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Joe E. Brown

He could have been a professional baseball player, instead, rubber-faced Joe E. Brown became one of the most successful comedians of the Thirties.

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Joe E Brown

21 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 11 hours, 9 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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12 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from March 24, 1939:

"Joe E Brown Show 1939"



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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2021 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

On the surface, Hollywood movies and baseball seem to have very little in common. Both can produce edge-of-your-seat drama, and baseball has been the inspiration for some terrific movies, but fans realize that baseball is a "thinking man's game". Except for a few exciting moments which seem to come out of nowhere, for the uninitiated, watching a baseball has an appeal on the level of watching paint dry. Motion pictures, on the other hand, tend not to demand a lot from their fans. In fact, Hollywood has often been accused of playing to "the lowest common denominator" in order to sell tickets.

Joe E Brown

One factor that baseball and the movies share is that they are both much more fun to watch if the fans get to know the personalities involved. Joe E. Brown could have become one of the most interesting personalities in baseball, but he turned down a contract with the New York Yankees to pursue a career in entertainment.

Joseph Evans Brown was born near Toledo, Ohio, 1891. At the age of nine, he joined "The Five Marvelous Ashtons", a tumbling troupe who toured the country on both the circus and the vaudeville circuits (Brown joked that he was the only kid on the circuit whose parents encouraged him to run off and join the circus). The troupe broke up after a West coast engagement during the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Returning home to Toledo, Joe played a couple of seasons in the semi-pro Trolley League before rejoining the vaudeville circuit. The acrobatic act he was working with, The Bell-Prevost Trio ("I was Trio" joked Joe) broke up when Bell injured himself. Joe continued to tour with the aging Prevost who encouraged him to add patter and comedy to their routine. Approaching 40, Pre needed all the breaks he could get.

Joe continued to play semi-pro ball in the summers when many vaudeville houses were closed. On Christmas Eve, 1915, Joe was married to his sweetheart, Kathryn McGraw, whom he had met on a train to Oakland for a vaudeville engagement. Kathryn soon became pregnant, and although Joe was playing minor league ball for the Yankees organization, he decided that showbiz offered a more secure future. He began to appear in Broadway revues in 1920 and was signed with Warner Bros in 1928.

The rubber-faced Brown was immensely popular with juvenile audiences and shot to stardom after appearing in On With the Show (1929), the first all-color, all-talking musical comedy feature film. In 1932, he appeared in the first of what would become known as his "baseball trilogy", Fireman, Save My Child.  Brown's other two baseball films were Elmer the Great (1933), and Alibi Ike (1935), both based on Ring Lardner stories. The plot of all three films entails our ball playing bumpkin hero being led astray by a slick big city girl, usually into the clutches of gangsters who want him to throw the big game.

Joe E BrownJoe was also one of the few vaudeville comedians to be featured in a Shakespearean movie when he appeared in A Midsummer's Night Dream (1935) with Olivia de Havilland, Mickey Rooney, James Cagney, and Dick Powell. Brown even rewrote the Bard's work: after playing his flute he was thrown into a lake, after which he spluttered an ad-lib "I won't play anymore!" The bit was not edited out and was the only non-Shakespearean dialog in the film.

In 1939, Joe testified before Congress in support of a bill which would allow 20,000 German Jewish refugee children into the country. He and Kathryn later adopted two Jewish refugee girls. After leaving Warner Bros, Brown's popularity began to fade and he appeared mostly in B-military. The younger, Capt. Don E. Brown, was killed in a flight training accident. Joe sought solace by entertaining as many troops as he could, often traveling to overseas outposts at his own expense before the USO was organized (he beat Bob Hope to be the first to appear in Alaska and the Caribbean). Joe E. Brown was one of only two civilians to be awarded the Bronze Star for their service in WWII.

His best remembered post-War appearance was as the aging millionaire, Osgood Fielding III, in Some Like It Hot (1955). He delivered the punchline at the end of the film: "Well, nobody's perfect" when Jack Lemmon removed his wig, revealing that he had been in drag. A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1680 Vine St was dedicated in 1960 to honor contributions to Motion Pictures by Joe E. Brown. He died of arteriosclerosis in 1969.

The Flatrock Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Napoleon, Ohio, produces several Brown Ales which are named to honor native son Joe E. Brown, including Joe E. Coffee and Vanilla Bean Brown Ale and Joe E. (Brown Ale). 

