Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Mystery Announcer

Frank Knight was a producer at KCBS, and his name back in the day was usually attached to Jack Benny. He was the voice of the the CBS network, But initially he was brought in as a MYSTERY ANNOUNCER...

It was a clever stunt, one that worked when there were still only half a dozen staitons to listen to. The gig was like this "A new personality will make its debut before the millions of Radio's audience with the opening program in the person of a man whose identity will be concealed behind a black mask and who will be known only as The Voice of Columbia."

The Voice of Columbia was a discovery of Major White's. White was fooling around with a studio mic one night and notice that produce Frank Knight had the pipes for radio. The Major decided that the witty and affable Frankie needed to be moved to the other side of the mic. In the end, the mystery-man gimmick was dropped quickly to little fanfare. The "Voice of Columbia" became simply Frank Knight.

Frank became an archetype of hosting. his ch mature, grave, slow-spoken style and professional look like a doctors, lawyer or bankers was just a part of the golden age of radio. It is emulated to this day.

His voice is on almost every WWII era music collection. If you own a music or radio program collection from WWI or D-Day themed or the semi-famous program Chronoscope, Remember the Golden Days of Radio, Vol. 1 -7 , The Victory Collection or pretty much any live radio revival programs... (Like this one.) You've heard Frank Knight.