WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN OCTOBER, 1947

 

I Wish I Didn’t Love You So tops Your Hit Parade. The song, written by Frank Loesser, had been sung by Betty Hutton in that summer’s hit film The Perils Of Pauline and would go on to win an Oscar for Best Song. As was typical for the era that meant it was promptly covered by a wide array of stars, many of whom had hits with it, among them Dick Haymes and Dinah Shore. The most popular version however was by Vaughan Monroe.

Monroe was a bandleader and singer who was one of the most consistently popular stars of the 1940’s, handsome enough to have a movie career and a licensed pilot who authored a children’s book on flying. Though not a particularly good trumpeter and with a song catalog heavy on fairly trite romantic ballads, Monroe’s deeply resonant baritone – “The Voice With Hair On Its Chest” – was his calling card and helped him land over twenty Top Ten hits.

Listening to this type of mannered performance alongside the up and coming rock ‘n’ roll shows how far apart different factions of society were when it came to music and popular culture.


 
 
 
 
 

Bing Crosby introduces the pre-taped radio show to the American airwaves by utilizing a magnetic recorder, thereby allowing him to record his program earlier, edit it to make a tighter show with less dead time and yet still retain the high quality sound of a live broadcast.

This revolutionized broadcasting and soon the entire industry was on board. Crosby’s early belief in the possibilities of tape recording led him to invest heavily in Ampex which became the dominant company in the field for the next fifty years in both audio and video recording until the digital revolution finally made their technology obsolete.

 
 
 
 

 
The World Series is televised for the first time with Gillette paying $65,000 to sponsor it hoping for an audience of 500,000 people.

The seven games between The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, which included a near no-hitter by Yankee pitcher Bill Bevans which was broken up by Cookie Lavagetto with two outs in the 9th inning of Game Four, winds up drawing an estimated 3.8 million total viewers, primarily watching in bars, thereby establishing television as a powerful commercial force heading forward.

 
 
 
 
 

 
According to a survey on How America Bathes, 34% of women pause while undressing to wash their stockings, whereas 41% do so afterwards.

Meanwhile the other twenty-five percent of females… are slovenly indecent women who are unfit to be seen in public with their dirty hosiery, or worse yet, are barelegged hussies out to attract drunken sailors in port for a night.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager becomes the first man to break the sound barrier when he flies his Bell X-1 plane at Mach 1.07 over the Mojave Desert.

Yeager, a decorated combat pilot in World War Two, remained in the service as a test pilot following the war thanks in part to his experience as a mechanic. He was chosen to attempt to break the sound barrier only after the original civilian test pilot had demanded an exorbitant fee for the job, but Yeager had broken two ribs a few days prior his historic flight but never told his superiors knowing he’d be taken off the assignment. He was so badly injured in fact he couldn’t even close the cockpit hatch without the aid of a broom handle, yet he wound up doing what no man had ever done before and ushered in the jet age which utterly transformed the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The President’s Committee On Civil Rights, a 15 member board created by President Truman to examine improving the social conditions for Negroes, issues its 178 page report. Among the recommendations were federal protection from lynching and an abolition of poll tax, a measure long used to prevent African-Americans from voting. As elementary as these proposals seem there of course was still massive opposition to even these basic human rights being universally applied in America, the so-called “land of the free”.

 
 
 
 

The House Un-American Activities Committee in Congress begins an investigation into Communism within the motion picture industry. In a hostile atmosphere best described as a witch-hunt seventy-nine people who worked in film are forced to testify as to their involvement with “red organizations”. Despite the fact that belonging to the Communist Party in America was not a crime, ten people (The Hollywood Ten), mostly screenwriters, including Dalton Trumbo (left), were cited for “Contempt Of Congress” for refusing to answer questions regarding their political ideology and jailed. Upon their release these men were blacklisted in the movie industry, effectively ending most of their careers. Over the next decade hundreds more would be forced to testify and “name names” in order to keep working in Hollywood.

 
 
The Chairman of HUAC: “I shall ask various questions, all of which can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’… without making a speech in response to each question

Dalton Trumbo: “ I understand… however your job is to ask questions, mine is to answer them. I shall answer in my own words. Very many questions can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ only by a moron or a slave

Dalton Trumbo won two Academy Awards by continuing to write under pseudonyms following his conviction on Contempt Of Congress, the first for Roman Holiday in 1953, the second for The Brave One in 1956. When he was credited publicly for writing two hit films from 1960, Exodus and Kirk Douglas’s defining film Spartacus the power of the blacklist effectively crumbled. In 2016 Bryan Cranston was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the writer in the film bearing his name.

 
 
 
 

 
You Bet Your Life, a quiz show featuring the almost entirely ad-libbed quips of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in response to his contestants quirks and their replies to his questions, debuts on ABC radio.

It will later make the transition to television bringing Marx’s wit to a generation too young to have seen the movies he made with his brothers in the late 1920’s and 1930’s.

 
 
 
 
 
 

The most popular selling car for the year, a Chevrolet Stylemaster, cost $1,220.


The model was in the second of its three years in production and as was standard for the time very little changed about it year to year, as the auto industry was still viewing cars primarily as a functional necessity of life rather than a stylish status symbol as they’d soon become.

The Stylemaster was in fact derived from a pre-war 1942 Chevrolet and featured a three speed manual transmission with a top speed of just 74 MPH.
 
 
 
 
 
 

RECORDS REVIEWED FOR OCTOBER, 1947:
 
TINY BRADSHAW: Take The Hands Off The Clock
THE RAVENS: Write Me A Letter
THE RAVENS: Summertime
AMOS MILBURN: Blues At Sundown
AMOS MILBURN: My Love Is Limited
ROY BROWN: Special Lesson No. 1
ROY BROWN: Woman’s A Wonderful Thing
THE TRENIER TWINS: Hey Sister Lucy
PAUL WILLIAMS: Hastings Street Bounce
PAUL WILLIAMS: Way Late
SMILEY LEWIS: Here Comes Smiley
SMILEY LEWIS: Turn On Your Volume, Baby
 
 
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