Guide to the Screen Guild Players Recordings Collection, 1942-1948

Project archivist: Caitlin Hunter; machine-readable finding aid created by David Seubert
Department of Special Collections
Davidson Library
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Fax: (805) 893-5749
Email: special@library.ucsb.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/speccoll.html
© 1999
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Screen Guild Players Recordings Collection, 1942-1948

Collection number: PA Mss 28

Department of Special Collections



Davidson Library

University of California, Santa Barbara

Contact Information:

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Davidson Library
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93106
  • Phone: (805) 893-3062
  • Fax: (805) 893-5749
  • Email: special@library.ucsb.edu
  • URL: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/speccoll.html
Project Archivist:
Caitlin Hunter
Date Completed:
September 28, 1999
Encoded by:
David Seubert
© 1999 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Screen Guild Players Recordings Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1942-1948
Collection number: PA Mss 28
Creator: Motion Picture Relief Fund
Extent: 97 disc recordings
Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Abstract: Recordings of Screen Guild Players radio programs used as a fundraising effort for the Motion Picture Relief Fund, sponsored by the Lady Esther Corporation and Camel Cigarettes. The collection contains recordings of 33 shows originally aired between 1940 and 1948; directed by William Lawrence and written/adapted primarily by William Hampton and Harry Kronman. Performers included Nelson Eddy, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Agnes Moorehead, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer, Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Durante, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Provenance

Unknown

Restrictions

None.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Screen Guild Players Recordings, PA Mss 28, Department of Special Collections, University Libraries, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biography

The Screen Guild Players radio program originated as a manner in which to raise money for the Motion Picture Relief Fund. The Motion Picture Relief Fund was created on December 24, 1924 in response to increasing financial need in the Hollywood community. While there had been an earlier attempt to provide relief in the form of the Motion Picture War Service Association (created to help the families of those in the motion picture industry who had either enlisted or been drafted), it disbanded at the end of World War I. However, in many cases the need for financial assistance remained. And, with the onset of the Depression, many other individuals found themselves in financial straits. The Motion Picture Relief Fund was created to deal with these issues. Unfortunately, from 1924 to 1938, the fund's expenditures consistently exceeded its income. As a result, the fund was reorganized
During the first year of the newly organized fund, Jules Stein, founder of the Music Corporation of America, presented both the new president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund and the president of the Screen Actor's Guild with an idea to raise money. He proposed that a radio program be presented by the motion picture industry with proceeds contributed to the fund. Under this proposal, actors and directors would donate their time, and writers and producers would allow the use of their material. A special contract would be arranged so that the sponsor would pay the Motion Picture Relief Fund a predetermined weekly fee.
After legal issues were resolved, the Columbia Broadcasting System presented the first network radio broadcast of the Screen Guild Show on Sunday, January 8, 1939, at 4:30 Pacific Time. At first, the program was formatted to meet the talents of the performers appearing in each particular show. This provided a large variety of program styles, including revues, musicals, and dramatizations. As time went on, it became obvious that actors were more willing to volunteer their services if they were already familiar with the part. As a result, the number of cinema adaptations presented in the show began to increase. The title of the show was changed to the Screen Guild Theatre, reflecting the increased use of dramatizations.
Gulf Oil Corporation sponsored the initial three years of the program. However, due to the uncertainty of the oil market with the onset of World War II, Gulf Oil chose not to continue. The Lady Esther Corporation took over and changed the name of the program to the Screen Guild Players, and during its sponsorship, the program consistently ranked in the top ten of the most popular radio shows. Unfortunately, there was a depression in the cosmetic industry in 1947, which caused Lady Esther to discontinue sponsorship. Camel Cigarettes, on a three-year contract, then purchased the show, but due to a time change, ratings began to fall. The show moved to various broadcasting networks before it was repurchased by the Columbia Broadcasting System in 1950. By this time, many of the usual radio sponsors were moving to the new medium of television, and ratings of the Screen Guild Players continued to fall. The final production of the show occurred on June 30, 1952.
In the thirteen years that the radio program ran, it earned $5,235,607 for the Motion Picture Relief Fund. A large portion of this amount went into the building of the Country Home, a retirement home for people from the Hollywood community, located in Woodland Hills.

