RADIO: THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM

by Peter Tatchell (reprinted from LAUGH MAGAZINE #18, 1998)

It’s probably the most fondly remembered show of the era affectionately known as the golden days of radio. For twenty years, Sunday nights at 7:00pm meant one thing . . . The Jack Benny Program. The antics of Jack and his castmates became must-hear listening for millions of Americans for a generation. Between the years 1934 and 1954 it was the medium’s top rated show three times, and only out of the top five once (and then, only falling to number six).

Jack Benny himself wasn’t that special a comedian. Born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago in 1894, his first taste of per-forming came during his stint in the navy during World War 1 when the then violin player was asked to offer a few words of repartee as part of a concert for his fellow sailors.

After the war he worked up a comedy music act and toured the vaudeville circuits throughout the 1920s. He called him-self Ben Benny, until confusion with bandleader Ben Bernie led to him changing his first name to Jack. In January 1927 he wed the former Sadie Marks (who adopted the stage name of Mary Livingstone), in a marriage that would last nearly fifty years.

When the talkies arrived Jack appeared in a handful of shorts (Bright Moments, Songwriters Revue, A Broadway Romeo, Cab Waiting and Taxi Tangle) andoccasional fea­tures (The Hollywood Revue Of 1929, Chasing Rainbows and Medicine Man) where he was usually cast as a debonair wisecracking leading man.

The other burgeoning entertainment medium of the era was radio, and Jack made his debut on the Ed Sullivan broad-cast of May 2 1931. Within a year he’d been signed for his own show (sponsored by Canada Dry ginger ale) which aired over the NBC Blue network twice weekly for six months. He then switched to CBS (with the same sponsor) for a further three months of two programmes a week.

Soon after, Al Jolson deserted his Friday night Chevrolet show on NBC Red and Jack Benny was signed to replace him. Hoping to capture some of the magic of his best friend George Burns’ success with wife Gracie Allen, Jack arranged for Mary Livingstone to become his regular on-air partner from this point on (though she’d first broadcast with him on August 3 1932). It was the first step to the formation of radio’s most successful group.

Though now a popular performer on the airwaves, Jack Benny was still very much in the mould of the many other comedians appearing on radio . . . each broadcast would fea­ture some traditional repartee, orchestral numbers by the resident band and a song by the male vocalist.

By April 1934, Benny had a new sponsor (the General Tire Company) and a new announcer, the rotund Don Wilson. Another player had joined the team, and when the makers of Jell-O began backing the show later that year, The Jack Benny Programhad a timeslot it would keep for the next twenty-one seasons . . . seven o’clock on Sunday nights. (It should be noted that, at the time, the Benny cast would do two performances of each week’s script three hours apart, so that it would maintain that time in the major cities on both coasts, which were in different time zones. However, when America entered the Second World War, each week’s show was done only once … still airing at 7:00pm in New York, which was 4:00pm on the West coast. Listeners in Los Angeles and San Francisco would continue to hear the programme in this timeslot after the war had ended).

In his first four years on air, Jack’s show had featured no fewer than six orchestras (under the batons of George Olsen, Ted Weems, Frank Black, Don Bestor, Jimmy Grier and Johnny Green) before Phil Harris signed on in October 1936 and the writers were able to create an elbow-bending egotist to regularly antagonise the host.

Being a popular broadcasting name led Jack back to the movies in regular appearances on the big screen (Mr. Broadway, Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round, Broadway Melody Of 1936, It’s In The Air, The Big Broadcast Of 1936, Col­lege Holiday, Artists And Models, This Way, Please andArtists And Models Abroad). In each he appeared in fairlynondescript roles which, in fact, could have been played by any number of other show business names.

The 1930s was a popular time for Hollywood westerns, and Jack’s radio writers decided to send up the genre by having him play a character called Buck Benny on a number of broadcasts. As part of the proceedings, movie favourite Andy Devine became a semi-regular for severalweeks (and in fact made frequent appearances on the show over the following three seasons). The routine even spawned a feature film … Buck Benny Rides Again in 1940. 

