Posted ByGerry O. on January 22, 2004 at 06:44:10:
In Reply to: Re: Dennis Day's replacement ? posted byjerry4opry on January 22, 2004 at 06:03:40:
: i had assumed that NBC "owned" their announcers and that's why Von Zell didn't move to CBS in 1940 when Fred started doing the Texaco show...i thought Don quit working for the network and became Jack's "personal" announcer and therefore went everywhere Jack went...i learn something new everyday!
While some radio announcers were network "staff announcers", guys like Don Wilson, Harry Von Zell, Bill Goodwin and Harlow Wilcox answered to the show's sponsor, and appeared on both NBC and CBS during the same period. Back then a radio program's sponsor had a LOT of power (after all, the sponsor was paying the bills), and had major control over how a radio program would be presented. In many cases the sponsor's personal whims had to be catered to...no matter how "quirky" they were.
In Fred Allen's autobiography "Treadmill To Oblivion", he tells of how his first radio series (1932's "The Linit Bath Club Revue") featured musical interludes of depressing-sounding organ music by organist Ann Leaf. Fred said that this type of music was really out of place on a comedy program, but was featured simply because the sponsor's wife liked organ music!
It's lucky for all of us that the American Tobacco Company decided to carry Don Wilson over from the Grape-Nuts Flakes series. I've heard recordings where Jack's show is broadcast from New York City and for one reason or another Don didn't make the trip. His announcing duties are taken over by some very capable announcers (Harry Von Zell, Kenny Delmar, etc.)...but it just doesn't seem right without Don bellowing out the cast members' names!