|Bob Crane at KNX - circa 1960.|
During the 1950s and '60s, Bob Crane helped transform radio in many ways. First, he not only interacted with his guests and engineer, but he also interacted with the commercials, turning a 15-second spot into a minute or more of comedy. Second, Bob's show was never rehearsed; it was all spontaneous. Therefore, he could not rely on his radio engineer to know which record to play to go along with whatever stunt he was about to pull. Because of his show's format, Bob was able to receive special dispensation from the Radio Engineers' Union to play his own records, which at the time was completely unprecedented. Third, Bob kept a drumset in the radio booth, and he routinely drummed away with the tunes, sometimes singing or humming or whistling or inserting snippets of comedy as well. And last but by no means least, at KNX, Bob was one of the leading celebrity interviewers of his time.
Attention radio stations! You've now heard some of Crane's calamity of having fun with commercials, doing impersonations, conducting wild radio campaigns, and performing skits. What kinds of crazy stunts or gimmicks have you done over the air? Let us know, and we'll highlight them in a future post!
Now for a commercial break. In this 1957 spot, the Crane Little Theatre Players promote Beech-Nut Gum, which then slides effortlessly right into an American Airlines commercial. Enjoy!
American Airlines Radio Spot
The Crane Little Theatre Players / Beech-Nut Gum
Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio
March 27, 1957
It's National Radio Day, America! Turn off your TV and tune in to your favorite radio station!