Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Commercial Break - Barbasol 1957

Bob Crane did not become a radio sensation overnight. He worked at it, combining raw talent with fierce determination. Countless radio stations rejected Crane from 1946 to 1950, including WVPO ("The Voice of the Poconos") in Stroudsburg, PA,  who turned him down flat in May 1949, telling him he was "not the type for radio." But he kept at it, relentlessly sending out audio recordings of himself to stations up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Of course, Bob did eventually break into radio at WLEA in Hornell, NY, in 1950. Nearly a year later, in Bristol, CT, WBIS offered Crane a job after hearing a wire recording he had sent them. When he showed up in person, WBIS was initially disappointed. They were expecting someone who sounded like Edward R. Murrow. It was soon discovered that the manager's recorder had played the tape slower than normal, distorting Bob's voice and making it sound deeper than it actually was. WBIS decided to keep Crane on, and they were so impressed with him that they quickly promoted him to program director and senior announcer.

This clip of a 1957 Barbasol commercial was received in the way it is presented here. It sounds slightly slower than normal when compared to other recordings, and it provides an interesting variance of Crane's usually frenetic tone and fast-paced routine - similar to what he may have sounded like to WBIS personnel in that distorted wire recording.

Barbasol Radio Spot
Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio
March 27, 1957

Bob Crane Barbasol Commercial 1957 by vote4bobcrane