On this week before Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a wonderful item that you can listen to as you are preparing your meal at home. I will be doing the same. If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great Thanksgiving-themed programs available this week. You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web.
One of the really cool shows I recently discovered are the Elgin Seasonal Specials for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the 1940s. The shows were sponsored by the Elgin Watch Company of Elgin, Illinois. Starting in 1942 for the soldiers overseas, the Elgin Holiday Specials were two hour programs that featured the brightest stars in radio and the movies. Heard on these programs is Bing Crosby, Mario Landa, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope and were all hosted by Don Ameche. These shows are a combination of songs, skits and other performances that capture the best of radio. The Internet Archives has five total shows (see the link below). Also, given that the program runs 2 hours, these are not commonly played on current radio programs like XM 82.
Here is a link right to the two Elgin Thanksgiving Holiday Shows on the Internet Archive:
- Elgin's 6th Annual Thanksgiving Show (November 27, 1947)
- Elgin's 7th Annual Thanksgiving Show (November 25, 1948)
- Elgin's Thanksgiving Shows (article by Jim Ramsburg)
Here are additional Thanksgiving themed shows available on the Internet Archive: