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This, sir, is a broadcast!

The August 11 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an ad for a radio broadcast in support of the Daily Star’s Fresh Air Fund.

IMG_5579

I did quick Google searches on the cast list, to see if any names turned up.

Comedians:

  • I found a Will J. White who was an actor, but he was born in 1925. I found no reference to a comedian of that name.
  • Albert “Red” Newman was a member of the Dumbells, a group of Canadian soldiers who entertained front-line troops in 1917 and 1918, and went on to success in vaudeville until 1932.

Girl Entertainers:

  • Ida Culley, whose stage name was Claudette Culley, was a pianist who accompanied famous performers such as George Formby and Kate Smith. She formed a team with her husband, Harry Culley (listed under Male Artists).
  • Muriel Donnellan was a harp player who migrated to Hollywood in 1941 and went on to play in studio orchestras in films.

Male Artists:

  • Billy Bissett and Alice Mann (listed under Girl Entertainers) turn up in a YouTube video here, from 1937. (A comment in this YouTube link mentions that they lived in California in the 1970s and 1980s, and were apparently quite wonderful people.) The music would probably be classified as smooth jazz today.
  • Rex Battle was a pianist and composer who played at the Mount Royal Hotel in Montreal from 1922 to 1929, and conducted the Royal York Hotel Concert Orchestra in Toronto from 1929 to 1938.
  • There is a Stanley Maxted who was a Canadian journalist and actor. His Wikipedia page mentions that he started out at the CBC, so that’s where he probably was in 1934.
  • Wishart Campbell was a baritone, songwriter, and pianist, known as “The Golden Voice of the Air”. He became the music director for CFRB from 1945-1960, and then “retired to private business” in the Hebrides.
  • Luigi Romanelli was a conductor and violinist who performed in 1922 in the first concert broadcast on the radio in Toronto.
  • Al Plunkett was another of the Dumbells.
  • An obituary for Harry Culley appeared in the Globe and Mail in 2009. Not sure if this is the same person, as the article mentioned that he started working in a band in 1937.
  • Gordon Sinclair was easily the most famous person in this list – he was a journalist and writer who later became famous as a panelist on Front Page Challenge.

Also:

  • Clint Buelhman was a broadcaster on Buffalo, N.Y., morning radio for nearly 50 years.
  • Here’s a picture of Roy Locksley’s Orchestra in the 1920s.
  • R. E. Knowles appears to have been a writer. Two books by someone of that name are listed here, and there is an article by him in the July 15 1935 edition of Maclean’s. I’m not sure if either of these are the same R.E. as the one in this ad; the Macleans article lists the author as R. E. Knowles, Jr., so the books are probably by Senior, and the article is by Junior. Or maybe not.
  • Denton Massey was a descendant of Hart Massey, who founded the Canadian agricultural manufacturing company. He broadcast religious programs on Toronto radio stations both before and after the Second World War, was a Conservative MP from 1935 to 1949, and later became a priest. A picture of him appears here; this caption also mentions Roy Locksley and Kathryn Young (in the Girl Entertainers list).

 

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