Ken Carpenter

Show Count: 247
Series Count: 11
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: August 21, 1900
Died: October 16, 1984, Location


Kenneth Lee Carpenter (August 21, 1900 – October 16, 1984) was a longtime TV and radio announcer, who was best known for being the announcer for singer and actor Bing Crosby for 27 years.

Early life and education

Born in Avon, Illinois, Carpenter was the son of Barlow Carpenter, a Universalist minister, and Clara Carpenter (1874 – 1971). He graduated from Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois in 1921, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Lombard College also is where Carpenter met his future lifelong wife, Betty.

Early show business career

Carpenter moved to Hollywood in 1929, one year after resolving to move there after listening to radio legend Graham McNamee call the Rose Bowl. Not long afterward, he became a staff announcer for KFI radio. As part of that job, Carpenter announced USC and UCLA football games for the Pacific Coast and the NBC radio networks from 1932 until 1935. In 1935, Carpenter announced the Rose Bowl for NBC radio. Carpenter became the color man for Bill Stern for all NBC-originated radio programming from Los Angeles from 1938 until 1942, which included the Rose Bowl. "Those Rose Bowl games were a big break for me, as they made me known to clients and advertising agencies in the East, so I had a jump on other local men when the big commercial shows started originating in L.A. in the mid-1930s," Carpenter later said.

Work with Bing Crosby

In 1936, Carpenter became Crosby's announcer after Crosby began hosting the Kraft Music Hall radio variety program. Carpenter continued to announce for Crosby on various programs for the next 27 years. Crosby famously once called Carpenter "the man with the golden voice." Carpenter also was known for ringing the chimes on many of Crosby's shows.

Other work

Carpenter also announced for Al Jolson and Edgar Bergen as well. By virtue of his extensive announcing career, he wound up with uncredited roles in well-known movies, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Susan Slept Here. He was also the narrator for producer Jerry Fairbanks' theatrical short-subject series Unusual Occupations, released by Paramount Pictures from 1938 through 1948.

From 1949 until 1952, Carpenter was the announcer for the NBC Radio sitcom The Halls of Ivy. He was also the announcer for Lux Radio Theater from 1952 through the end of the series in 1955; from 1955 until 1957, Carpenter hosted NBC's Lux Video Theatre program during its summer seasons. Other programs for which Carpenter was an announcer on radio included The Great Gildersleeve, The Chase and Sanborn Program (featuring Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy) and a stint on The Life of Riley from 1947 through 1949.


In his final years, Carpenter lived in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. He died at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California on October 16, 1984 after suffering a brief illness.Carpenter was survived by his wife Betty and his son, Ronald. He also was survived by four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Source: Wikipedia

Bing CrosbyBing Crosby
Show Count: 36
Broadcast History: 2 September 1931 to 27 February 1932, 8 March 1932 to 20 July 1932, 4 January 1933 to 15 April 1933, 16 October 1933 to 11 June 1935, 2 January 1936 to 9 May 1946, 16 October 1946 to 1 June 1949, 21 September 1949 to 25 June 1952, 9 October 1952 to 30 May 1954 and 22 November 1954 to 28 December 1956
Cast: Bing Crosby, Bob Burns, Mary Martin, Victor Borge, Connie Boswell, Jerry Lester, George Murphy, Peggy Lee, Judd McMichael, Ted McMichael, Joe McMichael, Mary Lou Cook, Ken Carpenter, John Scott Trotter, Skitch Henderson, Lina Romay , Charlie Parlato, Mack McLean, Loulie Jean Norman, Gloria Wood
Director: Bill Morrow, Murdo MacKenzie, Cal Kuhl, Ezra MacIntosh, Bob Brewster, Ed Gardner
Producer: Bill Morrow, Murdo MacKenzie, Cal Kuhl, Ezra MacIntosh, Bob Brewster, Ed Gardner
Command PerformanceCommand Performance
Show Count: 240
Broadcast History: 1 March 1942 to 20 December 1949 and 7 October 1945 to 21 April 1946
Cast: Charles Laughton, Red Skelton, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland
Director: Glenn Wheaton
Producer: Vick Knight, Maury Holland, Cal Kuhl
A Wartime Variety Show broadcast mainly to the armed forces between 1942 and 1949. It was produced for the armed forces by the War Department for short wave transmission to troops serving in overseas theatres of war.
Halls Of Ivy, TheHalls Of Ivy, The
Show Count: 84
Broadcast History: 6 June 1950 to 6 January 1952
Cast: Arthur Q. Bryan, Willard Waterman, Ronald Colman, Benita Hume Colman, Alan Reed, Herb Butterfield, Elizabeth Patterson, Gloria Gordon, Jerry Hausner, Paula Winslowe, Raymond Lawrence, Sheldon Leonard, Herb Vigran, Ken Christy, Jean Vander Pyl, Jeffrey Silver, Johnny McGovern, Charles Seel, Bob Seeney, Virginia Gregg, Rolfe Sedan
Director: Nat Wolff
Producer: Don Quinn, Nat Wolff
A situation comedy show, which follows the daily trials and tribulations of a college president in a small American College. It ran for two seasons from 1950 to 1952 and was aired at 8pm initially on Fridays and then on a Wednesday evening for the second season.
One Man's FamilyOne Man's Family
Show Count: 364
Broadcast History: 29th April, 1932 - 8th May, 1959
Cast: J Anthony Smythe, Minetta Ellen, Barton Yarborough, Anne Whitfield
Director: Michael Raffetto
Producer: Carlton E. Morse
There's probably only a handful of radio listeners throughout the United States who are not familiar with the name of Barbour. The Barbour's of Sea Cliff, San Francisco that is.
Truth Or ConsequencesTruth Or Consequences
Show Count: 15
Broadcast History: 23 March 1940 to 12 September 1956
Sponsor: Pet Milk, Ivory Soap, Duz, Phillip Morris
Director: Ed Bailey
Host: Ralph Edwards
Broadcast: May 2, 1948
Added: May 03 2016
Broadcast: 24th February 1949
Added: Jul 16 2012
Broadcast: 27th January 1949
Added: Jul 10 2012
Broadcast: May 29, 1949
Added: Aug 31 2020
Broadcast: April 18, 1948
Added: Apr 12 2016
Broadcast: 3rd February 1949
Added: Jul 13 2012
Broadcast: 9th December 1948
Added: Dec 09 2011
Broadcast: May 5, 1949
Added: May 09 2015
Broadcast: March 3, 1949
Added: Sep 18 2014
Broadcast: May 19, 1949
Added: May 23 2015
Broadcast: March 24, 1949
Added: Jun 06 2015
Broadcast: December 28, 1949
Added: Dec 31 2023
Broadcast: 10th March 1949
Added: Jul 17 2012
Broadcast: October 21, 1949
Added: Jun 13 2015
Broadcast: 17th February 1949
Added: Feb 17 2013
Broadcast: 14th April 1949
Added: Jul 12 2012
Broadcast: 10th February 1949
Added: Jul 14 2012
Broadcast: February 25, 1948
Added: Mar 02 2024
Broadcast: 18th November 1948
Added: Nov 20 2011
Broadcast: 20th January 1949
Added: Jan 20 2012
Broadcast: May 12, 1949
Added: May 16 2015