The Carnation Contented Hour debuted at 8:00 p.m. on April 26, 1931. Originally broadcast over the west coast National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the show began to broadcast nationwide in January 1932. Taking its name from the longtime Carnation Milk Company slogan, “Milk from contented cows,” the company aimed to please listeners with a variety of musical programming.
The program initially featured conductor, Josef Pasternack. Unfortunately, Pasternack suffered a fatal heart attack during one of the rehearsal sessions. The network hurriedly began the search for his replacement. Eventually, network executives chose Percy Faith and his orchestra. Featured performers included Herman Larson and Gene Arnold, with the addition of Buddy Clark in October 1932. Regulars on the show included Josephine Antoine and Reinhold Schmidt.
Sadly, during World War II many servicemen and women did not have access to programs broadcast for the general public. In order to boost moral and ensure that military personnel had access to venues of entertainment, the newly created Armed Forces Radio Services (AFRS) received permission to rebroadcast several radio programs, including the The Carnation Contented Hour. Edited programs were recorded onto discs and sent to various military bases. The recorded rebroadcasts were commercial-free and the AFRS re-titled the program, The Melody Hour.
In 1949, the program was moved to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and Dick Haynes joined the line-up. Although broadcasting time was shifted to 10:00 p.m. in November of 1932, the show continued to enjoy popularity. The final broadcast of The Carnation Contented Hour was heard on December 30, 1951.
You can enjoy an episode of the The Carnation Contented Hour from 1949: