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AMOS AND ANDY

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Old Time Radio - DVD - 324 mp3 - Total Playtime: 136:26:50

Amos 'n' Andy is a situation comedy based on stock sketch comedy characters but set in the African-American community, and popular in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s. The show began as one of the first radio comedy serials, written and voiced by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll and originating from station WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois. After the series was first broadcast in 1928, it grew in popularity and became a huge influence on the radio serials that followed. The program ran on radio as a nightly serial from 1928 until 1943, as a weekly situation comedy from 1943 until 1955, and as a nightly disc-jockey program from 1954 until 1960. A television adaptation ran on CBS-TV from 1951 until 1953, and continued in syndicated reruns from 1954 until 1966.


Amos 'n' Andy creators Gosden and Correll were white actors familiar with minstrel traditions. They met in Durham, North Carolina, in 1920, and by the fall of 1925, they were performing nightly song-and-patter routines on the Chicago Tribune's station WGN. Since the Tribune syndicated Sidney Smith's popular comic strip The Gumps, which had successfully introduced the concept of daily continuity, WGN executive Ben McCanna thought the notion of a serialized drama could also work on radio. He suggested to Gosden and Correll that they adapt The Gumps to radio. They instead proposed a series about "a couple of colored characters" and borrowed certain elements of The Gumps. Their new series, Sam 'n' Henry, began January 12, 1926, fascinating radio listeners throughout the Midwest. That series became popular enough that in late 1927 Gosden and Correll requested that it be distributed to other stations on phonograph records in a "chainless chain" concept that would have been the first use of radio syndication as we know it today. When WGN rejected the idea, Gosden and Correll quit the show and the station that December. Contractually, their characters belonged to WGN, so when Gosden and Correll left WGN, they performed in personal appearances but could not use the character names from the radio show.[1]

When WMAQ, the Chicago Daily News station, hired the team and their WGN announcer, Bill Hay, to create a series similar to Sam 'n' Henry, they offered higher salaries than WGN and the rights to pursue the "chainless chain" syndication concept. The creators later told an anecdote that they named the new characters Amos and Andy after hearing two elderly African-Americans greet each other by those names in a Chicago elevator. Amos 'n' Andy began March 19, 1928, on WMAQ, and prior to airing each program they recorded their show on 78 rpm disks at Marsh Laboratories, operated by electrical recording pioneer Orlando R. Marsh.

For the program's entire run as a nightly serial, Gosden and Correll portrayed all the male roles, performing over 170 distinct voice characterizations in the show's first decade. With the episodic drama and suspense heightened by cliffhanger endings, Amos 'n' Andy reached an ever-expanding radio audience. It was the first radio program to be distributed by syndication in the United States, and by the end of the syndicated run in August 1929, at least 70 stations besides WMAQ carried the program by means of recordings.
Amos Jones and Andy Brown worked on a farm near Atlanta, Georgia, and during the episodes of the first week, they made plans to find a better life in Chicago, despite warnings from a friend. With four ham-and-cheese sandwiches and $24, they bought train tickets and headed for Chicago, where they lived in a State Street rooming house and experienced some rough times before launching their own business, the Fresh Air Taxi Company. (The first car they acquired had no roof; the pair turned it into a selling point.)

Amos was naïve but honest, hard-working and (after his 1935 marriage to Ruby Taylor) a dedicated family man. Andy was more blustering, with overinflated self-confidence. Andy, being a dreamer, tended to let Amos do most of the work. Their Mystic Knights of the Sea lodge leader, George "the Kingfish" Stevens, was always trying to lure the two into get-rich-quick schemes, especially the gullible Andy. Other characters included John Augustus "Brother" Crawford, an industrious but long-suffering family man; Henry Van Porter, a social-climbing real estate and insurance salesman; Frederick Montgomery Gwindell, a hard-charging newspaperman; William Lewis Taylor, the well-spoken, college-educated father of Amos's fiancee; and "Lightning", a slow-moving Stepin Fetchit-type character. The Kingfish's catch phrase "Holy mackerel!" soon entered the American lexicon.

