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The Frank Sinatra Show (radio program)

The Frank Sinatra Show was a title applied—in some cases specifically and in other cases generically—to several radio musical programs in the United States, some of which had other distinct titles as indicated below. Singer Frank Sinatra starred in the programs, some of which were broadcast on CBS, while others were on NBC.[1]

The Frank Sinatra Show
Frank Sinatra in 1957.jpg
Frank Sinatra in 1957
Other namesBroadway Bandbox
Frank Sinatra in Person
Here's Frank Sinatra
Light-Up Time
Meet Frank Sinatra
Perfectly Frank
Songs by Sinatra
The Old Gold Show
Country of originUnited States
StarringFrank Sinatra
AnnouncerTruman Bradley
Marvin Miller
Bob Stevenson
Harlow Wilcox
Written byCarroll Carroll
Jerry Gollard
Virginia Ratcliff
Bill Telack
Hendrick Vollaerts
Frank Wilson
Directed byBob Brewster
Mann Holiner
Produced byRobert Brewster
Earl Ebi
Opening themeNight and Day


Regardless of title or sponsor, the common thread running through all of the programs was that they featured music,[2] primarily by Sinatra himself.

Reflections (1942)Edit

Shortly after Sinatra left Tommy Dorsey's orchestra in 1942, an executive at Columbia Records arranged for him to appear on Reflections, a sustaining (unsponsored) program on CBS. Author Will Friedwald wrote, "Sinatra appears to have done the program from October 1 to December 31, 1942."[3] The 30-minute program included the orchestra of Walter Gross and the Bobby Tucker's Voices vocal group.[4]

Songs by Sinatra (Frank Sinatra Sings) (1942-43)Edit

The first radio program that included Sinatra's name in its title, this version of Songs by Sinatra began October 20, 1942, and ended February 25, 1943. It was 15 minutes long and ran on Tuesday nights on CBS. The show's format was compared to that of Kraft Music Hall in that "it featured Sinatra, along with celebrity guests, in a mix of music and patter."[5]

The overlap in schedules with Reflections meant that Sinatra was on radio two nights a week for a little more than two months. Friedwald, however, commented, "While this may seem like a lot of radio activity for a relatively unknown singer, it's doubtful that anyone was listening in 1942."[3] Sinatra's daughter, Nancy, mentions both programs in her biography of her father, but she refers to the longer-running program as Frank Sinatra Sings.[6]

Broadway Bandbox (1943)Edit

Previously scheduled from 11:30 to midnight (Eastern Time) on Fridays,[7] Broadway Bandbox replaced the second half-hour of Lux Radio Theatre on CBS July 19, 1943 - September 13, 1943. Sinatra was the star, and Raymond Scott's orchestra provided instrumental backing.[8] Singer Joan Roberts would "appear as [the program's] guest star occasionally."[9] Bob Stevenson was the announcer until he joined the United States Army June 22, 1943.[10] Sinatra was described as "a genial, half-shy, completely solid gent" as master of ceremonies in addition to his abilities as a singer.[11]

While starring on Broadway Bandbox, Sinatra continued as one of the singers on Your Hit Parade, performing on the latter on Saturdays and the former on Mondays.[12]

Broadway Bandbox was carried over to the Fall 1943 schedule on CBS. The Columbia Program Book for that season listed the show as scheduled 8-8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Sundays. It described the show as a "melody-packed program," Sinatra as "most popular baritone of the day," and Scott as "master of jive."[13] When its fall run began October 10, 1943,[14] comedian Bert Wheeler was added to the cast[15] and Axel Stordahl led the orchestra.[16]

The summer segment's studio audience contained "teen age misses ... confronting studio ushers and others with a problem of super-exuberance."[12] One newspaper article observed, "In the studio they cheer, they scream, they applaud, or they sigh audibly every time Sinatra is at the microphone."[12] Perhaps as a result of that exuberance, in October 1943, the show became closed, with no studio audience. A newspaper announcement said, "This should give Sinatra opportunity to concentrate fully on the microphone without unasked-for assistance from teenage enthusiasts."[17] Simultaneously, the starting time was shifted from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Eastern Time), and the length was cut from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.[17]

