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Original Eddy Duchin Show header art

The Eddy Duchin Show Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Eddy Duchin Show

Eddy Duchin circa 1945
Eddy Duchin circa 1945


1950s Navy Recruiting poster promising 'travel' with the Navy
1950s Navy Recruiting poster promising 'travel' with the Navy



1950s flyer encouraging enlistment with the Navy's SeaBees
1950s flyer encouraging enlistment with the Navy's SeaBees



Allied Record Manufacturing produced and syndicated The Eddy Duchin Show for the Public Relations Division of The Navy Department
Allied Record Manufacturing produced and syndicated The Eddy Duchin Show for the Public Relations Division of The Navy Department

Background

Eddy Duchin was one of those candles that burn the very brightest but become extinguished far too soon. Only 41 years old at the time of his death, Duchin amassed an extraordinary body of musical and patriotic achievement during his professional careers. Yes, careers. Initially schooled in Pharmacology, Duchin soon determined that he had more to contribute via his music than as a pharmacist. Yet even after an extraordinarily successful career as a pianist and band leader, Duchin obtained a commission in the Navy to serve on Navy destroyers in the North Atlantic; between 1943 and 1945, one of the most dangerous theatres of the War in Europe.

Upon his return to civilian life, Duchin picked right up where he left off, while at the same time founding a school for teaching piano technique and authoring four books on the subject.

Dubbed 'The Magic Fingers of Radio' Duchin's gift for extemporizing melodies was remarkable for its day. His touch and attack was so quick and deft that at one time his hands were reported to have been insured for $150,000. Beginning as early as 1931, Duchin's piano work could be heard all over Radio for various bands throughout the 1930s. By the mid-1930s Duchin and his band were featured in Films of the era.

After Duchin's return to civilian life, the Navy still held a special place in his memory. A Lieutenant Commander upon his separation in 1945, Duchin made his services available over and over again for the Navy Department and its recruiting efforts.

Eddy Duchin's continues to help the Navy after World War II

The Eddy Duchin Show was one of several Navy Department and Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) contributions that Duchin made on behalf of armed forces recruiting. The Eddy Duchin Show was particularly attractive in several respects: his orchestra headlined the series, it featured the finest vocalists of the era, and it offered a tribute or salute to a different facet of Naval Operations during every program.

Polished, well-paced, and patriotic, all thirteen 15-minute programs were--and remain--a treat to the listener. Veteran announcer Ken Roberts introduced and closed every program. The opening introduced the featured vocalist for the evening, offered a tribute to a particular arm or installation of the Navy, then smoothly segued into Eddy's opening number. Eddy and Ken would then discuss a particular Naval career before launching into Duchin's second piece of the evening, often accompanied by regular vocalist, Tommy Mercer.

The second half of the program was devoted to the featured vocalist for the evening and ended with the real treat of most programs, a showcase of Eddy Duchin's artistry on the keys. Duchin's unmistakeable Boston accent was another of the series' charms. Not often heard in a conversational context, the byplay with Ken Roberts, albeit tightly scripted, remains a fascinating historical artifact in itself.

There are hundreds of examples of Eddy Duchin's piano magic in wax recordings of the era, but few of them showcase a full three hours of Duchin's artistry in one collection. Finely transcribed to digital audio, the thirteen program set of The Eddy Duchin Show remains one of those wonderful rare gems of vintage Radio.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Variety
Network(s): NBC, CBS, ABC, The AFRS, and several other local affiliates and networks while in syndication.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 49-02-28 01 Salute to N.A.S. Pensacola featuring Jane Froman
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 49-02-28 to 49-05-23; [Various Networks]; Thirteen, 15-minute programs; various days and times depending on the outlet
Syndication: Allied Record Manufacturing (for the Public Information Division of the Navy Department)
Sponsors: U.S. Navy Recruiting
Director(s):
Principal Performers: Jane Froman, Georgia Gibbs, Kay Armand, Maxine Sullivan, Anita Ellis, Nan Wynn, Janette Davis, Bea Wain, Yvette, Eugenia Baird, Nancy Donovan, Jane Pickens, Connee Boswell
Recurring Performers: Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra with Tommy Mercer
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s)
Music Direction: Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra ; Tommy Mercer [Vocalist]
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Ken Roberts
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
13
Episodes in Circulation: 13
Total Episodes in Collection: 13
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.]







