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The For Your Approval Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> For Your Approval

The True Adventures of Junior G-Men was another of WOR's great locally produced dramas



Background

Preview programs weren't new to Radio during the mid-1940s. Since the mid-1930s the major Film Studios had been plugging their latest productions through a multitude of "Movies On The Air" types of programs. They were much like the trailers shown in later years in movie houses across America, and very much like those annoying five to seven movie trailers we each pay $20 to see with our favorite DVD movies of today. But these were on Radio. Film previews over radio simply served to create interest in the listening public. In one instance, Warner Bros. attempted something similar to Radio program previews with its Warner Academy Theater often referred to as Encore Theatre of The Air, in which promising rising young Warner Bros. stars were featured in screenplays upon which the listening audience could phone or write in to voice their approval or disapproval for a given talent or screenplay.

Radio program previews--or public auditions--were a new wrinkle in test marketing for their day. CBS and NBC both exercised this technique during the 1940s. CBS's rendition was called CBS Forecast. NBC's rendition was called NBC Premieres [For Your Approval] and the later Show Case which auditioned BBC Programmes for possible adoption by the network. Not to be outdone, MBS also employed the format with its For Your Approval in 1946 and emcee'd by Sherman 'Jock' MacGregor. It was a very innovative way to gauge the potential of a proposed program to a far greater audience than test marketing auditions might disclose. To be sure, CBS, NBC, and MBS performed such focus group testing for smaller productions. They'd invite a cross-section of their target audience to one of their studios, give them the grand tour, treat them like honored guests, then sit them down and gauge their responses to a test program.

But the major broadcasts that CBS Forecast, NBC Premieres and MBS For Your Approval produced were far grander in both scope--and potential, if they clicked with a nationwide audience. It's CBS Forecast that we'll examine and chronicle here. If you've already taken a peek ahead, you'll have noticed both the calibre of talent and the potential scope of some of these proposed programs. Any one of them, by the time they reached this stage of network assessment, might very well have taken off with the public. But the network had to be sure on two counts:

  • Would they generate strong enough prime-time ratings to risk airing them as sustaining productions until a major sponsor could be brought on board, or . . .
  • Would a potential listening sponsor be so taken with the proposed program that they'd make CBS an offer to sponsor the program on spec . . .

The more resource-intensive productions certainly merited a wider test audience--especially proposed programs with major name stars. Major talent might receive $5,000 to $10,000 a week for a program they performed in on a recurring basis. Add another $4,000 to $7,000 per week in production costs, technical support, marketing, supporting cast, orchestra, etc., and you're talking a major investment for the day.

From the December 13th 1946 edition of the Hagerstown Daily Mail :

'For Your Approval,' New Radio Feature head

     New York, Dec. 13 (AP)--Radio, which has tried just about every program idea it can think of, is going to the listener for help--that is one network, MBS.  So it is setting up a weekly half-hour labeled "For Your Approval," in which any available innovations in comedy, drama, musicals, etc., are to be trotted before the microphone.

     After the program gets under way, listeners are to be solicited to send in their suggestions.  All workable ideas will be invited, with the best turned into broadcasts, even if the bulk of the script preparation has to be done by the network.  It is the plan to vary the type of program on a weekly basis.

     Jock MacGregor, producer-director, is to serve as the master of ceremonies.  The program opens at 5 p.m. Saturday.

From the February 17th, 1947 edition of the Canton Repository:

74-02-17 For Your Approval Crosby Review

WHILE IN MOSCOW on his round-the-world air trip, Norman Corwin, whose "One World Flight" series of broadcasts may be heard Tuesday nights (CBS 10 p.m.), interviewed among other persons Vasillii Ardamatsky, the Soviet radio committee's chief editor of literature broadcasts.  The interview contained hte usual amount of cautious gobbledygook characteristic of all statements from Soviet officialdom, but it also revealed that Russian audiences are not much different than our own.
     "The (Russian) listeners," said Mr. Ardamatsky, "like good broadcasts . . . They want high quality."
     "How do they indicate that they want high quality--by letters?" asked Mr. Corwin.

     "WE HAVE read a good many letters on making bad broadcasts," said Mr. Ardamatsky.  "They all send in a great many letters which make sad reading."  This is an experience shared by all American broadcasters, who may find comfort in knowing the Russian masses are not so oppressed they can't find time to squawk about radio programs.
     "How long does it take them to forgive you?" asked Mr. Corwin.  The Russian's answer is a classic.  The Russian listeners, he said, were quick to forgive the broadcasters for an annoying program because five other equally annoying broadcasts soon came along to distract their attention.
     In this respect, Mr. Ardamatsky pointed out triumphantly, Russian radio was no different from radio in any other country.

