Gordon MacRae Musical Railroad Hour

All Aboard Gordon MacRae’s Railroad Hour

ALL ABOARD! Enjoy Gordon MacRae and his guest stars as they perform some of the greatest musical selections from famous plays and operettas.

The Railroad Hour was on the radio from 1948 until 1954, first on the American Broadcasting System (ABC) and moving to the National Broadcasting System (NBC) in 1949 where it stayed until the series end. It was on the air Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on both radio networks.

Gordon MacRae was the star with various guest stars performing each week, usually a well-known female star of the era such as Jane Powell and Doris Day. The show opened each week with the theme song, I’ve Been Working on the Railroad?, which is very appropriate for a show sponsored by the Association of American Railroads.

If you want to hear some great old show tunes sung by some of the most most famous singers of the 1940s and 1950s, visit The Railroad Hour page at Old Time Radio. Enjoy!


Fibber McGee and Molly George Burns & Gracie Allen Great Gildersleeve IRS Old Time Radio

Tax Time from the Golden Age of Radio

It’s tax time again. And it doesn’t get any better. Sometimes you wonder if that other inevitability might not be easier to deal with. But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Just turn on the Radio and see how some other folks deal with Tax Time.

Bob Hope’s adventures at the Santa Anita racetrack don’t help his financial standing too much. When he does his taxes, he takes Jane Russell to the tax office with him. He doesn’t want the IRS watching HIS form too closely.  For more adventure, see also: Errol Flynn

George Burns is like a lot of us and waits until the last moment to work on his taxes. When George is frustrated by the tax form he gives Gracie $50 to go to a tax professional, but Gracie decides she can help out by buying a one dollar tax book, saving him $49! Only Gracie could
use a $1 tax book to find out the government owes George $30million. But the really interesting question is whether or not Gracie’s help can keep George out of Alcatraz.

The Great Gildersleeve does his taxes for 1943, while America is deeply involved in WWII. When he begins to list the interest on his savings account a “little voice” convinces him that he doesn’t really have to list every thing… So he doesn’t list it, but can Gildy live with himself? Especially  with the war on? Of course tough old Gildersleeve can, for about three minutes! And who was that little voice anyway? Hitler? Of course Gildy is going to declare the interest, all $2.15 worth!

If you wonder how the government could possibly be be messed up with all the tax money you send them, consider that Fibber McGee did his own taxes in 1944. You would have thought that things would have balanced out the next year when the tax assessor came to see him the next year, especially because he thought the assessor was writing a newspaper society piece about him!

If you need any more proof that that government is evil, you just need to be there when McGee gets his 1949 Tax bill on Thanksgiving! Imagine the nerve of them charging $125 taxes on a house that the McGee’s won in a $2 drawing!

Don’t you wish we had the Lone Ranger to protect us from the IRS.?  On Mar 21, 1941, the local strong man is trying to collect “Taxes” from the hard working settlers in the area. Of course the Strong man’s only authority to collect taxes is his men and their guns. But the wrong doers have no chance against the Masked Man. I wonder if Silver Bullets are deductible?

These recordings and many more tax-day laughs are available on the Old Time Radio‘s Tax Time Collection.

Aimee McPherson Radio Preacher Religious

Aimee McPherson: First Woman to Preach a Sermon on the Radio

The first woman to preach a sermon on radio, Aimee McPherson was also the first woman to receive a broadcast license from the FCC. Her radio station, KSFG, broadcast religious programs and sermons from Angelus Temple. The reason she bought the radio station was so that she didn’t have share air time with secular radio programs. She often called her radio broadcasts a church without walls because people could worship and be inspired at any time of the day or night.

Radio broadcasts were an important part of the engine that drove Aimee’s popularity in the United States and abroad. With the broadcasts she reached millions of people. She used target marketing to reach different audiences as well. For example, one of the shows broadcast feature music geared toward the African-American audience. This was in keeping with the doctrine of integration practiced in the Foursquare church.


Dana Andrews Espionage I Was A Communist For the FBI Old Time Radio

Spies and Eyes

The hardboiled detective of Radio Noir is often out on his own, with nothing but his wits, his loyalty to his client, and confidence in his own abilities to bring him to safety. The criminals he pursues will have no hesitation to plug him full of lead if he gets too close to them, and the cops see him as a parasite that should be locked up to get him out of their way.

A Spy has many of the elements of a hardboiled detective. His client is usually his government, but the fictional Spy seems to be attracted to the danger of his assignments as often as he is loyal to his country. The spy usually has the full support of his agency to help insure his safety.  He is so close to the enemy though, that even if the agency tried to help they would likely compromise the spy’s safety through anonymity. The government is playing for bigger stakes, and ultimately the Spy is expendable; to everyone but the Spy himself, of course.

It isn’t uncommon for a Hardboiled Private Eye to lose his head over a Dame, and the Red Blooded Spy has the same urges. The Detective may be working for the girl, to defend her or bring justice to her cause, but more often she is part of a Honey-trap set by the bad-guys. Honey-traps are common pitfalls for Spies as well. Sometimes the Spy can bring the girl over to the side of right, but if she is as dedicated to her cause as the spy is his, then she is likely evil beyond redemption.

I was a Communist for the F.B.I. blends the elements of the Radio Noir Hard Boiled Detective and the Spy Thriller, but though he is working for a Police Organization, The FBI, he is more a Spy than a Cop or Detective. Matt Cvetic (played by Dana Andrews) is in deep cover with the Communist Party of the USA. The show makes no secret that the CPUSA is a front for the Soviet agenda. Any miss-step will give away his identity and cost him his life. He cannot even tell his family about his activities, so he is completely on his own. The only thing that keeps Cvetic going is the knowledge that the enemy intends so much damage to the USA.