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The Palmolive Beauty Box Theater

"A Soap Operetta" old time radio show, with classically trained opera singers but a lighter tone than classical opera.

6 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 2 hours, 57 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
3 Audio CDs


Choose your CD format
or order disks individually: Add to Cart
Play a sample episode from April 14, 1937:

"Chocolate Soldier"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

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

PalmoliveBefore Soap Opera became the biggest money maker on radio, one soap company tried to get their message across with operetta. A Soap Operetta? No, it just doesn't quite ring. However, it was a rather entertaining program.

Back in 1898, the B.J. Johnson Company of Milwaukee discovered a method of making soap using all palm oil and olive oil. The cleaning concoction was so effective and popular that Johnson renamed his company after the soap, Palmolive. In the early years of the twentieth century,  Palmolive was the best selling soap in the world.

Not wanting to rest on its laurels, the company began using radio advertising in 1927 with the Palmolive Hour. The show featured a pleasant mix of jazz, show tunes and opera selections showcased by the “Palmolive Musical Stock Company”, aka the Palmolivers. The program usually opened with a duet by Frank Munn and soprano Virginia Rea, who performed under the names Paul Oliver and Olive Palmer (the sponsor was getting their money's worth!)

Palmolive took an extended hiatus from the airwaves in 1931. The players who made up the Palmolive Hour did not go hungry. The Hummert's were waiting to put them to work on The American Album Of Familiar Music, where Munn kept singing until his retirement in 1945. When the soap company was ready to come back to the air in 1934, they adapted operettas to their weekly hour on Palmolive Beauty Box Theater.

If there is a hierarchy to the musical stage, then opera is the stodgy aunt for whom Mom spends days cleaning the house. American Music Theater, the shows that made Broadway famous, are the hooligan kids who want to rush away from the table before the meal is finished. Operetta has the exuberance of youth, but takes itself seriously enough to maintain some decorum.

If there is a difference between operetta and musicals, it is in the players. In a musical,  we see actors who are called upon to sing and dance. An operetta company is usually filled with voices trained for opera.

It was not always simple to condense a full operetta into an hour long program, but Beauty Box did a pretty good job from 1934 through 1936 under the musical direction of Nathaniel Shilkret. Productions included "The Mikado", "Hit The Deck", and "The Chocolate Soldier". In the 1937 season,  the show moved to CBS and reduced to a half hour spot, which hurt the operetta feel of the program. However, the music remained top notch; Jessica Dragonette, the “Princess of Song”, left a seven year stint as soloist on the Cities Services Concerts to join Palmolive Beauty Box Theater.

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.



    6 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 2 hours, 57 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      6 shows - total playtime 2 hours 57 minutes
      1. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370127 099 Student Prince.mp3
      2. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370210 101 Countess Maritza.mp3
      3. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370414 110 Chocolate Soldier.mp3
      4. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370428 112 Lady In Ermine.mp3
      5. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370512 114 Eileen.mp3
      6. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370602 117 Only Girl.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    6 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 2 hours, 57 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      6 shows - total playtime 2 hours 57 minutes
      1. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370127 099 Student Prince.mp3
      2. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370210 101 Countess Maritza.mp3
      3. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370414 110 Chocolate Soldier.mp3
      4. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370428 112 Lady In Ermine.mp3
      5. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370512 114 Eileen.mp3
      6. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370602 117 Only Girl.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



    6 recordings on 3 Audio CDs
    total playtime 2 hours, 57 min

    Palmolive Beauty Box Theater Disc A001

    1. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370127 099 Student Prince
    2. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370210 101 Countess Maritza

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Palmolive Beauty Box Theater Disc A002

    1. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370414 110 Chocolate Soldier
    2. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370428 112 Lady In Ermine

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Palmolive Beauty Box Theater Disc A003

    1. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370512 114 Eileen
    2. Palmolive Beauty Box Theater 370602 117 Only Girl

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00