Midnight with the radio on - 1951.

Time Travel For A Rainy Night – Los Angeles – December 11, 1951 – Past Daily Pop Chronicles

Midnight with the radio on – 1951.

Encore Time – Jim Hawthorne – KNX, Los Angeles – December 11, 1951 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Time is midnight and most of L.A. is asleep, this December 11th in 1951. Smack in the middle of a rain storm which went on for days. There are a few stalwarts and always those people who have the graveyard shifts.

So what was radio up to around this time of night? If you were around and you were up you were probably listening to Hawthorne on KNX. Especially if you’re of a certain age and what you were tuning in, since this would be a regular Wednesday Night/Thursday morning ritual for you. Encore Time was the name of the show and it was on once a week and hosted by the legendary L.A. radio and early TV figure Jim Hawthorne.

Hawthorne hosted and Major J. Andrew “Andy” White was the venerable sidekick and “man of a million memories”. They would play records – old records – very old records. And at the end of each one, White would reminisce, usually knowing the date of the record and giving a few anecdotes about the performer, usually a figure in Vaudeville, who Andy knew quite well, since White was a regular fixture of the Vaudeville Theatre circuit at the turn of the last century.

It’s a heady dose of time travel – not only for those people who love and collect very old records, but also for people who are fans of Los Angeles before it became unrecognizable. Sandwiched between some of the reminiscences are commercials for Dolores Drive-ins (yes, there were a few – including one in Oklahoma City) and some other L.A. establishments which have long since vanished from the landscape.

It’s an hour’s worth of time travel -at the beginning and end of the broadcast is KNX News at Midnight and One a.m. Neither is complete but both give you some idea of what life in Los Angeles was, this rainy December 11th in 1951.

Maybe you were around – or maybe not for a long time.

We were different then.

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