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  Amos 'n' Andy, Volume 2 - 10 hours [Audio CDs] #RA071



 
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10 hours - Audio CD Set


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Amos 'n' Andy
Volume 2




"’Scuse me for protrudin’…"

By the time that Charles Correll (left) and Freeman Gosden (right) posed with comedian Fred Allen in May 1944, "Amos 'n' Andy" had been transformed from a fifteen-minute daily serial into a highly successful half-hour weekly comedy series.During its radio heyday, "Amos ‘n’ Andy" was - to use a popular modern-day expression - the “watercooler” show of its era. Though the Crossley poll (the rating system of the time) reported that the show had a rating of 53.4 during the 1930-31 season, such a system wasn’t necessarily a wholly reliable instrument to truly measure "Amos ‘n’ Andy’s" audience; better indicators are the facts that there was precious little telephone activity or “bathroom breaks” while the program was on the air and, in addition, many movie theaters back then made arrangements to interrupt their screenings and “pipe in” in the broadcast mid-film for fear of losing paying customers. Newspapers frequently published daily accounts of the events that took place on the serialized show. An oft-told anecdote relates that, at the peak of the show’s popularity, it was possible to take a walk around any neighborhood block on a warm spring evening and not miss a moment of the broadcast, since the windows of most homes were open and practically every radio was turned to the program.

While entertainment programs have an admirable capacity to instill loyalty in their audiences, very few have the magic to capture the public’s imagination forever...and "Amos ‘n’ Andy" was no exception to this rule. From its peak years during the Depression, the show slowly shed listeners that once constituted an audience estimated at forty million. "Amos ‘n’ Andy’s" long-time sponsor, Pepsodent, soon hitched their wagon to comedian Bob Hope and Campbell's Soup began paying the bills...but still the ratings declined. Even a move to CBS in April 1939 did nothing to resuscitate the show.

So, in February 1943, the show’s creators and stars — Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll — took a brief sabbatical to revamp the series from its original serialized quarter-hour format to a slickly-produced, half-hour situation comedy. The two men lined up a new sponsor, Lever Brothers, who made certain that once the new "Amos ‘n’ Andy" inaugurated their first half-hour broadcast on October 8, 1943 (back to their old National Broadcasting Company stomping grounds), boxes of Rinso and cakes of Lifebuoy were given out free to members of the studio audience. The writing on the show, which in the early days had been the sole bailiwick of Gosden and Correll, received a boost from a team of comedy writers - notably the young team of scribes Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly, who would later supervise the television version of the series in the 1950s.

The new "Amos ‘n’ Andy" was radically different from the earlier program which fans had come to know and love, but in the halcyon years of the show’s “sitcom period” it made a valiant attempt to capture as much of the flavor of the old version as possible. Though each broadcast was pretty much a self-contained show from week to week, occasionally Gosden, Correll and the writers would stretch out an idea over two or more broadcasts. Beloved characters such as Brother Crawford, Fred Gwindell and Flukey were featured from time to time, but they gradually gave way to the steamrolling popularity of one George “Kingfish” Stevens.

The Kingfish was one of the program’s best-known and popular supporting characters, making his appearance in the early days of the show. But the half-hour format proved to be his meat; audiences loved his weekly attempts to swindle Andy out of some fortune or treasure which the thick-witted Andrew H. Brown had managed to acquire, and it wasn’t too long before the focus of the comedy zeroed in on a weekly formula highlighting the Kingfish’s machinations. Gerald Nachman, author of "Raised on Radio," once observed that the Kingfish’s success at edging straight man Amos out of the proceedings was his “ultimate con job”; more than a few listeners in the show’s later seasons no doubt wondered why the show wasn’t retitled "The Kingfish ‘n’ Andy."

But before the Kingfish completely came to dominate the program, Gosden, Correll, and their writers managed to craft some truly memorable episodes. A Thanksgiving broadcast from November 19, 1943 skillfully blends comedy and pathos in a tale that finds Andy desperate to locate a turkey for his nephew and his Army buddies for Thanksgiving dinner. One of "Amos ‘n’ Andy’s" finest moments occurred on a January 28, 1944 in the form of a parable that finds Andy the recipient of a $1,000 bill. (Both of these programs are available in Radio Archives' earlier collection, "Amos ‘n’ Andy - Volume 1"
.) This new set features classics like “Get Acquainted”, in which an innocent misunderstanding regarding Andy’s intention to join a singles club nearly shakes the foundation of Kingfish and Sapphire’s marriage, and “Chauffeur”, which features a hilarious courtroom trial as Andy is accused of the theft of $2,000.

With the revamping of its format, "Amos ‘n’ Andy" soon vaulted back into the top-tier of radio’s comedy shows, spending two seasons in a Friday night timeslot before being added to NBC’s powerhouse lineup ("Fibber McGee & Molly"/Bob Hope/Red Skelton) on Tuesday nights beginning in the fall of 1945. After leaving NBC in 1948 as part of the notorious CBS “talent raids,” the series enjoyed even greater success, featured back-to-back with Jack Benny on Sunday nights and posting even larger audience figures than those it had enjoyed on NBC. Though a few individuals have criticized the relative sameness of "Amos ‘n’ Andy" broadcasts in its later seasons, they cannot deny that the program — and its beloved characters — were still as funny as ever.

Because of his concerns about the quality of the new version (and also in maintaining the quality of his performances) Charles Correll had most of the programs of the new series recorded on 16" transcription discs for his personal library. In the 1970s, Correll had the programs professionally transferred from discs to top quality 1/2" tape -- but explicitly requested that the commercials for Rinso, by then the show’s sponsor, be edited out at the same time. Thus, though the programs in this collection may be commercial-free, they're all taken right from Charlie Correll’s own transcription collection. The audio fidelity of these shows is astounding - in fact, they sound far better than when they were first heard over NBC in 1944 - and have been painstakingly restored for your enjoyment.


Madam Queen #2
Friday, March 10, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Insurance #1
Friday, March 17, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Insurance #2
with guest star Victor Moore
Friday, March 24, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Amnesia
Friday, March 31, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Get Acquainted
Friday, April 7, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Chauffeur
Friday, April 14, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Secretary
Friday, April 21, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Brother-in-Law
Friday, April 28, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Electric Clock
Friday, May 5, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Masquerade
Friday, May 12, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Beauty Contest
with guest star Cecil B. DeMille
Friday, May 19, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Get Arrested
Friday, May 26, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Nazi Spy
with guest star Paul Lukas
Friday, June 2, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Four Shirts
Friday, June 9, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Used Car
Friday, June 16, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Singing Contest
with guest star John Charles Thomas
Friday, September 22, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Hotel House Detective
with guest star Sydney Greenstreet
Friday, September 29, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Andy the Actor
with guest star Gregory Ratoff
Friday, October 6, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Ichthyologist
with guest star Phil Baker
Friday, October 13, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso

Mistaken Identity
with guest star Raymond Massey
Friday, October 20, 1944 – 30:00 – NBC
, sponsored by Rinso



Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 2 Write a review

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
great cds December 13, 2012
Reviewer: Michael Saval from Reston, VA United States  
your product is the best I have ever seen. you have shows that most people don't. I can't wait to listen to volume 3 I love listening to these shows.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Down Memory Lane September 18, 2009
Reviewer: Barbara Frances Long  
Our two packages arrived today, and the family will again be going down memory lane with "Amos and Andy". Your product is superior, of course, but even more importantly in our point of view, is the (unfortunately rare) high level of customer service we have experienced when dealing with Radio Archives.

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