W2XBS Schedule, Week of June 18th, 1939

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station WX2BS in New York City for the week starting Sunday, June 18th, 1939, straight from television listings printed in The New York Times. I missed this when writing my earlier post about Caroyl Smith, the 1939 New York World’s Fair Television Girl, but it seems in addition to winning a television at she also appeared on television, during the noon broadcast on Thursday, June 22nd, 1939 (that day’s television listings give her name as Caryl Smith).

A Sunday, June 18th article in The New York Times reported that W2XBS would be shaking up its weekly schedule beginning Tuesday, June 20th. Previously, evening studio telecasts were shown on Wednesdays and Fridays but under the new schedule the Wednesday evening studio telecast would be dropped. Instead, studio telecasts would be shown on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as Fridays. Also, noon telecasts were added on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays. More importantly, the station hoped to cut down on the number of films it broadcast [1].

Tuesday, June 20th, 1939 [2]
12:00-1:00PM – Art of Etching, Demonstrated by Victor D’Amico of the Museum of Modern Art; Films; Interviews with 4-H Club Winners, and News.
8:30-9:30PM – Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, Pirates of Penzance.

Wednesday, June 21st, 1939 [3]
12:00-1:15PM – Let’s Talk It Over: Ray Shaw, Sculptor; Films; Folksongs; News.
4:00-5:00PM – Cavalcade of Centaurs Rodeo, World’s Fair.

Thursday, June 22nd, 1939 [4]
12:00-1:15PM – Fashion Show; Films; Caryl Smith, Television Girl; News.
8:30-9:30PM – Martha Graham; Carlos and Carita, Dancers; Graziella Parraga, Guitarist; Conrado Massaguer, Caricaturist; Singin’ Sam, Fifi D’Orsay, Songs; Sketch.

Friday, June 23rd, 1939 [5]
4:00-5:00PM – Petroleum Exhibit, at World’s Fair.
8:30-9:30PM – English Dance Party; J. Fred Coots, Song Writer; Emily Grenauer, Art Critic.

Saturday, June 24th, 1939 [6]
12:00-1:00PM – Songs and Interviews; Travel Film; News.
4:00-5:00PM – Women’s Swimming Meet, Manhattan Beach Pool.

Works Cited:

1 “Tele-Notes.” New York Times. 18 Jun. 1939: 120.
2 “Today on the Radio.” New York Times. 20 Jun. 1939: 43.
3 “Today on the Radio.” New York Times. 21 Jun. 1939: 46.
4 “Today on the Radio.” New York Times. 22 Jun. 1939: 36.
5 “Today on the Radio.” New York Times. 23 Jun. 1939: 40.
6 “Today on the Radio.” New York Times. 24 Jun. 1939: 32.


1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    An hour-long live version of “The Pirates Of Penzance”? I wonder what had to be omitted for that edition…and how impressive were the costumes and props (if any)?

    Martha Graham, famed “impressionist” dancer/choreographer, made one of her earliest TV appearances on June 22nd.

    “Singin’ Sam” [Harry Frankel], an easygoing singer, had a weekly radio show eminating from Cincinnati, for the makers of Barbasol Shaving Cream {“Singin’ Sam, the Barbasol Man”} AND a weekly syndicated transcribed series for Coca-Cola {“REFRESHMENT TIME WITH SINGIN’ SAM”}, which he recorded in New York every other week or so…which is why he happened to be in Gotham the same evening and appeared on the same telecast as Graham did. I’m sure Sam made more “experimental” appearances from time to time- but was never able to establish himself on TV, as he died of a heart attack at his home in Richmond, Indiana, in 1948.

    J. Fred Coots wrote a lot of popular songs {“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, “Love Letters in the Sand” and “For All We Know”, just to name three}, and often appeared on W2XBS during this period, and on early commercial television as well.

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