Category: Entertainment

Long-playing records


Undated photo of  Dr. Goldmark (left) examining the first 33⅓ RPM long-playing record developed. Image from .

“In 1930, RCA Victor launched the first commercially-available vinyl long-playing record, marketed as ‘Program Transcription’ discs. These revolutionary discs were designed for playback at 33⅓ rpm and pressed on a 12” diameter flexible plastic disc. In Roland Gelatt’s book The Fabulous Phonograph, the author notes that RCA Victor’s early introduction of a long-play disc was a commercial failure for several reasons including the lack of affordable, reliable consumer playback equipment and consumer wariness during the Great Depression…

“Beginning in 1939, Columbia Records continued development of this technology. Dr. Peter Goldmark and his staff undertook exhaustive efforts to address problems of recording and playing back narrow grooves and developing an inexpensive, reliable consumer playback system. In 1948, the 12” (30 cm) Long Play (LP) 33⅓ rpm microgroove record was introduced by the Columbia Record at a dramatic New York press conference.”

Excerpts from . Learn more at the link.

Dinah Shore debuts


Image: circa 1940 from .

“Frances ‘Fanny’ Rose Stein remade herself into Dinah Shore shortly before beginning a career on America’s airwaves with the debut of her variety show on NBC Radio on this date in 1939. She would continue to be a cultural force in the United States for over fifty years.”
Excerpt from .

Another source shows her being on the air in 1939 but not having her own show until several years later: . At the link, scroll down to read about her.

First theme park souvenir shop

At Knott’s Berry Place* in Buena Park, daughter Virginia [Knott] set up a souvenir table in the Chicken Dinner Restaurant, founding the country’s first theme park souvenir shop.
Information from a Knott’s placemat at .


An “active volcano” was at the park, too.


Image from .

*the name was later changed to Knott’s Berry Farm.

“Hen-reeee! Henry Aldrich!”


“The words: “Hen – Reeeeeeeeeey! HEN – REEEEY ALD – rich!!!! – “COM – miiiiing Moth – er!!”… immediately bring to mind a pimply-faced, squeaky-voiced teenage boy — the junior high school science nerd. … the boy who wants to be everyone’s best friend … so, he generally ends up with a whole heap of people upset with him over something he has done, to make that happen.”

Excerpt from . Click on the link to hear episodes at no cost.

“The show began when Rudy Vallee saw it as a play and encouraged Clifford Goldsmith, the writer, to perform it on The Rudy Vallee Show. After rave reviews, The Aldrich Family went on to perform for 39 weeks on The Kate Smith Hour. In 1939, it became so popular that The Aldrich Family took their own prime time slot on Sunday evenings. The show was a big success.”

Excerpt and undated image from .

The radio show was so popular that a string of Henry Aldrich movies were made, beginning with What A Life, also in 1939: .

Tom and Jerry


Comedy writer Bill Hanna and cartoonist Joe Barbera’s careers merged in 1939, when both were working in the Cartoon Department at MGM Studios. Their first joint effort was a Tom and Jerry cartoon entitled, “Puss Gets the Boot” (1940). Seventeen years of Tom and Jerry episodes were to follow.

Excerpt from .


Puss Gets the Boot is a one-reel animated short cartoon of Tom and Jerry. It was the pilot episode produced in and released to Technicolor theaters by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Rudolf Ising and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera…

The short is notable for featuring the first appearances of the characters who would later be christened Tom and Jerry, who would go on to appear in over 100 more short cartoons, seven of which won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film Cartoons. As such, Puss Gets the Boot gave the animated duo their first Oscar nomination, though the short lost out to another Rudolf Ising MGM cartoon…”

Excerpt and animated image from .

William Hanna grew up in Compton.