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Martha Raye Collection

She began her entertainment career at the age of three, she later became a popular guest on variety show and on the nightclub circuit.

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36 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 18 hours, 39 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
17 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from November 01, 1938:

"Guest Appearance on Bob Hope Show"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Martha RayeIn the publicity material that Hollywood created for her, Martha Raye was always “the Big Mouth”. To the Army Special Forces troops serving in Vietnam, she was “the Big Heart”, their beloved Colonel Maggie.

Bob Hope’s efforts for the USO are the stuff of legend, of course. He was tireless in bringing his show to the troops during WWII and continued until the Gulf War. By the time he was entertaining the troops in Vietnam, his shows were huge affairs featuring a laundry-list of Hollywood Stars. Along with the entertainers, there would be several cameras so that the whole thing would be recorded and broadcast back “in the World”. Hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen would have the privilege of seeing Bob and Company live and in person, but many of these servicemen were in fact support personnel, or what the grunts in the field referred to as REMFs, “Rear Echelon M***er-F***ers”. When the show was over, Bob and all the pretty girls would get on an airplane and fly back to Hollywood.

Martha Raye, for all of her talent and dedication to making people laugh, would never be as big a name as Bob Hope, and her USO shows in The Nam were not as big, but she did a lot of them. Raye flew to Vietnam at least once a year from 1964 through 1972, staying “in-country” for as long as six months at a time and often traveling at her own expense. Sometimes traveling with just a guitar player and a bassist as accompaniment, many of her shows simply used the back of a flatbed truck for a stage, and she would drive or drive into Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and A-Team Firebases to be with the men. It was not uncommon for these small outposts to come under enemy fire while the entertainers were there. The shows were not broadcast on TV back in “the World”, but plenty of soldiers have treasured snapshots taken with Colonel Maggie.

President Johnson presented Martha Raye was a Green Beret and a certificate designating her an honorary member of the Special Forces. The Geneva Convention status on her Department of Defense ID listed her as having a rank equivalent to a Lt Colonel, and in the field she wore green fatigues with a nurse’s caduceus and Silver Oak Leaves.

Born Margaret Teresa Yvonne Reed in the charity ward of the St. James Hospital in Butte, Montana, 1919, her mother was back on stage within two days of giving birth. The little troupe which originally billed themselves as Reed and Hooper lived much of the time “in an old Pierce-Arrow which my father drove…. We put the scenery in the back seat and that was where we slept at night.” Little Margie got started early: “I didn’t work until I was 3. But after that, I never stopped.”

Martha Raye 1941By the time she was 15, she was singing with different dance-bands. She picked the name Martha Raye out of a phonebook and made her first film appearance in 1934 in a band short titled A Nite in the Nite Club. In 1936, she signed with Paramount where she was used in comic roles because her mouth was large in proportion to the rest of her face. She was a regular on Al Jolson’s The Lifebuoy Program from 1936-1939.

Martha signed up with the USO practically before the smoke cleared from the Pearl Harbor attack. She spent the War appearing in numerous camp shows and appearing on AFRS programs like Command Performance. In 1944, she starred in Four Jills in a Jeep with Kay Francis, Carrie Landis, and Mitzi Mayfair. It was the story of the “Feminine Theatrical Task Force” and their camp show tour through England, Ireland, and North Africa.

After the War, Martha’s movie career never really took off again. Television, however, was just the medium she needed, until she got her own show. Milton Berle introduced Martha Raye to television audiences and her star began to rise as she became a popular guest on variety show and on the nightclub circuit. Her personal life was a shambles. Martha would marry seven times and divorce six. She had a terrible fear of flying, which she had to do to get between engagements. Her coping mechanism was to drink heavily before boarding the aircraft, which resulted in several carriers refusing her service.

In 1954, The Martha Raye Show was in the NBC Fall lineup. The hour-long comedy variety show drew a wealth of guest talent. On the September 20, 1955, episode, one of the guests was Gloria Lockerman, a 12-year-old African-American girl who had won The $64,000 Question. Martha and featured guest Tallulah Bankhead greeted Gloria with hugs and kisses. Protest letters began to pour in and the show began to lose ratings. It was canceled after May 29, 1956.

Her fifth marriage was breaking up at about the same time, and on August 14, 1956, she attempted suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. While in recovery, well-wishers sent her a St. Christopher medal and a Star of David, amulets that she would wear for the rest of her life, even though she was neither Roman Catholic nor Jewish. While she was in Vietnam, whenever she came across a soldier who did not have a St Christopher medal, she had one to give him.