     THE INTERVIEW was transcribed on a wire recorder and in conclusion Mr. Corwin asked Mr. Ardamatsky to deliver some message to the American people "about radio, about peace, about the future."
     The Russian's candor instantly disappeared at the mention of such controversial words as "peace" and "the future."  His reply indicated that Mr. Ardamatsky will never get into any trouble with the Kremlin for making loose statements.
     "I prefer to talk about the weather," he said.  "The weather shouldn't be upset by all sorts of artificially manufactured storms . . . I say--weather of the world, clear!"

     "FOR YOUR APPROVAL" (Mutual 5 p.m. Saturdays) is a showcase for new radio programs tried out for listener reaction and presented in the wistful hope that some advertiser may be interested enough to sponsor some of them.
     The program is less experimental than CBS's "Columbia Workshop" and is conducted on a far lower plane.  Nevertheless, it does offer an outlet for new and untested programs.  Most of the recent innovations have been quiz programs, as if there weren't enough of that commodity on the air already.  However, one of them, "The Seven Arts Quiz," was a fairly literate program as quiz shows go.  Here are a few of the questions:
     1.  A certain popular movie star is known in Italy as Topolino, in Sweden as Musse Pig, in Japan as Mikikuchi, in Central America as El Raton Miguelito.  What do Americans call him?
     2.  What were the sources of the book titles "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Sound and the Fury," "Of Mice and Men" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls"?
     3.  Who said, "The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair?"
     4.  What composers wrote into their scores (a) a wind machine (b) a typewriter?
     5.  In what American play is there a family called the St. Clares?

     THE ANSWERS:  1.  Mickey Mouse.  2.  In order:  "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Macbeth," Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," a sermon by John Doone.  3.  It wasn't Sinclaire Lewis but Mary Heaton Vorse.  4.  (a)  Richard Strauss in "Don Quixote."  (b) Ferde Grofe in "Tabloid."  5.  "Uncle Tom's Cabin."  

Series Derivatives:

CBS Forecast; NBC Parade of Stars; NBC Advance Release; This Is Jazz;
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Public Audition Programs
Network(s): MBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 46-11-30 01 Title Unknown
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 46-11-30 to 47-11-11; MBS [WOR]; Fifty-two, 30-minute programs; Saturday afternoons
Syndication: Mutual Broadcasting System
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): Jock MacGregor [ Producer]
Principal Performers: Ted Brown, Billy Gilbert, Lew Parker, Guy Kibbee, Henny Youngman,
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s):
Author(s): None
Writer(s)
Musical Performers: Louis Armstrong, Muggsy Spanier, Milt Mezzrow, Albert Nicholas, George Brundies, Pops Foster, C. Luckeyth Roberts, Cy St. Clair, Bobby Dodds
Musical Theme(s):
Announcer(s): Jock MacGregor, Rudi Bleash [Host/ Emcees ]

George Carson Putnam [Narrators]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
56
Episodes in Circulation:
Total Episodes in Collection:
Provenances:
.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were 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.]







For Your Approval Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-11-23
--
--
46-11-22 The Evening News
WOR--710k
Tomorrow Afternoon
5:00 -- What's the Name of That Song

46-11-30
1
Ted Brown
N
46-11-30 York Gazette and Daily
5:00 p.m.--WOR--For Your Approval presents
its premiere offering with Ted Brown in charge. A show case for new programs.

46-12-07
2
On The Swing Side
N
46-12-06 The Evening News
WOR--710k
Tomorrow Afternoon
5:00 -- For Your Approval
"
On the Swing Side"

46-12-14
3
Title Unknown
N
46-12-13 Sandusky Register
Radio, which has tried just about every program idea it can think of, is going to the listerners for help--that is on network--MBS. So it is setting up a weekly half-hour, labelled "For Your Approval."
After the program gets under way, listeners will be solicited to seend in their suggestions. The program will open at 5 p. m. Saturday.

46-12-21
4
Did Justice Triumph?
Y
46-12-21 Franklin News-Herald
5:00--For Your Approval

Narrated by
George Carson Putnam

Jock McGregor announces no airing for the following week.
46-12-28
--
Did Not Air
--
46-12-28 Uniontown Morning Herald
5:00--For Your Approval

47-01-04
5
The Billy Gilbert Show
N
47-01-04 Delaware County Daily Times
"
The Billy Gilbert Show," starring the stage and screen comic, will be featured on "For Your Approval," over WILM at 5.

