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Original Frances Langford header art

The Maxwell House Coffee Time | Frances Langford Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Frances Langford

Announcement of Francis Langford for the summer season of Maxwell House Coffee Time
Announcement of Francis Langford for the summer season of Maxwell House Coffee Time

The 'Part of the American Scene' theme was carried forward in Maxwell House's print promotions during the Summer of 1947, 'Pueblo Village'
'Pueblo Village'
The 'Part of the American Scene' theme was carried forward in Maxwell House's print promotions during the Summer of 1947

The 'Part of the American Scene' theme was carried forward in Maxwell House's print promotions during the Summer of 1947, 'The Lighthouse'
'The Lighthouse'

'Fishing'
'Fishing'

'County Fair'
'County Fair'

'Good to the Last Drop'
'Good to the Last Drop'

Background

General Foods' Maxwell House Coffee brand sponsored a long running series of highly popular Radio programs throughout the Golden Age of Radio, many of them collectively titled Maxwell House Coffee Time in one form or another:

  • 1926-1932 Maxwell House Concerts
  • 1931 Lanny Ross
  • 1932-1941 Showboat
  • 1937-1949 Maxwell House Coffee Time
  • 1938 I Give You My Life
  • 1939 America’s Lost Plays
  • 1940 Kate Hopkins, Angel of Mercy
  • 1940 Maxwell House Good News
  • 1941 The Housewarming
  • 1942 Post Toasties Time
  • 1943 Blind Date
  • 1944 Those We Love
  • 1946 Meredith Willson Summer Show
  • 1947 Wendy Warren and The News
  • 1949 Father Knows Best

The years during which Maxwell House Coffee sponsored its Maxwell House Coffee Time saw some of Radio's most enduring favorites airing under the Maxwell House banner. When their prime time season headliners would take a well-earned summer break Maxwell House often continued Maxwell House Coffee Time during the summer with many well-received summer programs featuring supporting artists from their prime time season shows, such as Meredith Willson from Burns and Allen, and band singer, comedienne, and actress, Frances Langford.

Maxwell House Coffee Time with Frances Langford airs as a Summer replacement

Maxell House Coffee sponsored the long-running Burns and Allen Program between 1945 and 1949. Every summer that Burns and Allen took off for their ensemble's Summer vacation, Maxwell House had the option of holding Burns and Allen's timeslot for that summer. For 1947 Maxwell House chose to feature the Screen and Radio comedienne and singing star Frances Langford in her own half-hour situation comedy and variety program. Maxwell House billed the production as "Part of the American Scene," a theme Maxwell House also promoted in its magazine ads for the Summer of 1947. The Print ad campaign was also accompanied by beautiful paintings commissioned for the campaign illustrating some of the more vacation spots of the U.S. which evoked Summer and iced coffee and relaxation.

Summer replacement programs were generally viewed as placeholders by the networks. Fully aware that a few less listeners would be tuning in to the same primetime slot during the Summer vacation season, as often as not Summer replacement programs featured a few less production values and big-name talent than their regular season counterparts. Maxwell House Coffee Time with Frances Langford was a definite exception to these broadcasting and advertising business axioms.

The show Maxwell House mounted for France Langford during the Summer of 1947 was quite arguably at least the equal of its regular season prime time occupant: The Burns and Allen Program. Billed as "a part of the American Scene" the half-hour program was a fast paced, brilliantly directed and orchestrated, tightly structured, and wonderfully written production. Its format was also both novel and consistently structured:

  • The introduction and opening song or two from Frances Langford.
  • The first Maxwell House Blended Coffee message.
  • A song from the American Scene by the Dick Davis Chorus.
  • A nostalgic reminiscence from the American Scene
  • The weekly 'American Scene' comedic sketch
  • A second Maxwell House Coffee message
  • A medley of choral and instrumental pieces saluting music from America's history
  • Closing messages and announcements

Maxwell House's commercial messages were very skillfully integrated into each production; never abrupt, jarring, or disruptive to the flow of the program. At the same time, the first commercial message of each program ran from two to three minutes, counting Carmen Dragon's interstitial scoring. Each weekly American Scene sketch throughout the series depicted a nostalgic, evocative element of American society. The medleys presented as the last segment of each program were salutes to various American composers or American music styles.

