Radio stars (June 1933)

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RADIO STARS Sigmund Spaeth is a very remark- able fellow HERE is a life that reads like a novel ... a darned good novel. Sigmund Spaeth, NBC's amazing Song Sleuth and Tune Detective, started life in Philadelphia, 1585, as the seventh son in a minister's family of eleven. At school—Germantown Academy—he sat alongside William Tilden, II, who was later to he tennis champion. At Haverford, he got a B.A. and an M.A. Still hungry for alphahetic distinction, he spent two years in Prince- ton's Graduate School and hecame a . Ph.D. During his stay at Princeton, he became a member of Woodrow Wilson's faculty and taught German—or tried to—to such soon-to-be-distinguished gents as David Law- rence, Henry Breckenridge, James Boyd, and an assort- ment of-All-American football players. At Princeton, too, he organized a faculty music club, became president of the Princeton Choral Society, concert master and violin soloist of the Orphic Order, composed music for Shakespearean presentations, and wrote musical criticism for the Daily Princetonian. Which gives you an idea of what a two-fisted young feller he was. Eventually, New York got him. A boat coming back from Europe where he had spent the entire summer ($400 expend- ed) dumped him ashore and there he was. At first he wrote fiction, living in a dingy hall bedroom. The day he spent his last cent, he discovered that a previous tenant of that selfsame hall bedroom had been O. Henry. He got a job, presently, with a music publishing firm. But he wanted to work for a daily paper, so he wrote a letter for an opening about which he heard. For one day he was considered—and then rejected in favor of a chap who calls himself S. S. Van Dine. In 1917, he got married. To fill in odd moments, he wrote sports events and went into musical war work. After the war life speeded up. He was hired to make America Ampico-piano conscious. That took six years. Broadcasting interested him and he began to talk about musical appreciation. Strangely enough, he isn't a long-haired music-master sort of man. He might be an ex-half-back. Sports have long been an obsession. His broadcasts of the Notre Dame-Stanford football game and the Greb-Walker fight are high spots in his life. He's one of the guys visitors talk about when they say. "I don't see how you New Yorkers keep it up." 31