Of the three central characters, Correll voiced Andy Brown while Gosden voiced both Amos and the Kingfish. The majority of the scenes were dialogues between either Andy and Amos or Andy and Kingfish. Amos and Kingfish, both voiced by Gosden, only rarely appeared together. Since Correll and Gosden voiced virtually all of the parts, the female characters, such as Ruby Taylor, Kingfish's wife Sapphire, and Andy's various girlfriends, did not appear as voiced characters in the original serial, but entered the plots only as discussed by the male characters. When the series switched to a weekly situation comedy in 1943, actresses began voicing the female characters and other actors were recruited for some of the male supporting parts. However, Correll and Gosden continued to voice the three central characters on radio until the series ended in 1960.[2]

With the listening audience increasing in the spring and summer of 1928, the show's success prompted the Pepsodent Company to bring it to the NBC Blue Network on August 19, 1929. At this time the Blue Network was not heard on stations in the West. Western listeners complained to NBC that they wanted to hear the show. Under special arrangements Amos 'n' Andy debuted coast-to-coast November 28, 1929, on NBC's Pacific Orange Network and continued on the Blue. At the same time, the serial's central characters -- Amos, Andy and George "The Kingfish" Stevens -- relocated from Chicago to New York City's Harlem.

The story arc of Andy's romance (and subsequent problems) with the Harlem beautician Madame Queen entranced some 40 million listeners during 1930 and 1931, becoming a national phenomenon. Many of the program's plotlines in this period leaned far more to straight drama than comedy, including the near-death of Amos's fiancee Ruby from pneumonia in the spring of 1931, and Amos's brutal interrogation by police following the murder of the cheap hoodlum Jack Dixon that December. Following official protests by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Correll and Gosden were forced to abandon that storyline – turning the entire sequence into a bad dream, from which Amos gratefully awoke on Christmas Eve.

The innovations introduced by Gosden and Correll made their creation a turning point for radio drama, as noted by broadcast historian Elizabeth McLeod:[1]

As a result of its extraordinary popularity, Amos 'n' Andy profoundly influenced the development of dramatic radio. Working alone in a small studio, Correll and Gosden created an intimate, understated acting style that differed sharply from the broad manner of stage actors – a technique requiring careful modulation of the voice, especially in the portrayal of multiple characters. The performers pioneered the technique of varying both the distance and the angle of their approach to the microphone to create the illusion of a group of characters. Listeners could easily imagine that that they were actually in the taxicab office, listening in on the conversation of close friends. The result was a uniquely absorbing experience for listeners who in radio's short history had never heard anything quite like Amos 'n' Andy.

While minstrel-style wordplay humor was common in the formative years of the program, it was used less often as the series developed, giving way to a more sophisticated approach to characterization. Correll and Gosden were fascinated by human nature, and their approach to both comedy and drama drew from their observations of the traits and motivations that drive the actions of all people: While often overlapping popular stereotypes of African-Americans, there was at the same time a universality to their characters which transcended race.... Beneath the dialect and racial imagery, the series celebrated the virtues of friendship, persistence, hard work, and common sense, and as the years passed and the characterizations were refined, Amos 'n' Andy achieved an emotional depth rivaled by few other radio programs of the 1930s.

Above all, Correll and Gosden were gifted dramatists. Their plots flowed gradually from one into the next, with minor subplots building in importance until they took over the narrative, before receding to give way to the next major sequence, and seeds for future storylines were often planted months in advance. It was this complex method of story construction that kept the program fresh, and enabled Correll and Gosden to keep their audience in a constant state of suspense. The technique they developed for radio from that of the narrative comic strip endures to the present day as the standard method of storytelling in serial drama.

Only a few dozen episodes of the original serial have survived in recorded form. However, a number of scripts from the original episodes have been discovered, and were utilized by Elizabeth McLeod in preparing her 2005 book cited above.

