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Railroad Hour, Volume 3 - 6 hours [Download] #RA731
6 hours - Digital Download
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The Railroad Hour
“Ladies and Gentlemen, The Railroad Hour!”
This opening line, delivered by announcer Marvin Miller, along with whistles, hissing steam escaping from smoke stacks, and other train sounds heralded the beginning of each episode of one of the most beloved, often sought after music programs of the golden age of radio! Gordon MacRae, noted baritone, acted as conductor as he led listeners through recreations of musicals, operettas, and even the careers of some of the greatest American composers and lyricists each week. You can take the same ride now on
The Railroad Hour, Volume 3!
Sponsored by the Association of American Railroads, The Railroad Hour presented vest-pocket versions of some of the most popular and beloved musicals and operettas of all time - everything from the romantic melodies of Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg right through to the modern musical comedies of Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Lorenz Hart. In these lush and tuneful half-hours, star and leading man Gordon MacRae was joined by a host of leading ladies - including MGM and Warner Brothers vocalist Lucille Norman, Metropolitan Opera stars Dorothy Kirsten and Nadine Conner, Dorothy Warenskjold of the San Francisco Opera Company, as well as guest artists like Jane Powell, Jeanette MacDonald, Kenny Baker, Eileen Wilson, and Patrice Munsel.
The rich, room-filling music was provided by the orchestra of maestro Carmen Dragon, an arranger/conductor with vast musical experience in both radio and motion pictures. Dragon gave “The Railroad Hour” a sound that was both distinctive and unique, even in a medium that was known at the time for large-scale musical programs. But it was the expert voice of announcer Marvin Miller that really brought the show together. Setting the scene for each program with the announcement “Ladies and gentlemen, the Railroad Hour!” listeners would then hear the sound of a train whistle in the distance as Miller went on to proclaim “And here comes the star-studded show train!” as the orchestra and chorus struck up the theme “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, which increased in speed and intensity to suggest a fast-moving express train while Miller announced that evening’s musical or operetta, ending with the introduction of star Gordon MacRae.
In his role as host and leading man, MacRae generally narrated the programs, giving listeners the basic structure of the plot as the show went along. The job of adapting massive musicals and full-scale operettas into a 45 minute format, the original length 'The Radio Hour' ran when it debuted initially on ABC, fell to Jean Holloway and the writing team of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Holloway, who herself was also a singer and musician, had earlier written for such programs as “The Kate Smith Hour” and “Mr. President”, while Lawrence and Lee had honed their writing skills as two of the first staff members of the Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II. All three had considerable knowledge of both music and theater; Lawrence and Lee, in fact, would in later years write the Broadway classic “Auntie Mame” and its musical counterpart “Mame”, as well as such well-known plays as “Inherit the Wind” and “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail”. Francis “Fran” Van Hartesveldt, a former professional musician and arranger who had turned to work in advertising agencies in the late 1930s, acted as director for The Railroad Hour.
The Railroad Hour, Volume 3 is a special collection of this classic program. First appearing on ABC, The Railroad Hour was a 45-minute program. This collection is six episodes from that run, shows that provide not only outstanding entertainment for today’s listeners but that also stand as a tribute to the talent and production techniques that went into their creation so many years ago.
If you love Broadway musicals, romantic operettas, or the popular songs of the mid-20th century, you’ll love The Railroad Hour, Volume 3, six shows from the initial run of this classic beloved program, presented in the highest audio quality possible from Radio Archives.
Here is the complete content of this outstanding collection:
#1 Good News
With Gordon MacRae, Jane Powell, Dinah Shore, The Norman Luboff Choir, Carmen Dragon and the Railroad Hour Orchestra, and announcer Marvin Miller
Monday, October 4, 1948 - 45:00 - ABC, sponsored by the Association of American Railroads
#2 Anything Goes
With Gordon MacRae, Victor Moore, Margaret Whiting, The Norman Luboff Choir, Carmen Dragon and the Railroad Hour Orchestra, and announcer Marvin Miller
Monday, October 11, 1948 - 45:00 - ABC, sponsored by the Association of American Railroads
#8 Hit The Deck
With Gordon MacRae, Frances Langford, The Norman Luboff Choir, Carmen Dragon and the Railroad Hour Orchestra, and announcer Marvin Miller
Monday, November 22, 1948 - 45:00 - ABC, sponsored by the Association of American Railroads
#9 New Moon
With Gordon MacRae, Nadine Conner, Rudy Vallee, The Norman Luboff Choir, Carmen Dragon and the Railroad Hour Orchestra, and announcer Marvin Miller
Monday, November 29, 1948 - 45:00 - ABC, sponsored by the Association of American Railroads
#10 Girl Crazy
With Gordon MacRae, William Bendix, Doris Day, Joan Edwards, The Norman Luboff Choir, Carmen Dragon and the Railroad Hour Orchestra, and announcer Marvin Miller
Monday, December 6, 1948 - 45:00 - ABC, sponsored by the Association of American Railroads
With Gordon MacRae, Leon Errol, Dinah Shore, The Norman Luboff Choir, Carmen Dragon and the Railroad Hour Orchestra, and announcer Marvin Miller
Monday, December 13, 1948 - 45:00 - ABC, sponsored by the Association of American Railroads
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