Products On The Air
To Greater Things
“Lucky Strike tobaccos are the
cream of the crop of many lands.”
--- Frank Singiser
Lincoln, Me. (DG)—
If there is one thing I noticed about my work in researching radio’s golden
age, you never know who appeared on the air as an announcer. While some people
achieved a good living announcing radio programs, others were trying their best
to sell products on the air while hoping for that big break--- and getting it.
Some of the names mentioned here may surprise you, but this article is about
some famous people in other lines of work in broadcasting who were announcers.
he created and hosted
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES
Procter & Gamble
products (Ivory Soap and later Duz), Ralph Edwards was selling
Procter & Gamble
products on the radio as an announcer. He was heard during
the late 1930’s and early 1940’s as the announcer of daytime serials sponsored
Ivory Soap, Ivory Flakes,
Crisco--- Procter & Gamble’s
most popular products.
During the late 1930’s Edwards was selling
VIC & SADE,
daytime radio’s most unique serial program.
Instead of melodrama radio soaps were famous for,
VIC & SADE
humor that gave the listeners something to smile about when each episode was
VIC & SADE
was known as a funny program, but Edwards, the man who made hot seats, cream
pies, and seltzer water famous, was serious when he presented the
. He informed the listeners if they wanted lighter cakes that melted
in the mouths of everyone who ate it, they should use the
New Gyro Churned
in their cake
recipe. According to Edwards, using
instead of another shortening or cooking fat made the difference in how the
cakes turned out after baking.
was another serial Edwards
appeared as an announcer. It was heard over the stations of
NBC’s Red Network
during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. This program was the most unique,
controversial, but popular daytime serial of the time it was on the air.
Whether the subject matter was babies telling their mothers what to
use for dishwashing or young ladies getting longer wear with their stockings,
Edwards presented the commercials for
AGAINST THE STORM’s
Ivory Flakes .
Edwards’ announcing duties didn’t stop with the
daytime soaps. During the evening hours every Thursday, he also served as the
announcer for the cars and trucks from
MAJOR BOWES ORIGINAL AMATEUR HOUR.
As far as I know, he didn’t get gonged for his commercial narration.
On the Wednesday, June 7, 1944 broadcast of
NBC’s FRONT PAGE FARRELL,
the announcer presented the enclosed commercial for
Freezone Corn Remover.
After listening to the commercial, does the voice sound familiar to you? It may
not, because the announcer was best known behind the scenes for his more famous
program creations on radio and TV. And now, who was that
commercial salesman? He was a freelance announcer named Mark Goodson.
If you know that name, you automatically know Goodson and his partner Bill
Todman were the masterminds of classic game shows like
WHAT’S MY LINE?, I’VE
GOT A SECRET, TO TELL THE TRUTH, BEAT THE CLOCK, THE PRICE IS RIGHT,
many other game shows that spanned decades over radio and TV.
Although he already established himself as
Boy Of Radio,”
Henry Morgan also served as a radio announcer. This thought must
have struck terror into the hearts of the people in charge of the sponsor, but
he was (believe it or not) a serious radio announcer from time to time.
Morgan sold Dreft on the daytime serial
LONE JOURNEY over the stations of NBC’s Red Network. He was
completely serious and on the level in his commercial presentation for Dreft.
After presenting his funny ad-lib commercials for products like Adler
Elevator Shoes, Eno Effervescent Salt, and Berkeley Razor Blades, it
must have difficult for radio’s bad boy to restrain his sharp wit and keen sense
of humor when he presented a serious commercial for Dreft--- or
product for that matter. I wonder if the listeners who heard Morgan’s Dreft
commercials could believe he was the same Henry Morgan who made “Old Man Adler”
famous on his HERE’S MORGAN program.
Singiser was best known as a popular and very busy newscaster for the
Before he reported the latest news, Singiser appeared on different
programs in different roles during the 1930’s--- including our subject in this
In 1935, Singiser was the announcer and
THE HIT PARADE
YOUR HIT PARADE)
NBC’s Red Network.
When it was time for the commercial for
Singiser talked about
The American Tobacco Company
using only the finest tobaccos for
Finer tobacco meant a milder and pleasant smoke.
Singiser said that
had the most flavor of all the
cigarette brands on the market, yet it was also gentle to the throat. For
smokers, taste and mildness was the best of all worlds.
conclude with another famous name in journalism. You all know Mike Wallace for
his hard-hitting stories and interviews on
CBS-TV’s 60 MINUTES. He has
(both radio and TV) for a long time, but like everyone else
mentioned in this article, Wallace was a radio announcer--- although he
identified himself as
Among other programs, Wallace sold
ROAD OF LIFE; Coca
with Spike Jones and the City Slickers, and
the subject here--- Peter Pan Peanut Butter
stations of the
in this series of commercials, Wallace focused
on the small fry radio listeners. In an effective form of salesmanship, Wallace
made the peanut-y taste of
Peter Pan irresistible. He suggested to the
young listeners that a sandwich with a lot of
spread on the
bread would taste great at that very moment. It also helped if mom was there to
make the sandwich for her offspring. While
had the taste of
fresh roasted peanuts, Wallace also pointed out it didn’t stick to the roof of
the typical human mouth as other brands of peanut butter did.
As I said at the
beginning of this article, you never know who was doing the hard sell on the
radio. The 5 men mentioned here could have been top-notch announcers if they
decided to stay in that line of work. As fate would have it, seltzer bottles
and cream pies were waiting for Ralph Edwards; game shows were waiting for Mark
Goodson to create them; comedy and hosting his own radio program were in the
cards for Henry Morgan; and journalism was in the horizon for both Frank
Singiser and Mike Wallace. They may be unlikely announcers now that we know the
line of work that made these 5 men famous, but they could sell the product with
the best of them.