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Original Stars In the Afternoon header art

CBS Stars in the Afternoon Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Stars in The Afternoon

Spot ad for the second installment of CBS Stars In the Afternoon for September 29th 1946
Spot ad for the second installment of CBS Stars In the Afternoon for September 29th 1946

Background

From the September 28th 1946 edition of the Oakland Tribune:

Radio Review 

THE MIXTURE AS BEFORE
 By JOHN CROSBY
 
     The Columbia Broadcasting System put much of its best livestock on display last Sunday in an hour and a half program called "Stars in the Afternoon" which gave us a pretty good preview of the 1946-47 season.  If this sample is any criterion, CBS this year will present few new faces but some nice old ones, some terrible jokes and some excellent popular music.  The network will be weak on top-flight comedy variety shows, strong on mystery and straight comedy and will offer more than its share of popular singers.
     Early in the show Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore paid their respects to the new season in a brief bit of patter that revealed Jimmy hasn't changed much.  He is still one of the most likeable characters in radio, though I still think he's unsuited to it.  Blondie and Dagwood appeared long enough to ask Mr. Dithers for a raise and got it too.  Ann Sothern appeared as Maisie, the All-American white collar girl.
     One of the newer personalities on display was that of Hoagy Carmichael, who has outgrown writing "Stardust" to become a theatrical personality of his own.  Mr. Carmichael sang "Georgia On My Mind" in that bassoon of a voice, accompanying himself on the piano with one and sometimes even two fingers.  The composer will have his own show later in the season.
CRIME SLEUTHS ON JOB
     One of the pleasantest bits of nonsense in the hour and a half show was a sort of parody on all radio murder mysteries.  CBS called in all of its ace sleuths--Nick Charles, Sam Spade, the Crime Photographer and the Crime Doctor--to save the life of a man warned he will die at midnight.  This rugged array of brains couldn't prevent the crime or solve it after it happened.  That's undoubtedly the only time all season that will happen.
     Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore wandered through the program pretending not very successfully to be unknowns seeking radio auditions.  This part of the script was as coy as an elephant ballet but fortunately it didn't obtrude very much.  The program was also cluttered up with a "Mr. System" who said "This is the Columbia Broadcasting System," a laugh-provoking device as old as the audion tube but not as reliable.
     CBS will present the rest of its stars tomorrow (12 noon to 1:30 p.m., PST), and it would be well worth your while to listen in if only to get some idea what you do and don't want to listen to for the rest of the season.  But don't look for novelty.  As W. Somerset Maugham once titled a book of short stories, it's "The Mixture As Before."
Copyright, 1946, for The Tribune

The two installments [September 22nd and 29th]of Stars in The Afternoon introduced and highlighted the following programs in the CBS Fall Lineup for 1946:

  • Academy Award
  • The Adventures of Maisie
  • The Adventures of Sam Spade, Detective
  • The Adventures of The Thin Man
  • The American Melody Hour
  • Baby Snooks
  • Big Town
  • Blondie
  • Bob Hawk
  • Casey, Crime Photographer
  • Crime Doctor
  • Dr. Christian
  • The New Eddie Bracken Show
  • The Family Hour
  • The Ford Show with Dinah Shore
  • The Gene Autry Show
  • The Ginny Simms Show
  • Hollywood Star Time
  • Information Please
  • Inner Sanctum
  • It Pays to Be Ignorant
  • The Jack Carson Show
  • Lux Radio Theatre
  • Mayor of The Town
  • The Mel Blanc Show
  • Ozzie and Harriet
  • Radio Readers' Digest
  • Screen Guild Players
  • Songs by Sinatra
  • Vox Pop
  • Your Hit Parade

Series Derivatives:

