Here are excerpts from Mutual's first coast-to-coast broadcast, December 29, 1936. The Don Lee Network, along with a host of other stations, joined Mutual that night.
This dedicatory program was truly a "mutual" effort, with segments and individual greetings from WOR, WGN, WLW and WNAC.
Gabriel Heatter welcomes the network.
WOR's Albert McCosker describes Mutual's operation.
WGN's W.E. McFarlane greets the newcomers and has more on Mutual's purpose.
The first station cue for the coast-to-coast network.
On December 30, 1936 - the Don Lee "Golden Group" took center stage with an introductory program for the rest of the network.
Conrad Nagel hosted; the program featured popular music and grand opera, greetings from film stars and other Hollywood luminaries, and cut-ins from San Francisco and Honolulu.
The opening of the introductory program.
MBS General Manager Fred Weber and Don Lee head Thomas Lee exchange greetings. This may well be the only recordings of these men.
The first station identification break for the network from the West Coast.
The first news intro with the familiar melody, introduced in 1966.
The top-of-the-hour Comprehensive News intro, introduced in 1972. (Courtesy Mark J. Cuccia)
The bottom-of-the-hour Comprehensive News intro, introduced in 1972. (Courtesy Mark J. Cuccia)
Who remembers the Progressive News intro? Well, here it is to remind you. (Courtesy Mark J. Cuccia)
The sounder used with the top of the hour Comprehensive News, 1973-78. (Courtesy Mark J. Cuccia)
The sounder used with the bottom of the hour Comprehensive News, 1973-78. (Courtesy Mark J. Cuccia)
The Mutual Sports march, used for "Wide Weekend of Sports," as well as the daily sports reports, 1973-78. (Courtesy Mark J. Cuccia)
The top of the hour intro that replaced the "classic" package in 1978.
The bottom of the hour intro that was used for a couple of years; it was eventually replaced with the top of the hour sounder.
By 1978, "Progressive News" had become "Mutual Information." Here's the 1978 intro.
The intro for Mutual Sports, introduced in 1987 - and still used by some stations today!
Most of the 8:30 p.m. EDT newscast, July 13, 1957. Lester Smith for Miles Laboratories. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
A November 13, 1960 newscast with Martin Edwards. Complete with commercials. (Courtesy Phil Gray)
A November 20, 1960 newscast with Martin Edwards. Complete with commercials. (Courtesy Phil Gray)
A June 28, 1962 newscast with Del Sharbutt for Mennen. (Courtesy Phil Gray)
A June 28, 1962 newscast with Richard Rendell. (Courtesy Phil Gray)
October 31, 1963, 6:30 p.m. EST: The infamous Tony Marvin newscast with his "get milk" commercial. (P.S.: The sponsor was listening!)
The 12:30 p.m. EDT newscast, June 4, 1964. Del Sharbutt for Saraka.
The 11:30 a.m. EDT newscast, June 5, 1964. Steve McCormick (and a very baffling ad by Stan Freberg for Mars Candy).
The 11:30 a.m. EST newscast, November 5, 1964. Steve McCormick for Saraka.
The 9:30 p.m. EST newscast, November 6, 1964. Tony Marvin for the Hartford Insurance Group.
The 12:30 p.m. EST newscast, April 23, 1967 with James Hall. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
An April 10, 1969 newscast with Charles Batchelder. The second commercial minute is missing.
The 3 p.m. EDT newscast, October 20, 1970 with Ted Reuter. Complete with PSA. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
The 2 p.m. EDT newscast, October 21, 1970 with Frank Singiser. Complete with PSA. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
The 3:30 p.m. EST newscast, January 2, 1971 with Joe Campbell. Complete with commercials. (Courtesy Bryan Olsen)
The 9:30 a.m. EST newscast, December 21, 1972 with Al Lavie. Complete with commercials.
The 9:30 a.m. EST newscast, December 30, 1972 with Martin Edwards. Complete with commercials.
The 7:30 p.m. EDT newscast, July 27, 1974 with Dan Hackle. Complete with commercials. (Courtesy Jeff Miller)
The 1:30 p.m. EDT newscast, September 8, 1974 with Peter Gamble. Complete with commercials. (Courtesy Jeff Miller)
A partial 8 p.m. EST newscast from October 31, 1974 with Phillip Clarke. The first segment is missing.
The 3:30 a.m. EDT newsbrief with Dan Gregory during the "Long John Nebel - Candy Jones Show," July 9, 1977.
The first segment of the 4 a.m. EDT newscast with Dan Gregory, July 9, 1977.
The 8:30 a.m. EDT newscast with Don Hoover, July 9, 1977.
The 9 p.m. EDT newscast with Duff Thomas.
The 10 p.m. EDT newscast with Don Hoover.
The 11 p.m. EDT newscast with Duff Thomas.
The 11:30 p.m. EDT newscast with Ivan Scott.
