Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Teentimers Club

NBC carried this little known show from 1946 through 1949. The program was aimed at teenage listeners hence the name "Teentimers." It debuted in 1946 running on Saturday mornings on WGN. The program sported appearances by Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Les Brown, Woody Herman, Jimmy Dorsey, and Cab Calloway. This was dance music. There are actually some 16-inch transcription discs known to exist of at least the Ellington performances. It was also carried on AFRS.
By the time WWi ended, Johnny Desmond was a sergeant and had sung for Gene Krupa and Glenn Miller. He came back and did some variety shows for NBC. But he also started recorded for RCA Victor and became a teen idol. In 1946 NBC pounced on him, they paid him $500 a week to sing on Teentimers.

But it was one of a number of these 1940s radio programs trying to reach teenagers which at the time were coming into their own as a market. 1450 WWDC-AM had a program called 'Teentime revue" and "Teentime requests." 980 WRC-AM had Teentimer's Show. Another program ABC's Teen Town was hosted by Dick York (yes that guy from Bewitched.) That program actually changed it's name to Junior Junction to avoid brand confusion. Spending for juvenile-focuses radio shows increased between 1941 and 1951 from $600 thousand to $7 million. Holy crap. that's an increase of 11,6667% More here.