CBS Forecast; NBC Parade of Stars; Mutual's For Your Approval;
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Promotional Previews
Network(s): CBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 46-09-22 01 CBS Stars in the Afternoon Part 1
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 46-09-22 to 46-09-29; CBS; Two, 90-minute programs;
Syndication: Columbia Broadcasting System
Sponsors: Sustained
Director(s): William N. Robson and Robert Louis Shayon
Sterling Tracy, Larry Berns, Asa Oates [Assistant producer/directors]
Principal Actors:
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Norman Corwin
Carroll Carroll [Script editor/supervisor]
Music Direction: Artur Rodzinski and The New York Philharmonic
Archie Bleyer and his Orchestra
Lud Gluskin and his Orchestra
Musical Theme(s): "There's No Business Like Show Business"
Announcer(s): Bob Lemond [Announcer]

Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore
Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore
Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hillard [Hosts]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
2
Episodes in Circulation: 1
Total Episodes in Collection: 1
Provenances:

RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the RadioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







CBS Stars in the Afternoon Radio Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-09-15
--
--
45-09-14 Brooklyn Eagle

RADIO
By William Juengst

SHOWCASE--Comes Sunday afternoon, the Columbia Broadcasting System proposes to give you an hour-and-a-half show, written by Norman Corwin and called "Stars in the Afternoon," to preview in one stanza all its Fall and Winter top offerings . . . To get his full effect, Corwin has decided to turn the stage of Carnegie Hall into a broadcasting studio . . . With the living room of "The Aldrich Family" as the scene of his script . . . Among the "visitors" to the Aldrich clan between 3 and 4:30 p.m., will be Helen Hayes, Phil Baker, Andre Kostelanetz, Patrice Munsel and "Miss America of 1945."

46-09-22
1
CBS Stars in The Afternoon Part 1
Y
46-09-21 Evening Tribune

Opaminute Series
Opens Sunday
On Columbia Net

NEW YORK. Sept 21—(AP)-First of two 90-minute weekly broadcasts in which network talent for fall and winter will be displayed, will go on CBS at 1 pm. Sunday. Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra will team up to handle the MC role.
Title of the series is "Stars in the Afternoon." Among the acts included are those of Bob Hawk. Moore and Durante. Dick Haymes, Crime Doctor, Dr. Christian and the Radio Theatre
.

46-09-22 Wisconsin State Journal
Special Program 7 p.m.--Stars In the Afternoon (WBBM):
Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Hoagy Carmichael, Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore, Joan Davis, Bob Hawk, Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest; casts of American Melody Hour, Inner Sanctum, Crime Doctor, Crime Photographer, Thin Man, Sam Spade, Dr. Christian, Digest Blondie, Radio Theater, Screen Guild Players.

46-09-29
2
CBS Stars in The Afternoon Part 2
N
46-09-29 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m.--Stars In the Afternoon (WBBM):
preview of fall shows; Ozzie and Harriet, Ginny Simms, Arthur Treacher, Meredith Willson, Joan Davis, Baby Snooks and Daddy, Gene Autry, Mel Blanc, Eddie Bracken, Hildegarde, Phil Baker, Lionel Barrymore, casts of Big Town, Vox Pop, Hit Parade, Information Please.
46-10-06
--
--






CBS Stars in the Afternoon Radio Program Biographies




William N. Robson
(Producer, Director, and Writer)

(1906-1995)
Writer, Producer, Director of Radio and Television, College Lecturer

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA

Education:
B.A., Philosphy, Yale University

Curriculum Vitae:
Lecturer, New York University
Lecturer, UCLA
Consultant, U.S. Information Agency
Director, The Voice of America

Radiography:

1934 Calling All Cars
1936 Columbia Workshop
1936 Then and Now
1938 American School Of the Air
1939 Americans All-Immigrants
1939 What Price America
1940 Big Town
1942 The Twenty Second Letter
1943 The Man Behind the Gun
1943 One World
1944 Four For the Fifth
1945 Request Perforance
1946 Stars In the Afternoon
1946 Hawk Larabee
1947 Escape
1947 Doorway To Life
1947 Hollywood Fights Back
1947 Shorty Bell, Cub Reporter
1948 Suspense
1948 The Whistler
1950 T-Man
1950 The Adventures Of Christopher London
1950 Beyond Tomorrow
1955 Girl From Paradise
1955 Romance
1956 Fort Laramie
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1958 Luke Slaughter Of Tombstone
1959 The Heart Of America
1960 Have Gun, Will Travel
1964 Theatre Five
Jackson Beck and Paul Luther confer with William N. Robson during Man Behind the Gun (1943)
Jackson Beck and Paul Luther confer with William N. Robson during Man Behind the Gun (1943)


