TEX AND JINX Radio & Television BROADCAST HISTORY:
April 22, 1946- February 27, 1959.
WEAF (WNBC, WRCA), New York weekdays at 8:30 A.M. until 1954; at 1:00pm,1954-1955; then at 6:30 and 10:35pm until July 31, 1958, moving briefly to WOR, broadcasting at 2:15pm.
Tex McCrary opens the broadcast introducing both of Jinx's guests, Dean Martin (30 years old), and Jerry Lewis (22 years old). Jinx Falkenburg asks both Dean and Jerry to describe themselves so radio audiences will be able to know them apart. They each also describe the other. Jerry says that his high voice is because he gets excited .
Jerry describes his monogrammed shirt which says "Child Star."
Jinx mentions that there has been a lot of praise for the team coming from the likes of Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan. Dean and Jerry relate how they first came together and their big breakthrough when they played the 500 Club in Atlantic City. They recall how in the beginning Sophie Tucker caught their act at the Riobamba in New York and encouraged them to not give up.
Jumping to the present, Jerry relates to their current act at the Copacabana and the structure of their act...Jerry always going on solo at first, followed by Dean singing three songs, and then extemporaneous bedlam between them both.
Jinx asks Jerry about the very beginning of his career when he first worked in the Catskills at the Brown's Hotel where he worked for $30 a month. He states that his jobs consisted of working as a Social Director, Bus Boy, Athletic Director, Waiter, and three times a week Entertainer in the Social Hall.
Following the coaxing and suggestion of agent Abby Greshler Jerry states how he began a solo act and for $3.00 a night did shows at local hotels.
Dean is asked about his beginnings. He states that he was from Steubenville Ohio where he worked in pool halls...was a gas station attendant and bundled 16" hot coils in a steel mill.
He remembers going to the Walker's Cafe every Saturday night and singing there. One day an orchestra leader asked him to play with his band and Dean accepted. He remembers the first song he ever sung, "Blue Moon."
Dean recalls his first solo singing job in 1944 following Frank Sinatra at the Riobamba night club on 57th Street in Manhattan. Shortly, through his roommate, Sunny King, he met Jerry by chance where a few years would lapse before they would finally work together as a team creating a breakthrough engagement at the 500 Club.
Originally, Dean and Jerry worked separately on the same show at the Havana Madrid in New York City ( Broadway 50th and 51st Street where thirty five years later on the very spot the adult film Gerry Damiano's The Satisfiers' of Alpha Blue" premiered at the AVON 7 theater in 1981).
Jinx asks Jerry to describe the teams current act at the Copacabana which also showcases the Four Vagabonds. Dean mentions that they have no writers and much of what is performed is made up "on the spot."
Briefly discussed is their current radio series, "The Martin and Lewis Show" that just began last month on WNBC. Dean mentions that they hope to bring the spirit of their nightclub act to radio. So far they have not gotten there.
Jinx asks about the motion picture Dean and Jerry are making called "My Friend Irma." (premiere of the film took place almost five months after this radio broadcast, September 28, 1949).
Wrapping up this rare and revealing interview Dean Martin does his impression of Clark Gable and Jerry Lewis does his impression of Barry Fitzgerald to an amused Jinx Falkenburg.
Both Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis had been traveling the same night club circuit and appeared many times on the same show but separately. One night Dean Martin, whose career had been taking off had been booked as the headliner at the Havana - Madrid night spot, but the comic for the show, originally his other roommate, Alan King, bombed, and Jerry Lewis was brought on as his replacement. Billboard wrote a stellar review calling the twosome act as "hilarious brilliance." The rest is history.
This recording comes from the original 1949 master 16" Electronic Disc (ET) disposed of by Tex and Jinx, when they ended their radio show in 1959. It ended up in the possession of the final producer of the show, Barry Farber. He also had little interest keeping this disc and discarded it along with 75 other Tex and Jinx radio show discs when in 1960 he went on to host his own talk show on WOR Radio.
TEX AND JINX SHOW:
In addition to the Kollmars (Dorothy Kilgallen and husband Richard Kollmar) and the Fitzgeralds (Pegeen and husband Ed Fitzgerald), another well-recognized New York couple, newlyweds Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenburg, added their own bread-and-bacon banter to the local airwaves between 1946 and 1959. Their gabfest, initially Hi Jinx but later revised to Tex and Jinx, was beamed over WEAF which was subsequently re-lettered WNBC and later WRCA. In limited doses, the flagship outlet of the National Broadcasting Company transmitted Meet Tex and Jinx to the whole country during 1947 and 1948.
Tex and Jinx devoted most of their airtime to lofty and noble concepts, visitors and sidebars. Tex and Jinx [on WEAF-WNBC-WRCA] were interviewing Bernard Baruch, Margaret Truman, or Ethel Waters…. McCrary built the show on the assumption that the early morning audience was not stupid, as programmers generally assumed; that people in general had fresher minds and were more open to serious topics at the beginning of the day.”
Their joint radio venture began in April 1946 just 10 months following their nuptials (June 10, 1945). Launched as a breakfast feature, the series later shifted to afternoons and finally into the evening hours before departing the ether a dozen years afterward. They were branded by one journalist “Mr. Brains and Mrs. Beauty.”
In early 1947 NBC put them on its television network as a portion of a Sunday evening quarter-hour dubbed Bristol-Myers Tele-Varieties. “The McCrarys were naturals for TV,” wrote a reviewer, “with their combination of friendly chatter, interviews, and features.” That summer the web awarded them an exclusive Sunday night half-hour format under the appellation At Home with Tex and Jinx. A decade later, in the 1957-58 season, the duo hosted a daytime NBC-TV showcase, The Tex and Jinx Show.
When hepatitis sidetracked Falkenburg in 1958 from their broadcast commitments, McCrary carried on solo on their radio show for another couple of years. In the 1980s, however, the couple separated, remaining on genial terms. McCrary died in New York on July 29, 2003 and Falkenburg expired just 29 days later in the same city, on August 27, 2003.
The scores of TEX AND JINX SHOWS archived by Archival Television Audio, Inc. were originally obtained as original 16" Electronic Discs from Barry Farber, producer of the show (1957-1959), in 1960 after he had begun his own career in front of the mike at WINS Radio. These discs were subsequently transferred to 1/4" reel to reel tape, and then disposed. These broadcasts are rare and represent the largest known collection of TEX AND JINX extant broadcasts in the world.
Today's Guests: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis interviewed by Jinx Falkenburg. This is the earliest known BRAODCAST INERVIEW given and recorded with the team of Martin and Lewis, less than two years after they appeared on Ed Sullivan's first "TOAST OF THE TOWN" television show (June 20, 1948).