Phil Spitalny runs his girls through the paces! The card above allows loyal listeners to pick their favorites, and you can tune in and see if the women play your pick on the radio JUST FOR YOU!
For a time, the centerpiece of the all-woman band was Evelyn and her magic violin…she actually chose the musicians, but other than playing hot fiddle solos stayed behind her man…that being Mr. Spitalny, she stayed quiet. The radio show around ten years apparently, which is a miracle when you think of it. Why? Because female musicians sound just like any musician on the radio! I guess Phil didn't think of that. But then, you couldn't see Edgar Bergen not move his mouth on the radio while Charlie the dummy spoke either, and he made a bundle! Oh well…the yokels bought it.
According to the "Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio" Phil made the women weigh under 122 pounds when they auditioned and there was a committee to approve dates. I don't find any record of Phil doing any "couch" auditions, but he did eventually marry Evelyn! Her last name was reported in the New York Times with her obit. Thank you, paper of record. Nearly every mention of Evelyn omits her last name.
Phil also forced the group to rehearse six hours a day, and if any of the women had the gall to get married, they had to give 6 months notice! Like ALL musicians, Phil was short. I know, a stereotype. But he was 5 foot 3 inches tall. I am more than sure a good handful of the workers were taller…and I am also sure a good many of them could kick his ass.
Fortunately there is a hot rag filmed record! Check out a few lifts of the action! I think this is from an Abbot and Costello film.
The stars of the show, all women, and shown here on the Radio of Yesterday site. Most of them are real knock-outs, and the drummer Viola is leaning into her kit like a churning train.
Request Postcard for the Hour of Charm Radio Show Collection Jim Linderman