Program order for "Marjorie Christiansen King, The Songs America Sings."
The Songfellows: Harris White, Keith Booth, Stewart Steelman, Ken Black
Piano accompanist and arranging: Bill Austin
The Chevrolet Chorus: The Songfellows and Marjorie Christiansen King, Harriet Moore, Juanita Dochem, Ruth Howe.
Original recording dates circa 1943-1950 at WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa.
Announcer: Bill Austin and Duane Elliot
1. Twenty-four Hours of Sunshine: Peter L. De Rose; Majorsongs Ltd. and Warner Bros. Inc. 2:08
2. Ombra leggiera ("Shadow Song" from Dinorah); Giacomo Meyerbeer 3:49
3. Kiss Me Again (Mademoiselle Modiste); Victor Herbert (Public Domain) 2:32
4. Sweet Summer Dreams (Mademoiselle Modiste); Victor Herbert 2:06
5. Mother Dear (Polish Folk Song); arr. Estelle Liebling; G. Schirmer, Inc. 2:13
6. Lullaby OP 57, No. 2 ; Cyril Scott; G. Schirmer, Inc 2:16
7. Ou va la jeune Indoue ("The Bell Song" from Lakme) abridged; Leo Delibes 2:05
8. Stormy Weather (from Cotton Club Review); Harold Arlen;
S.A. Music and Ted Kohler Music Co. 3:35
9. Summertime (from Porgy and Bess); George Gershwin; Warner Bros. Music 2:32
10. I'll Follow My Secret Heart (from Conversation Piece); Noel Coward
Chappell and Co. 3:06
11. Love is Where Your Find It (from The Kissing Bandit); Nacio Herb Brown;
EMI Feist Catalog Inc. 2:46
12. Italian Street Song (from Naughty Marietta);Victor Herbert; Warner Bros. Music 2:21
13. With a Song in My Heart (from Spring is Here) ; Richard Rodgers;
Warner Bros. Music and Williamson Music Co. 4:08
14. The Lord's Prayer; Albert Hay Malotte; G. Schirmer Inc. 2:57
15. I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked; Geoffrey O'Hara; G. Schirmer, Inc. 4:25
16. All in the April Evening; Words by Katherine Tynan Hinkson; Music by
Hugh S. Roberton ; Theodore Presser Company 3:27
17. The Way You Look Tonight; (from Swing Time); Jerome Kern;
International Pub. Inc. and Aldi Music Company 2:54
18. I Hear a Rhapsody (from Casa Manana);George Frajos, Jack Baker
and Dick Gasparre, 1940; Hal Leonard Corp. 3:32
19. Why Was I Born? (from Sweet Adeline);Jerome Kern; International Pub. Inc. 2:37
20. Sweet Betsy From Pike; Traditional (Digital clicks are audible) 2:05
21. Siboney; Ernesto Lecuona: Lyrics Theodora Morse; EMI Feist Catalog 2:26
22 Make Believe Land; Ken Black Solo; Composer, Mark Hurley; Warner Bros. Music (Originally Recorded by Nat King Cole on Capitol Records 1747) 3:57
23. Who Knows? Marjorie King and Ken Black; (from Rosalie); Cole Porter;
Chappell and Co. 2:23
24. Maria Wiegenlied, "The Virgin's Slumber Song"; Max Reger 3:46
1. Estralita or Star of Love by Manuel Ponce, 1914; Associated Music
2. Thanksgiving medley; Traditional 3:55
3. Over the River and Through the Woods; Lydia Maria Child 3:28
4. Vienna Blood; Johann Strauss (Opus 354 - 1871) Lyricist unknown
Lyrics possibly from, Sangue Viennese (1942) Directed by Willy Forst 2:43
5. Moonlight Mood; Ken Black soloist, Peter L. De Rose; EMI Robbins Catalog3:22
6. Who are We to Say, Ken Black and Marjorie King duet, (from the film The Girl of the Golden West); Sigmund Romberg; EMI Feist Catalog Inc. 3:15
7. Romany Life; Victor Herbert; Warner Bros. Music 3:23
Biography of Marjorie Christiansen King
Marjorie Christiansen was born in August of 1923 in Denmark Township at the rural Iowa town of Ringsted. She was the third child of Nels and Thora Christiansen. Her older siblings were Pearl and Merrill. Pearl was nine years older and Merrill was seven years older.
The family was musical. Marjorie's father played clarinet and fiddle while Pearl played piano. The evenings at the Christiansen household were spent listening to the radio and making music.
Marjorie began her singing career in church. Pearl taught her songs and when she was older she sang at church on Christmas, Easter and Children's Day.
In the fall of 1928 she began the first grade in the little country school house about three fourths of a mile south of her farm home. (The Christiansen farm was located two miles east and one mile north of Ringsted.) Her first teacher was her Aunt Edna's sister, Carol.
One teacher taught all the grades, cleaned the school, and took care of the furnace and extracurricular activities. She had three more teachers after the first grade.
The year she was in sixth grade the County Superintendent decided the country schools should have a music and declamatory competition. Marjorie sang a solo, a duet with her friend, and entered the dramatic division. She competed in her own school with her classmates. The winners went on to compete in districts and then to finals in Estherville, Iowa. Marjorie won in the finals in her solo, duet and dramatic presentation. The next year she did it all again. In the eighth grade they eliminated the dramatic section so she did a humorous reading. She won the humorous reading, the duet with the sister of her sixth grade friend and the solo contest. The final elimination was at Estherville in the afternoon and a final performance at night for the public. By eighth grade people knew her name and her competitors were glad to see her graduate.
