GI Journal

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 11/27/2019, 3:21 pm

Starting off in late summer 1943, about a year after both Command Performance and Mail Call, GI Journal was released. It was another Special Services only show (AFRS) and was designed to give information on activities of service personnel throughout the world, interspersed with comedy skits and music, in the form of a newspaper of the air. Unlike Command Performance and Mail Call, the shows had regular stars such as Linda Darnell, Mel Blanc and Jerry Colonna and featured front line Hollywood and big band stars from time to time. All of the shows were recorded in Hollywood (many in the Hollywood Canteen).

kschreiver and I researched this a number of years back but it is now in need of an update, especially the documentation.

Is there any interest in us posting the files here? If three or more of you say 'yes' then we'll proceed.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.
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Post by eliyahusimlevin on 11/27/2019, 3:25 pm

Yes, I'd be very interested, especially with the correct dates! Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Post by Harlow Wilcox on 11/27/2019, 5:05 pm

Yes please! Happy Thanksgiving to you CDM and eliyahusimlevin!
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Post by JazzMan on 11/27/2019, 9:09 pm

Yes please

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Post by bicho on 11/28/2019, 9:42 am

i´m number four and: yes, please!

keep boppin´
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Post by CompleteDayMan on 11/28/2019, 11:20 am

Very good!

We're off to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families today so we'll start this off tomorrow.
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Post by kschriever on 11/29/2019, 10:58 am

Wow, is it tomorrow ALREADY?  My esteemed colleague had the pleasure and luxury of visiting Number One Son for the holidays, but yours truly was host and I'm still too exhausted to post... almost!

We're going to do this one in best old Cobalt style... CDM and I will lead the way, posting all we have in sequence.  If you have a sound upgrade, or PLEASE A FILL OR THREE!, please put 'em up in the right place in the posting sequence (later is fine, but please don't jump the gun).

Recordings have been identified insofar as possible with accuracy using a combination of the log in Harry MacKenzie's "Command Performance" volume, David Goldin's logs, and in some instances file labels from discs.  Dates used are the recording dates, when known. The release dates of the shows were usually a month after recording but were variable.

G.I. Journal's niche in the galaxy of original WWII AFRS programming was to serve as a conduit for contributions by the soldiers themselves, although much of the material remains the work of showbiz professionals.  The angle was to present the entertainment in the form, loosely, of a "newspaper of the air".  Various stars rotate through the "editor" chair, and many well-known radio character actors and second-line performers appear semi-regularly as "reporters" and "columnists", including Mel Blanc, Jerry Colonna, Arthur Q. Bryan, and "Ish Kabibble" (Mervyn Bogue) of Kay Kyser orchestra fame.

To start at the very beginning is a very good place to start... but we can't unfortunately.  The first GI Journal we know to be circulating is #5, and the editor to kick this thing off is the aforementioned gentleman from Georgia:

GI Journal (005) 1943-08-14 Kay Kyser - Great Day

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 11/29/2019, 11:23 am

After dealing with having to process the contents of her parents house when they died a few years back, my wife and I had this brilliant idea of downsizing our house. We were able to throw out / donate all kinds of 'stuff' but the downside was that we weren't able to host large numbers of people any more. Oh gosh darn!

Next up it's show number 6 featuring the man from Georgia again, along with his wife named Georgia. With Harry Mitchell announcing, the show features Georgia Carroll, Ish Kabibble, Jerry Colonna, Mel Blanc, Dave Vale and Bill Gould.

GI Journal (006) 1943-08-21 Kay Kyser - St James Infirmary
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Post by eliyahusimlevin on 11/29/2019, 12:12 pm

Thank you!
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Post by Harlow Wilcox on 11/29/2019, 12:16 pm

Thank you!
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Post by kschriever on 11/30/2019, 9:22 am

From September 1943, a first of many turns in the editor's chair for the then omnipresent Mr. Crosby:

GI Journal (009) 1943-09-10 Bing Crosby - Wait For Me Mary

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 11/30/2019, 10:28 am

Bing follows himself in yet another editor role.
Anyone have #10?

GI Journal (011) 1943-09-24 Bing Crosby - Mc Namara's Band
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Post by Harlow Wilcox on 11/30/2019, 11:36 am

Thank you for the shows! Smile
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Post by eliyahusimlevin on 11/30/2019, 11:10 pm

Thank you!
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Post by kschriever on 12/1/2019, 9:43 am

And it's the Hairless Horseman yet again, with "Thank Your Lucky Stars" as an opener, which is how I would feel if I was not sitting here waiting for an ice storm to strike...

GI Journal (012) 1943-10-09 Bing Crosby - Thank Your Lucky Stars

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 12/1/2019, 10:18 am

You wouldn't be doing what I'm doing, that's for sure. I'm out with Bob - stealin' apples.

GI Journal (014) 1943-10-22 Bob Hope - Stealin' Apples
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Post by kschriever on 12/2/2019, 11:33 am

I can only surmise that old Ski Nose got caught with his shirt full of Winesaps, because the time he spent explaining his way out of the pokey seems to have caused him to miss the show open and the first musical number on this one.  I do hope that CDM was not also caught up in the dragnet that snared Bob...

GI Journal (015) 1943-10-29 Bob Hope (missing opening & first song)

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 12/2/2019, 1:37 pm

Not at all. I've been hanging out with old Red today. Gotta love those Ish Kabibble limericks!

GI Journal (017) 1943-11-19 Red Skelton - Swanee
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Post by eliyahusimlevin on 12/2/2019, 11:16 pm

Thank you!
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Post by toebig on 12/3/2019, 2:29 am

Thank you both for the shows and the information that goes along with them.

Tom

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Post by kschriever on 12/3/2019, 10:20 am

Jack Carson had served as MC previously, but this is the first recording we have with him in that role. There's a parody here for "Inner Sanctum" fans as well.

GI Journal (018) 1943-11-26 Jack Carson - Pushing Sand

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 12/3/2019, 11:37 am

As we close in on Christmas 1943, who else would it be than Bing to provide the MC duties and do the singing.

GI Journal (020) 1943-12-11 Bing Crosby - Paper Doll
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Post by eliyahusimlevin on 12/3/2019, 11:43 pm

Thank you!
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Post by kschriever on 12/4/2019, 9:28 am

Jack is back, in a recording documented neither by Mr. Goldin nor the late Harry MacKenzie, whose extensive compilation of data was published way back in 1996. Recording date is roughly inferred as falling between those noted for the preceding and following episodes (December 11 and 30 of 1943):

GI Journal (021) 1943-12-xx Jack Carson - St James Infirmary

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Post by CompleteDayMan on 12/4/2019, 10:34 am

Just for grins I did a count of the MC role for the first 60 shows. Kay Kyser leads the way with 15 appearances, followed by Bing with 14, Jack with 13 and Bob with 8.

Next we have a great example of where the documentation can throw you if you aren't careful. Mackenzie lists the MC for this next one as Linda Darnell, however it's very clear from listening to the recording that Al Pearce filled the role.

GI Journal (023) 1944-01-07 Al Pearce - Sweet Georgia Brown
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