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Curator's Note: Below you'll find what I presume a script looked like during radio's Golden Age---though I can't be certain, since that age ended long before I entered the business.

Unfortunately, some of the material had to be cut during the course of the broadcast to make up for the time consumed by long-winded acceptance speeches delivered by several of the Radio Hall of Fame inductees. Such excisions---made on the fly---are to be expected in live broadcasts of this nature.

Specifically, the sad tale of Charles "Doc" Herrold did not make air. After the first segment ran three minutes over budget, I decided, during the commercial break that followed, to cut it---knowing that there was little else later in the script that could be gracefully eliminated. The Herrold segment was revived for the 1997 production.



BOHANNON: Live from Chicago! It's the Radio Hall of Fame Awards! Radio's biggest stars on radio's biggest night!

Tonight we honor sportscaster Jack Brickhouse--Federal Communications Commissioner James Quello---anchor/correspondent Susan Stamberg---talk-show host Jerry Williams---and the late Wolfman Jack!

[MUSIC: GFO plays first sixteen bars of "OF THEE I SING"]

[MUSIC: Under at measure 8 for announce]

BOHANNON [over music which continues]: And tonight we pay special tribute to MUSIC ON THE AIR!

[MUSIC UP FULL to end of first sixteen bars of "OF THEE I SING"]


BOHANNON: Also with us tonight: Nationally-syndicated talk show host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger---Chicago Cubs baseball great Ron Santo---UPI White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas---broadcast executive Ed McLaughlin---Chicago Cubs baseball great Ron Santo---and rock and roll legend Johnny Rivers.

Tonight's Radio Hall of Fame awards is brought to you by Sears---[where America shops]

And now let's welcome our host for the evening---from Westwood One Radio Networks, a 1992 inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame---ladies and gentlemen, the King of the Countdowns, Casey Kasem!

[ORCHESTRA PLAYS and CHORUS SINGS 16 bar coda of "OF THEE I SING" as KASEM enters]

CHORUS: Of thee I sing, baby!

You have got that certain thing, baby!

Shining star and inspiration,

Worthy of a mighty nation,

Of thee I sing!

[APPLAUSE as KASEM walks on]


KASEM: Thank you, Jim Bohannon. And good evening. ladies and gentlemen---those of you here tonight in the landmark Chicago Cultural Center---and those of you listening from coast to coast.

During the next hour, we will induct five new members onto the Radio Hall of Fame---the nation's only Radio Hall of Fame, which each year honors broadcast pioneers, contemporary personalities, as well as those who work off-mike---but who've made significant contributions to the art, science and business of radio.

And tonight we'll pay a special tribute to the MUSIC you hear on the radio.

We're doing that because---in just a few weeks---we'll mark the nintieth anniversary of the first transmission of MUSIC over the airwaves.

And how did that come to pass? Listen...



KASEM: In the beginning of radio, there were dots and dashes---and nothing more. Telegraph operators pounding brass keys, turning an electromagnetic wave on and off in a CODE..

And many scientists figured that was all radio could ever be---a wireless TELEGRAPH.


KASEM: [continues without pause]: But there was a Canadian inventor named Reginald Fessenden who believed that RADIO could also be a wireless TELEPHONE---that radio could transmit the human VOICE and the MUSIC made by human beings.

Fessenden spent endless hours in his laboratory, smoking thick, black cigars, drawing up plans for devices MOST people believed would never work.

One such device Fessenden called an "ALTERNATOR."---which he believed could create electromagnetic waves of such purity that speech, and music---and ALL the sounds the human ear was capable of hearing---could be superimposed on them and transmitted to distant points.

General Electric built an alternator according to Fessenden's specifications. And early in 1906, G.E. shipped it to the wireless telegraph station Fessenden ran at Brant Rock Massachusetts. General Electric didn't think the alternator would work.

Throughout the spring, summer and fall of 1906, Fessenden tinkered with this device until he was certain it WOULD work.

And when winter arrived, Fessenden---who had a flair for the theatrical---was ready to put it to a dramatic test.


The Brant Rock station typically sent messages to banana boats of the United Fruit Company---in code, of course. But on Christmas Eve of 1906, Reginald Fessenden would send them something else---something never before transmitted by wireless.