December 30th 1936 saw the start of radio’s greatest feud when Fred Allen welcomed child violinist Stuart Canin to his programme and threw in a line about how well he played in comparison to that other alleged exponent of the catgut … Jack Benny. In response, Benny fired off some remarks of his own (or, to be more accurate, from the pens of his writers) the following Sunday, and the tit-for-tat routine was off and running. Several months of diatribes led to an appearance at New York’s Hotel Pierre in March 1937 which paved the way for a movie spinoff (Love Thy Neighbor) and nearly twenty years of top-rating radio and tv confrontations.

Returning by train from the New York hijinks, the Benny programme featured black actor Eddie Anderson in a bit part as a porter, and reaction to the character saw him joining the cast full time as Jack’s wisecracking, gravel-voiced manserv­ant Rochester, and acting as sparring partner for Benny for the next quarter of a century. Anderson’s character was also featured in a handful of Benny motion pictures (including Man About Town and The Meanest Man In The World). 

Over the years the show had featured several male vocalists (James Melton, Frank Parker and Kenny Baker) but a replacement was needed for the 1939/40 season. The successful candidate was tenor Eugene McNulty, who used the stage name Dennis Day. Day’s fine singing talents were augmented by a zany Gracie Allen-like sense of logic which immediately caught on with the listeners and, after almost a decade of building, the Jack’s ensemble was complete. After several seasons at number 2, in 1940 The Jack Benny Program finally topped the ratings.

Along the way, the writers had transformed the star from a fairly traditional joke-telling comic into a finely drawn, three-dimensional character who was vain, notoriously penny-pinching, a lousy violinist with a curious walk and the butt of the idiosyncrasies of his supporting players. Benny himself was wise enough to realize the laughs could be spread evenly throughout his team and the show’s success would still sit squarely on his shoulders.

Radio had reached its peak, but the coming of the Second World War brought change to all areas of show business. The Armed Forces Radio Service was set up to make sure the morale of America’s fighting men was enlivened by the popular broad-casting favourites from back home, and stars like Jack Benny appeared on hundreds of specially-scripted programmes which were played in battle zones all round the world. In addition, most of the weekly series were edited (to remove commercial content) for rebroadcast by the A.F.R.S.

The war also affected the Benny show in a more tragic way. In January 1942, the death of Carole Lombard in an air crash (returning to Los Angeles from a war-bond tour) led to Jack cancelling that week’s broadcast . . . the pair had recently starred in the Lubisch comedy To Be Or Not To Be. 

In December that year, Phil Harris temporarily left the show to join the service. He returned three months later, at a time when Orson Welles had stepped in to the host’s role for four broadcasts while Benny was ill. In November 1944, Dennis Day also left the series to enlist, with Larry Stevens filling in as the weekly vocalist until Day’s return in March 1946.

After eight incredibly successful seasons touting Jell-O, sponsor General Foods decided to have the Benny team switch to another of its products, Grape Nuts, from October 1942. Two years later Lucky Strike cigarettes took over for a mara­thon run which lasted until the show’s eventual demise over ten years later.

Apart from the half-dozen regulars, The Jack Benny Program also featured several occasional players . . . among themSam Hearn (as Schiepperman) who first appeared in early 1934,Frank Nelson (the antagonistic Yeeeeess man) from June 1934,cartoonland’s immortal Mel Blanc (the voice of violin teacher Professor Le Blanc) a participant since February 1939, and later, Artie Auerbach (Mr. Kitzel) from January 1946 and Frank Fontaine (as the loudmouthed L.C. Sivoney) from April 1950.Vocal group The Sportsmen Quartet also joined the cast from September 1946 to wax lyrical about the sponsor’s wares and irritate the host. 

In addition to the annual grudgematch with Fred Allen, in December 1945 Benny began an ongoing antagonism with movie legend Ronald Colman and his wife Benita (who supposedly lived in the house next door). The war of nerves (which resulted in over twenty appearances by the pair over the next six years) had Jack trying to ingratiate himself into their Hol­lywood circle and generally making a pest of himself. Later, the routine was continued in the television version of the show with James Stewart and his wife being the exasperated butt of Benny’s company (though the Colmans guested in one of Jack’s tv editions in November 1956).

