Stars for Defense: Cold War Era Music Show

In Case of Attack Tune your AM radio Dial to 640 or 1240

Syndicated by the Office of Price Stabilization, later the Office Of Civilian and Defense Mobilization

The Office of Price Stabilization (OPS) during the Korean War had the same functions as the WWII era Office of Price Administration. The Office had the power to place price ceilings on everything except agricultural commodities, and to ration items that were in short supply and considered vital to the War effort. This could include tires, Automobiles, shoes, coffee, meat, sugar, nylon, and processed foods.

Doris Day

Ceiling prices were encouraged by OPS in order to control inflation. This is seen as contrary to the laws of Supply and Demand by many economists, and thought to be a dangerous practice for many reasons. There may be a perceived need for price ceiling if the price of the commodity in question is inflated due to a shortage of supply. In this case quality of the merchandise may be lowed by manufacturers in order to make a profit. During WWII there were examples of food processors lowering portion size or using lower quality ingredients to maintain profit margins.

What does this have to do with Big Band Music?

The OPS sponsored the syndicated weekly music program Stars For Defense. The 15 minute weekly programs featured some of the great stars of the time, including Gordan McRae, Jo Stafford, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Percy Faith and his Orchestra, Paul Weston and his Orchestra, the Norman Luboff Choir, and Dennis Day. The music and quality of production was always excellent, and mixed into the music would be a short economics lesson, always with the perspective that shopping decisions at home had an effect on Our Boys fighting in Korea.

In 1956 Stars For Defense sponsorship was taken over by the Office Of Civilian and Defense Mobilization. The ODCM was an incredibly powerful bureaucratic arm of the Department of Defense, charged with the planning, coordination, and control of Wartime Mobilization activities of the Federal Government, including Manpower, Economic Stabilization, and Transportation operations.

StarsFor Defense took on a greater Civil Defense role, including instructions of how long to remain in you fallout shelter after a Nuclear Attack.

But you could still get great music if the radio in your fallout shelter could still pick up Stars For Defense! Stars in the later episodes included Frankie Laine, Eydie Gorme, Sammy Davis Jr, Johnny Mercer, Dinah Shore and Rosemary Clooney.

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1 Response to Stars for Defense: Cold War Era Music Show

  1. peter flapper says:

    Is there a way to hear the Stars For Defense audio with Doris Day? Love to hear it.

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