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Burl Ives Collection

With his trademark beard and guitar, Burl Ives seemed to always be able to sing the songs that people wanted to hear. Update: additional appearances

39 old time radio show recordings
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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18 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from May 07, 1948:

"Burl Ives on Spike Jones Show"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2016 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Burl Ives

Musical, Comedy and Variety (1940s - 1950s)

Folk music, literally the music of the people, can be a slippery concept, especially when it is applied to as big and as diverse as America. What is folk music? In OTR we enjoy several different forms of American music, Jazz, Hillbilly Music, Swing, Big Band Music, Country and Western, Classical, “Sweet” Jazz, Religious Music, Marches, even Rock and Roll. All of these musical forms were popular enough to have received sponsored airtime on network radio during the Golden Age of Radio, but does that make any of them folk music, the music of the people?

Burl IvesFolklorists tend to classify music as “folk” if it is more associated with farms and the countryside than the cities. For musicologist Charles Seeger (Pete Seeger's dad), folk music was “associated with a lower class”. Folk music is part of an oral tradition of passing down stories from generation to generation, and folk songs have often been around so long that no one knows who their composer was. A useful definition of folk music is “songs that everyone knows”. The music of Burl Ives certainly fits that definition.

Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was born in Jasper County, Illinois, in 1909. His father was a farmer and little Burl learned his first tunes at the elbow of his pipe-smoking grandmother. When his uncle and mother heard him singing in the garden one day, his uncle invited the tyke to sing for an old soldier's reunion in a nearby town. Burl's rendition of “Barbara Allen” impressed both his uncle and the old soldiers.

Ives was a habitual joiner. He was a member of the Lone Scouts before the organization disbanded and was absorbed into the Boy Scouts of America. He took part in many Boy Scout Jamborees and was eventually awarded the Silver Buffalo, Scouting's highest honor. The Ives family were active Masons. Burl was inducted into DeMolay in 1927 and was a 33rd Degree Mason. He was also a Ham, call sign KA6HVA, which became a recognized “silent key” after he passed away.

Burl was a linebacker in high school and learned to play the banjo. In 1927, he entered Eastern Illinois Teachers College to pursue a career as a football coach, but while listening to a lecture on Beowulf during his junior year he suddenly realized he was wasting his time. He walked out of the classroom (slamming the door as the professor made a snide remark), slung his banjo over his shoulder, and hit the road.

The early years of the Great Depression were hard for everyone, but they were seminal for a young folk singer on the road. He played when he could find an audience, worked odd jobs, and learned songs wherever he could. In 1931, Burl found a job singing on WBOW Terre Haute and went back to school at Indiana State Teachers College. Later in the decade he attended the Juilliard School in New York.

Folk music was becoming more and more of a political statement during the Depression. Burl had his own radio show, The Wayfaring Stranger, in 1940, featuring traditional folk songs. He was associated with the Almanac Singers for a while. The Almanacs included Woody Guthrie, Will Geer, Millard Lampell and Pete Seeger. The group was active in the American Peace Mobilization, which opposed America's entry into the Second World War. The APM was founded from the remains of a branch of the Comintern, and refashioned itself as the American People's Mobilization in June of 1941 when Hitler invaded Russia. Now the APM was calling for America to immediately join the Allied cause.

Burl IvesBurl's draft number came up early in 1942, and he served at Camp Dix and Camp Upton as part of the cast of Irving Berlin's This Is The Army. He transferred to the Army Air Force when the show went to Hollywood and was honorably discharged as a corporal due to medical reasons in September 1943. In December, he took a job at CBS's New York studios for $100 per week.

Ives stayed with CBS through the 1940s, as well as some appearances on AFRS. He got his start in the movies in Smoky (1946), playing a singing cowboy. As the 1950s were dawning, Burls’ show business career was beginning to hit full stride until he was named in Red Channels and accused of having Communist affiliations. Given the importance of folk music to the American labor movement, the accusation is hardly without merit. Some folk singers were pinker than others, but it is hard to understand the connection between “Jimmy Crack Corn” and trying to overthrow the nation.

In any case, when called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Ives chose to cooperate by “naming names”. As a result, Burl’s name was removed from the blacklist and he was able to continue with his movie career. Naturally, his folk singing friends considered this to be a betrayal, especially Pete Seeger. Ives maintained that by cooperating with the HUAC he was merely doing his duty as a good citizen. Seeger and Ives finally reconciled enough to appear on stage together in 1983 at a benefit concert in New York (Burl by now was confined to a wheelchair) and harmonized on “Blue Tailed Fly”.

Ives’ film career took off during the remainder of the 1950s. He played Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Big Country (1958), and had his abdomen filled with marbles in the climactic scene of Ensign Pulver (1964), a sequel to Mr. Roberts. In 1964, Burl voiced Sam the Snowman in the Rankin and Bass Christmas classic, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Although his recording of the title song never sold as well as it did for other artists, but “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold’ have become perennial Christmas favorites.