Martha RayeMartha’s final years were marked by failing health. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and circulatory problems. Her home was destroyed by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and she and her seventh husband, Mark Harris, moved her hospital bed to a hotel.

Because of her service with the USO, she was offered a final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery, but Colonel Maggie made another request, which was granted. Martha Raye, as an Honorary Green Beret, was buried in the post cemetery at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with almost full military honors (Taps was not played and the volleys were not fired, although a Flag was draped over her casket and she had a full Honor Guard). She is the only woman buried in the post cemetery.

Two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are dedicated honoring Martha Raye, one at 6251 Hollywood Blvd for contributions to Motion Pictures, and one at 6547 Hollywood Blvd for Television.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 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.



    36 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 18 hours, 39 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      36 shows - total playtime 18 hours 39 minutes
      1. Adolph Zukors Silver Jubilee 370107 Host Jack Benny.mp3
      2. Artists And Models 1937 Jack Benny, Ida Lupino.mp3
      3. Bergen 430411 With Martha Raye And Bill Thompson.mp3
      4. Bergen Mccarthy 430411 Martha Raye Bill Thompson.mp3
      5. Big Broadcast Of 1937 J Benny, Burns And Allen.mp3
      6. Big Broadcast Of 1938 Bob Hope, W. C. Fields.mp3
      7. Big Show 510114 Jack Carter, Jimmy Durante, Martha Raye.mp3
      8. Big Show 510415 Jack Carson.mp3
      9. Bob Hope 381101 06 P S Martha Raye.mp3
      10. Cavalcade Of America 430503 Soldiers In Greasepaint.mp3
      11. Command Performance 431211 Bob Hope.mp3
      12. CP 430508 066 Martha Raye, Rudy Vallee, Mel Blanc.mp3
      13. CP 440923 139 Martha Raye, Jack Carson, Lina Romay.mp3
      14. Double Or Nothing 1937 Bing Crosby, Martha Raye.mp3
      15. Fred Allen Fred Allen Show 451104 044 Lost Memory.mp3
      16. Hollywood Spotlight 350000 Make Hay While Sun Shines.mp3
      17. Hollywood Spotlight 350000 Under My Umbrella.mp3
      18. Lifebuoy Show 370406 16 This Years Crop Of Kisses.mp3
      19. Lifebuoy Show 370907 George Jessel Second Half.mp3
      20. Lifebuoy Show 370928 Joe Penner.mp3
      21. Lifebuoy Show 381018 Marie Wilson.mp3
      22. Lifebuoy Show 381122 Liza, Mischa Auer.mp3
      23. Lifebuoy Show 381206 Swanee, Jackie Cooper.mp3
      24. Lifebuoy Show 390103 At Sundown Medley, Mary Boland.mp3
      25. Mail Call 441213 123 Martha Raye.mp3
      26. Mountain Music 1937 Martha Raye.mp3
      27. Radio Hall Of Fame 440206 First Song Beso Mucho.mp3
      28. Radio Hall Of Fame 450114 059 Thank Dixie For Me.mp3
      29. Recollections At 30 570102 Ladies Night.mp3
      30. Rudy Vallee 440930 My Time Is Your Time.mp3
      31. Screen Guild Theater 390319 Zaza.mp3
      32. Sealtest 400321 003 John Smith And Pocahontas, Martha Raye.mp3
      33. Sealtest 410710 071 Martha, Sewing Machine.mp3
      34. Soldiers In Greasepaint 431125 Soldiers In Greasepaint.mp3
      35. Time To Smile 441011 162 Martha Raye.mp3
      36. Vallee Varieties 400606 014 Martha Raye.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    36 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 18 hours, 39 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      36 shows - total playtime 18 hours 39 minutes
      1. Adolph Zukors Silver Jubilee 370107 Host Jack Benny.mp3
      2. Artists And Models 1937 Jack Benny, Ida Lupino.mp3
      3. Bergen 430411 With Martha Raye And Bill Thompson.mp3
      4. Bergen Mccarthy 430411 Martha Raye Bill Thompson.mp3
      5. Big Broadcast Of 1937 J Benny, Burns And Allen.mp3
      6. Big Broadcast Of 1938 Bob Hope, W. C. Fields.mp3
      7. Big Show 510114 Jack Carter, Jimmy Durante, Martha Raye.mp3
      8. Big Show 510415 Jack Carson.mp3
      9. Bob Hope 381101 06 P S Martha Raye.mp3
      10. Cavalcade Of America 430503 Soldiers In Greasepaint.mp3
      11. Command Performance 431211 Bob Hope.mp3
      12. CP 430508 066 Martha Raye, Rudy Vallee, Mel Blanc.mp3
      13. CP 440923 139 Martha Raye, Jack Carson, Lina Romay.mp3
      14. Double Or Nothing 1937 Bing Crosby, Martha Raye.mp3
      15. Fred Allen Fred Allen Show 451104 044 Lost Memory.mp3
      16. Hollywood Spotlight 350000 Make Hay While Sun Shines.mp3
      17. Hollywood Spotlight 350000 Under My Umbrella.mp3
      18. Lifebuoy Show 370406 16 This Years Crop Of Kisses.mp3
      19. Lifebuoy Show 370907 George Jessel Second Half.mp3
      20. Lifebuoy Show 370928 Joe Penner.mp3
      21. Lifebuoy Show 381018 Marie Wilson.mp3
      22. Lifebuoy Show 381122 Liza, Mischa Auer.mp3
      23. Lifebuoy Show 381206 Swanee, Jackie Cooper.mp3
      24. Lifebuoy Show 390103 At Sundown Medley, Mary Boland.mp3
      25. Mail Call 441213 123 Martha Raye.mp3
      26. Mountain Music 1937 Martha Raye.mp3
      27. Radio Hall Of Fame 440206 First Song Beso Mucho.mp3
      28. Radio Hall Of Fame 450114 059 Thank Dixie For Me.mp3
      29. Recollections At 30 570102 Ladies Night.mp3
      30. Rudy Vallee 440930 My Time Is Your Time.mp3
      31. Screen Guild Theater 390319 Zaza.mp3
      32. Sealtest 400321 003 John Smith And Pocahontas, Martha Raye.mp3
      33. Sealtest 410710 071 Martha, Sewing Machine.mp3
      34. Soldiers In Greasepaint 431125 Soldiers In Greasepaint.mp3
      35. Time To Smile 441011 162 Martha Raye.mp3
      36. Vallee Varieties 400606 014 Martha Raye.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