Scope and Content

Recordings of 33 Screen Guild Players radio programs which aired between 1940 and 1948 and were used as a fundraising effort for the Motion Picture Relief Fund.
The collection contains a total of 33 shows. One show from the 1940 season, six shows are from the 1942-43 season (sponsored by the Lady Esther Corporation) directed by William Lawrence and written primarily by William Hampton. 22 shows from the 1943-47 seasons (sponsored by the Lady Esther Corporation) directed by William Lawrence and written primarily by Harry Kronman. Three shows are from the the 1947-48 season and one show is from the 1948-49 season both directed by William Lawrence and written primarily by Harry Kronman and sponsored by Camel Cigarettes. Performers included Nelson Eddy, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Agnes Moorehead, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer, Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Durante, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Container List

 

1939-1940 Broadcasting Season

Additional Note

Sponsor
Gulf Oil Corp.
Produced by
Young & Rubicam
Host-Announcer
Roger Pryor
Orchestra
Oscar Bradley
 

A5272-74/D12 January 28, 1940 Private Worlds (Cast: Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert, Isabel Jewell)

 

1942-1943 Broadcasting Season

Additional Note

Sponsor
Lady Esther Corporation
Sponsor representative
Pedlar and Ryan Advertising Agency
Network
Columbia Broadcasting System
Broadcast time
Monday, 7 p.m.. Pacific Time
Producer-Director
William [Bill] Lawrence
Writer-Adapter
William [Bill] Hampton- unless otherwise indicated
Host-Announcer
Truman Bradley
Orchestra
Wilbur Hatch
 

A2314-15/D12 December 21, 1942 Juggler of our lady (Writer-Adapter, John Nesbitt; Cast: Nelson Eddy, Ronald Colman)

 

A2316-18/D12 March 22, 1943 For me and my gal (Cinema release: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Cast: Judy Garland, Dick Powell, Gene Kelly)

 

A2319-21/D12 May 31, 1943 Rebecca (Cinema release, David O. Selznick; Writer-Adapter, Harry Kronman; Cast: Joan Fontaine, Brian Aherne, Agnes Moorehead)

 

A2322-24/D12 September 13, 1943 Birth of the Blues (Cinema release, Paramount; Cast: Bing Crosby, Ginny Simms, Johnny Mercer)

 

A2325-27/D12 September 27, 1943 Thank your lucky stars (Cinema release, Warner Brothers; Writer-Adapter, Harry Kronman; Cast: Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, Dennis Morgan)

 

A2328-30/D12 October 11, 1943 Love affair (Cinema release, RKO; Writer-Adapter, Harry Kronman; Cast: Virginia Bruce, Herbert Marshall, Luis Alberni)

 

1943-1947 Broadcasting Seasons

Additional Note

Sponsor
Lady Esther Corporation
Sponsor representative
Biow Advertising Agency
Network
Columbia Broadcasting System
Broadcast time
Monday, 7 p.m.. Pacific Time
Producer-Director
William [Bill] Lawrence
Writer-Adapter
Harry Kronman- unless otherwise indicated
Host-Announcer
Truman Bradley
Orchestra
Wilbur Hatch
 

A2331-33/D12 March 6, 1944 The gay divorcee (Cinema release, RKO; Cast: Frank Sinatra, Gloria de Haven, Edward Everett Horton, Spring Byington)

 

A2334-36/D12 April 3, 1944 Hello, Frisco, hello (Cinema release, 20th Century Fox; Cast: Ginny Slims, Jack Okie, Dick Powell)

 

A2337-39/D12 April 10, 1944 Farewell to arms (Cinema release, Paramount; Cast: Gary Cooper, Joan Fontaine, Pedro de Cordoba)

 

A2340-42/D12 April 24, 1944 Snow White and the 7 dwarfs (Cinema release, Walt Disney; Cast: Edgar Bergen, Billy Gilbert, Jane Powell)

 

A2343-45/D12 September 4, 1944 Too many husbands (Cinema release, Columbia; Writer- Adapter, Frank Galen; Cast: Frank Sinatra, Bill Goodwin, Donna Reed)

