Radio stars (Sept 1933)

Record Details:

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bars to introduce Little Jack Little to the audience. From a monster g^rand piano at the far side of the studio comes the jingly, tingly tune that we know is Jack Little's trademark. There's Jack, sitting with his head thrown back, watching the ceiling. He stops in the middle of the piece, says, "And then I wrote," and glissandos into another. In a moment, he does it again. The gang around him laughs. Watch them, mouths open, eyes bright with humor. Can celebrities be human after all ? Could that blood-and-thunder rumor of feuds to be fought out here be just a lot of wind? We'll find out. Jack's fingers twinkled through a hit song's finale. "And then I quit," he says. There is a spontaneous gust of laughter. Bob has a little lady beside him at the mike. She's just up to his shoulder and has to stand on tip-toe. Black of hair and dark-eyed, she might be somebody's daughter down from Vassar. Instead, she's Ann Leaf. "Little Organ Annie," Bob calls her. She pulls out a harmonica and commences to play. Jokingly, Bob pushes her away and summons Tommy McLaughlin. Tommy is called the Romantic Bachelor. And he looks the part. After he sings. Bob reads ^ cablegram from Morton Downey who is en route to Europe. Then a big, blackish fellow takes the air. Piercing black eyes, shoulders that might move pianos if they wished, that's George Hall, one of Manhattan's most popular maestros. He leads the orchestra into "Love Letters in the Sand." And along comes romance. How do I know? Because the fellow carries a guitar. His name, if you don't know, is Tito Guizar, a Mexican . . . but he doesn't look like one. Blondish and tall and Nordic-looking, with a voice as smooth and sweet as honey. He sings briefly and then turns on Bob with an outburst of Spanish. Nobody un- derstands, especially Bob, until Tito translates into admir- able English. Leon Belasco is famous for his foreign songs. When Bob brings him to the mike he says, "Here, Belasco. How about doing a Russian song." "Okay." says Belasco, "I'll do a French song." And he does a French song. Over on the other side of the room there's a sudden scurry and swirl of people. The crowd separates and at a brand new mike we see the handsomest man in the room. Nino Martini, Columbia's tenor songbird who was re- cently signed up by the Metropolitan Opera Company. At Bob's request, he sings "O Sole Mio." Martini is slight in size but built like a swordsman and when he sings, one foot is stanced forward like a duellist prepar- ing a thrust. He ends his song on a fine, sky-scraping note. Bob beckons to Fred Waring. For once, Fred is minus his Pennsylvanians. It's like meeting Amos without Andy or Queen AJary without her hat. Offstage he looks a lot like the country boy he was before he left Tyrone, Pennsyl- vania. When Bob asks him to sing, he refuses. "I'm not foolish enough to try to follow Nino Martini," he says, "but I've brought somebody who's a really great per- former. Just wait till the Metropolitan hears him." (Top) There's Phil Regan, tenor, at the mike. He and Little Jack Little did some amusing clowning. (Middle) No, Stoopnagle isn't pray- ing. He's just thinking up another ginger-peachy idea. (Bottom) Elsie (Magic Voice) Hit2, who was so ill with scarlet fever recently. She stopped in to say a word. We strain forward on our toes and see a long-jawed fellow. A slightly pained look flits across his face and his mouth opens. "O Sole Mio . . ." The words grate on our ears like a stick drawn across palings. It's the famous {Continued on page 44)