By the late 1940s, NBC had come to dominate the airwaves (thanks in no small manner to institutions like the Benny show). In desperation, CBS chief William Paley organized his infa­mous “talent raid” which snared Jack, Amos ‘N’ Andy and Red Skelton. Two million dollars saw CBS buy the entire Jack Benny Program which they scheduled (midway throughthe season) at the regular 7pm Sunday slot from January 2nd 1949. In the process, Benny made a huge tax-free capital gain and Paley got himself a guaranteed ratings winner.

Not merely content to offer a diet of quips and putdowns, the show’s writers were encouraged to expand the boundaries of their craft. The first show of the 1949/50 season is remarkable in scripting a half-hour sitcom where the host doesn’t make an appearance until the final four minutes . . . such was the appeal of a penny-pinching joke about the Benny character that the star agreed to allow the radical idea. Script updates were also permitted during the broadcast with the most fa­mous occurring during the January 8 1950 programme when an accidental name mispronunciation by Don Wilson was cleverly exploited in a later part of the storyline.

The end of the decade saw the emergence of television as the entertainment world’s next big craze and by late 1950 most of the big names had either switched mediums or provided tv offerings in addition to their radio efforts. Jack decided to ease into tv gradually with only an occasional show, and continue on with his weekly broadcasts.
(SEE THE laughterlog.com FILE ON JACK’S TV SERIES)

By mid-1952, radio had lost a huge amount of its advertis­ing dollar to the new competitor and budgets had to be cut. In Benny’s case, Phil Harris was replaced by the more economi­cal Bob Crosby and his orchestra (though Phil would return for a tv guest spot in October 1958). 

Jack (along with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Edgar Bergen) were the last big names to stay on the airwaves but the writing was on the wall and in a few short years the industry would change to disk-jockeys and wall-to-wall music. The 1954/55 season was the last for The Jack Benny Program and twelveout of the thirty-five broadcasts were repeats of programmes aired a couple of years before.

Its last years saw no lessening of humour or creativity and up to its final edition The Jack Benny Program maintained its reputation as a leading light in the history of American broadcasting, and happily time has not tarnished the delight in listening to the old favourite.

EPISODE GUIDE

 

Season 1: NBC BLUE Mondays and Wednesdays May 2 to October 26 1932 (52editions)
with Ethel Shutta and George Olsen’s Orchestra
sponsor: Canada Dry Ginger Ale
recording of May 2 is with collectors

Season 2: CBS Sundays and Thursdays October 30 1932 to January 26 1933 (23 editions)
with Andrea Marsh, Sid Silvers and Ted Weems’ Orchestra
sponsor: Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Jan 1 and Jan 22 with collectors

Season 3: NBC RED Fridays March 3 to June 23 1933 (17 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, James Melton, Howard Claney and Frank Black’s Orchestra
sponsor: General Motors — Chevrolet
Mar 31, Apr 14, Apr 21, May 5, Jun 2, Jun 9 and Jun 23 with collectors

Season 4: NBC RED Sundays October 1 1933 to April 1 1934 (27 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Frank Parker, Alois Havrilla and Frank Black’s Orchestra
sponsor: General Motors — Chevrolet
Dec 10, Feb 11 to Mar 18 and Apr 1 with collectors

Season 5: NBC RED Fridays April 6 to September 28 1934 (26 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Frank Parker, Don Wilson and Don Bester’s Orchestra (replaced by Jimmy Grier’s Orchestra from June 8)
sponsor: General Tire Company
Apr 6, Apr 13, Apr 27 to May 18, Jul 20, Aug 3, Aug 24, Aug 31 and Sep 14 to 28 with collectors

Season 6: NBC BLUE Sundays October 14 1934 to July 14 1935 (40 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Frank Parker, Don Wilson and Don Bester’s Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
Oct 14 to Nov 18, Dec 2, Dec 16 and Jan 6 with collectors

Season 7: NBC BLUE Sundays September 29 1935 to June 21 1936 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Michael Bartlett (until Oct 27), Kenny Baker (from Nov 3), Don Wilson and Johnny Green’s Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
Nov 3, Nov 17, Jan 19, Feb 9 to 23, Mar 8 to May 24, and Jun 7 to 21 with collectors

