Thursday, March 19, 2015

Amos 'N' Andy

Charles J. Correll & Freeman F. Gosden "Amos & Andy"

On March 19, 1928 Amos 'N' Andy began airing on WMAQ, radios first big hit. Listeners set their watches by Amos 'N' Andy's 7:00 pm radio show for quarter of an hour six nights a week, and for many years they retained a vast audience. Amos 'N' Andy creators Correll and Gosden were white actors, although most of their material which they wrote themselves sounds stereotyped today, such lines as "I'se regusted" and "Ain't dat sumpin?" were popular catch-phrases of the day.
In a 1925 Chicago revue called Red Hot Correll and Gosden were a popular singing duo playing piano and ukulele. In 1926 the pair introduced a blackface cross-talk act called Sam 'N' Henry. They began broadcasting weekly as Sam 'N' Henry from Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel, which gave them free dinners for their efforts. Eenetually, WGN signed them for a daily  Sam 'N' Henry show. After a two-year run, they moved to WMAQ, but since WGN owned the Sam 'N' Henry name, they became Amos 'N' Andy.  The creators later said they named the characters Amos and Andy after hearing two elderly African-Americans greet each other by those names in a Chicago elevator. In 1930 the pair made a film at RKO Check and Double Check, this was the  only film appearance of radio's long-running characters. There was a TV show called Amos 'N' Andy from 1951 to 1953 with actors Alvin Childress and Spencer Williams playing the duo. 

Charles J. Correll died on September 26, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the father of actor-producer Richard Correll, who played Richard on TVs Leave It to Beaver (1957). Freeman F. Gosden died on December 10, 1982 in Los Angeles, California. Gosden was a  longtime friend and neighbor of Frank Sinatra, he was Sinatra's best man at his wedding to fourth wife Barbara Marx in 1976. "Amos 'n' Andy" was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988. Gosden and Correll were awarded Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 1777 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

Check and Double Check full film 1930

The Presidential Election on Victor Record Recorded July 17, 1928

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