Society & Culture:History
Canary Pet Show - Pgm 9D
Finally this week, we kick off a short run of four programs of this rare series sponsored by the Hartz Mountain Products Company.
I want to give my deepest thanks to Jerry Heandiges and David Lennick for gifting me the two discs you’ll be hearing on the blog - I’ve been looking for original transcriptions of the series ever since I started collecting. They’re a kind of “holy grail” for me - you’ll be surprised by what you hear on them in a couple of weeks, so be patient.
The “Canary Pet Show”, also known as the “Master Radio Canaries”, was an unusual program that ran from the late 30s through the early 50s on Mutual. The concept is simple - as we hear music performed on violin and organ, “live” canaries in the studio sing along. Despite being on the air for so long, as far as I know, there’s only one episode of the Mutual version of the program circulating among collectors. Goldin lists a half-dozen that exist.
Records of the Hartz Mountain Canaries on 78 rpm and 45 rpm discs offered for sale at pet shops are fairly common and turn up often on eBay, but the original transcriptions of the show remain elusive.
Why wasn’t there more of an effort to preserve this important part of radio history?
Program number 9-B starts off with “Be True to Me” and “Love Nest”. The commercials, done as little dramatic sketches, are for Hartz Mountain Balanced Diet for Birds and Dog Yummies treats. They also plug the Master Radio Canaries phonograph records. The program features announcer Harry Birch, Porter Heath on the organ, and, of course, the canaries. This appears to be a syndicated version of the program or one used for extension spotting by Hartz. I think the disc dates from the early 1940s, based on the content of the other disc I obtained in the set.
Our show was transferred from an original sixteen inch red vinyl United Broadcasting Company, Chicago, transcription.
By the way, my cat hates this series and leaves the room whenever I play it.
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