Season 8: NBC RED Sundays October 4 1936 to June 27 1937 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Kenny Baker, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
whole season with collectors

Season 9: NBC RED Sundays October 3 1937 to June 26 1938 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Kenny Baker, Andy Devine, Sam Hearn, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson (from Dec 26), Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
all but Oct 17, Nov 14 and Dec 26 are with collectors

Season 10:NBC RED Sundays October 2 1938 to June 25 1939 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Kenny Baker, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra sponsor: General Foods — Jello
whole season with collectors

Season 11: NBC RED Sundays October 8 1939 to June 16 1940 (37 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Verna Felton, Mel Blanc, Don Wilson and Phil Harris Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
whole season with collectors

Season 12: NBC RED Sundays October 6 1940 to June 1 1941 (35editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
whole season with collectors

Season 13: NBC RED Sundays October 51941 to May 31 1942 (not on Jan 18) (34 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Jello
whole season with collectors

Season 14: NBC RED Sundays October 4 1942 to May 30 1943 (35editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra (absent from Dec 13 to Mar 14)
sponsor: General Foods — Grape Nuts
whole season with collectors

Season 15: NBC Sundays October 10 1943 to June 4 1944 (35editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day (until Apr 23), Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Minerva Pious (until Feb 6), John Brown (until Dec), Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: General Foods — Grape Nuts
whole season with collectors

Season 16: NBC Sundays October 1 1944 to May 27 1945 (* not on Apr 15)(34 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Larry Stevens (from Nov 5), Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 17: NBC Sundays September 30 1945 to May 26 1946 (35 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Larry Stevens (until Mar 10), Dennis Day (from Mar 17), Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wil­son and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors 

Season 18: NBC Sundays September 29 1946 to May 251947 (35 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day (until May 4), Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson (until May 4) and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 19: NBC Sundays October 51947 to June 27 1948 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors 

Season 20: NBC Sundays October 3 to December 26 1948, CBS January 2 to May 29 1949 (35 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 21: CBS Sundays September 11 1949 to May 28 1950 (38 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 22: CBS Sundays September 10 1950 to June 3 1951 (38 editions)
(* Benny was ill on Mar 11 so a repeat was broadcast)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 23: CBS Sundays September 16 1951 to June 1 1952 (38 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Phil Harris’ Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 24: CBS Sundays September 14 1952 to June 7 1953 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Bob Crosby’s Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 25: CBS Sundays September 13 1953 to June 6 1954 (39 editions)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Bob Crosby’s Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Season 26: CBS Sundays September 26 1954 to May 22 1955 (23 editions, plus 12 repeats *)
(* reruns aired Oct 10 and 17, Nov 7, Dec 12 and 19, Jan 23, Feb 6 and 20, Mar 13 and 27, Apr 10 and May 8)
with Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson and Bob Crosby’s Orchestra
sponsor: American Tobacco Company — Lucky Strike Cigarettes
whole season with collectors

Benny regularly had recordings made of his broadcasts and the huge collection now resides at U.C.L.A.

Jack also appeared in a number of A.F.R.S. wartime broadcasts …

Command Performance
#12 (May 7 1942)
#22 (July 14 1942)
#41 (November 10 1942)
Christmas 1942 edition (late 1942) (60 min)
Christmas 1943 edition (November 6 1943) (60 min)
#125 (June 17 1944)
#135 (August 26 1944)
#140 (September 30 1944)
Christmas 1944 edition (October 1944) (135 min)
#156 (December 30 1944)
#174 (May 10 1945)
#203 (December 20 1945)
#209 (January 31 1946)
#218 (spring 1946)
5th Anniversary edition (May 29 1947) (60 minute highlights compilation)

Mail Call
#3 (August 27 1942)
#38 (May 19 1943)
#72 (January 5 1944)
#84 (March 29 1944)
#135 (March 7 1945)
#138 (March 28 1945)
#285 (February 11 1948)

G.I. Journal
#87 (April 23 1945)

