Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week starting Sunday, December 10th, 1939, straight from the weekly television listings printed in The New York Times. It was an interesting week. On Sunday there was an American Legion Defense Program in the afternoon and a Debutante Television Ball in the evening, the latter of which featured Nancy Callahan, Chicago’s “Miss Television.” There was also a Debut Parade on Wednesday, with Staats Cotsworth, but I don’t know if the two were related. Another television ball took place on Friday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel; this one was for the Goddard Neighborhood Center. A planning committee for the ball was broadcast on Wednesday, November 15th.
Also, W2XBS was on the air on Monday in order to broadcast the finals of the Diamond Belt boxing match; typically the station wasn’t operating on Monday or Tuesday.
Sunday, December 10th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – American Legion National Defense Program, with Lieut. Gen. Hugh A. Drumm, Raymond J. Kelly and Mrs. William H. Corwith. Exercises from Triborough Stadium.
8:30-9:30PM – Debuts of the Debutante Committee, Television Ball, with Esme O’Brien, Elizabeth Berg, Nancy Martin, Margaret Earle, Anne Schrafft and Chicago’s “Miss Television,” Nancy Callahan. Paul Wing’s Spelling Bee.
Monday, December 11th, 1939
9:30-11:30PM – Boxing: Finals, Diamond Belt bouts, at Madison Square Garden.
Wednesday, December 13th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Edna Mayo on the Jungle Influence in Fashions; film serial, “Burn ‘Em Up Barnes”; Sig Buckmayr, Ski Technique.
8:30-9:30PM – The Fashion Academy, in “A Mode Is Born,” with Emil Alvin Hartman; the Debut Parade, with Staats Cotsworth.
Thursday, December 14th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Carmelina Otero, soprano; Frank La Forge, piano; film, “Zoo in Manhattan”; sports interview; Moishe Oysher, songs.
8:30-9:30PM – Explorers–Philip Plant with African films; Vaughn de Leath, songs.
Friday, December 14th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Films, “George Washington’s Railroad” and “Overture to William Tell.”
11PM-12AM – Television Ball of the Goddard Neighborhood Center, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Saturday, December 15th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Films, “Der Freischutz,” “The Old Santa Fe Trail,” “Horse Sense and Horsepower,” “Mixed Bathing,” “Hindu Holiday,” “Skiesta.”
9-11PM – Boxing, at Ridgewood Grove.
2 Replies to “W2XBS Schedule, Week of December 10th, 1939”
Vaughn DeLeath was most famous for being a female radio “crooner” in the late ’20s and early ’30s. Her appearance on Thursday the 14th was one of her rare TV appearances, as she’d mostly drifted away from the spotlight, making occasional appearances on several New York radio stations by that time. Eventually, personal and finanical problems steered her towards liquor, and she died of alcoholism in May 1943. Also appearing that afternoon was famed Jewish Cantor [singer] Moishe Oysher.
Staats Cotsworth, who appeared on Wednesday in “The Debut Parade”, was later known for his role as “Casey” on radio’s “CRIME PHOTOGRAPHER” in the mid-’40s.
According to obituaries of the day, Vaughn De Leath died of Uremia and cardiovascular problems. It has been repeated many times that VDL was an alcoholic but never is there a citing for this information. It seems Wikipedia is the only source for this info.