Burl Ives had a hard beginning, bumming his way across the country in the 1930s with just a banjo and a song. Then his first radio broadcast was in 1940, and was interrupted by a radio bulletin about the fall of France. But he picked himself up and kept on plucking until he landed his own show later that year. He went on to become a well-known actor and did many guest appearances on other radio shows, including Bing Crosby's show as well as Martin and Lewis, Spike Jones, and Command Performance.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2016 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    39 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 16 hours, 10 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      39 shows - total playtime 16 hours 10 minutes
      1. Author Meets Critics 481107 Wayfaring Stranger.mp3
      2. Bing Crosby 461120 Burl Ives.mp3
      3. Bing Crosby 470421 Burl Ives.mp3
      4. Bing Crosby 471022 040 Phicol Rt W C Webb B Ives.mp3
      5. Bing Crosby 490302 094 Philco Rt Burl Ivesdshore.mp3
      6. Bing Crosby 510516 Burl Ives.mp3
      7. Bing Crosby 510627 074 Burl Ives And Ken Murray.mp3
      8. Burl Ives Show 460000 Wyoming Will Be Your New Home.mp3
      9. Burl Ives Show 461215 Wish I Was An Apple On Tree.mp3
      10. Burl Ives Show 461219 15 Cowboy Songs.mp3
      11. Burl Ives Show 461220 Get Along Little Doggies.mp3
      12. Burl Ives Show 461221 17 Blow Ye Winds Of Morning.mp3
      13. Burl Ives Show 471128 Songs Of Seas.mp3
      14. Burl Ives Sings 461219 15 Cowboy Songs.mp3
      15. Burl Ives Sings 461221 17 Ill Go No More Rovin.mp3
      16. Cavalcade Of America 431213 Check Your Heart At Home.mp3
      17. Columbia Presents Corwin 440725 19 El Capitan.mp3
      18. Columbia Presents Corwin 440725 El Capitan And Corporal.mp3
      19. Columbia Workshop 410302 068 Roadside.mp3
      20. Columbia Workshop 410511 002 Log Of R77.mp3
      21. Columbia Workshop 410518 003 People Yes.mp3
      22. Columbia Workshop 420301 015 When Bough Breaks.mp3
      23. Columbia Workshop 440321 003 Lonesome Train.mp3
      24. Command Performance 460307 214 G.mp3
      25. Forecast 400819 10 Back Where I Come From.mp3
      26. Guest Star 490724 0122 Burl Ives.mp3
      27. Heres To Veterans 000000 0887 Crawdads .mp3
      28. Hollywood Star Time 460310 10 Return Of Frank James.mp3
      29. Martin And Lewis Show 490515 07 Burl Ives.mp3
      30. Philco Radio Time 470423 028 Les Paul And Burl Ives.mp3
      31. Philco Radio Time 471022 040 Clifton Webb And Burl Ives.mp3
      32. Philco Radio Time 490302 095 Burl Ives And Dinah Shore.mp3
      33. Radio Hall Of Fame 441008 Orson Welles Mary Martin.mp3
      34. Spike Jones 480507 Burl Ives.mp3
      35. Spotlight Revue 480507 32 Burl Ives.mp3
      36. Theatre Guild On Air 451021 007 Sing Out, Sweet Land Pt1.mp3
      37. War Bond Drive 441123 Liberation.mp3
      38. Your Rhythm Revue 530000 Jimmy Cracked Corn Burl Ives.mp3
      39. Your Rhythm Revue 530000 That Big Rock Candy Mountain.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    39 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 16 hours, 10 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      39 shows - total playtime 16 hours 10 minutes
      1. Author Meets Critics 481107 Wayfaring Stranger.mp3
      2. Bing Crosby 461120 Burl Ives.mp3
      3. Bing Crosby 470421 Burl Ives.mp3
      4. Bing Crosby 471022 040 Phicol Rt W C Webb B Ives.mp3
      5. Bing Crosby 490302 094 Philco Rt Burl Ivesdshore.mp3
      6. Bing Crosby 510516 Burl Ives.mp3
      7. Bing Crosby 510627 074 Burl Ives And Ken Murray.mp3
      8. Burl Ives Show 460000 Wyoming Will Be Your New Home.mp3
      9. Burl Ives Show 461215 Wish I Was An Apple On Tree.mp3
      10. Burl Ives Show 461219 15 Cowboy Songs.mp3
      11. Burl Ives Show 461220 Get Along Little Doggies.mp3
      12. Burl Ives Show 461221 17 Blow Ye Winds Of Morning.mp3
      13. Burl Ives Show 471128 Songs Of Seas.mp3
      14. Burl Ives Sings 461219 15 Cowboy Songs.mp3
      15. Burl Ives Sings 461221 17 Ill Go No More Rovin.mp3
      16. Cavalcade Of America 431213 Check Your Heart At Home.mp3
      17. Columbia Presents Corwin 440725 19 El Capitan.mp3
      18. Columbia Presents Corwin 440725 El Capitan And Corporal.mp3
      19. Columbia Workshop 410302 068 Roadside.mp3
      20. Columbia Workshop 410511 002 Log Of R77.mp3
      21. Columbia Workshop 410518 003 People Yes.mp3
      22. Columbia Workshop 420301 015 When Bough Breaks.mp3
      23. Columbia Workshop 440321 003 Lonesome Train.mp3
      24. Command Performance 460307 214 G.mp3
      25. Forecast 400819 10 Back Where I Come From.mp3
      26. Guest Star 490724 0122 Burl Ives.mp3
      27. Heres To Veterans 000000 0887 Crawdads .mp3
      28. Hollywood Star Time 460310 10 Return Of Frank James.mp3
      29. Martin And Lewis Show 490515 07 Burl Ives.mp3
      30. Philco Radio Time 470423 028 Les Paul And Burl Ives.mp3
      31. Philco Radio Time 471022 040 Clifton Webb And Burl Ives.mp3
      32. Philco Radio Time 490302 095 Burl Ives And Dinah Shore.mp3
      33. Radio Hall Of Fame 441008 Orson Welles Mary Martin.mp3
      34. Spike Jones 480507 Burl Ives.mp3
      35. Spotlight Revue 480507 32 Burl Ives.mp3
      36. Theatre Guild On Air 451021 007 Sing Out, Sweet Land Pt1.mp3
      37. War Bond Drive 441123 Liberation.mp3
      38. Your Rhythm Revue 530000 Jimmy Cracked Corn Burl Ives.mp3
      39. Your Rhythm Revue 530000 That Big Rock Candy Mountain.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    39 recordings on 18 Audio CDs
    total playtime 16 hours, 10 min

