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    Racketeer Radio KFQX The New Golden Age of Radio


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The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio and television comedy series. The show ran from 1932 to 1955 on radio. The Jack Benny Program used a loose show-within-a-show format, wherein the main characters were playing versions of themselves. The show often broke the fourth wall, with the characters interacting with the audience and commenting on the program and its advertisements.

Jack Benny first appeared on radio as a guest of Ed Sullivan in March 1932. He was then given his own show later that year, with Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor – The Canada Dry Ginger Ale Program, beginning May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing there for six months until October 26, moving the show to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 3, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934, with Frank Black leading the band. He continued with The General Tire Revue for the rest of that season, and in the fall of 1934, for General Foods as The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny (1934–42), and when sales of Jell-O were affected by sugar rationing during World War II, The Grape Nuts Flakes Program Starring Jack Benny (later the Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program) (1942–44).

On October 1, 1944, the show became The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny, when American Tobacco’s Lucky Strike cigarettes took over as his radio sponsor, through to the mid-1950s. By that time, the practice of using the sponsor’s name as the title began to fade.

The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley’s “raid” of NBC talent in 1948–49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955.

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