On that December 24th, Fessenden connected his alternator to an antenna that rose 430 feet above the sea coast. At 9 pm---the usual hour for the transmission of messages---he turned on the power.

But then, instead of pounding on a brass telegraph key, Fessenden switched on a MICROPHONE. And he grabbed his fiddle---for he was an amateur violinist---and stepped BEFORE that microphone. And he began to play a song he considered appropriate for Christmas eve---


[MUSIC: Solo violinist begins to play "O, Holy Night". Piano joins in at measure 5/MUSIC UNDER]

KASEM: In a dozen radio shacks on a dozen banana boats, a dozen wireless operators listened to the violin---in disbelief.

[MUSIC UP FULL then at measure 8 MUSIC UNDER]

KASEM: And some of those operators yelled up to the bridge: "CAPTAIN! Come down here!! There's something strange coming over the wireless!"

[MUSIC UP FULL: String quartet joins in at measure 11. Clarinets join in at measure 15/MUSIC UNDER]

KASEM: The radio shacks filled with crew members. They passed around the headphones. And not one who listened could believe what he was hearing.

[MUSIC UP FULL: brass enter quietly at measure 19. Crescendo with FFF climax at measure 23. BREAK on beat 3 of measure 24. ABSOLUTE SILENCE!]

KASEM: And that was the first time music was EVER transmitted over the radio. And every note that has been transmitted since is---in some way---descended from those notes Reginald Fessenden played on his violin---on Christmas Eve, 1906.

[MUSIC: Solo violin plays three eighth-note pickups going into measure 25 where string quartet joins in, playing pianissimo to end of "O, Holy Night"]


KASEM: Now it's time for tonight's first induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Here to introduce our first inductee is a woman whose voice you all know. For she is the woman who, at the end of each presidential press conference, says "Thank you, Mr. President.

We are honored to welcome UPI White House Bureau Chief, Helen Thomas!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "One" as Helen Thomas walks on]

THOMAS: [introduces STAMBERG]


THOMAS: The Radio Hall of Fame is proud to induct NPR's Susan Stamberg!

[MUSIC: GFO plays 8 or 16 bars of "All Things Considered Theme']

STAMBERG: [remarks]

[MUSIC: GFO plays portion of "Sing, Sing, Sing" as STAMBERG walks off/MUSIC UNDER]

BOHANNON: The Radio Hall of Fame returns with Dr. Laura Schlessinger---and more of our salute to music on the air---after these messages...




KASEM: This is Casey Kasem back at the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago's Cultural Center---where we now pay tribute to another pioneer broadcaster of music---


KASEM: Listen to this voice---and the words of a broadcast pioneer whose name has been all but forgotten...

[AUDIOCART: "HERROLD I"---voice of CHARLES HERROLD recorded in 1945

HERROLD: I am particularly proud that the dream we had for radio as an entertainment medium has materialized]

KASEM: That's the voice of Charles Herrold, recorded in 1945 when he was 70 years old. Thirty-seven years earlier, Charles Herrold---better known as "Doc"---became the first man to broadcast music on a regular basis. And here's how it happened.

[MUSIC: GFO plays intro to a Scott Joplin's "PINEAPPLE RAG". After intro, UNDER and continue under narration]

KASEM: The time was 1912 and the place was San Jose, California---where Doc ran the "Herrold College of Wireless and Engineering". Doc taught young men how to send dots and dashes so they could become wireless operators.

But Doc also tinkered with new and better ways of sending voice and music over the air. Doc built what he called an "ARC-PHONE"---a bunch of sputtering carbon arcs to which he attached a water-cooled microphone.

When Doc was convinced that this contraption could reliably transmit voice and music, he was struck by a revolutionary idea. What if he were to schedule his transmissions at a regular time---and direct them to people with receiving devices in their homes?

In 1912, that's exactly what Doc started to do. Every Wednesday night at 9 p.m., Doc transmitted what he called a RADIO PROGRAM. His listeners? Mostly his students.