    Disc A001

    1. Heres To Veterans 000000 0887 Crawdads
    2. Forecast 400819 10 Back Where I Come From

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A002

    1. Columbia Workshop 410302 068 Roadside
    2. Columbia Workshop 410511 002 Log Of R77

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A003

    1. Columbia Workshop 410518 003 People Yes
    2. Columbia Workshop 420301 015 When Bough Breaks

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A004

    1. Cavalcade Of America 431213 Check Your Heart At Home
    2. Columbia Workshop 440321 003 Lonesome Train

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A005

    1. Columbia Presents Corwin 440725 19 El Capitan
    2. Columbia Presents Corwin 440725 El Capitan And Corporal

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A006

    1. Radio Hall Of Fame 441008 Orson Welles Mary Martin
    2. War Bond Drive 441123 Liberation

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A007

    1. Theatre Guild On Air 451021 007 Sing Out, Sweet Land Pt1
    2. Burl Ives Show 460000 Wyoming Will Be Your New Home

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A008

    1. Command Performance 460307 214 G
    2. Hollywood Star Time 460310 10 Return Of Frank James

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A009

    1. Bing Crosby 461120 Burl Ives
    2. Burl Ives Show 461215 Wish I Was An Apple On Tree
    3. Burl Ives Show 461219 15 Cowboy Songs

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A010

    1. Burl Ives Sings 461219 15 Cowboy Songs
    2. Burl Ives Show 461220 Get Along Little Doggies
    3. Burl Ives Show 461221 17 Blow Ye Winds Of Morning
    4. Burl Ives Sings 461221 17 Ill Go No More Rovin

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A011

    1. Bing Crosby 470421 Burl Ives
    2. Philco Radio Time 470423 028 Les Paul And Burl Ives

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A012

    1. Bing Crosby 471022 040 Phicol Rt W C Webb B Ives
    2. Philco Radio Time 471022 040 Clifton Webb And Burl Ives

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A013

    1. Burl Ives Show 471128 Songs Of Seas
    2. Spike Jones 480507 Burl Ives

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A014

    1. Spotlight Revue 480507 32 Burl Ives
    2. Author Meets Critics 481107 Wayfaring Stranger

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A015

    1. Bing Crosby 490302 094 Philco Rt Burl Ivesdshore
    2. Philco Radio Time 490302 095 Burl Ives And Dinah Shore

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A016

    1. Martin And Lewis Show 490515 07 Burl Ives
    2. Guest Star 490724 0122 Burl Ives

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A017

    1. Bing Crosby 510516 Burl Ives
    2. Bing Crosby 510627 074 Burl Ives And Ken Murray

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A018

    1. Your Rhythm Revue 530000 Jimmy Cracked Corn Burl Ives
    2. Your Rhythm Revue 530000 That Big Rock Candy Mountain

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00