DISCOGRAPHY

The Jack Benny Album
Top Ten 4x78rpm set (1947)
The Violin Lesson
Schizophrenia
Getting A Haircut
A Letter From Mary’s Mother
Getting A Shave
America’s Foremost Violinist

The Radio Fight Of The Century – Jack Benny vs. Fred Allen
Radiola 2LP 2MR 2930 (1974)
extracts from Jack Benny Program broadcasts of
1938
March 27 1938
January 15 1950
April 26 1952
AFRS Command Performance Christmas broadcasts of
1942
1943
1944
and May 9 1947
plus Fred Allen Show broadcasts:
March 25 1938
May 26 1946
June 26 1949
Camel Comedy Caravan of June 11 1943
and The Big Show of November 5 1950

The Jack Benny Story
Radiola 2LP 2MR 4546 (1975)
includes the broadcasts of
January 2 1949
January 25 1953
plus numerous extracts

Jack Benny And Fred Allen – The Radio Feud Continues
Radiola LP MR 1111 (1980)
includes the broadcast of December 27 1942
plus radio promotions for Buck Benny Rides Again and Love Thy Neighbor

The Jack Benny Show
Radiola LP MR 1147, CD CDMR 1147 (1984)
includes the broadcasts of
June 18 1939
April 9 1950

Duffy’s Tavern/The Jack Benny Show
Yorkshir LP 716
includes the broadcast of December 16 1945

One Night Stand With Benny Goodman In 1942 And 1943
Joyce LP 1073
includes the broadcast of December 13 1942

Vintage Radio Broadcasts – Jack Benny
Mar-Bren LP 748 (may not have been issued)
track details unknown

Jack Benny – 1933
Mark 56 LP 764 (1976)
includes the broadcasts of
March 31 1933
June 23 1933

Jack Benny – 1936
Mark 56 LP 765 (1976)
includes the broadcasts of
October 25 1936
November 29 1936

Jack Benny – 1940
Mark 56 LP 766 (1976)
includes the broadcasts of
June 9 1940
April 20 1941

Jack Benny – 1944
Mark 56 LP 767 (1976)
includes the broadcasts of
April 23 1944
May 7 1944

Jack Benny – Original Radio Broadcast
Nostalgia Lane LP PB 0261, NLR 1003 (1977)
includes the broadcasts of
February 12 1950
April 25 1948

Nostalgia Lane Treasury Of The Best Of Old Time Radio
Nostalgia Lane 6LP set NLR 60
includes the broadcast of March 28 1948

The Three Funniest Hours In The History Of Radio
Nostalgia Lane 3LP set (1977)
includes the broadcast of February 12 1950

The Great Radio Comedians
Murray Hill 5LPs 931699
includes the broadcast of April 24 1949

Jack Benny And Fred Allen – Radio’s Greatest Feud
Murray Hill 3LPs 898039 (1978)
reissue of Radiola 2MR2930 plus an extra Jack Benny Program and Fred Allen Show broadcast

Greatest Original Broadcasts – Jack Benny
M.F. Distribution Co. 3LPs MF 214 (1978)
includes the broadcasts
March 16 1952
April 7 1946
April 14 1946
January 5 1947
March 23 1952
January 19 1947

The Continental Jack Benny And His Friends
Broadcast Tribute LP BTRIB 0004
includes extracts from radio and television

Listener’s Choice – The Best Of Jack Benny
Metacom CD 906 (1994)
Jack’s Birthday
Your Money Or Your Life
The Necktie Coun­ter
Violin Lesson
King For A Day
Magician Act With Sister Sue + Last Live Radio Show

Best Of Radio Comedy – Fred Allen + Jack Benny
LaserLight CD 12 686
includes broadcast of December 6 1942

Radio’s Greatest Comedians
Prime Time Nostalgia 5CD set PTN 724
(* Benny disc sold separately as 8010K) (1992)
disc #2 features various excerpts

The Smithsonian Collection – Old Time Radio – All-Time Favorites
Radio Spirits 4CD set SAFD 1-4 (1994)
disc #2 features the broadcast of November 16 1953

The Smithsonian Collection – Old Time Radio – Comedy Favorites
Radio Spirits 4CD set SAFD 1-4 (1994)
disc #1 features the broadcast of February 15 1948

