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Cultural highlights of 1940

Radio: UK
New shows
Music While You Work (BBC Home Service, from 23 June). Half-hour programme of live continuous music broadcast from BBC studios in London or the regions at 10:30 six days a week, with a second show in mid afternoon. The purpose is to improve morale in wartime factories by playing cheerful tunes. A third programme at 22:30 is introduced for night shifts in 1942. [It transferred to the Light Programme and ran as a live show until 1963, the Saturday morning show being dropped the following year and the afternoon programmes in 1966. It continued as a pre-recorded programme until the closure of the Light Programme on 29 September 1967. It was revived for a week in OCtober 1982 and ran for more than a year from 4 January 1983.] Thanks to Brian Reynolds for information.

Radio: US
New shows
Abbott and Costello (NBC from 3 July). Comedy, summer replacement for Fred Allen.
The Adventures of Superman (Mutual Radio network from 12 February). The identity of Bud Collyer, the actor in the title role, is kept secret until 1946.
The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street (NBC Blue network, from 11 February). Jazz.
Crime Doctor (CBS from August 4). Detective series.
Double or Nothing (Mutual Radio network from 29 September). Quiz with a top prize of $80. It runs until 1952.
Gene Autry's Melody Ranch (CBS from 7 January). Singing cowboy radio show begins a 16-year run. The 'western swing' style of music is now reaching its peak.
Take It or Leave It (CBS from 21 April). Quiz with prize money rising to $64.

Chronomedia 1940

Page updated 25 January 2010
David Fisher