It’s Bing’s Day on the Philco Radio Time Program!
Bing is still singing in my mind. At Halloween, as I do every year, I watched The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and listened to Bing Crosby narrate the story of Ichabod Crane, which is based on one of my favorites, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Then, at Christmas, I watched Bing Crosby and his co-stars perform the classic song “White Christmas” in the movie by the same name.
With my love of Bing Crosby, it’s not surprising that Bing made it into The War Song Series. In the 1940s, radio was king and so was Bing. Before White Christmas and Holiday Inn were ever filmed, Bing was delighting listeners through the radio.
The two radio shows he was most known for were Kraft Music Hall, which he hosted from 1936 to 1946, and Philco Radio Time. The Philco Radio Time program ran from 1946 to 1949 on ABC Radio on Wednesday evenings. The show was Bing’s personal project and the first pre-recorded radio program on major national radio. The show was popular because of its host, and before long, Wednesdays were known as “Bing’s Day.”
I love to listen to old radio episodes. It inserts me right into history. I love to hear the music, the stories, and the humor of bygone days. Listen with me to this episode from March 10, 1948. Bing had many famous guests, and his guest this day was another holiday favorite, Jimmy Stewart. Bing and Jimmy made a funny duo!
“Mom, it’s Bing time.” Carson looked at his pocket watch.
“Then turn on the radio!” Victoria sat down and hushed them all with her hands.
Carson turned on the radio, and the Bing Crosby Philco Radio Time Show was announced.
“Give me five minutes more. Only five minutes more. Let me stay, let me stay in your arms,” Bing sang to them through the radio, and James’ news faded.
Ava smiled to herself as her mother’s foot began to bounce up and down to the music. She wasn’t the only one who loved the big band.
Song of Return, Chapter 7