Broadcast thanks to the Association of American Railroads and featuring Gordon MacRae, a young and handsome baritone singer-actor, The Railroad Hour was looked forward to by families all across the United States.
Monday evenings were now spent relaxing, listening to the most popular and beloved operettas or musicals from Hollywood or Broadway, with guest stars such as Dorothy Kirsten, Jane Powell and Nadine Connor appearing opposite MacRae.
There was something for everyone in the series, as these were productions from musical and operetta greats, including Gilbert & Sullivan, Gershwin & Romberg, Lawrence & Lee, Kern, Porter and Hammerstein. Some of the favorite shows from the series include Music In The Air, Showboat, and No, No, Nanette, all of which were accompanied with the fine musical talents of the Carmen Dragon Orchestra.
During the heyday era of radio, openings were important to grab the audience’s attention. So when Marvin Miller opened The Railroad Hour with, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Railroad Hour!” it was followed by noises of escaping steam, train whistles and the entire orchestra. It was quite dramatic, and is probably one of the most memorable openings to a radio show.
The ending of The Railroad Hour was somewhat more sedate, with MacRae and the leading songstress of the day discussing next week’s show. Finally, you'd hear Miller’s voice saying, “All Aboard!” with more train effects and music.
We have 133 shows from the series on RUSC, so if you love Broadway musicals, romantic operattas, or the popular songs of the mid-20th century, you'll love The Railroad Hour.