    36 recordings on 17 Audio CDs
    total playtime 16 hours, 1 min

    Martha Raye Disc A001

    1. Artists And Models 1937 Jack Benny, Ida Lupino
    2. Big Broadcast Of 1937 J Benny, Burns And Allen
    3. Big Broadcast Of 1938 Bob Hope, W. C. Fields
    4. Double Or Nothing 1937 Bing Crosby, Martha Raye
    5. Mountain Music 1937 Martha Raye

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A002

    1. Hollywood Spotlight 350000 Make Hay While Sun Shines
    2. Hollywood Spotlight 350000 Under My Umbrella
    3. Lifebuoy Show 370406 16 This Years Crop Of Kisses

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A003

    1. Lifebuoy Show 370907 George Jessel Second Half
    2. Lifebuoy Show 370928 Joe Penner
    3. Lifebuoy Show 381018 Marie Wilson

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A004

    1. Bob Hope 381101 06 P S Martha Raye
    2. Lifebuoy Show 381122 Liza, Mischa Auer

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A005

    1. Lifebuoy Show 381206 Swanee, Jackie Cooper
    2. Lifebuoy Show 390103 At Sundown Medley, Mary Boland

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A006

    1. Screen Guild Theater 390319 Zaza
    2. Sealtest 400321 003 John Smith And Pocahontas, Martha Raye

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A007

    1. Vallee Varieties 400606 014 Martha Raye
    2. Sealtest 410710 071 Martha, Sewing Machine

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    Martha Raye Disc A008

    1. Bergen 430411 With Martha Raye And Bill Thompson
    2. Bergen Mccarthy 430411 Martha Raye Bill Thompson

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    Martha Raye Disc A009

    1. Cavalcade Of America 430503 Soldiers In Greasepaint
    2. CP 430508 066 Martha Raye, Rudy Vallee, Mel Blanc

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    Martha Raye Disc A010

    1. Soldiers In Greasepaint 431125 Soldiers In Greasepaint
    2. Command Performance 431211 Bob Hope

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A011

    1. Radio Hall Of Fame 440206 First Song Beso Mucho

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A012

    1. CP 440923 139 Martha Raye, Jack Carson, Lina Romay
    2. Rudy Vallee 440930 My Time Is Your Time

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A013

    1. Time To Smile 441011 162 Martha Raye
    2. Mail Call 441213 123 Martha Raye

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A014

    1. Radio Hall Of Fame 450114 059 Thank Dixie For Me

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A015

    1. Fred Allen Fred Allen Show 451104 044 Lost Memory

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A016

    1. Big Show 510415 Jack Carson

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Martha Raye Disc A017

    1. Recollections At 30 570102 Ladies Night

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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