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2021 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    21 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50. Total playtime 11 hours, 9 min
    21 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 11 hours, 9 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      21 shows - total playtime 11 hours 9 minutes
      1. Arthur Godfreys Talent Scouts Joe E Brown Substitute.mp3
      2. Bob Hope 19451120 Joe E Brown.mp3
      3. Cavalcade Of America 440320 G I Circuit.mp3
      4. Ft 480701 073 First Class Requirements.mp3
      5. Ft 510328 213 Major He Was Sailor.mp3
      6. Gi Journal 440826 Afrs 059 Joe E Brown.mp3
      7. Good News Of 381006 041 Wallace Beery.mp3
      8. Joe E Brown Show 390325.mp3
      9. Joe E Brown Show 390921.mp3
      10. Lux 361005 Elmer the Great Joe E. Brown, June Travis.mp3
      11. Lux 370419 Alibi Ike Joe E. Brown Helen Chandler.mp3
      12. New National Guard Show 15 Plumber Elmer Biggs.mp3
      13. Rudy Vallee Vallee Varieties 410403 057 Lurene Tuttle.mp3
      14. Screen Guild Theater 390507 Thwarted Ambition.mp3
      15. Screen Guild Theater 450205 231 Joan Of Ozarks.mp3
      16. Sealtest 410403 057 Baseball Joe Brown Lurene Tuttle.mp3
      17. Stop Or Go 441126 Joe E Brown Welles Benny Lamour.mp3
      18. Texaco Town 380223 74 Mutiny On Bounty 2nd Half Only.mp3
      19. These Humble Starring Joe E Brown World Program Service 325.mp3
      20. Time To Smile 19430616 Joe E Brown.mp3
      21. We Came This Way 441215 11 Valley Forge.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    21 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50. Total playtime 11 hours, 9 min
    21 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 11 hours, 9 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      21 shows - total playtime 11 hours 9 minutes
      1. Arthur Godfreys Talent Scouts Joe E Brown Substitute.mp3
      2. Bob Hope 19451120 Joe E Brown.mp3
      3. Cavalcade Of America 440320 G I Circuit.mp3
      4. Ft 480701 073 First Class Requirements.mp3
      5. Ft 510328 213 Major He Was Sailor.mp3
      6. Gi Journal 440826 Afrs 059 Joe E Brown.mp3
      7. Good News Of 381006 041 Wallace Beery.mp3
      8. Joe E Brown Show 390325.mp3
      9. Joe E Brown Show 390921.mp3
      10. Lux 361005 Elmer the Great Joe E. Brown, June Travis.mp3
      11. Lux 370419 Alibi Ike Joe E. Brown Helen Chandler.mp3
      12. New National Guard Show 15 Plumber Elmer Biggs.mp3
      13. Rudy Vallee Vallee Varieties 410403 057 Lurene Tuttle.mp3
      14. Screen Guild Theater 390507 Thwarted Ambition.mp3
      15. Screen Guild Theater 450205 231 Joan Of Ozarks.mp3
      16. Sealtest 410403 057 Baseball Joe Brown Lurene Tuttle.mp3
      17. Stop Or Go 441126 Joe E Brown Welles Benny Lamour.mp3
      18. Texaco Town 380223 74 Mutiny On Bounty 2nd Half Only.mp3
      19. These Humble Starring Joe E Brown World Program Service 325.mp3
      20. Time To Smile 19430616 Joe E Brown.mp3
      21. We Came This Way 441215 11 Valley Forge.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



    21 recordings on 12 Audio CDs. Total playtime 11 hours, 9 min
    21 recordings on 12 Audio CDs
    total playtime 11 hours, 9 min

    Joe E Brown Disc A001

    1. Arthur Godfreys Talent Scouts Joe E Brown Substitute
    2. Bob Hope 19451120 Joe E Brown
    3. New National Guard Show 15 Plumber Elmer Biggs

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A002

    1. These Humble Starring Joe E Brown World Program Service 325
    2. Time To Smile 19430616 Joe E Brown

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A003

    1. Lux 361005 Elmer the Great Joe E. Brown, June Travis

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A004

    1. Lux 370419 Alibi Ike Joe E. Brown Helen Chandler

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A005

    1. Texaco Town 380223 74 Mutiny On Bounty 2nd Half Only

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A006

    1. Good News Of 381006 041 Wallace Beery

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A007

    1. Joe E Brown Show 390325
    2. Screen Guild Theater 390507 Thwarted Ambition

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A008

    1. Joe E Brown Show 390921
    2. Rudy Vallee Vallee Varieties 410403 057 Lurene Tuttle

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A009

    1. Sealtest 410403 057 Baseball Joe Brown Lurene Tuttle
    2. Cavalcade Of America 440320 G I Circuit

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A010

    1. Gi Journal 440826 Afrs 059 Joe E Brown
    2. Stop Or Go 441126 Joe E Brown Welles Benny Lamour

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A011

    1. We Came This Way 441215 11 Valley Forge
    2. Screen Guild Theater 450205 231 Joan Of Ozarks

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Joe E Brown Disc A012

    1. Ft 480701 073 First Class Requirements
    2. Ft 510328 213 Major He Was Sailor

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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