47-01-11
6
The Mighty Casey
N
47-01-11 Delaware County Daily Times - "The Mighty Casey," a comedy program reviving the fabulous baseballer of "Casey At the Bat," will be introduced on WILM'S "For Your Approval," at 5 p.m.

47-01-18
7
This Is Jazz
N
47-01-18 Delaware County Daily Times
Fans of "le jazz hot" will have a treat when "
This Is Jazz," featuring some of the country's most famous instrumentalists is presented over WILM at 5 p.m., on the program, "For Your Approval." Louis Armstrong and Muggsy Spanier, trumpeters; Milt Mezzrow and Albert Nicholas, clarinetists; George Brundies, trombone; Pops Foster, bass; C. Luckeyth Roberts, Cy St. Clair, tuba, and Bobby Dodds, drums, will participate in the jamboree. Rudi Bleash, authority on jazz and author of "Shining Trumpets," will emcee.

47-01-25
8
Rewards
N
47-01-25 Delaware County Daily Times
"
Rewards", the story of Skip Tracers, Inc., an organization devoted to finding missing persons, will be presented on "For Your Approval", over WILM at 5 p.m.

47-02-01
9
Seven Arts Quiz
N
47-02-01 Bradford Era
WOR--5:00p.m.--For Your Approval: "
Seven Arts Quiz"

47-02-08
10
Title Unknown
N
47-02-08 Daily Journal-Gazette
SATURDAY, FEB. 8
4:00--For Your Approval--MBS

47-02-15
11
Title Unknown
N
47-02-15 Daily Journal-Gazette
SATURDAY, FEB. 15
4:00--For Your Approval--MBS

47-02-22
12
Title Unknown
N
47-02-22 Daily Journal-Gazette
SATURDAY, FEB. 22
4:00--For Your Approval--MBS

47-03-01
13
Title Unknown
N
47-03-01 Altoona Tribune
5:00 For Your Approval--MBS

47-03-08
14
Title Unknown
N
47-03-08 Altoona Tribune
5:00 For Your Approval--MBS

47-03-15
15
Tillie the Toiler
N
47-03-15 Ironwood Daily Globe
The loveable "
Tillie the Toiler" comic strip character, will be heard on "For Your Approval" Saturday afternoon, 4:00.

47-03-22
16
I Hate Divorce
N
47-03-21 Canton Repository
TOMORROW
"For Your Approval" at 5 (Mutual-WHBC): A new radio program, "
I Hate Divorce," will be submitted for the listeners approval.

47-03-29
17
Title Unknown
N
47-03-29 Franklin Herald
Saturday Evening
5:00--For Your Approval

47-04-05
18
Title Unknown
N
47-04-05 Franklin Herald
Saturday Evening
5:00--For Your Approval

47-04-12
19
Title Unknown
N
47-04-12 Franklin Herald
Saturday Evening
5:00--For Your Approval

47-04-19
20
Title Unknown
N
47-04-19 San Bernardino Sun
2 p.m.
KFXM--For Your Approval

47-04-26
21
Title Unknown
N
47-04-26 San Bernardino Sun
2 p.m.
KFXM--For Your Approval

47-05-03
22
Radio and Children
N
47-05-03 San Bernardino Sun
2 p.m.
KFXM--Radio and Children

47-05-10
23
Mother of The Year
N
47-05-10 San Bernardino Sun
2 p.m.
KFXM--Mother of The Year

47-05-17
24
Title Unknown
N
47-05-16 Janesville Daily Gazette
Saturday -
Two unusual fifteen-minute programs, one a spine-chilling story of the supernatural and the other a disc jockey whow with a new twist, will be tried out on the 3 o'clock presentation of the WCLO-Mutual's "For Your Approval."

47-05-24
25
Premonition
N
47-05-23 Wisconsin State Journal
Saturday 3 p.m. For Your Approval (WIBU): "
Premonition," psychological drama.

47-05-24 Cumberland News
Henny Youngman, comedian, has a "new" radio idea for trial in "For Your Approval on MBS at 4.

47-05-31
27
The Vase of Mei Lo
N
47-05-31 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 Better Half --WGN

47-05-25 Gettysburg Times
Saturday May 31 WOR 5:00 For Your Approval '
The Vase of Mei Lo'

47-06-07
27
Title Unknown
N
47-06-07 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 For Your Approval WGN

47-06-14
28
Title Unknown
N
47-06-13 Wisconsin State Journal
Saturday 3 p.m. For Your Approval (WIBU):
four mimics vs. studio contestants.

47-06-21
29
Movie Matinee
N
47-06-21 Findlay Republican-Courier
Lew Parker, comedian, stars in "
Movie Matinee" on Mutual's 4 p.m. Saturday "For Your Approval" show.

