Tuesday, December 1, 2015

47. No Television in 1945 But We Were Entertained

According to a website titled The History of Film, Television and Video, http://www.high-techproductions.com/historyoftelevision.htm there were fewer than 7,000 working TV sets in the country in 1945. If there were any TVs in Gettysburg in 1945 when we were growing up there, neither Nancy or I knew about it. 

The first TV we remember was in the window of Baker’s Battery Service on Baltimore Street which was one of the first stores to sell TVs in Gettysburg. Because there were only nine stations on the air in 1945, and the closest was in Philadelphia, we doubt if there was a TV in Baker’s window at that time.

In 1945 we found our entertainment in school activities, listening to music on the radio and records and going to the movies. It was not unusual to attend two movies a week, and each show included a cartoon and a newsreel as well as the feature film.

The Academy Award for the best film of 1945 was Lost Weekend, the story about an alcoholic writer on a four-day bender. Our favorite that year was Anchors Aweigh, a musical comedy starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. Both movies are available on YouTube.

Nancy’s diaries reveal that she often listened to Your Hit Parade, a radio program that aired on Saturday nights. The popular program, sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes, played the most popular songs from the previous week. The two most popular songs in 1945, remained at number one for nine weeks. They were Till the End of Time by Perry Como and Sentimental Journey by Les Brown.  

Despite the lack of TV in 1945, we were always entertained.

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