The 1940's Radio Hour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The 1940's Radio Hour
The 1940's Radio Hour.jpg
1979 Broadway Playbill
MusicVarious Composers
LyricsVarious Lyricists
BookWalton Jones
Productions1979 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.


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.[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.


  • 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


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

External links[edit]