 

A2346-48/D12 October 30, 1944 Anna Karenina (Cinema release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck)

 

A2349-51/D12 December 25, 1944 Pinocchio (Cinema release, Walt Disney; Writers-Adapters, Harry Kronman, Jess Oppenheimer, Devrey Freeman; Cast: Fanny Brice, Hanley Stafford)

 

A2352-54/D12 January 8, 1945 Going my way (Cinema release, Paramount; Cast: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, George Murphy)

 

A2355-57/D12 February 5, 1945 Joan of Ozark (Cinema release, Republic; Cast: Joe E. Brown, Judy Canova)

 

A2358-59/D12 February 12, 1945 Belle of the Yukon (Cinema release, International Pictures; Cast: Randolph Scott, Bob Burns, Dinah Shore, Gail Patrick)

 

A2360-62/D12 May 21, 1945 The desert song (Cinema release, Universal; Cast: Dennis Morgan, Francia White, Bruce Cabot)

 

A2363-65/D12 June 25, 1945 New wine (Cinema release, United Artists; Cast: Ilona Massey, Paul Henreid)

 

A2366-68/D12 March 11, 1946 Irish eyes are smiling (Cinema release, 20th Century Fox; Cast: June Haver, Dick Haymes)

 

A2369-71/D12 March 25, 1946 Sweethearts (Cinema release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Cast: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy)

 

A2372-74/D12 June 10, 1946 House of 92nd Street (Cinema release, 20th Century Fox; Cast: Lloyd Nolan, William Lundigan)

 

A2375-77/D12 July 29, 1946 Naughty Marietta (Cinema release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Cast: Irene Manning, Allan Jones)

 

A2378-80/D12 August 26, 1946 Bells of St. Mary's (Cinema release, Rainbow Productions, Cast: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Carroll)

 

A2381-83/D12 October 7, 1946 The old lady shows her medals (Cinema release, Paramount; Cast: Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.)

 

A2384-86/D12 December 23, 1946 Snow White (Cinema release, Walt Disney; Cast: Edgar Bergen, Mary Jane Smith, Charles Kemper)

 

A2387-89/D12 January 6, 1947 The yearling (Cinema release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Cast: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr.)

 

A2390-92/D12 May 12, 1947 Brief encounter (Cinema release, Universal-International; Cast: Herbert Marshall, Lilli Parker)

 

A2393-95/D12 June 23, 1947 Rose Marie (Cinema release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Cast: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy)

 

1947-1948 Broadcasting Season

Additional Note

Sponsor
Camel Cigarettes (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company)
Sponsor representative
William Esty Advertising Agency
Network
Columbia Broadcasting System
Broadcast time
Monday, 7:30 p.m., Pacific Time
Producer-Director
William [Bill] Lawrence
Writer-Adapter
Harry Kronman- unless otherwise indicated
Host-Announcer
Michael Roy
Orchestra
Wilbur Hatch
 

A2396-98/D12 May 24, 1948 Casbah (Cinema release, Universal-International; Cast: Yvonne de Carlo, Tony Martin, Marta Toren, Peter Lorre)

 

A2399-A2401/D12 June 7, 1948 Snow White and the seven drawfs (Cinema release, Walt Disney; Cast: Margaret O'Brien, Jimmy Durante, Mary Jane Smith)

 

A2402-04/D12 June 28, 1948 Up in Central Park (Cinema release, Universal-International; Cast: Deanna Durbin, Dick Haymes, Charles Irwin)

 

1948-1949 Broadcasting Season

Additional Note

Sponsor
Camel Cigarettes (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company)
Sponsor representative
William Esty Advertising Agency
Network
National Broadcasting Company
Broadcast time
Thursday, 7 p.m., Pacific Time
Producer-Director
William [Billi] Lawrence
Writer-Adapter
Harry Kronman- unless otherwise indicated
Host-Announcer
Vern Smith
Orchestra
National Broadcasting Company studio orchestra
 

A2405-07/D12 November 18, 1948 Rebecca (Cinema release, David O. Selznick; Cast: Loretta Young, John Lund)