(CBS 11) – Command Performance was a 1940s radio show that was broadcast over AFRS, or Armed Forces Radio Service.
Unlike shows broadcast over domestic radio stations or networks, this show was broadcast via shortwave, a portion of the radio spectrum that is intended to reach audiences all over the world, using the 3-30 MHz portion, with very high wattage of power.
The program was intended for American soldiers stationed all over the world during World War II who were far from home.
My late dad was in the Army Air Force and he was gone over three years without seeing my mom! So things like Command Performance were something he and the soldiers needed being so far away.
It was produced in Hollywood and recorded by electrical transcription before broadcast. It had a huge audience, estimated at over 95 million listeners. Personalities that appeared on the show included Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante.
Today’s clip is from March 5, 1944 with Bob Hope on the punchlines and Judy Garland singing, “Over The Rainbow” written by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Yip Harburg.
Notice that Judy is singing into a CBS Radio microphone.
Another example of how our country comes together in times of strife!