Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Command Performance

Photoplay Magazine   March 1936

"The greatest entertainers in America as requested by you, the service men and woman of the United States Armed Forces throughout the world.  Presented this week and ever week 'til it's over, over there."

A variety show produced by AFRS - Armed Forces Radio Service - and now in the public domain.  The shows featured American stars as requested by U.S. military personnel who were overseas during and after World War II.  Miss Ginger Rogers made several appearances and served mostly as host but was a guest as well.  There was singing, orchestras performing, lots of joke telling and comedic scenes.  The show was usually taped in Los Angeles, California but went to New York City and Washington, DC a few times as well.

[The URL addresses below aren't links, so you'll have to copy them and then paste into your browser.] 

August 21, 1943
episode 80  (number 74 on the player)
Ginger Rogers as "Commanding Officer" with Frank Sinatra (sings "Embraceable You" and "Night and Day"), Arthur Q. Bryan and Mel Blanc (Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny have a chat), Alice Faye (sings) and Ed Gardner ("Archie" talks with Ginger and then Frank Sinatra)
scroll down looking for "Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra, Alice Faye, Ed Gardner" or listen at:

August 5, 1944
episode 132 (number 115 on player)
Ginger Rogers as "Mistress of Ceremonies" with Virginia O'Brien (sings), Jimmy Durante (jokes with Ginger and sings), Golden Gate Quartet, and George Murphy (sketch with Ginger and Jimmy), then everyone sings a bunch of songs, most of which must have sounded terribly familiar to Ginger.
scroll down looking for "Ginger Rogers, Virginia O'Brien, Jimmy Durante" or listen at:

September 30, 1944

episode 140 (number 122 on player)
Deanna Durbin as "Mistress of Ceremonies", with Jack Benny, Martha Tilton (sings), Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, Ziggy Elman, Ed McKinney, Illinois Jacquet, and Les Paul (seriously swingin' jam session), Ginger Rogers (witty repartee with Jack and Deanna and...), James Cagney and Don Wilson

scroll down looking for "Deanna Durbin, Jack Benny, Ginger Rogers" or listen at:

March 7, 1946

episode 214 (number 184 on player)
Ginger Rogers as host (GRGinger to you) with Kay Starr (sings), Burl Ives (sings folk songs), Ozzie and Harriet (sketch with Ginger), Johnny Green (plays piano) and Ken Carpenter
scroll down looking for "Ginger Rogers, Burl Ives" or listen at:

February 23, 1947
episode 253 (number 197 on player)
Ginger Rogers as "Navigator" with Ken Niles, Rose Marie (sings and jokes), Carmen Cavallaro (plays the Carioca on the piano), Phil Baker (does a sketch with Ginger)
scroll down looking for "Ginger Rogers, Rose Marie" or listen at:

August 14, 1945
"Victory Extra", Ginger Rogers is listed as appearing but only says one line at 27:34
look for "Victory Extra" or number 165 on player

Photoplay magazine image above found at:

No comments:

Post a Comment