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Beat the Band

Beat the Band was a musical quiz show heard on NBC

In the first series on radio from 1940 to 1944 the program popularized the show business catch phrase, "Give me a little traveling music," often uttered on TV a decade later by Jackie Gleason.


The program was broadcast on Sundays at 6:30pm from Chicago, emcee Garry Moore read music-related questions submitted by listeners to band members in the 14-piece Ted Weems Orchestra. Originally sponsored by the General Mills cereal Kix, listeners whose questions were used on the air received $10; those who stumped the band received $20 and a case of Kix. Questions were often posed in the form of puns or riddles. such as, "Suppose a small fur-bearing animal gets so angry he explodes. What song title is suggested?" The answer from comedian-violinist Red Ingle, "Pop Goes the Weasel." Band members who answered questions incorrectly had to toss a fifty-cent piece on the bass drum. The musician with the most correctly answered questions at the end of the program took home the bass drum "kitty". Unlike most radio shows of the time, Beat the Band did not always originate in Chicago; the program was often broadcast on location from places like Denver, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

Garry Moore (January 31, 1915 – November 28, 1993) was an American entertainer, game show host and comedian best known for his work in television. Moore entered show business as a radio personality in the 1940s and was a television host on several game and variety show programs from the 1950s, 1960s and the 1970s. WIKIPEDIA Moore Bio

The Beat The Band program's vocalists were Perry Como, Parker Gibbs and Marvel Maxwell. Other cast members included Country Washburn and Elmo Tanner, the Whistling Troubador. This first series aired from January 28, 1940 to February 23, 1941. Relocating to New York as a summer replacement for Red Skelton's Raleigh Cigarettes Program, the program began anew on June 15, 1943 with Raleigh Cigarettes as the sponsor (until June 1944). Music was supplied by the Harry Sosnik band. The first host of the second series was Hildegarde. After June 1944, the host was Eddie Mayehoff. The program came to an end on September 6, 1944. Announcers were Marvin Miller and Tom Shirley. The program's theme music was "Out of the Night," composed by Harry Sosnik; and Walter Hirsch. The first version of this theme was by Weems and Hildegarde. The second version was performed by Sosnik.

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