“Laughter and Love Songs”: Celebrating the Golden Age of Radio

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Vocal Spectrum

The Northland Barbershop Chorus of the Sault, Ontario Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society is proud to announce its 52nd Annual Show will be presented Sat. April 9th, 2016 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre.

BACKGROUND: “Fibber McGee and Molly”

“Fibber McGee and Molly” was an American radio comedy series that maintained its popularity over decades. It premiered on NBC in 1935 and continued until 1959, long after radio had ceased to be the dominant form of entertainment in American popular culture. The stars of the program were real-life husband and wife team Jim and Marian Jordan. It was a domestic comedy in the style of such other iconic radio shows of the era as “George Burns
and Gracie Allen” (1936-1950), and “Father Knows Best” (1949-1954).

“Fibber McGee and Molly” was one of the earliest radio comedies to use regular characters, nearly all of whom had recurring phrases and running gags. The format of the show often involved a few of these regulars showing up at Fibber’s door for no particular reason. Several such characters appear in tonight’s episode:

  • THE OLD-TIMER – a hard-of-hearing senior citizen with a penchant for bad puns. For no apparent reason, he refers to Fibber as “Johnny” and Molly as “Daughter”.
  • TEENY – a precocious youngster, she often ended her sentences with “I betcha!” and was also known to lose track of her own conversations. Her appearances were often foreshadowed by Molly excusing herself and Fibber saying: “Ah, there goes a good kid,” upon which the doorbell would ring and Teeny would appear.
  • DR. GEORGE GAMBLE – the town doctor with whom Fibber had a long-standing rivalry and friendship. The two often came up with creative insults for each other’s excessive weight.
  • HARLOW WILCOX – Each episode also featured an appearance by announcer Harlow Wilcox, whose job it was to weave in an ad for the sponsor into the plot without having to break the show for a real commercial. During the years the show was sponsored by Pet Milk, Fibber nicknamed Wilcox “Milk-Ox”. In a style typical of classic radio, the show was introduced as, “The Pet Milk Program, with Fibber McGee and Molly”.

SHOW DETAILS

2016 Poster Laughter and Love SongsThe 40+ man NORTHLAND CHORUS will present songs in traditional four-part barbershop harmony within a script adapted by Chorus Director Bob Shami from an episode of “Fibber McGee and Molly” (original air date: Oct. 3, 1950), entitled “Fibber Has a Stomach Ache”. Our characters are: CHUCK HOLGATE (Fibber), SHELLEY WRIGHT (Molly and 9-year-old Teeny), BOB TISDALL (Old Timer and Doc Gamble), RONY DAL CIN (piano, sound effects and the Nurse), KEVIN COLLAR (Messenger and Eddie the Orderly) and MARK SAN ANGELO
(Harlow Wilcox), with stage direction by SKYE STEWART. The show is set on Valentine’s Day, 1950 and Fibber has just figured out what to get Molly: a 9-lb box of chocolates – the biggest size they sell! Since Fibber is famously known to have a sweet tooth and problems with impulse control, hilarity ensues, along with several golden-age-of radio love songs (and even a classic Monty Python tune) from the Chorus!

FEATURED MUSICAL PERFOMERS

  • NORTHLAND BARBERSHOP CHORUS: Now in their 55th year. Bob Shami – Music Director
    http://www.northlandchorus.com
  • HEADLINE QUARTET – VOCAL SPECTRUM: World Class Barbershop Quartet from St. Louis,
    MO. 2006 International Quartet Champions, making their 2nd appearance in the Sault, having headlined our 50th Anniversary show in 2011. They blew the lid off KCTC! They are back by popular demand and continue to sing a cappella at the highest possible level. http://www.vocalspectrum.com

All Tickets: General Admission – $25.00* CDN Funds, available at:

  • Theatre Centre Box Office* (Station Mall) or Hess Jewellers (Churchill Plaza)
  • Any member of the Northland Chorus Soo Theatre/STARS (534 Ashmun St. Soo, Mich.)
  • Tickets may also be available at the door. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Curtain is 7:30 p.m.

* A $3.00 per ticket service charge is added by the Station Mall Box Office to all tickets they sell. Box Office price is $25.00 + $3.00 = $28.00 total.

A major portion of the proceeds will go to support local speech therapy programs at the Speech-Language Pathology Unit at Sault Area Hospital. As of the 2016 show, more than $82,000 will have been donated by the Northland Chorus to this cause since 1995. Several thousand $ more has been donated to the Speech Dept at War Memorial Hospital in Soo, MI, as the Chorus typically returns fees earned by them from performances in the US to War Memorial – this, in keeping with their motto:

“We Sing … That They Shall Speak.”

The Northland Chorus has set a lifetime goal to contribute $100,000 to Sault Area Hospital not later than our 2019 show. Revenue derived from the annual show is the only source of our donations to the Hospital. More information about our long history of support of the local Speech Therapy services in both Sault’s can be viewed on our website here: http://www.northlandchorus.com/about/our-service-project-we-sing-that-they-shall-speak.html