47-06-28
30
It's Murder
N
47-06-28 Findlay Republican-Courier
"
It's Murder" will be Mutual's 4 p.m. Saturday "for Your Approval" show.

47-07-05
31
Title Unknown
N
47-07-03 Northwest Arkansas Times
KGRH
Saturday, P.M.
3:00 "For Your Approval" -- M

47-07-12
32
Title Unknown
N
47-07-12 Joplin Globe
TODAY on WMBH-FM--JOPLIN
3:00--For Your Approval (MBS)

47-07-19
33
Title Unknown
N
47-07-19 Galveston Daily News
KLUF
3:00--For Your Approval M

47-07-26
34
Title Unknown
N
47-07-25 Pampa Daily News
SATURDAY
3:00--For Your Approval-MBS

47-08-02
35
Title Unknown
N
47-08-01 Pampa Daily News
SATURDAY
3:00--For Your Approval-MBS

47-08-09
36
Title Unknown
N
47-08-09 Galveston Daily News
3:00--For Your Approval; M

47-08-16
37
Title Unknown
N
47-08-16 Galveston Daily News
3:00--For Your Approval; M

47-08-23
38
Title Unknown
N
47-08-30
39
Title Unknown
N
47-09-06
40
Title Unknown
N
47-09-06 Bridgeport Telegram
5:00 For Your Approval WOR

47-09-13
41
Title Unknown
N
47-09-13 The Daily Mail
WJEJ--Hagerstown
5:00 For Your Approval

47-09-20
42
Title Unknown
N
47-09-20 Bridgeport Telegram
5:00 For Your Approval WOR

47-09-28
43
Title Unknown
N
[ Moves to Sundays]

47-09-28 Cumberland Sunday Times
1:30--For Your Approval--mbs

47-10-05
44
Title Unknown
N
47-10-05 Warren Times Mirror
1:30--For Your Approval--MBS

47-10-12
45
Somewhere In the West
N
7-10-12 Bridgeport Sunday Post
1:30--For Your Approval: Guy Kibbee in
Somewhere In the West--WICO, WOR.

47-10-12 Wisconsin State Journal
Saturday 12:30 p.m. For Your Approval (WGN):
Guy Kibbee in story of old West.

47-10-19
46
Sweepstakes Quiz
N
47-10-19 Bridgeport Sunday Post
1:30--For Your Approval:
sweepstakes quiz--WIOC, WOR

47-10-20 Bridgeport Post
"For Your Approval" on WICC--MBS next Sunday «t 1:30 will present a new quiz with Col Tim Mc-Coy, former western film star hurling questions at competing teams pf Boy and Girl Scouts. .

47-10-26
47
Title Unknown
N
47-10-25 Bridgeport Post
Sunday Guests:
COL. TIM McCOY as quizmaster on "For Your Approval" (WICC, 1:30)

47-10-26 Trenton Evening Times
Colonel Tim McCoy, Indian fighter and screen cowboy, becomes quizmaster on WOR-Mutual's new "For Your Approval" program heard Sundays at 1:30 p.m.

47-10-26 Bridgeport Telegram
1:45 Your Approval

47-10-20 Bridgeport Telegram
"For Your Approval" on WICC-MBS next Sunday at 1:30 will present
a new quiz with Col Tim McCoy, former western film star, hurling questions at competing teams of Boy and Girl Scouts.

47-11-02
48
Title Unknown
N
47-11-02 Bridgeport Telegram
1:45 Your Approval

47-11-02 Abilene Reporter-News
12:45 KXOX For Your Approval

47-11-09
49
Title Unknown
N
47-11-08 Harrisburg Evening News
Sunday 1:30 "For Your Approval"
Irving Caesar.

47-11-16
50
Title Unknown
N
47-11-16 Bridgeport Telegram
1:45 Your Approval

47-11-23
51
Title Unknown
N
47-11-23 Bridgeport Telegram
1:45 Your Approval

47-11-30
52
Let's Play Bridge
N
47-11-29 Bridgeport Telegram
"For Your Approval", on WOR at 1:30 tomorrow, offers "
Let's Play Bridge" with Mrs. Madeleine Kerwin conducting "post-mortems" on the great indoor sport.