Amos 'n' Andy was officially transferred by NBC from the Blue Network to the Red Network in 1935, although the vast majority of stations carrying the show remained the same. Several months later, Gosden and Correll moved production of the show from NBC's Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago to Hollywood. After a long and successful run with Pepsodent, the program changed sponsors in 1938 to Campbell's Soup; because of Campbell's closer relationship with CBS, the series switched to that network on April 3, 1939.

In 1943, after 4,091 episodes, the radio program went from a 15-minute CBS weekday dramatic serial to an NBC half-hour weekly comedy. While the five-a-week show often had a quiet, easygoing feeling, the new version was a full-fledged sitcom in the Hollywood sense, with a regular studio audience (for the first time in the show's history) and an orchestra. More outside actors, including many African-American comedy professionals, were brought in to fill out the cast. Many of the half-hour programs were written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, later the writing team behind Leave It to Beaver and The Munsters. In the new version, Amos became a peripheral character to the more dominant Andy and Kingfish duo, although Amos was still featured in the traditional Christmas show, where he explains the Lord's Prayer to his daughter, Arbadella. The later radio program and the TV version were advanced for the time, depicting Blacks in a variety of roles including as successful business owners and managers, professionals and public officials, in addition to the comic characters at show's core. It anticipated many later comedies featuring working class characters (both Black and White) including All in the Family, The Honeymooners and Sanford and Son.

