OLD TIME RADIO - CD-ROM - 10 mp3
The Hour of Charm was a 22 piece all girl orchestra and choir, considered to be a novelty act. However, while the gimmick got listeners to tune in initially, the music quality kept the audience tuning in week after week. Spitalny formed the group after being moved by a concert featuring Julliard School of Music graduate Evelyn Kaye’s violin performance. He recruited her to help him interview and hire the other female performers. All the women agreed to strict rules concerning their rehearsals and personal lives, including hair style (long and flowing), who they could date (a committee would quiz the member on her suitor’s background), no marriage for at least two years after joining the ensemble, 6-8 hour daily rehearsals, and memorizing every note and bar of the music (Spitalny didn’t allow the orchestra to use music stands during performances).
Phil Spitalny (November 7, 1890, Tetiev, Ukraine (territory of Russian Empire) – October 11, 1970, Miami Beach, Florida) was a musician, music critic, composer and bandleader heard often on radio during the 1930s and 1940s. He rose to fame after he brought together an orchestra with only female musicians, a novelty at the time.
On radio, Spitalny was introduced as Phil Spitalny and His All-Girl Orchestra featuring Evelyn and her Magic Violin. The magic violinist was Evelyn Kaye Klein, who used the professional name, Evelyn Silverstone. She helped Spitalny find the women he needed to assemble his all-female orchestra. Together, they auditioned more than 1000 musicians in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Spitalny's 22-piece band was known as the Hour of Charm Orchestra during the time it appeared on the radio program, The Hour of Charm, hosted by Arlene Francis. The program aired in various timeslots on CBS and NBC from 1934 to 1948.
Evelyn Kaye Klein and Spitalny married in June 1946.
Spitalny appeared in at least ten musical shorts and two features, When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1942) and Here Come the Co-Eds (1945). Between 1951 and 1953, he made three appearances on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town.
Spitalny wrote music with Gus Kahn, jazz musician Lee "Stubby" Gordon and others.
In retirement in Miami Beach, Spitalny was a music critic for a local Miami newspaper. He died of cancer in Miami Beach in 1970 and is buried in the Tetiever section of Ridge Road Cemetery #2 in a western suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with other members of his family.
Spitalny's radio fame earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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