All of Carmen Dragon's musical pieces were beautifully scored, but it was the medleys that demonstrated Dragon's mastery in arrangement and composition. From the July 19th 1947 edition of the Williamsburg Journal-Tribune:

If you're fans of George Burns and, Gracie Allen you'll know that they are on vacation now and you're probably missing their antics. Have you listened to the show that is taking their place for the summer? It's an entirely different kind of show but you'll hear some good music if you'll tune in to WHO, 1040, at 6:30 on Thursday evenings.

Frances Langford and Carmen Dragon are featured in the new summer series pinch-hitting for the Burns and Allen show. Dragon and his 25-piece orchestra with the vocals by Frances and a choral group of 8 men present the works of Stephen Foster, musical comedy composers, contemporary hit writers and some circus and hillbilly music for those preferring that type of entertainment. It's a varied program to please a musical cross-section of America.

Each week a skit on some phase of American life will be given such as the boys at the ol' swimmin' hole, a baseball game, a family picnic or something similar.

Miss Langford and Mr. Dragon, who have been working together on the "Don Ameche Show," are enthusiastic about each other's work. "She's one singer who knows the type of music that is right for her and sticks to it," says Carmen about Frances. Frances praises Carmen with "He's a musician's musician."



The combined Maxwell House Print and Radio campaigns complemented each other quite seamlessly. The message of the campaign was "Maxwell House Coffee is part of the American Scene." Both the extravagant Print ads and the overarching 'American Scene' theme of each episode perfectly underscored Maxwell House's messaging. All told it was a brilliant campaign. Maxwell House continued the 'American Scene' campaign once The Burns and Allen Program returned to the air on September 4th 1947. The only change in the accompanying print ads was the replacement of The Frances Langford Program for The Burns and Allen Program.

Maxwell House's Frances Langford Program was perfectly suited for its Summertime audience. It was light, patriotic, entirely wholesome, adequately amusing, and beautifully scored and performed. This is one of the collectable gems from The Golden Age of American Radio.

Series Derivatives:

Maxwell House Coffee Time; The American Scene; AFRS 'Frances Langford Program'
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Variety
Network(s): NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 47-06-05 01 Opens with It's A Good Day
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 47-06-05 to 47-08-28; NBC; Thirteen, 30-minute programs; Thursday evenings
Syndication: NBC Orthacoustic
Sponsors: General Foods [Maxwell House Coffee]
Director(s):
Principal Performers: Eloise [Dragon], The Dick Davis Chorus, Sam Edwards, Barbara Fuller, Earle Ross
Recurring Character(s): Holly, Frances' sister [Barbara Fuller]; Dad [Earle Ross]; Carmen Dragon [as himself]; Tobe Reed [as himself]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Jean Holloway
Music Direction: Carmen Dragon
Musical Theme(s): "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee"
Announcer(s): Tobe Reed
Frances Langford [Hostess]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
13
Episodes in Circulation: 13
Total Episodes in Collection: 13
Provenances:

Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

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The Maxwell House Coffee Time | Frances Langford Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
47-06-05
1
Opens with It's A Good Day
Y
[Summer Replacement for Maxwell House Coffee Time with Burns and Allen]

47-06-05 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA): and Carmen Dragon's orchestra start summer series; It's a Good Day," "Carolina in the Morning," "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi."

Features
reminiscences of 1931; American Scene Sketch: Taking your girl to a Baseball game; A salute to Finian's Rainbow
47-06-12
2
Opens with There's No Business Like Show Business
Y
47-06-12 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA):
salutes graduation day.

Features
reminiscences of Summer; American Scene Sketch: Your Kid Sister's Graduation Ceremony; A salute to George Gershwin
47-06-19
3
Opens with You Can't See the Sun When You're Crying
Y
47-06-19 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA):
the summer picnic: an American custom; "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," Cole Porter medley

Features
reminiscences of 1912; American Scene Sketch: The Summer Picnic; A salute to Cole Porter
47-06-26
4
Opens with June Is Bustin' Out All Over
Y
47-06-26 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA): "Would You Believe Me," "The Best Things in Life,"
dramatization of June wedding.

