Radio stars (June 1933)

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RADIO STARS There is a reason why Singin' Sam is such a popular radio favorite. That reason is "naturalness." And there's a reason for that naturalness By DONALD COPPER ON a broad, quiet street in Richmond, Indiana, there lives a smiling little lady with whitening hair. The seasons of three-score-and-twelve years have run their course and left a gracious mark on her. Near the end of her life, she is happier now than she ever has been. Why? I'll tell you. W herever she goes, people know her as the mother of Singin' Sam, the Barbasol Man. She and Sam's father live in a cozy home that Sam bought for them on their favorite street in Richmond. (hit at the edge of town, Sam has a farm. Sometimes, when the weather is good, they go out to look at the early corn and wheat. At the ages of seventy-five and seventy- two, one doesn't go about much. One date that they always keep, though, is the one they have three times a week with their boy. Singin' Sam broadcasts from New York, but they're always in their parlor listening. I talked to Singin' Sam the other night—his real name is Harry Frankel—and he told me how his mother helped him with the broadcasts that have marie him famous. 32 T H E PEOPLE'S CHOICE (Left) Harry Frankel, better known to you as Singin' Sam. (Below) The namesake Sam didn't know he had until he stumbled across this old print. Singing Sam of Derbyshire —an old character who sang his way across England in the seventeen-sixties. You've heard him, haven't you? "Barba-sol . . . Barba- sol .. . no brush, no lather, no rub-in . . ." The home- folksy bass voice so full of friendliness. One old-time number after another; forgotten tunes and words pulled out of a memory chest. Harry FranktTs mother supplies most of those words that you hear on the air. Harry told me that when I asked him where he got them all. "I just write home," he said. "Ma always knows the words and sends 'em back to me." It's a unique partnership, isn't it? It accounts, I think, for a lot of Singin' Sam's charm and naturalness. For the friendliness of his voice. (Continued on page 38)