Friday, September 29, 2006

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 !


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure you would have had to have been there to understand my next statement but...

I really and truly miss radio. I live in the present just like all of us pretty much have to do but I can remember listening to radio laying in bed at night listening to the likes of Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny and of course Rochester, Amos and Andy...and on Saturday mornings it was Buster Brown and Sky King. What a wonderful time that was.

I don't recall Bob & Ray but the name sure is familiar. I know what you mean about the sound effects. Now days it all recorded but in those days it was often done live.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Hi Alan: I sure can relate to missing least like it used to be!
You've tweaked a memory and it will make a fun post for my blog. Thanks.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Josh Max's blawg said...

Ms. Ginnie---

Nice to hear about it from someone who was there...enjoying your blog...!

And if you listen to Car Talk, we have something in common!

Have a sweet weekend...


6:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for this mini chapter in radio history. My Dad introduced us to the funny movies of his childhood: Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, and more. He rented a reel-to-reel set-up from the library, and we LOVED watching them. From him we learned that modern life has no market hold on humor. He always told us about his radio loves, but was not able to find recordings.

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Bostonians! Gotta love them. I love the accents, although I have lost most of mine. I like to listen to the Prairie Home Companion from time to time. I don't remember these guys or much radio at all. I do remember Howdy Doody.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1949 I was ten years old and loved the comedy shows on tne BBC. In the UK in those days the radio was often referred to as 'the wireless'. We didn't have a TV until 1952. I still enjoy listening to the radio when doing various jobs around the house, but never just sit and listen anymore.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes....good ole native
I was a bit young to remember Ray and Bob, but I had heard about it. And I LOVE Car Talk...they're a hoot and very enjoyable.
Boston has a lot going for it...many good things come out of there, least of which are the

9:09 AM  

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