Listen to a Amos ‘n’ Andy Radio Show episode by clicking on a link below:
First Episode: March 19, 1928 (But essentially the same show had aired on WGN from January 12, 1926. Those episodes aren’t considered here as the name of the series at that time was “Sam ‘N’ Henry” and not “Amos ‘N’ Andy”)
Last Episode: November 25, 1960
Number of Episodes: Approximately 6646
Network: WMAQ (Chicago, Illinois NBC Affiliate – March 19, 1928 to August of 1929), NBC (August 19, 1929 through May 25, 1948), CBS (October 10, 1948 through End of Series)
Cast Members: Freeman Gosden (Amos Jones), Charles Correll (Andy ‘aka – Andrew Hogg Brown’), Ernestine Wade (Sapphire Stevens), Amanda Randolph (Sapphire’s Mother, Ramona Smith), Johnny Lee (Algonquin J. Calhoun), Harriette Widmer, Elinor Harriot, Terry Howard, Madeline Lee, Lou Lubin, Eddie Green
Announcers: Art Gilmore, Bill Hay, Del Sharbutt, Harlow Wilcox
Sound Effects: Gus Bayz, Ed Ludes, David Light, Frank Pittman
Music: Gaylord Carter, Lud Gluskin, Jeff Alexander’s Orchestra and Chorus
Vocals: The Jubilaires (Theodore Brooks, Caleb Ginyard, John Jennings, George McFadden)
Theme Song: “The Perfect Song” from the 1915 classic film, “Birth of a Nation”
Writers: Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll, Octavus Roy Cohen, Joe Connelly, Bob Fisher, Paul Franklin, Harvey Helm, Shirley Illo, Bob Mosher, Arthur Stander
Sponsor: Campbell Soups, Lever Brothers, Pepsodent, Rexall Drugs, Rinso
Typical Episode Length: 15 minutes till 1943, 30 minutes thereafter
At its peak, Amos ‘N’ Andy had 40 million listeners which accounted for nearly 1/3 of the U.S. population at the time!
The storyline is about two black men struggling to survive the depression by running a taxi company with only one taxi! They had only one cab and it was missing a windshield. That explains their naming of the company as “Fresh Air Taxi”. Amos and Andy were portrayed as stereotypical black men by two white guys. You certainly wouldn’t hear or see anything like that today but it was very common in those days before political correctness. White men performing as people of color were called “Minstrels” and they had been extremely popular in the days of vaudeville. There were objections to the series from the African-American community but they were insufficient in number to have any real effect on the network executives’ decision to keep airing the hit show.
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