Today is the birthday of Phil Spitalny (1890-1970). Born in the Ukraine, he founded his 22 piece All-Girl Orchestra in the early 30s, called the Hour of Charm Orchestra when it was featured on the Hour of Charm radio program (1934-1948). In addition to the radio shows, the orchestra toured and performed live in presentation houses and similar venues. They were also featured in the films When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1942) and Here Come the Coeds (1945). Spitalny and his Orchestra’s star Evelyn Kaye married in 1946. After the show went off the air the orchestra continued to perform as a live act until 1955, and made several appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.
To learn out more about show business history consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc