The 1940's Radio Hour

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The 1940's Radio Hour
The 1940's Radio Hour.jpg
1979 Broadway Playbill
Music Various Composers
Lyrics Various Lyricists
Book Walton Jones
Productions 1979 Broadway

The 1940's Radio Hour is a Play with Music by Walton Jones. Full of 1940s music, dancing and old-time sound effects the play portrays the final holiday broadcast of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade on the New York radio station WOV in December 1942.

Plot[edit]

Fabled WOV, a seedy little New York radio station, takes to the air on December 21, 1942 (about a year into the U.S. involvement in World War II), this time to record a broadcast for the troops overseas.[1]

The narrative concerns the harassed producer, the leading singer who is often drunk, the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mic, and the young trumpet-player who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.

Characters[edit]

  • Clifton Feddington: The announcer and general manager (head of everything at WOV). He has ulcers from it all and is sometimes hysterical.
  • Ann Collier The 'old standard' in the Radio show since its start in 1936. She sings like Dinah Shore, Doris Day, and Peggy Lee (all rolled into one). She is a secretary by day, and at looker by night who is dating Johnny.
  • Johnny Cantone: Featured vocalist with the Cavalcade who is on Sinatra's bandwagon. He's an ex-boxer and a rough guy who drinks too much and has a voice like velvet.
  • Ginger Brooks: A bubble-headed waitress-turned-singer. She has a pinup, Betty Grable look with lots of makeup and speaks with a Gracie Allen vacancy.
  • Geneva Lee Browne: The southern Belle of WOV got her start in music at age 17 performing in local Swing ballrooms around the Atlanta area.
  • Neal Tilden: Cab driver by day and singer, dancer, and choreographer at night. He is hopeful for the 'featured vocalist' slot.
  • B.J. Gibson: The third of the Gibson brothers to work for the Cavalcade. He is squeaky-clean, good looking, and a preppy student at Yale.
  • Connie Miller: A 17-year-old bobbysoxer from Ogden, Utah. She is perennially in love and runs an elevator by day.
  • Pops Bailey: A crotchety, wizened stage doorkeeper who is a racing bookie on the company phone and reads hidden copies of Show Girl magazine.
  • Lou Cohn: A big shot (at least in his own mind) who tries to impress the girls and is sometimes obnoxious. He runs the show and is the sound effects man.
  • Wally Ferguson: Young hopeful from Altoona, Pennsylvania who came to NYC to work for his uncle at the drugstore to get his big show-biz break.
  • Biff Baker: A young trumpet player with the Zoot Doubleman orchestra who will be leaving after the concert for Army duty.
  • Stanley: Lugs cable and runs around a lot and otherwise lives in the control booth.
  • Zoot Doubleman: WOV Orchestra Leader

List of Musical Numbers[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1980 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Joe Grifasi Nominated
Jeff Keller Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Crissy Wilzak Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Walton Jones Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design William Ivey Long Nominated
Theatre World Award Stephen James Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ The 1940s radio hour: a musical. Jones, Walton. 1981.
Notes

External links[edit]