalist on the program), the radio and TV versions of the show were both broadcast on Saturday nights. The radio show was broadcast first, and then the same singers, an hour after the conclusion of the radio show, appeared on the television version.

In the fall of 1951, the radio show was altered: it no longer featured the TV cast, and it was moved to Thursday nights. The new radio version, still sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes, starred the Guy Lombardo Orchestra; the TV orchestra continued to be led by bandleader Raymond Scott. Each week, on the new radio version, a guest female vocalist—the show’s “Lucky Star of the Week”—was featured. In 1952, my mother made two guest appearances on the radio show.

Seen here: an article from a Madison, Wisconsin newspaper, about one of those appearances. The program, that night, celebrated the radio show’s 17th anniversary.