EPISODES LIST

28-07-17 The Presidential Election Part 1
28-07-17 The Presidential Election Part 2
29-01-14 The Efficiency Expert
29-01-15 Checking Things Out
29-01-17 Stepping On Andys Toes
29-04-21 Everyone Is Signing Andys Name
29-04-22 Amos Seen Talking to Tootsie
29-04-23 Raising Money For Lodge Renovations
29-04-25 Ruby Thinks Amos Is Cheating
29-04-26 Getting Contract Bids For Lodge Hall Renovations
29-04-27 Reviewing Contracts For Lodge Hall Renovations
29-05-19 Amos And Andy Suspect King fish Is Embezzling
29-05-20 The Taxi Company Gets Competition From Earl Dixon
29-05-21 Earl Dixon Applies For Lodge Membership
29-05-23 King fish Helps Earl Compete With For Taxi Business
29-06-08 May Lose Fresh Air Tax iCompany
29-06-09 Miss Ruby Taylor Arrives
29-06-16 Earl Dixon Tries To Break Up Amos And Ruby
29-06-17 Amos Is Worried That He Has Lost Ruby
29-06-18 Amos Gets Cut Off While Calling Ruby
29-06-20 Andy Receives A Letter From Detroit
29-06-21 Andy Prepares A Budget For The Cab Company
29-06-22 Amos Is Framed In A Fur Robbery
29-06-23 Andy And King fish Visit Amos In Jail
29-06-24 Andy And King fish Get A Lawyer For Amos
29-06-25 Andy King fish and Ear lDixon Talk About Amos
29-06-27 Mr Taylor Bails Amos Out Of Jail
29-06-28 Amos Tells His Story To His Lawyer
29-06-29 Amos and Andy Go To The Lawyers Office
29-07-03 Andy Reads A Law Book To Help Amos
29-07-05 The Real Criminals Talk About Framing Amos
29-11-22 Amos Talks About Working At A Dairy
29-11-22 Amos Tells Andy About Bullfighting
30-04-04 Andy Has A Rough Time Trying On Shoes
30-04-04 Wrestling Holds
33-01-09 Andy Learns To Work The Hotel Desk
33-02-22 Madam Queen Gets Engaged
36-08-19 Out of Gas
36-12-04 The Minstrel Show
39-03-31 March Of Time Gag Show
39-04-03 Andy Is Shot in the Arm
39-09-21 Singing Lessons
39-12-03 Andy's Wedding
40-05-19 And The Winner Is
41-12-17 Matrimonial Mishap
41-12-24 Christmas Show
42-11-26 Man's Best Friend
43-03-09 Amos Is Missing
43-09-03 Amos Is In The Hospital
43-10-08 Andy's New Wife
43-10-15 The Maestro
43-10-22 Courtroom Catastrophe
43-10-29 Chair (Second Half Only)
43-11-05 The Locked Trunk's Secret
43-11-12 Matrimonial Mishap
43-11-19 Turkey Trouble
43-11-26 Man's Best Friend
43-12-03 Candy for Caroline
43-12-10 Bookends and Babies
43-12-17 The Marriage Counselor
43-12-24 Christmas Show
43-12-31 New Year's Eve
43-xx-xx Auditions For 30 Minute Series
44-01-07 Making Sapphire Proud
44-01-14 Orchids And Violets
44-01-21 Charles Boyer's Valet
44-01-28 Windfall
44-02-04 Missing Persons Bureau
44-02-11 Three Times and You're Out
44-02-18 Ruby's Diamond
44-02-25 Sunday Monday or Always
44-03-03 Trying to Find Madam Queen
44-03-10 Sign on the Dotted Line
44-03-17 Insurance Fraud
44-03-24 Between Life and Death
44-03-31 Long Lost Harold
44-04-07 Dating Club Disaster
44-04-14 The Butler Did It
44-04-21 Of Sound Mind and Body
44-04-28 The Brother in Law
44-05-05 Electric Clock Caper
44-05-12 Impersonating an Officer
44-05-19 And the Winner Is
44-05-26 Andy the Fugitive
44-06-02 Nazi Spy
44-06-09 Shirt Trail
44-06-16 One Step Ahead of the Law
44-09-22 Singing Contest
44-09-29 Hotel House Detective
44-10-06 Andy the Actor
44-10-13 Ichthyologist
44-10-20 Mistaken Identity
44-10-27 Madame Queen's Marriage
44-11-03 The Nieces
44-11-10 The Employment Agency
44-11-17 Marriage Proposal Mixup
44-11-24 Spot Removal Formula
44-12-01 Ink Flow Fountain Pen Agency
44-12-08 Kingfish and Brazillian Brass Mine
44-12-15 Fake Suicide
44-12-22 Annual Christmas Show
44-12-29 Jackson's New Year's Eve
45-01-05 Andy the Witness
45-01-12 One Phony Antique
