Betty Hutton, one of many guest performers on Command Performance
Command Performance is WWII entertainment
at its finest, as it was made to be sent overseas to support
our troops. Begun in March of 1942, it became a weekly wartime
30 minutes of star-studded fun.
Bob Hope, Dinah Shore,
Fred Allen, Frances Langford, Spike Jones, Victor Borge, Frank Sinatra, Burns and Allen,
Vincent Price, Ginger Rogers, Gary Cooper, Henny Youngman, Tallulah Bankhead, Andrew Sisters, Bette Davis, Esther Williams, James Cagney, Jane Froman, Helen Forrest, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland, Linda Darnell, Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Margaret Whiting, Oscar Levant, Peter Lawford,Maureen Ohara, Ronald Colman, Rita Hayworth Spencer Tracy, Ava Gardner and more stage, screen, and radio stars entertain the troops with flair.
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Each and every show gets several, or many,
stars together to do comedy, songs and even dances, based
on the ideas of the GI's listening. At first, the crack
writing staff actually took ideas firsthand from the troops
themselves. Later, the shows was transcribed by the Armed
Forces Radio Service from Hollywood,
Kay Starr, one of many guest
performers on Command Performance
but continuing to use
the requests that poured in from all over the world. All
donated their services to this war effort show, including
the networks production studios.
Longer sketches are featured on some shows,
and seasonal specials tug at the heartstrings. The big bands and singers of the day are featured, too, sometimes together!
The patriotism and dedication of those times
shines forth in these performances, and in the comedy, the
song and the banter, there is always a simple message -
we appreciate what you are doing for us, and we miss you!
See also Mail Call, Request Perfromance, WWII Collection,
Norman Corwin Collection, and Words