Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

I know absolutely nothing about this recording. It’s a record that my grandpa made for himself, with just a handwritten label. As you may have guessed, it’s the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk and Rumpelstiltskin.

The stories are great fun. If anyone out there has any idea who the storyteller is, I’d love to know!

While the turkey was in the oven today, I was able to digitize a few more records. I should be able to keep these posts coming!

Today I have Art Linkletter’s House Party from May 21, 1947.

Can you believe it–another post already?

This is another episode of “Sing Along with the Landt Trio” of Karl, Jack and Dan. This program has a little extra interest to it: it’s Army Day!

I picked something that I think is really fun for my first post at the new site. This is a locally-produced show from WJR.  The basic premise is to have a group of women come in and try to answer a few questions quiz-show style, but mostly the point seems to be to make the ladies look silly. They do quite a good job of it.

There are some things in this recording that I find really interesting. Every woman who is chosen gives her complete name and address on the air. Actually, not her complete name; most of them identify themselves as Mrs. (husband’s complete name). Some gave their first names in the course of the conversation, but most don’t until asked for it. The only lady who gave her first name voluntarily wasn’t married; this was confirmed by the host. This group of women are from the PTA at Hubert School, which was in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit and  closed in 2005.  Another really interesting note in the recording is one woman mentioned that she and her family moved to Highland Park to get out of the city. She talks about how hard it is to see her old friends from Brightmoor since she’s moved way out in the country. Anyone from Detroit should find this amusing. If you’d like to know more about Hubert School you can visit www.hubertschool.org, but be aware that there is audio on every page with no button to turn it off. You might want to mute your speakers while perusing the site.

The prize given at the end of the show is awesome. I wish I had one. You’ll have to listen all the way through to find out what it is.

Here’s the direct link to the audio file at my bandcamp page.

More about the Landt Trio

January 2, 2010

The wonders of the internet! After I posted today’s recording I was able to get in touch with Skip Landt, whose father was part of the Landt Trio. I asked him to share any memories or stories about his father and the group. Here’s what he had to say after hearing this recording for the first time ever.

Most of the talking and joking on this broadcast is my dad, Dan Landt.  Hearing the program for the first time since it went off the air (in 1948!) was a thrill.  But I was amazed at how informal and unrehearsed the “filler”between songs sounded.  What you are hearing was my dad’s “radio voice,” not the way he spoke at home. As other  broadcasts become available, I’ll be curious to hear if they all had  that “put on” quality or if he was sometimes more relaxed.

The trio got started when my dad returned to Scranton, Pa, after serving in WW1 and later doing various jobs; most immediately, selling inflatable “bubble boats” in Florida. In 1927 he was 31; his youngest brother, Jack, was 16, with Karl (the golden voice) in between. Jack and Karl were on the local radio station singing brother duets, sponsored by a battery company (the full story is at landttrio.netfirms.com). Over their mother’s objections, they went to New York City to get into vaudeville, not realizing that it was dying, but instead became pioneers of early radio. They had a number of programs, first (I think) on NBC, then CBS. These included “The 8:15” (in those days an “early morning” program), and “Take it Easy Time,” along with many others including “A Violet for You” and backup singing on the Bob Hawk Show. But their longest running was Sing Along with the Landt Trio, the first “sing along” program on the air—long before Mitch Miller.  It was also, in an extended format, one of the first shows to have game segments.  In “Dig for silver” they’d have a fishbowl of coins — if an audience member got the right answer, she’d get to dig in and keep whatever she came up with. They had other ”name that tune” games with bigger prizes.  What I recall best, visiting such shows with a studio audience, was the way they would get applause. Not only was there a big “APPLAUSE” sign held up for all to see, but a staff member also would hold up a large stuffed animal — which went to the person applauding loudest!

Life has a strange circularity through the generations. As a teenager it never struck me that my enjoyment of folk music “hootnannies” with audience singing was directly related to the audience participation on Sing Along with the Landt Trio.  And I couldn’t have imagined that now, all these years later, after retiring from my career as a college administrator I would teach at a music school (the Old Town School of  Folk Music in Chicago), organizing “jams” which feature group sing-alongs. Or — though there’s nothing more logical — I couldn’t have imagined that I would develop a class in singing/playing ”the old songs,” those from first half of the 20th century and before: just the kind of songs featured on Sing Along with the Landt Trio.  I invite all readers of this blog who live in or visit Chicago to email me or just to stop by the Old Town School, 4544 N. Lincoln,  If you come by at 10 am on Thursdays, you’ll be my guests in Room B-1. We’ll sing “the old songs” like “You are My Sunshine” and, yes, “When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along” with a great backup band. Thanks, Lisa, for bringing back such wonderful memories!  skiplandt@sbcglobal.net

And that’s why I’m doing this blog: so people can reconnect (or connect for the first time) with the music and memories contained in these recordings. Thanks, Skip.

Happy New Year!

I’m back with a fun program to start the new year: Sing Along with Karl, Jack and Dan, who were also known as The Landt Trio. This website gives the history of the group along with a catalog of known recordings. There aren’t many.

This program is dated March 27, 1944 for broadcast on WJR on March 28 at 1:00am. Songs include “I Want to be Happy,” “So Little Time,” “Someone Else is Taking my place,” “When the Red Red Robin goes Bob-bob-bobbin’ along” and “Ikki Tikki Tambo” (or something close to that, it’s a little hard to catch exactly what they’re saying). The whole program is a lot of fun; my kids enjoyed listening as I recorded and edited it.

Here’s the direct link to the download page at my bandcamp site.