45-01-19 Adoption Woes
45-01-26 Advice to the Lovelorn
45-02-02 Breach of Promise
45-02-09 Phony Soldier
45-02-16 A Mean Valentine
45-02-23 An Old Boyfriend
45-03-02 Income Tax
45-03-09 Income Tax 2
45-03-16 Lecture Bureau
45-03-23 Prentiss Clothing Company
45-03-30 Easter Hat
45-04-06 Place to Call Home
45-04-20 Second Hand Car
45-04-27 Marriage Vows
45-05-04 Beautiful Baby Contest
45-05-11 Double Indemnity
45-05-18 A Case of Bullion
45-05-25 Andy The Sailor
45-06-01 Engaged to Hattie McDaniel
46-02-05 Canine Trust Fund
46-03-05 Burial Insurance Plan
46-03-12 Birthday Gift for Sapphire
46-10-01 The Lot On Rocky Hills
46-10-15 Sapphire's a Wanted Criminal
46-11-12 The Retroactive Insurance Police
46-12-10 The Stolen Car
46-12-17 The Cigar Stand
46-12-24 Andy Plays Santa
47-01-07 Homesteading in Alaska
47-01-21 Sapphire's Sister Floresca
47-01-28 Kingfish Wants Andy To Marry Sapphires Sister
47-02-04 Amos Is Missing
47-02-18 Proposal To Nancy Simpson
47-03-04 The Pearl Necklace
47-03-11 Adopting A Baby
47-03-18 Hospitalization Plan
47-03-25 Kingfish Sells Andy a Trailer
47-04-08 The Kingfish Takes in a Boarder
47-04-15 New Evening Gown
47-04-22 Kingfish's Travel Bureau
47-04-29 Sapphire Wants a Vacation
47-05-06 Kicking Andy Out
47-05-13 Leroy's Lock Invention
47-05-27 Kingfish Runs a Rest Home
47-09-30 Raiding The Piggy Bank
47-10-14 A Visit To Restful Pines
47-10-28 Hospitalization Plan
47-11-04 The Race Horse
47-11-11 Leroy Strikes It Rich
47-12-23 Christmas Show
48-01-06 The French Car
48-01-13 Andy Plays Matchmaker
48-04-13 Sapphire Threatens To Leave George
48-04-20 Sapphire's Uncle
48-05-04 Andy Saves the Millionaire
48-05-18 Selling Andy a Cabin for Two Hundred Fifty Dollars
48-05-25 Andy Wins Car in Raffle
48-07-06 Sapphire's Sister Gets Married
48-10-10 Kingfish the Marriage Broker
48-10-17 Real Estate Broker
48-10-24 The Hot Fur
48-10-31 The Secret Melody
48-11-07 Worldwide Correspondence School
48-11-14 Tourist Sight Seeing Agency
48-12-26 Mysterious New Year's Card
49-01-02 The French Car
49-01-09 Cannery Stock
49-01-16 1877 Nickel
49-01-23 Kingfish's Luggage Stand
49-01-30 The Antique Piano
49-02-06 Lapsed Insurance Policy
49-02-13 Widow Parker's Ten Thousand Dollar Inheritance
49-02-20 Godfather to Amos' Baby
49-03-06 Photo of Jewelry Store Robbery
49-03-13 Andy's Heiress Waitress
49-03-20 100 Dollar Oil Stock
49-03-27 Pawn Shop Robbery
49-04-03 Deputy Dirt Commissioner
49-04-10 Kingfish Is Evicted
49-04-17 Five Hundred Dollars Per Kid
49-04-24 Andy Inherits Two Thousand Dollars
49-05-01 Kingfish's New Boarder
49-05-08 Kingfish Has No Friends
49-05-15 LeRoy's Lock Invention
49-10-09 Kingfish Hires Secretary
49-10-16 Charmaign Larue and Her Mother
49-10-23 Kingfish's Car Used in Robbery
49-10-30 Kingfish Disguises Himself
49-11-06 Andy and Kingfish Loan Four Hundred Dollars to Rochester
49-11-13 Thanksgiving Show
49-11-20 Sapphires Birthday
49-11-27 TV Set Raffle
49-12-11 Proxy Marriage
49-12-18 Andy Married
50-01-01 Andy Gets Married - Part 1
50-01-15 Andy vs Abigail Simpson Brown
50-01-29 The Bungling Burglars
50-02-05 Sapphire May Be Pregnant
50-02-12 Flower Shop
50-03-12 Sapphire's Dream Man Slim
50-03-19 Andy and Eloise Walker
50-03-26 Imitating the Happy Harringtons
50-04-02 Andy Goes To Charm School
50-04-09 Sapphire's Easter Outfit
50-04-16 The Census Taker
50-04-23 Lodge Convention
50-04-30 Andy's Inheritance - Part 1
50-05-07 Andy's Inheritance - Part 2
50-05-14 Andy's Inheritance - Part 3
50-05-21 Job at Pine Crest Lodge
50-10-01 Kingfish Is Drafted
50-10-08 Kingfish's Enlistment Problem
50-11-19 Thanksgiving Dinner