And his PROGRAMS? Well, Doc would start out by reading some news clips from the paper. And then his wife Sybil would announce and play phonograph records on their wind-up Victrola. Sybil borrowed the records from the music store down the street. In exhange for the use of the records, Doc would tell his audience that if they liked the music they had just heard, they could go to the store and buy copies of their own.

The folks at the music store noted an increase in business following Doc's programs..

Oh---another thing. Doc's listeners could CALL IN and REQUEST that a certain record be played.

Sound familiar? Isn't this what we disk jockeys have been doing all these years? Just remember: Doc and Sybil Herrold did it first. And they might have gone on to become the world's first COMMERCIAL broadcasters, had it not been for World War I.

In the Spring of 1917, the government ordered all but military stations off the air for the duration of the conflict.


And so those weekly Doc and Sybil shows faded into the static---never more to return.

Radio, of course, returned after the war. With new and improved technologies.

Radio, after the war, was a whole new ball game. But Doc Herrold couldn't quite figure out the rules. He acquired a license to operate station KQW in San Jose---but couldn't meet the payroll.

And then his beloved Sybil left him, married another man and took custody of their only child.

Doc Herrold spent his last days working as a security guard in the Oakland Shipyards, his contributions to our medium forgotten.

Only recently have historians rediscovered Doc.

So as we end this tribute, listen one final time to the voice of Charles "Doc" Herrold---broadcast pioneer:


HERROLD: I am happy to have been the first man to broadcast radio entertainment on a regular schedule.]


KASEM: Now it's time for our next induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. And for that honor we welcome one of radio's newest stars---nationally syndicated on 350 stations, from SBI Broadcasting International, Dr. Laura Schlessinger!.

[MUSIC: GFO plays eight bars of "NEW ATTITUDE"]

SCHLESSINGER: In Boston there is probably a greater concentration of deans than in any other city in the world.

There are deans at Harvard, at Radcliffe, at Boston University and Brandeis---to name just a few of the places where Boston's deans abound.

But you'll find Boston's most unique dean in the studios of WRKO radio. His name is Jerry Williams. And he is the dean of talk radio.

Unlike Boston's academic deans who have tenure, Jerry Williams has longevity---as witness by his fifty years in broadcasting.

Jerry's career began in 1946 when he signed on as an announcer with WCYB in Bristol, Tennessee.

Radio was still in its golden age, dominated by the networks. But during Jerry's first decade in broadcasting, the business changed radically. The networks shifted their attention to television. Increasingly, local radio stations had to develop their own programming.

Basically, there were two ways a local station could go. Personalities could play records. Or personalities could talk. Jerry Williams started talking. He hasn't stopped. He's talked his way up and down the Eastern seaboard---and into the Midwest. In Boston he's logged close to thirty-one years at the mike---the last decade-and-a-half at WRKO.

When Jerry started doing talk radio, program hosts were called "moderators." They were expected to be neutral with respect to the issues they were discussing. But early on Jerry decided there was no reason why the host should not adopt a point of view and express it forcefully.

One of Jerry's former colleagues at WBBM in Chicago recalls hearing Jerry on the air there for the first time in the middle 'sixties. "He was provocative," that fellow-worker says. "There had never been anything like that in this town."

But that former colleague adds something very important. "Jerry also listened," he tells us. "He listened to his guests and his callers." And the fact that Jerry is both provocative and a good listener may explain, better than anything, why Jerry Williams has longevity.

So now let us listen---to Jerry Williams...


SCHLESSINGER: The Radio Hall of Fame is proud to induct Jerry Williams of WRKO, Boston!


WILLIAMS: [remarks]

[MUSIC: GFO plays more "YAKETY-YAK"/UNDER and then into break]

BOHANNON: You're listening to the "Radio Hall of Fame" Broadcast---live from Chicago! And we'll tell you how you can join the Radio Hall of Fame and vote for next year's inductees later in this broadcast.



[MUSIC: GFO plays "Sing, Sing, Sing"]

KASEM: This is Casey Kasem back at the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago where out awards continue.

Every year the Radio Hall of Fame inducts an individual who, though not an on-air personality, has nonetheless made an extraordinary contribution to the medium.