Eighth grade students from Emmet County had their graduation exercises at Estherville where they received awards and diplomas. Marjorie received awards in music, drama and scholarship.
Marjorie's love of performing continued into high school. She sang in choir, girls trio, and a sextet. She took dramatic readings to contest. She had the lead in both the junior and senior class plays. She received a first division rating at nationals in voice her senior year. Her brother, Merrill, drove her to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the finals.
During high school her father decided she should have voice lessons. A lady he knew in Estherville had played violin professionally on the lyceum circuit. Emmaline Marie Gaarde, Marjorie's teacher, was a perfectionist and Marjorie respected her. Emma opened the world of music to Marjorie and prepared her well for her theory classes at Drake University. Marjorie won a music scholarship at Drake in voice. Marjorie was always grateful to her sister, Pearl, for the songs she taught her and to Emma for the formal teaching that continued in high school.
(Emmaline Marie Gaarde attended school in Armstrong, Iowa. She continued her studies at St. Clara Academy in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. She later studied with Ludwig Becker of the Chicago Symphony. Emma toured the United States and Canada as a violin soloist with the Lyceum Chautauqua and Redpath Chautauqua. Emma studied and taught at the Minneapolis College of Music. She earned a degree in Public School Music. She was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon professional music sorority. The History of Emmet Co., Iowa).
(Pearl Christiansen Glasnapp. Pearl was nine years older than Marjorie. Pearl had taken piano lessons for several years and was well prepared to assist in Marjorie's vocal lessons. Pearl was a full time piano accompanist during Marjorie's upbringing and until she went to Drake University. Pearl provided vocal coaching and a critical ear to daily practice.)
Marjorie continued her education at Drake University in the Spring of 1940. Her voice teacher was Genevieve Wheat Baal. The choral director at Drake University and University Christian Church was Stanford Hulshizer. Marjorie became soprano soloist at University Christian. She also performed The Messiah at Drake and at Des Moines area churches. The Drake Men's Quartet often featured her. She also sang in the Drake Women's Trio.
Marjorie was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon honorary music sorority, Phi Mu Gamma, and the Margaret Fuller club. She was elected to Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges for 1943-44.
Marjorie was a studio musician and soloist at WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa during her years at Drake and later. She sang solos and with the Songfellows men's quartet. The Songfellows were Stewart Steelman, Harris White, Keith Booth and Ken Black. Bill Austin was the arranger and accompanist. The group sang daily on WHO and with live performances at the Iowa Barn Dance Frolic on Saturday nights.
Marjorie and several women performed with The Songfellows to form a chorus. They were Juanita Dochem, Harriet Moore and Ruth Howe. Together, they were the Chevrolet Chorus.
In 1944 Marjorie won the Phil Spitalny contest locally and traveled to New York City for the finals. She was accompanied to New York by her teacher, Genevieve Wheat Baal. Marjorie was one of twelve finalists that performed on a nation wide radio broadcast. Her music for the "Hour of Charm" was "Shadow Dance" from "Dinorah" by Meyerbeer. The live recording is track two on the first disc.
Marjorie and her husband, William King, eventually moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Marjorie performed live music for WMT radio in Cedar Rapids. The 1950's began the end for live studio broadcasts. The recording industry had taken hold with vinyl records lasting much longer than acetate. Stereo was only a few years away.
Marjorie continued in music in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with the Cantata Singers, Bach Singers, Beethoven Music Club, Mu Phi Alumni Group, and private teaching. She also taught vocal music at Springville Elementary School in Springville, Iowa. She was choir director at First Presbyterian Church in Marion, Iowa. As a member of Mu Phi Epsilon Alumni she served as the District Director of the North Central Province.
Marjorie E. Christiansen King died in July of 1993. She was survived by her husband, three children and two grandchildren. (Her husband, William H. King, died July 2003)
The Songfellows were already nationally known when they joined WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa. They performed live on WGN and NBC in Chicago as the Apollo Club Quartet during their years at Illinois Wesleyan University, (Bloomington, Illinois). They were the first men's college chorus to perform live on radio. The graduation years from Illinois Wesleyan University were: Harris White (1935), Keith Booth (1938), and Stuart Steelman (1935). Kenneth Black was a graduate of Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois (1938).
All copyright clearance fees have been paid to the appropriate copyright owners.
This work is intended to be an historical and educational compilation of a period in radio broadcasting history. The quality of the recordings is the best achievable with the technology available.
Key words: Vintage Radio, Old Time Radio, OTR, Vintage Vinyl
Public Radio, Golden Age of Radio, Hour of Charm, Bel Canto, light opera.
1. Twenty Four Hours of Sunshine
2. Ombre Legere (The Shadow Song)
3. Kiss Me Again
4. Sweet Summer Dreams
5. Mother Dear
6. Lullaby OP 57, No. 2
7. Ou va la jeune Indoue (The Bell Song)
8. Stormy Weather
10. I'll Follow My Secret Heart
11. Love Is Where You Find It.
12. Italian Street Song
13. With a Song in My Heart
14. The Lord's Prayer
15. I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked
16. All in the April Evening
17. The Way You Look Tonight
18. I Hear a Rhapsody
19. Why Was I Born?
20. Sweet Betsy From Pike
22. Make Believe Land
23. Who Knows?
24. Maria Wiegenlied
25. Estralita (Star of Love)
26. Thanksgiving Medley
27. Over the River and Through the Woods