Features
reminiscences of June; American Scene Sketch: A June Wedding; A salute to songs of The West
47-07-03
5
Opens with Almost Like Being In Love
Y
47-07-03 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford

Features
reminiscences of 1947; American Scene Sketch: Sister's First Dance at the Country Club; A salute to the songs of George M. Cohan.
47-07-10
6
Opens with I Know That You Know
Y
47-07-10 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 6:30 Frances Langford

47-07-10 Williamsburg Journal-Tribune
If you're fans of George Burns and, Gracie Allen you'll know that they are on vacation now and you're probably missing their antics. Have you listened to the show that is taking their place for the summer? It's an entirely different kind of show but you'll hear some good music if you'll
tune in to WHO, 1040, at 6:30 on Thursday evenings.
Frances Langford and Carmen Dragon are featured in the new summer series pinch-hitting for the Burns and Allen show. Dragon and his 25-piece orchestra with the vocals by Frances and a choral group of 8 men present the works of Stephen Foster, musical comedy composers, contemporary hit writers and some circus and hillbilly music for those preferring that type of entertainment. It's a varied program to please a musical cross-section of America.
Each week a skit on some phase of American life will be given such as the boys at the ol' swimmin' hole, a baseball game, a family picnic or something similar.
Miss Langford and Mr. Dragon who have been working together on the "Don Ameche Show" are enthusiastic about each other's work. "She's one singer who knows the type of music that is right for her and sticks to it," says Carmen about Frances. Frances praises Carmen with "He's a musician's musician."

American Scene Sketch: A Family Barbecue; A salute to the songs of Lerner and Lowe.
47-07-17
7
Opens with The Moon Belongs to Everyone
Y
47-07-17 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA): and Carmen Dragon orchestra; "April Showers," "Je Vous Aime;"
salute to Sunday afternoon band concerts.

American Scene Sketch: A Sunday Band Concert; A salute to the songs of Cole Porter.
47-07-24
8
Opens with Who
Y
47-07-24 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA): and Carmen Dragon orchestra; "Who," "All the Things You Are," other Kern songs.

Features
reminiscences of Jerome Kern;
American Scene Sketch:
A Women's Club Play; A salute to the music of Jerome Kern.
47-07-31
9
Opens with I Haven't Got A Worry in the World
Y
47-07-31 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA):
salutes hometown founders' day; "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles," "El Relicario," Hawaiian medley.

American Scene Sketch: The Founders' Day Parade Committee; A salute to music of the Tropics.
47-08-07
10
Opens with You Were Meant for Me
Y
47-08-07 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 6:30 Carmen Dragon

Features
music from Hollywood;
American Scene Sketch:
The Surprise Birthday Party; A medley of the music of Hollywood.
47-08-14
11
Opens with Exactly Like You
Y
47-08-14 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA): and Carmen Dragon's orchestra; "Exactly Like You," "Don't Play No. 6 Tonight," "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi."

Features
reminiscences of college;
American Scene Sketch:
The Church Social; A medley of The Blues.
47-08-21
12
Opens with Blue Skies
Y
47-08-21 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 6:30 Frances Langford

American Scene Sketch: House Cleaning and The Hayride; A medley of the Old and the New.
47-08-28
13
Opens with Just One of Those Things
Y
47-08-28 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Frances Langford (WIBA): "Mighty Lak' a Rose," "Sipping Cider by Zuyder Zee," "I'll Be Seeing You."

American Scene Sketch: Summer's End; A medley of the songs of Fall.





The Maxwell House Coffee Time | Frances Langford Radio Program Log

Date AFRS No. Title Avail. Notes
47-08-14
Opens with Exactly Like You
Y






The Maxwell House Coffee Time | Frances Langford Radio Program Biographies




Frances [Newbern] Langford
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actress; Singer
(1913-2005)

Birthplace: Lakeland, FL, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1933 Lum 'n' Abner
1934 Colgate House Party
1935 Hollywood Hotel
1936 The BUrns and Allen Show
1936 Al Lyons Orchestra
1938 National Mobilization For Human Needs
1939 Texaco Star Theater
1940 The Rudy Vallee Sealtest Show
1941 Greek War Relief Fund
1941 The Pepsodent Show
1942 Command Performance
1942 Mail Call
1943 Soldiers In Greasepaint
1943 The Elgin Company's Second Annual Tribute To the Armed Forces
1944 Cavalcade Of America
1944 Which Is Which?
1945 Music For Millions
1945 Lux Radio Theatre
1945 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 V-E Day Special
1945 The Chase and Sanborn Program
1945 Armed Forces V-J Program
1945 Victory Chest Program
1945 Request Performance
1945 Songs By Sinatra
1946 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1946 Drene Time
1946 Purple Heart Theater
1947 The Victor Borge Show
1947 Here's To Veterans
1947 The Frank Morgan Show
1947 Old Gold Time
1947 The Bickersons
1948 U.S.O. Farewell Program
1948 Symphonies Under the Stars
1948 Guest Star
1948 The Railroad Hour
1949 The Martin and Lewis Show
1950 Music By Faith
1951 Stars On Parade
1956 Recollections At Thirty
Swingtime
To the Rear March
Treasury Star Parade
Frances Langford circa 1942
Frances Langford circa 1942