The Smithsonian Collection – Old Time Radio – Comedy & Laughter
Radio Spirits 4CD set SCL 02 (1994)
disc #1 features the broadcast of April 14 1946

The Best Of Old Time Radio Starring Jack Benny
Radio Spirits 6CD 85081 – 85086 (1999)
features the broadcasts of …
February 17 1952
February 24 1952
January 20 1957 (repeat date)
January 27 1957 (repeat date)
plus guest appearances on …
Suspense: A Good And Faithful Servant (June 2 1952)
Suspense: Murder In G-Flat (April 5 1951)
The Fred Allen Show (June 26 1949)
Ford Theater: The Horn Blows At Midnight (March 4 1949)
The Burns & Allen Show (November 29 1945)
Lux Radio Theatre: Seven Keys To Baldpate (September 26 1938)

The Jack Benny Program
Radio Spirits CD 7706 (2001)
features the broadcasts of
February 26 1939
March 5 1939

Jack Benny
Radio Spirits 3CD 27582 (2002)
features the broadcasts of …
June 13 1954 (repeat date)
June 20 1954 (repeat date)
June 27 1954 (repeat date)
July 4 1954 (repeat date)
July 11 1954 (repeat date)
July 18 1954 (repeat date)

Jack Benny
Radio Spirits 3CD 48162
features broadcasts of …
April 17 1938
January 29 1939
October 13 1946
October 24 1948
November 27 1949
February 12 1950

The Jack Benny Program
Radio Spirits CD 27664 (2002)
(also issued with Suspense as Radio Spirits 2CD  80012)
features broadcasts of …
March 28 1948
April 4 1948

The Jack Benny Program
Radio Spirits 10CD 4334 (2002)
features broadcasts of …
February 13 1938
March 27 1938
March 26 1939
November 9 1941
March 8 1942
October 11 1942
April 11 1943
February 18 1944
January 28 1945
February 10 1946
March 24 1946
April 28 1946
May 18 1947
November 21 1948
December 4 1949
January 22 1950
November 12 1950
April 27 1952
January 11 1953
February 15 1953

The Ultimate Jack Benny Collection
Radio Spirits 20CD 40702 (2003)
features broadcasts of …
May 2 1932
October 4 1936
March 14 1937
June 20 1937
April 24 1938
March 12 1939
October 8 1939
October 18 1942
April 11 1943
November 28 1943
October 1 1944
September 30 1945
December 9 1945
December 23 1945
January 6 1946
February 3 1946
September 29 1946
October 20 1946
October 27 1946
February 15 1948
March 28 1948
April 4 1948
April 25 1948
May 2 1948
January 2 1949
September 11 1949
January 8 1950
February 12 1950
April 9 1950
April 30 1950
September 24 1950
October 22 1950
December 3 1950
April 15 1951
March 2 1952
January 25 1953
December 5 1954
December 12 1954
March 6 1955
May 22 1955

Jack Benny Spoofs
Radio Spirits 3CD 30322
features broadcasts of …
December 19 1937
March 31 1940
April 23 1944
October 20 1946
October 17 1948
July 25 1954 (repeat date)

Jack Benny’s Journeys
Radio Spirits 3CD 30392
features broadcasts of …
April 14 1940
June 9 1940
March 4 1945
May 13 1945
September 13 1953
May 10 1954

Jack Benny Program
Radio Revisited 6CD no number (2000)
November 30 1941
December 7 1941
November 15 1942
November 22 1942
November 7 1943
November 14 1943
March 12 1944
March 19 1944
October 1 1944
November 19 1944
April 8 1945
May 13 1945

The Best of Jack Benny
Radio Spirits 10CD 40192
features broadcasts of …
May 28 1939
January 2 1944
January 25 1945
December 30 1945
November 16 1947
October 23 1949
March 23 1952
April 25 1954
May 24 1954
August 1 1954 (repeat date)
August 29 1954 (repeat date)
September 5 1954 (repeat date)
September 12 1954 (repeat date)
September 19 1954 (repeat date)
May 5 1957 (repeat date)
June 2 1957 (repeat date)
June 23 1957 (repeat date)
July 7 1957 (repeat date)
July 28 1957 (repeat date)
August 4 1957 (repeat date)

