Even if it's from the live era, virtually no airchecks were being done
in those days except when the sponsor or agency needed one or someone
was well-heeled enough to own one of the early home recording devices. A
bunch of pre-grooved Victor Home Recording discs found in Vancouver some
years ago yielded up at least one previously unknown Amos 'n' Andy show
I passed the message along to Liz McLeod earlier today. If anyone will
know about this broadcast, she'll be the one.
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> This record is interesting for 2 reasons -
> if the program has not survived in any other form, such as an original
> 12" shellac transcription, then this record adds a little to the AnA
> it would also be an opportunity to hear the show as it was originally
> broadcast, in one instance, with locally provided introductions and
> Joe Salerno
> Industrial Video Services
> Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Jacobs"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> I am a researcher on the PBS show, History Detectives, a prime-time
>>> series about the discovery, documentation and preservation of historic
>>> American buildings and artifacts. The format of our program is an
>>> investigation of a question posed by an individual who is interested in
>>> learning the history behind an artifact or location and its possible
>>> historical significance.
>>> The story I'm working on now involves an aluminum record with what
>>> to be a lost Amos 'n' Andy serial (No. 920) from Thursday, March 5,
>>> 1931. It was part of the "Breach of Promise" storyline. I've spoken
>>> with several experts and checked out a number of online databases, and
>>> our recording isn't mentioned as being in existence. So, I am just
>>> trying to confirm to the best of my ability that we do have a lost
>>> The second thing I am looking into is how this recording was made. It
>>> is an aluminum disc that has been embossed with grooves. The label
>>> was stuck onto the disc says "Sentinel Chromatron". I know Sentinel
>>> Radio Corp. is the company, but I am not sure what "chromatron" means -
>>> maybe their fancy name for a method of recording sound onto aluminum
>>> discs. The words "Amos 'n' Andy" are written on the label, along with
>>> the call letters "WOW" (a Nebraska radio station owned by Woodmen of
>>> World Life Insurance). Now our recording includes the first third of
>>> the serial on one side, and the last third of the serial on the other.
>>> In the middle of the recording it cuts out to an announcer who says
>>> they are broadcasting from Omaha, and then it cuts to a narrator,
>>> followed by a cut to piano music, and finally someone who says that we
>>> are at the home of Ben and Helen from the Homemaker's club where they
>>> sing "Sweethearts at Sweet 16". Now, I think these would have been
>>> daytime broadcasts from a different hour than when Amos 'n' Andy was
>>> being broadcast. Was this recording made by an amateur? Was it
>>> recorded by a radio station for some reason? Did someone pay to have
>>> this specific serial transcribed? Is the middle half of the episode
>>> missing because it was recorded on another disc so that no dialogues
>>> would be lost during the recording?
>>> Any ideas about this recording you can offer would be greatly
>> I can't claim absolute expertise here, but here is what I think...
>> The disc is almost certainly NOT an original "Amos'N'Andy"
>> although those were used to distribute the program in its early
>> years. The earlier A'n'A discs were pressed by Marsh Laboratories
>> in Chicago, and were (IIRC) in the form of 12" shellac records.
>>> From your description, it sounds like an "aircheck" (or one of
>> a series of them) of station WOW. Such records were often made
>> for local advertisers as proof that the commercials they paid
>> for (or programs they paid to sponsor) had actually been aired.
>> Similar recordings were also made for clients of the recording
>> service who simply wanted a copy for whatever personal reasons
>> (although the legality of this was questionable)
>> And, if the recording service had only a single "disc cutter,"
>> it is very possible that the missing section of A'n'A was cut
>> on a second disc (and where that is would be a good question!).
>> I'll forward your question to the 78-L e-mail list, where there
>> are two people who would have much more knowledge than myself...
>> Steven C. Barr
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