1 finding aid(s) found containing the word(s) Bowes, Edward, Major, 1874-1946.

  1. Amateur Hour collection, 1934-1950s

    approximately 8,500 items. 20 boxes. 9 linear feet. -- Music Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

    Summary:

    The Original Amateur Hour was a popular radio talent show hosted by Edward Bowes (stagename, Major Bowes) from 1935-1952. The collection primarily consists of more than 7,000 applications from contestants who appeared on the program between 1934 and 1948. A small amount of administrative papers dating from the late 1940s and 1950s, as well as materials relating to the Mexican version of the program, La hora internacional del aficionado, are also included. Filed with the contestant applications are letters of introduction, reference letters, and other documents sent by prospective contestants. Applications from conventional performers such as musicians, dancers, singers, and impersonators are most numerous, but there are also applications from novelty acts, such as a human piccolo, a group of hand standing singers, and a group who played harmonicas with fire extinguishers. Of particular interest are applications from performers who are now well-known, including Teresa Brewer, Stubby Kaye, Robert Merrill, Beverly Sills, and Frank Sinatra. Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s provide a visual record of the show, while correspondence to and from program staff members recount some of the program's business transactions. Scripts, promotional material, and advertising and sponsor documents also are part of the collection.