47-12-07
53
Title Unknown
N
47-12-06 Joplin Globe
Sunday
12:30 For Your Approval--mbs

47-12-14
54
Title Unknown
N
47-12-13 Lock Haven Express
TOMORROW
1:30 For Your Approval

47-12-21
55
Title Unknown
N
47-12-20 Harrisburg Evening News
TOMORROW
1:30 For Your Approval

47-12-21 Bridgeport Telegram
1:45 Your Approval

47-12-28
56
Obsession
N
47-12-28 New York Times
1:30-WOR--For Your Approval, Play--
The Obsession

47-12-28 Wisconsin State Journal
12:30 p.m.. For Your Approval (WGN):
The hates fears and false triumphs of a criminal tortured by a consuming "Obsession."

48-01-04
--
--
48-01-04 New York Times
1:30-WOR--Sylvan Levin Orchestra






For Your Approval Radio Program Biographies




Sherman 'Jock' MacGregor
(Producer, Director and Host)

Singer, Songwriter, Radio, Stage and Television Actor, Radio Producer, Radio Director
(190?-19??)

Birthplace: Unknown

Radiography:
1938 American Portraits
1942 Murder Clinic
1942 WOR Summer Theatre
1942 The Cisco Kid
1942 Just Five Lines
1943 The Adventures Of Raffles
1943 Nick Carter, Master Detective
1943 Beatrice Kay's Capers
1944 The Mysterious Traveler
1945 Brownstone Theatre
1945 The Sealed Book
1945 The Strange Dr Weird
1946 For Your Approval
1947 The Bitter Herb
1947 The Trojan Women
1947 Crime Club
1947 Did Justice Triumph?
1948 Stars Of the Air
1948 Meet the Stars
1948 Secret Missions
1948 Roger Kilgore, Public Defender
1953 Cavalcade Of America
1955 Inheritance
1957 X Minus One
1957 Five-Star Matinee

Sherman 'Jock' MacGregor as Morris Fink, Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler from The Honeymooners, ca 1956
Sherman 'Jock' MacGregor as Morris Fink, Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler from The Honeymooners, ca 1956

The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the Bensonhurst Chapter of the International Order of Friendly Sons of the Raccoons Makes His Entrance
The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the Bensonhurst Chapter of the International Order of Friendly Sons of the Raccoons Makes His Entrance


Sherman 'Jock' MacGregor was one of The Mutual System's most successful producers and directors during The Golden Age of Radio. MacGregor began his career in Radio as a singer, heard over Radio as early as 1926, singing mostly minstrel songs and dressed for public appearances of his minstrel act in traditional Highlander garb--kilts and all.

Ever the thrifty Scot, Jock MacGregor was quoted in 1927 as boasting that he and his new bride saved the expense of a honeymoon at Niagara Falls by simply listening to its roar over a broadcast on Radio. One of MacGregor's contemporaries, 'Sir' Harry Lauder was often heard singing tradional Highland songs over the early Enna Jettick Melodies program (1929). Contemporaneous newspaper articles often favorably compared Jock MacGregor to the more famous Sir Harry Lauder.

Apparently both loved and respected for his early Radio work, the famous pioneering Radio station KDKA (Pennsylvania) devoted an entire prime-time, 15-minute program to MacGregor on August 31, 1936 as an on-air Farewell Party for him. By 1938 he was producing and directing many Radio programs for NBC-Blue [WJZ] as a staff director and writer.

But it was Jock MacGregor's move to the Mutual Broadcasting System's flagship station, WOR that ultimately afforded MacGregor the latitude and artistic freedom that made him famous. Beginning with WOR Summer Theater (1942), MacGregor was soon writing, directing and producing WOR staples such as The Cisco Kid (1942), The Adventures of Raffles (1943) and Nick Carter, Master Detective (1943-1953). Indeed it was while producing Nick Carter that Jock MacGregor first teamed up with the famous fiction writing team of Robert Arthur, Jr. and David Kogan. That same team would soon produce many Nick Carter programs together, as well as the long-running The Mysterious Traveler (1943-1952), The Sealed Book (1945), and several episodes of The Strange Dr. Weird.

The team's success producing The Mysterious Traveler was cut short when the series was abruptly cancelled by WOR during the infamous witch-hunts of the HUAC blacklisting years. With the successful team broken up, MacGregor continued producing and directing several Radio programs and early Television programs, occasionally appearing as an uncredited actor.

MacGregor produced the successful Inheritance (1953), X Minus One (1957) and Five-Star Matinee (1957) programs for competing networks. During the 1950s Jock MacGregor returned to his acting roots appearing in both Stage productions and Television. MacGregor also helped produce the James Cagney feature Shake Hands with The Devil (1959).

The late 1950s and early 1960s found him both acting in Television and producing Television features in Great Britain. MacGregor's last notable appearance on Television was as Jed Morgan in The Wahoo Bobcat (1963), a Walt Disney Presents television episode.



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