The Frank Sinatra Show (Frank Sinatra In Person) (1944-45)Edit

Plans for another program (this one sponsored) "if Sinatra is not accepted by the Army" were under way in late 1943.[18] He was later classified 4-F,[19] and The Frank Sinatra Show debuted January 5, 1944, on CBS, with Ginger Rogers as its first guest star.[20] Sponsored by Lever Brothers' Vimms vitamins, the program replaced that sponsor's Mayor of the Town.[18] Comedian Bert Wheeler was a regular member of the cast, while Axel Stordahl and his orchestra and the Vimms Vocalists provided additional music.[20] Harlow Wilcox was the announcer.[21]

The program was discontinued June 14[22] but resumed August 16.[23] Vocalist Eileen Barton became a regular beginning with that episode.[24] The episodes from August 16 through December 25 were also referred to as Frank Sinatra In Person.[25] Effective November 29, the program was moved from the 9-9:30 p.m. Wednesday slot to Mondays from 8:30 to 8:55 p.m.[26] Lever Brothers dropped its sponsorship effective December 26, 1944. At the time, Sinatra's program had a Hooper rating of 11.5. News reports indicated that Lever was dropping all advertising for Vimms.[27] Max Factor took over sponsorship effective with the January 3, 1945, broadcast.[28] Seven months later, an ad in a trade publication touted, "Frank is also [the] No. 1 wholesaler of Max Factor's romantic products ..."[29]

Earl Ebi was the initial producer; he was succeeded by Robert Brewster.[30] Beginning with the August 16 episode, Hendrick Vollaerts became chief writer for the program.[31] Other writers were Bill Telack, Jerry Gollard, and Virginia Ratcliff.[30]

Songs by Sinatra (1945-47)Edit

Sinatra went back on the air on CBS September 12, 1945, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The 30-minute program had what a trade publication called "a flexible production format which will be changed each week as events, material or talent demand."[32] The cast included Bill Goodwin as "featured comedian."[33] Sponsored by Old Gold cigarettes, the program also featured The Pied Pipers, Axel Stordahl and his orchestra,[6] and, in the latter part of its run, Jane Powell.[34] Marvin Miller was the announcer "and sometimes took part in skits."[35] Guests such as Margaret Whiting, Tommy Dorsey, and Andre Previn were featured each week.[35] Mann Holiner was the director[32] and producer, succeeded in December 1946 by Ted Sherdeman.[36]

The theme song was Night and Day, which Sinatra had sung in the 1943 movie Reveille with Beverly.[37] The program apparently was especially popular with women. The Hooper ratings survey of radio programs' audiences (released September 30, 1946) showed that Songs by Sinatra "had the largest number of women listeners per listening set ... with 1.43."[38]

As was true of most programs of that era, Songs by Sinatra was not broadcast in the summer. Its replacement (beginning June 12, 1946) was The Sad Sack, an adaptation of a popular wartime comic strip, which ran June 12, 1946[39]- September 4, 1946.[40]

On April 23, 1947, P. Lorillard & Co., manufacturer of Old Gold cigarettes, announced that it would not renew its option on the program, concluding the program's run as it ended its second year.[41]

Light-Up Time (1949-50)Edit

Media critic John Crosby called the teaming of Sinatra and opera singer Dorothy Kirsten "what seems at first, or even second, blush to be the most unlikely combinations of singers on the air."[42] The two singers co-starred in Sinatra's Light-Up Time, the title of which came from an advertising slogan for sponsor Lucky Strike cigarettes. The slogan: "Light up a Lucky -- it's light-up time."[43] Jeff Alexander led the orchestra, and Don Wilson was the announcer.[44] The program debuted September 5, 1949 and ended June 2, 1950.[1] In March 1950, film commitments prevented Alexander from continuing on the program, and Skitch Henderson became the program's orchestra leader.[3]:170

Overall, Crosby called the show "a very brief, very pleasant 15 minutes around cocktail time with old and new numbers about evenly mixed. Mr. Sinatra usually sings two numbers, Miss Kirsten one, and then they team up in a duet."[42]

Meet Frank Sinatra (Here's Frank Sinatra) (1950-51)Edit

In the summer of 1949, Sinatra talked with representatives of the Mutual Broadcasting System about starring in a celebrity disc jockey program on that network, but it never materialized.[45] CBS, however, arranged for the singer to do Meet Frank Sinatra.

