Somewhere there is a military technical manual for putting together a radio musical program. The Eddie Duchin Show followed it to the letter, and managed to become a wonderfully entertain radio program.
Eddie Duchin was born in Cambridge, Mass, and began training in pharmacology before realizing that he had a bigger contribution to make in music. He began playing piano with orchestras in New York nightclubs and casinos, eventually gaining popularity on his own. His stage presence and playing style made him popular on radio broadcasts through the 1930s, which in turn increased his record sales.
Duchin entered the Navy during WWII, but rather than following other show people into the special services entertaining the troops, Duchin followed the example of James Stewart and Gene Autry and saw combat action. Duchin saw action about destroyers in the North Atlantic between 1943 and 1945, the height of the U-Boat campaign.
Duchin's actual Naval service adds a quality of genuineness to The Eddie Duchin Show, which is somewhat rare in these 15 minute recruiting spots. The shows follow a tight pattern; the announcer, Ken Roberts, opens the show by introducing the guest singer and the Naval service or installation the program is saluting, Eddie and the orchestra play the opening number, Eddie and Ken discuss whichever facet of Navy life the show themed with. The guest vocalist will then share some Navy related patter with Eddie before performing her number, and the show closes by showcasing Eddie's dazzling keyboard talents.
The Navy and the nation lost Eddie much too soon in 1951, at the age of 41 to leukemia. The 1956 biopic, The Eddie Duchin Story, was a certified tear-jerker starring Tyrone Power and Kim Novak. The film was nominated for four academy awards, and got a boost from Novak's appearances in a diet soda commercial that plugged the film. Another small plug came from a Three Stooges short feature, when one of the stooges cries out "I don't want to die! I can't die! I haven't seen The Eddy Duchin Story yet!"