Sunday, June 26, 2011
A KRAFT MUSIC HALL PROJECT
"I'm working on a project to catalogue all of Bing's surviving Kraft Music Hall performances ... not just the shows but individual songs.
So far many different versions of songs have been identified (did you know that the three versions of KKK-Katy have survived?). In addition several unknown rehearsal recordings have been revealed such as Play Fiddle Play from 5 June 1941.
With respect to the half hour shows which were broadcast between 1943-46 most have survived, if not as a complete Kraft show then as an edited AFRS program. Unfortunately I haven't been able to track down all the shows yet.
From 1943 the following shows are missing from my collection:
440127 (second half)
450222 (first half)
I have, however, been able to locate all but 33 songs which were recorded on Kraft between 1943 and 46. Interestingly, several recordings from the rehearsals for the Kraft shows have also survived.
Regarding the shows in the full hour format recorded between 1935 and 1942, far less have survived.
45 minutes of a show from 1936 has survived. I'm only aware of one complete show from 1937, two from 1938, none from 1939 or 1940. About a dozen or so shows seem to have survived from 1941 and the same for 1942.
Many songs from these shows have however survived. We have over 125 songs from 1942, over 115 from 1941 (including the first rendition of White Christmas), over 110 from 1940, over 105 from 1939, over 133 from 1938, over 45 from 1937, over 38 from 1936 and 6 from 1935.
While there are many hundreds of songs that I have not been able to locate, many which are unknown to me must exist in various collections around the world. It would be nice to think that one day that they will see the light of day. While this may seem like wishful thinking only 2 days ago I came across 2 songs from 1939 which were previously unknown to me ... a barbershop version of In the Evening by the Moonlight with banjo backing and a brilliant version of Silent Night. So I'm still hopeful that more will come to light."
Again, this is a very worthwhile project. If anyone has knowledge of the Kraft Music Hall performances with Bing and can help, please drop me a line and I will put you in touch with this project organizer...