+ The Chesterfield Supper Club began on December 11, 1944, as a 15-minute radio program, airing at 7pm weeknights on the NBC Radio Network. This musical variety show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes and featured live musical performances. Perry Como initially hosted The Chesterfield Supper Club five nights a week. Initially, Como's female singer was Mary Ashworth. During World War II, the broadcasts were transcribed for re-broadcast on Armed Forces Radio Service. The idea for the radio show originated with Doug Storer, who was then an advertising executive with the Blackman Company. Storer had heard Perry Como on his non-sponsored CBS radio program and believed he would do well in a radio show of the type he was proposing. Storer recorded a demo of the radio show with Como as its host and Mitchell Ayres and his Orchestra providing the music. He took the recording to the advertising agency that handled the Chesterfield cigarettes account. The agency was enthusiastic about the program's format, but did not want Como as its host. The singer the agency preferred was under contract and would need to be released from it before he could accept a job on the new radio program. They asked Storer to get the singer released from his contract. Storer, who was still of the belief that the new show needed Como as its host, did not go through with the advertising agency's request. He received a call from the agency some weeks later, asking about the singer's contract and saying their new program would make its radio debut in about one week's time. Storer told them the right man for the radio show was the one who had made the demo recording-Perry Como. Chesterfield's advertising agency did not have time to do anything but sign Como as the host of the show. During the first year, Como was backed by the Ted Steele Orchestra, followed by the Lloyd Shaffer Orchestra at the end of 1945 until 1948. With John Klenner, Shaffer and Steele composed the show's theme song, "Smoke Dreams." Roy Ringwald's "A Cigarette, Sweet Music and You" was also used on the show as a musical theme. The Satisfiers vocal group was also part of the program; they also made many records with Como. Beginning on the show's second anniversary, he hosted the show on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Jo Stafford was the host on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Stafford returned to California shortly after becoming a co-host of the program. She began her twice-weekly broadcasts from Hollywood in November 1946, backed by her future husband, Paul Weston. Stafford's Hollywood "Club" broadcasts featured the vocal group The Starlighters; in 1947 she recorded her version of the show's theme song, "Smoke Dreams", with them. One of the regular features was a "Hollywood Star of the Week" contest where an actor or actress would be featured as a "guest star" singing a song and the listening audience would guess the star's identity for prizes. The "mystery star" contest continued when the show appeared on television. The broadcasts of April 5, 1946, made from a TWA plane at an altitude of 20,000 feet, are believed to be the first network radio broadcasts from an airplane. Jo Stafford, Perry Como and the entire staff made the flight. There were two mid-air Supper Club broadcasts: one at 6pm and another at 10pm for the West Coast. In addition to the cast and the band's instruments, there was also a small piano on board. The three stand-held microphones brought onto the plane turned out to be less useful than expected. The cast then resorted to hand-held microphones, but the plane's cabin pressure made them very heavy and difficult to hold after a few minutes. Less than two months after the airborne "Supper Club" broadcasts, Chesterfield had an idea to take the program on a week of remote broadcasts: flying into Washington, DC for the Monday show, to London, for the Wednesday one and winding up with the Friday night show in Havana. The plan appears to have fallen from favor when it was learned that the taxes which would have been imposed on the Shaffer orchestra as foreign musicians performing in the UK meant Chesterfield would have needed to pay all orchestra members three times the amount of salary they were receiving at the time. By 1947, announcer Martin Block was based in the Los Angeles area. Block did the announcing from Hollywood on the same days that Stafford hosted the show. Announcer and sportscaster Mel Allen took over the New York announcing duties for that year. When Block's West Coast contract was up, he returned to New York as the show's announcer. Block was also the announcer for the "Supper Club" television show.-WikiPedia Click here to read more about Chesterfield Supper Club, The
- Radio Shows
Please enjoy these 21 old time radio episodes:
|12.11.1944||first song id do it all over again|
|05.23.1945||first song theme song of pick and pats radio program||
+Program #85. , AFRS rebroadcast. The program is done as a minstrel show. The first tune is, "Way D...
|05.30.1945||chesterfield supper club first song carry on, brother, carry on|
|07.12.1945||first song the missouri waltz|
|07.13.1945||first song monstrel overture|
|09.14.1945||first song id do it all over again||
+ , AFRS rebroadcast. AFRS program name: "The Supper Club." The first tune is, "I'd Do It All Over A...
|10.30.1945||first song take care|
|10.31.1945||first song you wont be satisfied||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield. The first tune is, "Fun and Fancy Free." Ben had recently returned fro...
|01.21.1946||first song dont you remember me||
+ , AFRS rebroadcast. The first tune is, "Don't You Remember Me?" Guest Patsy Kelly auditions for a...
|06.14.1946||first song without a penny in your pocket|
|06.17.1946||first song you got me crying again|
|12.11.1947||first song the best things in life are free|
|03.03.1948||first song now is the hour||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield. The first tune is, "Now Is The Hour."
|03.10.1948||first song mary lou||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield. The first tune is, "Mary Lou."
|04.14.1948||first song ill never say i love you||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield.
|10.21.1948||first song then ill be happy||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield. The first tune is, "Then I'll Be Happy." The program includes the unus...
|12.18.1948||first song youre gonna get my letter in the morning|
|01.03.1949||first song its a big wide wonderful world|
|06.23.1949||first song laurabelle lee||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield, Fatima. The first tune is, "Laurabelle Lee."
|06.30.1949||first song swonderful||
+ Sponsored by: Chesterfield, Fatima. The first tune is, "S'Wonderful."
|03.09.1950||first song dear hearts and gentle people||
+ NBC net, WNBC, New York aircheck. Sponsored by: Chesterfield. The first tune is, "Dear Hearts and ...
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