The Baker's Broadcast
The Baker's Broadcast is the name applied to three old-time radio variety programs in the United States. The first one went on the air October 8, 1933; the third one's last broadcast was June 26, 1938. The name applied to all three apparently was derived from Fleischmann's Yeast, which sponsored all three programs.
Run dates: October 8, 1933 – June 30, 1935
Joe Penner starred in this version, along with Ozzie Nelson and Ozzie's future wife, Harriet Hilliard. Penner's role led to the program's having an alternate unofficial title, The Joe Penner Show. Hal Erickson, in his book, From Radio to the Big Screen: Hollywood Films Featuring Broadcast Personalities and Programs, wrote, "Though bearing the name The Baker's Broadcast when it debuted over NBC-Blue on October 8, 1933, it was The Joe Penner Show all the way so far as the public was concerned."
Ozzie Nelson led the orchestra for the program, and Harriet was the singer. The Penner-Nelsons combination ended when Penner "abruptly exited The Baker's Broadcast, upset over the sponsor's refusal to freshen up the writing and alter the format." Kliph Nesteroff, in his book, The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy, wrote about Penner's version of the show, "The style of his program was juvenile but undeniably popular ...."
Run dates: October 6, 1935 – June 27, 1937
The Nelsons, who were married two days after this version began, continued as co-stars, with Penner replaced by Robert Ripley. Ripley's role led to the use of the alternate unofficial title Believe It or Not (which was used for other radio programs that featured Ripley). Neal Thompson, in his book, A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe it Or Not" Ripley, called the Ripley version of The Baker's Broadcast "one of America's favorite shows, in league with the top-ranked shows of Jack Benny and Bing Crosby."
John Dunning in his reference work, On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, wrote that the Nelsons "were young and attractive, and their music — lighthearted and melodious — was what America wanted in the Depression.
Ben Grauer continued as the program's announcer.
Run Dates: October 3, 1937 – June 26, 1938.:456
For its final series, The Baker's Broadcast not only changed hosts but moved from New York City to Hollywood. Feg Murray became the new host, while the Nelsons continued to provide music. Dunning wrote: "Feg Murray hosted and Ozzie helped with interviews. This never generated much excitement: it failed after a single season."
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- Thompson, Neal (2013). A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe it Or Not" Ripley. Crown Archetype. p. 260. ISBN 9780770436209. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
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- "J-W-T Staff Shifts" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 1, 1938. p. 45. Retrieved 13 October 2016.