The format of this program was "a session of songs, interviews and guests."[46] Decades later, one author wrote: "Heard today, the show seems like an unwieldy combination of Songs by Sinatra and Oprah. In addition to singing with a rhythm section, Sinatra gave members of his studio audience the mike and exchanged snappy You Bet Your Life-style dialogue with them as well as with occasional guests. ... The show made so little impact that even hardcore Sinatra aficionados have barely heard of it."[45]

In addition to Sinatra, personnel included announcer Hal Simms, writer Paul Dudley, and producer Gordon Auchincloss.[47]

The show ran Sundays 5-6 p.m.(Eastern time) on CBS October 29, 1950 - May 27, 1951, followed by a shorter run 4:30-5:30 p.m. (Eastern time) June 3, 1951 - July 22, 1951.[48] (The summer segment is sometimes referred to as Here's Frank Sinatra.[49]) Sponsors included Luden's Cough Drops[50] and Tintair hair-care products.[51]

To Be Perfectly Frank (1953)Edit

Sinatra was both a singer and a disk jockey in this program on NBC. Beginning November 3, 1953, the 15-minute show ran on Tuesday and Friday nights. A review in a trade publication noted: "His record selections indicated that he has retained good taste in pop music. His live songs, without the help of polished orchestration ... were still easy enough to listen to."[52] His comments between musical segments, however, were described as "stilted monologue too contrived and superficial to describe."[52]

Gordon Auchincloss was the program's producer and director; Bob Smith was the writer.[52]

