OLD TIME RADIO - 1 CD-ROM - 15 mp3
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Bob Burns (August 2, 1890 – February 2, 1956) was an American musical comedian, who appeared on radio and in movies from 1930 to 1947. Burns played a novelty musical instrument of his own invention, which he called a "bazooka". During World War II, the US Army's handheld anti-tank rocket launcher was nicknamed the "bazooka".
He was born Robin Burn in Greenwood, Arkansas. When he was three years old, his family moved to Van Buren, Arkansas. As a boy, Burns played trombone and cornet in the town's "Queen City Silver Cornet Band". At 13, he formed his own string band. Practicing in the back of Hayman's Plumbing Shop one night, he picked up a length of gas pipe and blew into it, creating an unusual sound. With modifications, this became a musical instrument he named a "bazooka" (after "bazoo", meaning a windy fellow, from the Dutch bazuin for "trumpet"). A photograph shows him playing his invention in the Silver Cornet Band. Functioning like a crude trombone, the musical bazooka had a narrow range, but this was intentional.
Burns also studied civil engineering and worked as a peanut farmer, but by 1911 was primarily an entertainer.
During World War I Burns enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He sailed to France with the Marine 11th Regiment. As a sergeant, he became the leader of the Marine Corps's jazz band in Europe. Burns made another "bazooka" from stove pipes and a whiskey funnel, which he sometimes played with the Corps band.
After the war, Burns returned to the stage, often playing the bazooka as part of his act. He used it as a prop when telling hillbilly stories and jokes. Burns became known as The Arkansas Traveler and The Arkansas Philosopher. His stage persona was a self-effacing, rustic bumpkin with amusing stories about "the kinfolks" back home in Van Buren. His character was patterned after Sanford Faulkner (1806–74), composer of the popular fiddle tune, "The Arkansas Traveler".
In 1930, Burns auditioned for a major Los Angeles radio station. He had prepared a 10 minute performance, but was asked to do 30 minutes, which he filled out with improvised stories and bazooka tunes. The managers did not care for his prepared material, but were impressed by his improvised material. Burns was hired. He appeared on an afternoon show, "The Fun Factory", as a character called "Soda Pop".
In 1935, on a visit to New York, Burns asked bandleader and radio star Paul Whiteman for an audition. Whiteman put Burns on his nightly show, the Kraft Music Hall, which was broadcast nationally; Burns was a big hit. Burns also became a regular on Rudy Vallee's show The Fleischmann Hour.
Burns returned to Los Angeles in 1936, where Kraft Music Hall was now hosted by Bing Crosby. Burns was a regular, playing the bazooka and telling tall tales about his fictional hillbilly relatives, Uncle Fud and Aunt Doody.
Bob Burns was the host of The 10th Academy Awards held on March 10, 1938 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Originally scheduled to be held on March 3, 1938, the ceremony was postponed due to heavy flooding in Los Angeles.
In 1941, Burns was given his own radio show, called The Arkansas Traveler (1941–43) and The Bob Burns Show (1943–47).
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Bob Burns 430218 059 First Song - The Sheik Of Araby
Bob Burns 430401 065 First Song - Vamp
Bob Burns 430408 066 First Song - Hotcha Cornia
Bob Burns 430415 067 First Song - Oh By Jingo!
Bob Burns 430422 068 First Song - Wang Wang Blues
Bob Burns 430429 069 The El Toro Story
Bob Burns 430506 070 First Song - The Sound Effects Man
Bob Burns 430520 072 The White Horse Story
Bob Burns 440525 112 Guest - Frank Sinatra
Bob Burns 440601 113 Cass Daley Final Show
Bob Burns 441116 124 Preparing for a Trip to Chicago
Bob Burns 450607 152 June Brides
Bob Burns 460523 190 The Boat
Bob Burns 461006 197 The Prize Hog
Bob Burns 490701 Bob Comes Out Of Retirement