Saturday, October 03, 2009

Does anyone remember these guys? “BOB & RAY”, 1949



The comedy team of “Bob & Ray” was catching on like wildfire in 1949, the year that I was a Junior in Wellesley High School in Massachusetts. Their wacky radio show, “Matinee with Bob & Ray” aired on WHDH, Boston, and I couldn’t wait for the daily 15 minute segments to begin.

Their format was typically to satirize radio and TV (which was just emerging) with off-the-wall dialogue, usually presented in a deadpan style. For instance, their review of the radio show, “Mary Noble, Backstage Wife” would include an interview with Mary Backstayge, the noble wife. Corny? Yes, but very effective when done in their style.

Another spoof was their game show entitled, “The 64 Cent Question” and my favorite segment, the cowboy singer who did rope tricks on the radio. Bob was usually the interviewer and Ray would take on different accents and voice tones. He had a wonderfully flat tone that he used for all his female characters, especially Mary McGoon, a home economics advisor who shared her bizarre recipes with the audience.

By 1949 they had been airing the show for three years and, although their popularity was growing, they hired the Ad Agency that my Dad worked for to promote it even further. Dad made plans to attend a live broadcast and he took me with him. It was my first time to watch the inner workings of a radio show and it was fascinating to see the technical end of the business...especially the sound effects.

I guess the closest thing that we have to that show today would be the car guys on National Public Radio’s “Car Talk”. Although they are supposed to be giving advice on automobile upkeep, Tom and Ray Magliozzi veer off to a variety of subjects, all presented in a “tongue-in-cheek” style with lots of laughs.

They are more commonly referred to as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers and isn’t it interesting that they originate from Boston, too. Must be something quirky in the water !

10 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

I sure do remember Bob and Ray and while I never heard them on radio, I watched them on The Ed Sullivan show and sometimes on Johnny Carson. They were great. I listed to Click and Clack as often as possible; usually when I am in the car. They are terrific, too!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I was two years old and we only got Canadian radio -- if the wind was right. :)

6:10 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Oh, yes--I remember them. Since I grew up overseas, it wasn't until the mid-60s that I learned of them, by which time they were well into their careers.
I enjoyed their slow gentle humor. They were patient enough to let a joke build.
We listen to Car Talk almost every Saturday.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I remember Bob and Ray. I lived in Boston for three years. In a way they were the last of the golden age of radio.

I laugh when I think of the sound of the Wally Ballou character.

2:13 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Well Ginnie, I had never heard of Bob & Ray but I do listen to Click and Clack. Also Zorba Pastor and A Prairie Home Companion.
Car Talk is a funny show!
Love Di

6:25 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Ad lib humour and a tongue in cheek approach, that IS the spirit we all need I believe. Thanks for the smile you gave me while I read this Ginnie :)

11:21 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I don't remember Bob and Ray as they were before my time. But I am a Click and Clack fan for sure.

8:53 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Gosh, I haven't thought of Bob and Ray for Years! Didn't they used to be on BZ Boston? That is the only Boston radio station I remember getting - and on a clear night, we could get WBZ down in NY state.
Funny the things we remember...

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about "mr. trace, keener than most persons"?

7:04 AM  
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2:18 PM  

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