The 11:55 a.m. EDT Information newscast with Kurt Henschen, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
The 12:00 p.m. EDT newscast with Jon Bascom, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
The 3:30 a.m. EDT newsbrief with Dan Gregory during "The Larry King Show," June 12, 1979.
The 3 p.m. EST newscast with Dick Rossé, March 30, 1981. Complete with commercials.
Most of an April 11, 1982 newscast with Paul Henderson. (KWWK-FM Rochester, MN aircheck; courtesy Lamoyne Westerbeck)
The 7 p.m. EDT newscast with Bob Nizer, July 11, 1982. Complete with commercials.
A newsbrief with Mike McCluskey during "The Larry King Show," January 16, 1987. Complete with commercials;
the rejoin to the King show is included. (KTOD and KARN airchecks; courtesy Eric Dyer)
The 5:30 a.m. EST newscast with Carol Preston, December 23, 1989. Complete with commercials. (KTOD Conway, AR aircheck; courtesy Eric Dyer)
11 p.m. EDT, August 31, 1998: the final Mutual/NBC newscast from the Arlington studios. CBS took over newscasts the next day.
(Courtesy newscaster Sean Hall, who had some nice words to say at the end.)
"Wall Street Report" with John Hartge. 12:35 p.m. EST, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
"Capital Assignment" with Duff Thomas. 12:45 p.m. EST, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
"Business Beat" with John Hartge. 4:35 p.m. EDT, August 10, 1987. (Courtesy Eric Dyer)
The 4:35 p.m. EST sportscast, January 2, 1971. Dick Buller subs for Van Patrick. (Courtesy Bryan Olson)
"The Road to the Orange Bowl," previewing the 1979 Orange Bowl between Oklahoma and Nebraska. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
"On the Road to the Sugar Bowl," previewing the 1979 Sugar Bowl between Penn State and Alabama. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
The 5:35 p.m. EST sportscast with Jim Gannon, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
The 6:35 a.m. EST sportscast with Tony Roberts, April 21, 1988. (KWTD Lonoke, AR aircheck; courtesy Eric Dyer)
November 2, 1964: an excerpt from Mutual's Election Night coverage with Jack Allen and Charles Batchelder.
Most of "The World Today" with Tony Marvin, August 25, 1970 - the first couple of minutes are missing. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
Most of "The World Today" with Tony Marvin, September 21, 1971 - the first couple of minutes are missing. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
March 14, 1972: Mutual's coverage of President Richard Nixon's address on school busing. Martin Edwards opens and closes.
"The World Today" with Del Sharbutt, December 20, 1972. Pardon the music bleed-thru, it was on the tape. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
August 10, 1973: Charles King's final "One Man's Opinion." It would later become a Mutual Mini-Feature with Bob Moore. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
January 14, 1978: Dick Rossé's tribute, "Hubert Humphrey: An Appreciation."
June 12, 1979: "What is a Hero?" - Dick Rossé's tribute to John Wayne, aired during "The Larry King Show." King pads to news headlines at the end.
"The World This Morning," with Kurt Henschen and Fred Lowery. 8:30 a.m. EST, January 8, 1980.
October 28, 1980: Coverage of the debate between President Jimmy Carter and Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.
March 30, 1981, 3:15 p.m. EST: a Mutual News Bulletin with John Hartge.
Beginning coverage from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. EST.
Continuing coverage from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. EST.
Coverage from 8:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST. The intro is missing.
Continuing coverage from 8:30 to 9:00 p.m. EST.
"The Flame Still Burns: Remembering JFK," Dick Rossé's excellent 1988 documentary on the 25th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination.
(Courtesy Dick Rossé)
"The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear," Dick Rossé's 1990 documentary on the "Golden Age of Radio." (Courtesy Dick Rossé)
"The Week in Review" with Dick Rossé, December 21, 1991. The first few seconds are missing, otherwise complete.
"Weekend Headliner" from the weekend of December 21-22, 1991.
"America in the Morning," November 3, 1992 - Election Day. Carol Preston subs for Jim Bohannon.
The Mutual Black Network news intro. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
A funky promo for the Black Network. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
An MBN newscast with Al Williams, October 27, 1978. (Does the PSA sound a little out of place here?)
The 11:50 a.m. EST MBN newscast with Don Akers, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
"Message," an MBN feature, January 1, 1979. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
A bulk feed of two MBN newscasts with Don Akers, January 1, 1979. Probably for use during Mutual's broadcast of the Orange Bowl. No commercials were fed.
We have nothing from Mutual Cadena Hispanica. Even if we did, you probably wouldn't understand it, since the dialect used was apparently unintelligible to many Hispanics.
Make that ALMOST nothing - we do have the sounder! (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
Mutual ran more promos than any other network. Perhaps it had to - it seemed to have more commercial time to fill than the others;
besides, when you're not number one, you try harder.
December 22, 1951: A promo for Mutual's news lineup.