50-12-03 Policewoman Mixup
50-12-10 The Beaver Coat
50-12-17 Kingfish Suspects Foul Play
50-12-24 Traditional Christmas Show
50-12-31 Sapphire's New Love Interest
51-01-07 Is Sapphire Expecting
51-01-14 Stolen Car Mixup
51-01-21 Mama and Mr Smithers Again - Part 1
51-02-04 The Parking Lot
51-02-11 New Neighbors
51-02-18 The Lonely Hearts Club
51-03-04 Kingfish Sees Sapphire on TV
51-03-18 Uncle Sylvester to Marry
51-04-08 Faith in Those You Love
51-04-15 Job at Import Export Garage
51-04-22 Mother in Law Dear
51-04-29 Cousin Sidney Moves In
51-05-06 Annual Lodge Hall Picnic
51-05-13 Ramona Thompson
51-05-20 The Night Club Spotter
51-05-27 Photo Of Jewlery Store Robbery
51-06-10 Old Flame Florence Baxter
51-09-30 Three Thousand Dollar Diamond Ring
51-10-07 Aptitude Test
51-10-14 Trip to Brazil
51-10-21 De Piester's Party
51-10-28 Engaged to Susan Bennett
51-11-04 New Boarder - Chester Benson
51-11-11 Sapphire Seeks Romance
51-11-25 Sapphire's Sister Hortense Moves In
51-12-02 Good Neighbors
51-12-09 Wedding Invitation Mixup
51-12-16 Breaking up Andy and Madame Queen
51-12-23 Andy Plays Santa Claus
51-12-30 Porch Wreckers
52-02-03 The Piggy Bank
52-05-11 May And December
52-06-30 Kingfish Adopts A Great Dane
52-08-18 Kingfish Buys A Race Horse
52-10-12 Long Lost Husband
52-10-19 Jobs as Office Cleaners
52-10-26 Leroy's Oil Stock
52-11-02 Aunt Harriet Visits
52-11-16 10,000th Show
52-12-28 Old Mink Stole
53-02-01 Mama And Percival Jackson
53-02-22 Andy's Photo in Detective Magazine
53-03-08 Mystic Knights Convention in Los Angeles
53-03-15 Madam Queen's Chauffeur
53-03-23 Kingfish Thinks Sapphire is Pregnant
53-03-29 Andy the Coward
53-04-12 Constance La Marr
53-04-19 Kingfish the Detective
53-04-26 Annual Boat Outing
53-05-03 Stock Market Tip
53-05-10 Cabin in Connecticut
53-05-17 The Proxy Marriage
53-05-24 Kingfish's Old Love Letters
53-09-27 Bad Check To Hospital
53-10-04 Coat Checking Business
53-10-11 Pancake Mix Contest
53-10-18 Kingfish's Kollege Of Knowledge
53-10-25 Aunt Matilda's Dowry
53-11-01 Cat Burglar
53-11-08 Sapphire's Old Boyfriend
53-11-15 Ship Leroy's Car to LA
53-11-22 New York Sightseeing Agency
53-11-29 Loan Business
53-12-06 Cleaning 32 Typewriters
53-12-13 Kingfish the Baby Doctor
53-12-27 Lucky Bucks Contest
54-01-03 Tuxedo Rental Business
54-01-10 Gold Bracelet for 25th Wedding Anniversary
54-01-17 Dog Lover
54-01-24 Andy's Wedding
54-01-31 The Very Nervous Sanitorium
54-02-07 Advise Column
54-02-14 25th Anniversary Program
54-02-21 At Home With Love Birds
54-02-28 Sapphire is Assistant Buyer
54-03-07 Fur Coat For Sapphires Birthday
54-03-14 Andy Engaged To Florabell
54-03-21 Construction Job in Guam
54-03-28 Kingfish and Shappire's Enlopement
54-04-04 Radio and TV Delivery Job
54-04-11 Vacation at Lake Chipawawa
54-04-18 Andy Jilted by Teresa Wilson
54-04-25 Mama's Romance with Regeniald Dewithers
54-05-02 Kingfish finds a Pistol
54-05-09 The Honeymoon Cottage
54-05-16 Sapphire at Lake View For the Summer
54-05-23 Beersheba Jackson After Andy
54-09-26 A Trip to Florida
54-10-03 Andy's Engaged To Susan Bennett
54-10-10 Mama's Night Out
54-10-31 Kingfish Must Raise The Rent Money
54-11-07 Bookmaker
54-11-14 Bedelia Adams Adopts Andy
54-11-21 Who Gets A Job First
54-12-19 Andy Plays Santa Claus
55-01-09 Wealthy Girl
55-01-30 Mrs Gunther's Pocketbook Found
55-03-13 Kingfish and Sapphire Both Rent Cottage Out
55-03-20 Kingfish's Mother In Law Kicks Him Out
55-03-27 Dismal Dell Cabin
BBC The Real Amos and Andy Story 1 Of 2
BBC The Real Amos and Andy Story 2 Of 2

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