The 1940's Radio Hour
|The 1940's Radio Hour|
1979 Broadway Playbill
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.
Fabled WOV, a little New York City 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.
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.
- 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
- "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo" – Clifton, Chorus ("Chattanooga Choo Choo" in earlier editions)
- "Pepsi Cola" – Neal, B.J., Connie, Ginger (with sounds performed by Lou)
- "Daddy" – Connie, The Band
- "Love Is Here to Stay" – Johnny
- "That Old Black Magic" – Ann
- "Ain't She Sweet" – Biff, All
- "How About You?" – B.J., Connie
- "Blue Moon" – Neal
- "Chiquita Banana" – All Girls
- "Rose of the Rio Grande" – Geneva, Men & The Band
- "I'll Never Smile Again" – Johnny, Quintet (Neal, B.J., Ann, Ginger, Connie)
- "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" – B.J., Connie, Ginger
- "Blues in the Night" – Ginger, Men
- "Jingle Bells" – All (except Johnny)
- "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" – Geneva
- "You Go to My Head" - B.J. ("At Last" in earlier editions)
- "The Five O'Clock Whistle" – Connie, The Band ("Little Brown Jug" in earlier editions)
- "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" – Ann
- "Strike Up the Band" – Full Company
- "I'll Be Seeing You" – Full Company
- "Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade" – Full Company
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1980||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Joe Grifasi||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|
- The 1940s radio hour: a musical. Jones, Walton. 1981.
- "'1940s Radio Hour' comes in loud & clear" by Klint Lowry, https://archive.is/20041114205822/http://www.thenewsherald.com/stories/051204/lif_20040512004.shtml
- "Theater group dials in retro radio musical" by Carol South, Grand Traverse Herald, https://web.archive.org/web/20071018012257/http://gtherald.com/2005/feb/23radio.htm
- "'Radio' a swinging trip to '40s" by Kyle Lawson, The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com/ent/arts/articles/0115radiorev15.html
- Character List and Descriptions. https://web.archive.org/web/20080704164605/http://www.charlestonlightoperaguild.org/1940RadioHour.htm