Picture Parodies
Radio Spirits 6CD 44352
features broadcasts of …
March 17 1940
January 24 1943
October 17 1943
November 24 1946
February 2 1947
November 2 1947
May 1 1949
March 25 1951
September 23 1951
September 28 1952
January 11 1953
March 8 1953

Jack Benny – Maestro
Radio Spirits 14CD 44502
features broadcasts of …
October 13 1940
May 9 1943
February 17 1946
November 23 1947
December 7 1947
December 5 1948
May 15 1949
February 18 1951
October 14 1951
December 9 1951
February 10 1952
February 17 1952
March 2 1952
March 16 1952

Neighbors (with Ronald Colman and Benita Hume)
Radio Spirits 8CD 44772
features broadcasts of …
December 9 1945
December 23 1945
February 3 1946
April 14 1946
November 17 1946
February 16 1947
April 27 1947
November 9 1947
February 1 1948
March 28 1848
April 25 1948
May 9 1948
October 24 1948
March 6 1949
October 29 1950
April 15 1951

The Gang’s All Here
Radio Spirits 10CD 44292
features broadcasts of …
May 2 1948
January 23 1949
May 8 1949
May 28 1950
January 16 1949
May 29 1949
plus …
THE HALLS OF IVY:
May 24 1950
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF ROCHESTER VAN JONES: May 12 and 13 1950
THE ROCHESTER SHOW: February 18, 19 and 15 1950
HERE COMES MR. KITZEL: December 27 1950
THE ABBOTT & COSTELLO SHOW: November 9 1944
ARE YOU A GENIUS: 2 AFRS 1940s
THE WHISTLER: September 11 1949
JEFF REGAN, INVESTIGATOR: August 6 1950
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DENNIS DAY: April 7 1948, January 21 and 28 1948
FITCH BANDWAGON: March 9 1947
THE PHIL HARRIS – ALICE FAYE SHOW: December 19 1948 and January 29 1950

EMI Comedy – Jack Benny
E.M.I. CD 39513 2 (2002)
Dennis’ Mother Comes To Broadcast
Programme Not Broadcast
Drive-In
Phil’s Band Rehearses
Doing The Programme
The Train Station
The Jack Benny Show 40 Years From Now
Good Night

A Jack Benny Old Time Radio Christmas – volume 1
Old Time Radio Memories CD C 5045 (2003)
Last Minute Christmas Shopping
Jack Buys Don Cuff Links For Christmas
The Christmas Ghost

A Jack Benny Old Time Radio Christmas – volume 2
Old Time Radio Memories CD C 5047 (2003)
Christmas Gopher Trap For Don
Christmas Shopping In Palm Springs
Christmas Seal Show
1940 Paramount Christmas Ad

Old Time Radio Remembers Jack Benny
Old Time Radio Memories CD C 5051 (2003)
Train Trip
Phil Harris Replaced By Bing Crosby
Suspense! The Face Is Familiar
other Jack Benny radio appearances may be found on …

The Horn Blows At Midnight
Radiola LP MR 1068 (1977)
features the 60 minute Ford Theatre of March 4 1949

Jack Benny
Famous Personalities LP 1002
includes extracts from five AFRS broadcasts

The Man Who Came To Dinner
Star-Tone LP ST 226 (* this LP was scheduled, but may not have been released)
features the 60 minute radio presentation

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Jack Benny Show
by Milt Josefsberg (Arlington House, New York 1977)

Jack Benny – The Radio And Television Work
compiled by the Museum of Television and Radio (Harper Perennial, New York 1991)

plus the Jack Benny biographies

Jack Benny
by Irving A. Fein (Putnam, New York 1976)

Jack Benny
by Mary Livingstone Benny and Hilliard Marks (Doubleday, New York 1976)

Sunday Nights At Seven
by Joan Benny (Warner Books, New York 1990)

Well – Reflections on the Life and Career of Jack Benny
edited by Michael Leannah (BearManor Books, 200?)

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: