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Martin Block WABC December 1960/WNEW-AM June 1940
Long before The WABC All Americans and the WMCA Good Guys there was Martin
Block. He, along with Al Jarvis in Los Angeles, are recognized as radio's first
DJ's. Martin's DJ career started by accident in a way. WNEW-AM was covering the
1935 trial of Bruno Hauptmann and asked Block to go into a studio with a stack
of records to fill the time during court breaks. That was the start of The Make
Believe Ballroom and an almost 20 year reign for Block at WNEW-AM.
While very little recorded material of Block at WNEW-AM can be found there is
this one rare clip. This is a live jam session from June of 1940 on Martin's
show. It features Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Gene Krupa, Count Basie, Coleman
Hawkins and others. The talent all piled into one studio at one time shows the
popularity and power Martin Block had.
Cut Time - 13:10
The second cut on this CD features Martin Block closing down the Make Believe
Ballroom in 1960 on WABC. Block left WNEW-AM in 1954 to move to WABC. That later
made for an odd on air mix in the late 1950's when WABC featured both Martin
Block and Alan Freed.
This is an unscoped final quarter hour of The Make Believe Ballroom. Block
shares some looks back at some of the superstars of music and shares a look
forward as he says "Goodbye."
Cut Time - 16:26
Total Time - 29:36