The 1940's Radio Hour

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The 1940's Radio Hour
The 1940's Radio Hour.jpg
1979 Broadway Playbill
MusicVarious Composers
LyricsVarious Lyricists
BookWalton Jones
Productions1979 Broadway

The Radio Hour is a musical by Walton Jones. Using popular songs from the 1940s, it portrays the final holiday broadcast of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade on the New York radio station WOV in December 1942.


A little New York City radio station called WOV records a broadcast for American soldiers serving overseas in World War II. The narrative concerns the harassed producer, the drunken lead singer, 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.[1]


Character Description Original Broadway actor
Clifton A. Feddington The overworked general manager and announcer at WOV Josef Sommer
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 is dating Johnny. Mary Cleere Haran
Johnny Cantone Featured vocalist and Sinatra fan. He's an ex-boxer and a rough guy who drinks too much and has a voice like velvet. Jeff Keller
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. Crissy Wilzak
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. Dee Dee Bridgewater
Neal Tilden A cab driver by day and singer, dancer, and choreographer at night. He aspires to the 'featured vocalist' slot. Joe Grifasi
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. Stephen James
Connie Miller A 17-year-old bobbysoxer from Ogden, Utah. She is perennially in love and runs an elevator by day. Kathy Andrini
Pops Bailey A crotchety, wizened stage doorkeeper who is a racing bookie on the company phone and reads hidden copies of Show Girl magazine. Arny Freeman
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. Merwin Goldsmith
Wally Ferguson A young hopeful from Altoona, Pennsylvania, who came to NYC to work for his uncle at the drugstore to get his big show-biz break. Jack Hallett
Biff Baker A young trumpet player with the Zoot Doubleman orchestra who will be leaving after the concert for Army duty. John Doolittle
Stanley A lugs cable and runs around a lot and otherwise lives in the control booth. John Sloman
Zoot Doubleman The WOV Orchestra Leader Stanley Lebowsky

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


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

External links[edit]