The Eddy Duchin Show Transcription Log

Date Trans # Title Avail. Notes
49-02-28
1
Salute to N.A.S. Pensacola Featuring Jane Froman
Y
Opens with 'Blue Skies'
49-03-07
2
Salute to Bethesda Navy Medical Center Featuring Georgia Gibbs
Y
Opens with 'The Best Things in Life Are Free'
49-03-14
3
Salute to Naval Reserve Featuring Kay Armand
Y
Opens with 'I Want to Be Happy'
49-03-21
4
Salute to Navy Civil Engineers Featuring Maxine Sullivan
Y
Opens with 'Sweet Sue'
49-03-28
5
A Tribute to the Navy Nurse Featuring Anita Ellis
Y
Opens with 'Darktown Strutters' Ball'
49-04-04
6
Salute to Navy Dentists Featuring Nan Wynn
Y
Opens with 'Nobody's Sweetheart'
49-04-11
7
Salute to Navy Hospital Corps Reserve Featuring Janette Davis
Y
Opens with 'Moonlight on The Ganges'
49-04-18
8
Salute to Navy WAVES Featuring Bea Wain
Y
Opens with 'Sometimes I'm Happy'
49-04-25
9
Salute to Navy Chaplains Featuring Yvette
Y
Opens with 'Shine On Harvest Moon'
49-05-02
10
Salute to Navy Electronics Reservists Featuring Eugenie Baird
Y
Opens with 'Lady Be Good'
49-05-09
11
Salute to Men in Navy Blue Featuring Nancy Donovan
Y
Opens with 'Who'
49-05-16
12
Salute to Navy Submarine Reserve Featuring Jane Pickens
Y
Opens with 'Hallelujah'
49-05-23
13
Salute to Naval Aviators Featuring Connee Boswell
Y
Opens with 'Lover'





The Eddy Duchin Show Show Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
49-02-28
1
Salute to Bethesda Navy Medical Center Featuring Georgia Gibbs
N
49-02-06 Democrat And Leader
The U.S. Navy will make available to stations starting the first week in March, a 13 week musical series, "The Eddy Duchin Show." The show will feature such vocalists as Jane Froman, Georgia Gibbs, Kay Armen, Nan Wynn and Jane Pickens. 49-02-26 Bradford Era - WESB Sunday 5:30--The Eddy Duchin Show.

49-02-28 Olean Times Herald - WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show with Georgia Gibbs
49-03-07
2
Salute to U.S. Naval Reserve Featuring Kay Armand
N
49-03-07 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Kay Armen
49-03-14
3
Salute To the U.S. Navy Civil Engineers Featuring Maxine Sullivan
N
49-03-14 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Maxine Sullivan
49-03-21
4
A Tribute To the Navy Nurse Featuring Anita Ellis
N
49-03-21 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Anita Ellis
49-03-26
5
Salute to the U.S. Navy Dentists Featuring Nan Wynn
N
49-03-26 Olean Times Herald
WHDL Monday 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Nan Wynn
49-04-04
6
Salute to Navy Hospital Corps Reserve Featuring Janette Davis
N
49-04-04 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Janette Davis
49-04-11
7
Salute to Navy WAVES Featuring Bea Wain
N
49-04-11 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Bea Wain
49-04-18
8
Salute to Navy Chaplains Featuring Yvette
N
49-04-18 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Yvette
49-04-25
9
Salute to Navy Electronics Reservists Featuring Eugenie Baird
N
49-04-25 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:15 Eddy Duchin Show
with Eugene Baird
49-05-02
10
Salute to Men in Navy Blue Featuring Nancy Donovan
N
49-05-02 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:30 Eddy Duchin Show
with Nancy Donovan
49-05-09
11
Salute to Navy Submarine Reserve Featuring Jane Pickens
N
49-05-09 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:30 Eddy Duchin Show
with Jane Pickens
49-05-16
12
Salute to Naval Aviators Featuring Connee Boswell
N
49-05-16 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:30 Eddy Duchin Show
with Connee Boswell
49-05-23
13
Title Unknown
N
49-05-23 Olean Times Herald
WHDL 9:30 Eddy Duchin Show






The Eddy Duchin Show Radio Program Biographies




Edwin Clark 'Eddy' Duchin
Pianist, Composer, Arranger
(1910-1951)

Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Education: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy

Military Service: Served North Atlantic 1943-1945; U.S. Navy, Lt. Cmdr.

Radiography:
1946 The N.K. Musical Showroom
1946 Kraft Music Hall
1946 Command Performance
1946 Radio's Biggest Show
1946 Navy Day Salute
1946 The Carnation Contented Hour
1949 The Eddy Duchin Show
1961 The Mitch Miller Show
At Ease
Eddy Duchin circa 1945
Eddy Duchin circa 1945

Eddy Duchin compares notes with Benny Goodman (1938)
Eddy Duchin compares notes with Benny Goodman (1938)

Eddy Duchin deplanes a TWA flight (1938)
Eddy Duchin deplanes a TWA flight (1938)


From the February 10, 1951 edition of the Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin:
 

Eddy Duchin, 'Magic Finger' Pianist, Dies

 
     NEW YORK--(AP)--Eddy Duchin, whose mastery of the piano keyboard delighted millions of Americans, died here Friday night only a few hours after the navy cited him for his World War II combat record.
     Rear Admiral Walter S. Delany, commandant of the Third naval district, delivered the citation personally Friday to Duchin, 41, who was a patient at Memorial hospital.
     Duchin enlisted in the navy eight years ago.  He served on destroyers in some of the toughest engagements of both the Atlantic and Pacific.  In 1945 he was discharged as a lieutenant commander.
     His losing battle against leukemia--a form of cancer of the blood--started several months ago.  The hospital said he had been a frequent patient recently.
     At his bedside when he died was his wife and a sister.
 