Frances Langford circa 1938
Frances Langford circa 1938
From the July 12, 2005 edition of the Frederick News-Post:
 
Frances Langford dead at 92
 
     MIAMI -- Frances Langford, whose steamy rendition of "I'm in the Mood for Love" captivated soldiers when she was part of Bob Hope's USO tours during World War II, died Monday at the age of 92.
     She died at her home in Jensen Beach, said her secretary, Kim Stanton.
     Ms. Langford, a recording artist, radio star and actress from the 1930s to 1950s, joined Hope's troupe to boost wartime morale at military bases and hospitals in Great Britain, Italy, North Africa and the South Pacific.  She also entertained new generations of soldiers in Korea and Vietnam.
     Even with her hair swept up in a bandanna, the 5-foot-1 singer was a glamorous vision of home and became known as the "Sweetheart of the Fighting Fronts."



Carmen Dragon
Composer, Arranger, Conductor, Educator, Radio and Television Personality
(1914-1984)

Birthplace: Antioch, California, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1940 Meredith Willson's Musical Revue
1943 The Passing Parade
1944 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1944 The Fanny Brice-Frank Morgan Show
1945 Columbia Presents Corwin
1946 Drene Time
1948 The Railroad Hour
1948 The Prudential Family Hour Of Stars
1955 The Standard School Broadcast

Carmen Dragon circa 1948
Carmen Dragon circa 1948

Carmen and Eloise Dragon at home at their piano circa April 1945
Carmen and Eloise Dragon at home at their piano circa April 1945

Carmen Dragon at home with his two sons, 5-yr old Douglas (left) and 2-yr old Daryl (center) circa April 1945
Carmen Dragon at home with his two sons, 5-yr old Douglas (left) and 2-yr old Daryl (center) circa April 1945

Carmen Dragon circa 1958
Carmen Dragon circa 1958

From the March 30, 1984 edition of the Indiana Gazette: 
Carmen Dragon dead at 69
 
     SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- Academy Award-winning composer-conductor Carmen Dragon, who for four decades made music on film, radio, television and records, died Wednesday of cancer at age 69.
     Dragon died at 11 a.m. at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, said spokesman Mitchell Schneider.
     Dragon, whose son Daryl Dragon is half of the husband-wife pop music team the Captain & Tennille, won an Oscar with Morris Stoloff for scoring the 1944 musical "Cover Girl."  In 1964 he won an Emmy for producing and creating the Glendale Symphony Orchestra Christmas special on NBC.
     Dragon recorded more than 75 albums for Capitol Records, conducting the Hollywood Bowl, Royal Philharmonic and Capitol orchestras.  He has been conductor of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra for the last 20 years.
     Born July 28, 1914, in Antioch, Calif., to a family whose members played 15 different instruments, Dragon by his teens had mastered the piano, string bass, accordion, trumpet and trombone.
     He majored in music at San Jose State College, taught music and for three years led a top Bay Area collegiate dance orchestra.
     He left school at age 21 for San Francisco, where he played the piano at a nightclub.  A concert arrangement caught the attention of Meredith Willson, who brought Dragon with him to Hollywood where he soon was arranging for Judy Garland, Dick Powell, Nelson Eddy, Mary Martin and others.
     His first recorded album was with Deanna Durbin and in 1942 he began working on films.
     He also began conducting for such radio shows as the Fanny Brice "Baby Snooks" program, the "Railroad Hour" which featured an operetta a week, and the "Standard School Broadcast."
     Dragon's composition, "I'm an American," has become a standard with symphonies and bands nation-wide, and he was responsible for what is probably the most widely-used orchestral arrangement of "America, the Beautiful."
     He has conducted throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.
     Dragon, who lived in Malibu, is survived by his wife, the former Eloise Rawitzer, and three sons and two daughters.
     Funeral arrangements were pending, Schneider said.



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