The Frank Sinatra Show (1954)Edit

In 1954, Sinatra had a disc jockey program sponsored by Toni Home Permanents. it ran from 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays on NBC. The announcer was Jerry Laurence.[44]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Pp. 260-261.
  2. ^ Reinehr, Robert C. and Swartz, Jon D. (2008). The A to Z of Old-Time Radio. Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-7616-3. P. 103.
  3. ^ a b c Friedwald, Will (1995). Sinatra! the Song is You: A Singer's Art. Scribner. p. 121. ISBN 9780684193687. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  4. ^ "'Reflections'" (PDF). Billboard. November 14, 1942. p. 7. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ Young, William H.; Young, Nancy K. (2007). Music of the World War II Era. ABC-CLIO, Incorporated. p. 118. ISBN 9780313338915. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b Sinatra, Nancy (1986). Frank Sinatra, My Father. Pocket Books. pp. 43, 70. ISBN 9780671625085. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  7. ^ The Columbia Program Book (PDF). The Columbia Broadcasting System. July 1, 1943. p. 24. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  8. ^ "CBS Sustainers On Lighter Side" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 28, 1943. p. 49. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  9. ^ "(photo caption)". The Nebraska State Journal. June 6, 1943. p. 36. Retrieved August 13, 2015 – via  
  10. ^ "CBS Staff Changes" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 21, 1943. p. 58. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Show Stars Frank Sinatra". The Mason City Globe-Gazette. July 17, 1943. p. 11. Retrieved July 24, 2015 – via  
  12. ^ a b c "Turn the Dial". The Sandusky Register. July 28, 1943. p. 10. Retrieved July 24, 2015 – via  
  13. ^ The Columbia Program Book (PDF). New York City: The Columbia Broadcasting System. October 1, 1943. p. 26. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Sinatra Back In New York". The Decatur Daily Review. October 10, 1943. p. 17. Retrieved July 24, 2015 – via  
  15. ^ "Swing Shift". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 7, 1943. p. 15. Retrieved July 24, 2015 – via  
  16. ^ "(WJLS advertisement)". The Releigh Register. October 10, 1943. p. 5. Retrieved July 25, 2015 – via  
  17. ^ a b Butterfield, C.E. (October 23, 1943). "Radio Day by Day". The Evening Independent. p. 8. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Sinatra for Lever" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 22, 1943. p. 8. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Ford Co. Shifts Program Format" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 13, 1943. p. 16. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b "New "Frank Sinatra Show" Opens Jan. 5, Ginger Rogers First Guest". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 31, 1943. p. 17. Retrieved July 21, 2015 – via  
  21. ^ "New Vimms Show" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 10, 1944. p. 42. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Melton to Return In Texaco Program" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 5, 1944. p. 65. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Network Accounts" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 21, 1944. p. 63. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Eileen Barton with 'Voice'". The Circleville Herald. August 15, 1944. p. 7. Retrieved September 17, 2015 – via  
  25. ^ "Frank Sinatra In Person". OTRRpedia. Old Time Radio Researchers Group. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Programs Shuffled By CBS Sponsors" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 9, 1944. p. 12. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  27. ^ "Two Firms Cancel Vitamin Schedules" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 4, 1944. p. 14. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  28. ^ "Cleansers Active" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 1, 1945. p. 59. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  29. ^ "(KNX ad)" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 13, 1945. p. 9. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  30. ^ a b "J-W-T Producers Shifted on Coast" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 21, 1944. p. 63. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  31. ^ "Agencies" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 7, 1944. p. 48. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Third Format" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 10, 1945. p. 58. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  33. ^ Wilk, Ralph (February 19, 1945). "Los Angeles" (PDF). Radio Daily. p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  34. ^ "Evelyn Knight Due On Texaco Show". Billboard. March 15, 1947. p. 11. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  35. ^ a b Mackenzie, Harry (1999). The Directory of the Armed Forces Radio Service Series. ABC-CLIO, Incorporated. ISBN 9780313308123. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  36. ^ "Agencies" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 16, 1946. p. 60. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  37. ^ McNally, Karen (2015). When Frankie Went to Hollywood: Frank Sinatra and American Male Identity. University of Illinois Press. p. 200. ISBN 9780252098208. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  38. ^ "Lux Theatre Tops Nighttime Hooper" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 7, 1946. p. 68. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  39. ^ "Succeeds Sinatra" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 3, 1946. p. 18. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  40. ^ "Business Briefly" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 3, 1946. p. 4. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  41. ^ "Tobacco Firm Drops Sinatra Radio Option". Columbus Evening Dispatch. April 24, 1947. p. 1. Retrieved July 23, 2015 – via  
  42. ^ a b Crosby, John (September 21, 1949). "Old Sinatra New Kirsten Form Team". The Ottawa Journal. p. 2. Retrieved July 23, 2015 – via  
  43. ^ "(Lucky Strike advertisement)". Life magazine. November 21, 1955. p. 53. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  44. ^ a b Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. Pp. 240, 397.
  45. ^ a b Friedwald, Will (1995). Sinatra! the Song is You: A Singer's Art. Scribner. p. 196. ISBN 9780684193687. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  46. ^ "Frank Sinatra". The Mason City Globe-Gazette. November 25, 1950. p. 2. Retrieved July 25, 2015 – via  
  47. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1951). The 1951 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. Pp. 953, 962, 983.
  48. ^ "Meet Frank Sinatra". OTRRpedia. Old Time Radio Researchers Group. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  49. ^ "Here's Frank Sinatra". OTRRpedia. Old Time Radio Researchers Group. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  50. ^ "Network Accounts . ." (PDF). Broadcasting. November 13, 1950. p. 10. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  51. ^ "Tintair learns from Toni". Sponsor. 5 (2): 30–31. January 15, 1951. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  52. ^ a b c "In Review: To Be Perfectly Frank" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 23, 1953. p. 15. Retrieved 24 July 2015.

External linksEdit

Episodic logsEdit

Broadway BandboxEdit

Frank Sinatra in PersonEdit

Light Up TimeEdit

Meet Frank SinatraEdit


Songs By SinatraEdit

The Frank Sinatra ProgramEdit

The Frank Sinatra ShowEdit

To Be Perfectly FrankEdit

Streaming audioEdit

Light Up TimeEdit

Songs By SinatraEdit

To Be Perfectly FrankEdit