December 22, 1951: promoting the next "Nick Carter" mystery.
October 4, 1953: A promo featuring Mutual's mystery programs.
October 4, 1953: promoting the varied Mutual programs - a result of the infamous (and short-lived) "Cape Cod" agreement.
A promo by Mutual reporter Joe Campbell. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
A promo by longtime Mutual reporter Martin Edwards. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
An almost breathless promo by Mutual newscaster/announcer Jaffray Ford. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
A promo by Mutual State Department Correspondent James Hall. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
A promo by Mutual reporter Ted Reuter. (Courtesy Robert Beacham)
Custom promos for KGMO Cape Girardeau, MO by Mutual News anchors. Recorded August 1970. (Courtesy Thom Price)
A 1973 promo by Marvin Scott, then a Mutual reporter/producer; now senior correspondent at WPIX-TV New York. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
Van Patrick setting the stage for the 1973 season of Notre Dame Football. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
Van Patrick on Mutual's football lineup for fall 1973. (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
From 1977 - The difference between Mutual and CB Radio.
From 1977 - Mutual Sports leads the way!
Here are a pair of 1977 promos, for "St.John's Journal" and "Astrology Today."
Another pair of promos, for "Capital Assignment" and "Reporter's Roundup."
Who says you can't broadcast golf on the radio? A promo for Mutual's coverage of the 1977 PGA Championship.
Here's a promo for "Jamboree U.S.A.," which Mutual picked up from WWVA Wheeling, WV.
Thirty seconds for one of Mutual's more popular mini-features, "Elmer Dapron's Grocery List."
David Frost previews his second interview with Richard Nixon. Aired at the end of the first interview, May 4, 1977.
Even Pat Boone got in on the act - here's a promo for his "Light & Power Hour," from 1977.
Here are TWO 60-second promos for "Wide Weekend of Sports."
A promo for the "Curt Gowdy Show" mini-feature.
Mutual had the NBA playoffs in the mid to late 70's, here's their promo for the 1979 playoffs (which SEATTLE won this time!!)
Bob Moore with "One Man's Opinion" . . . about opinion.
A 1979 promo by longtime Mutual reporter Dick Rossé.
A December 1980 promo for "Jamboree U.S.A.," featuring a performance by Ronnie Milsap.
From a 1982 National Symphony Orchestra broadcast: A very dignified promo on Radio's Golden Age - and Mutual's place in it.
From a 1982 National Symphony Orchestra broadcast: Mutual explains satellite broadcasting - about as clearly as it can be!
From a 1982 National Symphony Orchestra broadcast: A more in-depth explanation of Mutual's satellite system.
From a 1982 National Symphony Orchestra broadcast: Explaining the services Mutual provides to a local station.
A promo for "Puttin' on the Ritz," a 1987 big-band special hosted by Jim Lange.
60 seconds featuring highlights of the 1989 George H. W. Bush inauguration.
Your webmaster is a fan of quiz shows, so here's an excerpt of MBS' popular "Take a Number" with Red Benson from April 11, 1953.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Mutual Broadcasting System, and all you minimum-wage employees of its affiliated stations
in the USA's 569 smallest radio markets, please rise . . . for our National Anthem! (Courtesy Jim Guthrie)
BEE-doop! Here are those quirky "Mutualert" tones that punctuated each segment. And listen carefully - each one is different!
The intro to Herb Jepko's "Nitecap" show in the mid-70s.
Dan Gregory's 1977 rejoin to the "Long John Nebel-Candy Jones Show," the predecessor to Larry King.
Psychic readings from the planet Fringus on a segment of "The Larry King Show" from November 24, 1978.
Another segment of psychic readings from Fringus from November 24, 1978.
A third segment of Fringus psychic readings, November 24, 1978.
From August 1980: the tag of a 6:30 p.m. EDT newscast with Sally Bachner, closing with a promo for Mutual's convention coverage.
An episode of "Jamboree U.S.A." featuring Ronnie Milsap, scheduled for air December 26, 1980.
>>NEW!!<< "Mutual Information Line," closed circuit for affiliates, October 25, 1986. It wasn't meant for broadcast, but got on air anyway. (Courtesy Eric Dyer)
>>NEW!!<< "Mutual Information Line," April 1, 1990. Includes a good overview of the "Mutualert" system. (Courtesy Jerry Isenhart)
Something you're not supposed to hear - September 21, 1987: Mutual White House Correspondent Peter Maer at the United Nations, feeding reports via satellite to master control in Arlington, followed by NBC Radio's Jim Slade. The reports concern President Reagan's speech at the opening session of the U.N.'s General Assembly, and were sent prior to his speech (you'll hear cues to indicate where his remarks are to be inserted). NOTE: this is RAW AUDIO with the U.N. side of phone conversations that were not for broadcast. There's nothing objectionable here, but it gives a good idea of the pressures and deadlines of radio journalism.
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