The Jack Berch Show
The Jack Berch Show was a radio variety/talk program in the United States. It was broadcast on ABC, CBS, Mutual, and NBC at various times 1935-1954. The program at times went by other names, including The Kitchen Pirate (1935–36) and The Sweetheart Serenader (1939-1941).
|Other names||Jack Berch and His Boys
The Kitchen Pirate
The Sweetheart Serenader
|Genre||Variety and talk|
|Country of origin||United States|
John Reed King
|Written by||Howard Blake
|Directed by||Dick Charles
Henry Hull, Jr.
|Produced by||Robert Ross Smith|
|Original release||1935 – 1954|
|Sponsored by||Fels Naptha Soap
Gulfspray Insect Killer
The Berch programs featured "light music and informal chatter. When housewives tired of listening to the tribulations of their soap opera characters, they turned for relief to the songs of Berch."
Berch usually began his program with a whistle and a song. In an article in the January 1949 issue of Radio and Television Mirror, he gave the reason for that: "I was reading the morning paper. Suddenly I realized that the whole front page was full of disaster -- fires, murders, political troubles, jealousy and strife between persons and between nations. ... 'Now,' I said to myself, 'something ought to be done about this. And, in my own small way, I'm the guy to do it.' Then and there, in theory at least, the Heart to Heart Hookup and the Good Neighbor Club came into being."
The Heart to Heart Hookup and the Good Neighbor Club were features of Berch's program. Heart to Heart Hookup featured Berch reading "letters dedicated to the encouragement of more unfortunate people in the world." The Good Neighbor Club highlighted good deeds sent in by the program's listeners.
In that same article, Berch wrote: "There's a certain informality about the Jack Berch Show. We like to think of ourselves as coming into your living room for a visit every morning ... you'd get pretty tired of stiff and formal guests every day, wouldn't you?" The program featured a variety of types of songs, "from the old favorites to the latest popular tunes from Tin Pan Alley.
The show's ability to not only entertain listeners but to prompt them to act was demonstrated in 1950. After a listener wrote to Berch requesting used Christmas cards for a project, NBC received more than 5 million Christmas cards.
A review in the April 20, 1937, issue of the trade publication Radio Daily commented: "Berch offers an enjoyable program of singing and chatting that is well geared to appeal to the feminine ears. Jack's style is friendly, and he slips in the commercial remarks in a manner that makes them easy to take." Another comment in the same publication four months later said, "The singing of Berch is particularly well designed to give the day a sunny sendoff." On the other hand, a 1943 comment in the trade publication Billboard described Berch's program as "strictly a long quarter-hour of flimsy whimsy."
Musicians heard on the programs included Jerry Colonna, Raymond Scott, Johnny Williams, Nick Tagg, John Gart, Carl Kress, Sammy Prager, Mark Warnow, Charles Magnante, Tony Mottola, and George Wright.
Robert Ross Smith was a producer.
The broadcast schedule of The Jack Berch Show varied widely during its time on the air. The table below gives pertinent information.
|1936-1937||MWF||Mutual||Wasey Products Corporation|
|1937||MWF||CBS||Fels Naphtha Soap|
|1941||Tuesday/Thursday||Station WHP||Gulfspray Insect Killer|
|1951-1954||Various days||ABC||Prudential Insurance|
Source: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, except as noted.
- Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 363.
- DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 30.
- Berch, Jack (January 1949). "World Full of Neighbors". Radio and Television Mirror. 31 (2): 34–35, 83–84. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Letter Praising Work of Mrs. Lester Fry Read Over NBC Radio Stations Today". Pennsylvania, Franklin. The News-Herald. November 4, 1949. p. 11. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Reed, Ted (August 1, 1939). "Radio: A 'Lucky Bum' Has His Day on 'We, the People' Tonight". Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. Harrisburg Telegraph. p. 11. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "(NBC advertisement)". Sponsor. April 10, 1950. pp. 60–61. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Air Parade in Review: Jack Berch" (PDF). Radio Daily. April 20, 1937. p. 5. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "Program Reviews and Comments" (PDF). Radio Daily. July 20, 1937. p. 6. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Comment". Billboard. November 6, 1943. p. 10. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Gerhard, Inez (April 22, 1948). "Star Dust". Indiana, Waterloo. The Waterloo Press. p. 2. Retrieved December 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Jack Berch Show Heard Over KPLT". Texas, Paris. The Paris News. October 7, 1951. p. 8. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Berch Is Back". Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. Harrisburg Telegraph. June 7, 1941. p. 24. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Radio Guide". Pennsylvania, Altoona. Altoona Tribune. March 4, 1947. p. 11. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Grunwald, Edgar A., Ed. (1940). Variety Radio Directory 1940-1941. Variety, Inc. Pp. 283, 457.
- Grunwald, Edgar A., Ed. (1938). Variety Radio Directory 1938-1939. Variety, Inc. P. 353.
- Pincus, Herman (August 10, 1945). "Words and Music" (PDF). Radio Daily. p. 6. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Coming and Going" (PDF). Radio Daily. March 1, 1946. p. 2. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Dial Chatter". Wisconsin, La Crosse. The La Crosse Tribune. January 12, 1952. p. 7. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1951). The 1951 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 987.