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Back in the "gOLDen days" of radio, shows had to keep old listeners and get new ones (much as it is today). One of the methods used by various shows was a synergistic relationship between the sponsor and the show. The show would advertise the sponsor's goods, and the sponsor would include a reference to the show with those goods.

Similarly, many shows touted mementos of their own. How many of us sent in for a Captain (whomever) magic decoder whatzit, so only we would know the contents of the mystery messages sent by the good Captain? Club memberships certificates, drinking mugs, lunch boxes and other paraphanalia were liberally covered with program logos to remind us to tune in next time, for yet another thrilling adventure ...

See our local premium page that has pictures and soundbytes of MANY old radio premiums, including Captain whomever mugs, rings and stuff.)

Blue Coal - the sponsors of The Shadow (who knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men; but who was, in reality, Lamont Cranston), used this image in some of their ads. The circular thing in the image is a microphone, not a steering wheel!

The Green Hornet was often "sustained" during its tenure on Mutual (and later ABC), but General Mills sponsored it for a short time in 1948, and Orange Crush did the same in 1952. This is the Green Hornet logo used at the time.

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce may have been the best portrayers of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. During the Winter of '41, the show was heard on NBC on Sunday nights, at 10:30 PM. Bromo Quinine was the sponsor, and their ad for cold tablets may have certainly been timely!

I Love a Mystery, affectionately known as "ILAM" by OTR fans was originally called I Love an Adventure. The story line involved the adventures of three private detectives: Jack, Doc and Reggie. The shows were aired in 1939 and 1940 on NBC, then migrated to CBS in late 1940, and Mutual in late 1949. The last show was in 1952. Sponsors included Fleischmann's Yeast and Ivory Soap.

"You can trust your car to the man who wears the star" was the motto of The Texaco Star Theater in which Fred Allen starred between 1940 and 1944. A bit of trivia: Fred's theme song in his earliest radio show (Linit Bath Club Review 1932) was "Hello, Evening Star"! Over the years, Mr. Allen's sponsors also included Hellman's Mayonnaise, Sal Hepatica, Ipana, Tenderleaf Tea, and Ford Motors. The show originated on CBS, but traveled to NBC in 1933, back to CBS in 1940, and NBC in 1945. The how changed its name several times, to reflect the sponsor's product. The Linit Bath Club Revue was sponsored by Linit Bath Oil, the Salad Bowl Revue was sponsored by Hellmann's Mayonnaise, the Sal Hepatica Review by (you guessed it) Sal Hepatica. The Hour of Smiles was sponsored by Ipana and Sal Hepatica, as was Town Hall Tonight. The '39 - '40 Fred Allen Show continued to be sponsored by Ipana and Sal Hepatica, but the theme song changed to "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile".

The famous Amos 'n' Andy comedy series was introduced as the "Sam 'n' Henry" show in January, 1926. The show, starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, was first heard on Chicago's WGN radio. They moved to WMAQ in 1928. Although early scripts used the names "Jim and Charley", they eventually changed the name to the "Amos 'n' Andy" show. The first network broadcast was on August 19, 1929, on NBC Blue, presenting six 15-minute shows per week. The show moved to CBS in 1939, back to NBC in 1945, and returned to CBS in '48. The last Amos and Andy Music Hall show was in November, 1960, on CBS.

Sponsors of the program included Pepsodent, Campbell Soup (both on NBC and CBS), Rinso, and Rexall drug stores.

Messrs Gosden and Correll were on the radio / phonograph as early as 1920, presenting various minstrel shows.

Of course, we can't forget The Lone Ranger himself! Bruce keeps promising to give us an in-depth article about the show, but until then, all we can say is "who was that masked man?"

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