     BORN IN CAMBRIDGE, Mass., his full name was Edwin Frank Duchin.  His mother wanted him to play the piano; his druggist father hoped he would become a pharmacist.
     So young Eddy took piano lessons, but went off to Massachusetts College of Pharmacy for his studies.  He was graduated in 1929.
     However, odd piano assignments with college orchestras convinced him he could earn more with his musical skills than with his druggist knowledge and Duchin joined Leo Reisman's orchestra, then playing at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York.
     Duchin formed his own band in 1931 at the request of the old, famed Central Park Casino.  There he was often teamed with Singer Morton Downey.
     Then Duchin branched into radio and won the title of "The Magic Fingers of Radio."  He and his band were featured in several motion pictures, including "Coronado" in 1935 an "Hit Parade" in 1937.
 
     FEATURING SO-CALLED society music, his band was popular at many of the nation's finest hotels.  Duchin himself won popularity with original piano renditions of the blues and by extemporizing in key with the melody.
     At one time, his fingers reportedly were insured for 150,000.
     Duchin disbanded his band in 1942 when he enlisted in the navy.
     He reorganized his band after the war and also founded a school for teaching piano technique.  He wrote four books on the subject.
     Duchin's first wife, Sugar Heiress Marjorie Oelrichs, died in 1937, two years after they were married and six days after she bore him a son.
     He was married again in 1947 to Maria Teresa Winn of London, who survives.
 
     Duchin has been in Madison several times with his orchestra, the last time being July, 1938, at the Orpheum.



Ken Roberts [Saul Trochman]
(Announcer)

Radio, Television and Film Actor and Announcer
(1910-2009)

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1932 The Linit Bath Club Revue
1937 The Burns and Allen Show
1937 The Shadow
1938 The American School of the Air
1938 Columbia Workshop
1944 Calling All Girls
1944 It Pays To Be Ignorant
1944 Let Yourself Go
1945 Treasury Salute
1945 The Jane Cowl Show
1945 Guest Critic Series
1946 Your Sports Question Box
1946 Eversharp Schick Varieties
1946 Mercury Summer Theatre
1946 Tonight On Broadway
1947 Flit Frolics
1947 Quick As A Flash
1947 The Jan August Show
1948 The Milton Berle Show
1948 Grand Central Station
1948 Mr Ace and Jane
1948 Meet the Press
1949 Hogan's Daughter
1949 The Eddy Duchin Show
1949 Casey, Crime Photographer
1949 The Anacin Hollywood Star Theatre
1949 Grand Central Station
1950 Not For Children
1950 Candid Microphone
1950 Lorenzo Jones
1951 Philip Morris Playhouse On Broadway
1951 Horace Heidt's Youth Opportunity Program
1952 My Little Margie
The Xavier Cugat Show
Ken Roberts circa 1940
Ken Roberts circa 1940



Ken Roberts circa 1947



Ken Roberts reenacts a script of The Shadow for a Shadow Fans convention, ca. 1987
Legendary Announcer Ken Roberts' career spanned over 35 years in Radio and another forty-five years in Television. Born on the island of Manhattan, Roberts announced some of Radio's earliest programs, such as The Linit Bath Club Revue (1932). The next thirty-five years found Ken Roberts accouncing many of Radio's most famous and memorable programs: The Burns and Allen Show, The Shadow, Columbia Workshop, It Pays to be Ignorant, Mercury Summer Theatre, Quick As A Flash, The Milton Berle Show, the long running Mr. Ace and Jane, Casey Crime Photographer, Grand Central Station, and My Little Margie.

Making not only a successful, but equally legendary transition to the small screen, Roberts' Television career comprises over seventy programs and over 800 appearances to date. Roberts' most recent Film appearance was a cameo role in 2005's Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain. This durable actor and announcer has lent his unmistakeable voice to the airwaves and Film for over seventy-five years as of this writing.

As fondly remembered for his stirring lead-ins for The Shadow, Roberts is equally remembered for his portentious announcements for CBS' historic, award-winning You Are There series.

Ken Roberts was the announcer for the Television soaps, "Love of Life" for twenty years and "The Secret Storm" for twenty years. Extraordinarily versatile, Ken Roberts was as effective in TV's earliest action adventure dramas as in the first 130 ground-breaking episodes of Electric Company (1972)--and virtually every genre between those extremes. Roberts inflection, phrasing, and projection over the years remained as forceful and discernable as ever--a tribute to both his range and reliability.

Ken Roberts is also the proud father of Tony Award winning dramatic actor Tony Roberts, a favorite of Woody Allen movies and stage plays alike. As durable and versatile as his father, the two actors represent over 110 years of Radio, Television, Film and Stage excellence. The two appeared together in Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987) with Tony Roberts on screen and Ken Roberts off-screen.

It's the 21st Century, Mr. Roberts. A celebration of the very finest recordings of The Golden Age of Radio, and You, Mr. Roberts, Most Definitely Were There.

[Update: Ken Roberts passed away June 19, 2009 at the age of 99]



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