Robson, seen here behind Frank Lovejoy, directing the Peabody Award winning series, Man Behind The Gun, for CBS, ca 1943
Robson, seen here behind Frank Lovejoy, directing the Peabody Award winning series, Man Behind The Gun, for CBS, ca 1943


William Robson, Director, ca. 1954
William Robson, Director, ca. 1954


William N. Robson, with sons, ca. 1959
William N. Robson, with sons, ca. 1959


William N. Robson was yet another of the hundreds of prominent victims of the infamous "Red Channels" promoted blacklisting of professionals in the Performing Arts. His 'sins' in the cowardly, notorious and despicable "Red Channels" pamphlet that named him?:
  • Acting as one of the Sponsors of an Artists Front to Win the War meeting he helped organize at Carnegie Hall in 1942.
  • A December 1946 speech he gave on the encroachments being made against free speech.
  • Being a signator to a 1948 full page 'We Are for Wallace' ad in the New York Times.
  • A masthead listing him as an Associate for the Hollywood Quarterly, a scholarly journal of Film, Radio and Television history.

That's apparently all the extreme Right Wing needed during those shameful post-War years to destroy any great professional's career--through whispers and innuendo. Robson had been one of CBS's premiere Radio and Television talents, but their withering support of Robson, fueled by the spurious comments in Red Channels eventually pressured CBS into discharging Robson. The long-festering Right Wing backlash from F.D.R.'s famous Four Freedoms Speech had traversed full-circle. And so it evolved that anyone speaking out for the protection of those very freedoms was targeted for ostracization.

But despite the attempts to destroy his reputation, Robson's career in Radio and Television and in service to his country still stand as one of the finest records of acheivement of the Golden Age of Radio. Indeed, it was Edward R. Murrow himself, under the administration of John F. Kennedy that gained an appointment for Robson as a Director for The Voice of America. His security clearance for that highly sensitive position was expedited without a hitch.

William Robson had every expectation of having a storied career. He showed early promise at Yale, began his writing career with Paramount Pictures, then in 1936, entered Radio while still in his twenties. He was a staff writer and director for CBS for almost 20 years. So instrumental was his role in early CBS Radio dramas that his name was rountinely attached to the promotional efforts for the programs he wrote, directed or produced for CBS--and rightly so. By the mid-1940s Robson had already received two prestigious George Foster Peabody awards for CBS--for 1943's Man Behind the Gun and the documentary, Open Letter on Race Hatred.

Robson's Philosophy degree served him well throughout his career, and its influence on his Radio and Television productions is readily apparent throughout his body of work. Always sensitive to the eternal conflicts between morality and amorality, many of Robson's pet projects strove to shine a light onto the murkier aspects of American society. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons that the first half of his career attracted the prurient interests of the extreme Right Wing during the infamous HUAC era.

And indeed, despite all extreme Conservative attempts to squelch his 'voice' in the Media, he could not be restrained for long. Robson may well have argued himself, that the second half of his career was even more productive and influential on the World Stage than his years in American Radio and Television.

William N. Robson capped an outstanding career in Communications with a highly influential position producing Pro-Democracy documentaries as Chief Documentary Writer, Producer and Director for the Voice of America. Indeed, he won four more Peabody Awards for his work at The Voice of America. How fittingly ironic.

And though his work with The Voice of America may well have eclipsed his work during The Golden Age of Radio, his personal influence in shaping and giving a conscience to those Golden Years stands head and shoulders above his peers.

William Robson died of Alzheimer's disease at his home in Alexandria, Va in April of 1995, survived by his wife, Shirley, and three sons, Christopher, Anthony and Michael.




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