Here to present this year's award in that category is the very man who received it last year. He's a broadcasting legend---the chief executive of EFM Media, which brings you Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Dean Edell. Ladies and Gentlemen, Edward F. McLaughlin!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "Broadway" as McLaughlin walks on]

McLAUGHLIN: Over the past several years, FCC Commissioner James Quello has been describing himself as a "fugitive from the actuarial law of averages".When he is asked if there is a single word that describes him, he suggests that the adjective "venerable" is appropriate.

The Commissioner's characterizations of himself suggest that he has "been there and done that." Indeed he has--for many years as a broadcaster...and for the past fifteen as a regulator.

James Quello entered the radio business in 1945 when he joined the promotion department at WXYZ in Detroit. His career immediately took off with the speed of the Lone Ranger and Silver---who worked just down the hall.

In 1947 he signed on with WJR. And when Capitol Cities Broadcasting acquired the station in 1964, he served as general manager of its WJR division and as a vice-president of the parent corporation.

Because he was so thoroughly regulated as a broadcaster, James Quello has perhaps become a more empathic regulator as an FCC Commissioner. His was perhaps the perfect appointment back in 1981 as America moved into the age of deregulation---a phenomenon of which he has been an outspoken champion.

Comissioner Quello and his four colleagues face their greatest challenge today--- implementing the mandates of the Communications Act of 1996.

What they are presently doing will have a greater impact on broadcasters and their audiences than anything the Commission has done since its creation sixty-two years ago.

Tonight we make our addition to the long list of awards the Commissioner has received. And as we present it to him, we ask in return only that he share a few words of his wisdom with us.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Radio Hall of Fame is proud to induct FCC Commissioner James H. Quello!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "Michigan State Fight Song"/MUSIC UNDER]

QUELLO: [remarks]

[MUSIC: GFO plays "Michigan State Fight Song"/UNDER announce and continue into break]

BOHANNON: If you'd like to find out more about the Radio Hall of Fame and learn how you can vote for next year's inductees' please call 1-800-723-8289. That number again: 1-800-723-8289.



[MUSIC: GFO plays "Sing, Sing, Sing"/MUSIC UNDER]

KASEM: Back at the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago's culural center, it's time for a radio musical quiz.

The question: "Who was the hottest musical star on radio in 1924?" The answer, of course, is Harry M. Snodgrass---for Harry M. Snodgrass played piano on the radio like nobody else!

[MUSIC: GFO pianist plays four bars in a funky stride or barrel-house style]

KASEM: Now, you may wonder where could you FIND Harry M. Snodgrass in 1924. On the staff of a powerful radio station? No, in 1924, you would have found Harry M. Snodgrass behind bars at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. Harry Snodgrass was a convicted felon. Even so, he was one of the most popular radio performers of 1924!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "March of Time Bridge"]

Now, back in 1923 police in Saint Louis nabbed Harry Snodgrass in the midst of an armed robbery. He was sentenced to three years in prison. And that was the best thing that EVER happened to Harry Snodgrass.

How so? Well, the day Harry checked into the Missouri State Penitentiary, prison officials learned that he was an accomplished jazz pianist...

[MUSIC: GFO pianist plays another four bar break]

KASEM: And so the warden immediately made Harry a member of the prison band. This band was the hottest group you could imagine. And it had a nationwide reputation. Thanks to radio!

[MUSIC: GFO plays intro to "CHARLESTON BACK TO CHARLESTON" and stops]

KASEM: You see, the prison was located not far from the studios of radio station WOS, owned by the Missouri State Marketing Bureau. WOS, to keep its programming costs at a minimum, used PRISON LABOR to provide its listeners entertainment.

So every Wednesday night, members of the prison band were let out of their cells. And they were marched to the WOS studio, located just beneath the dome of the Missouri State Capitol Building.

And then, from nine to ten, this assortment of thugs---some of whom were serving life sentences--- would play their hearts out. And listeners across the nation would marvel at what I can only call----GANGSTA MUSIC.


KASEM: These broadcasts were heard in all forty-eight states. Two-thousand letters followed in the mail each week.

"Take the band out of jail---they ought to be in heaven", wrote one listener.

"Buy the boys a box of cigars and send me the bill," wrote another.

But the highlight of each broadcast was the moment when Harry M. Snodgrass sat down at the piano and played a solo. It was these weekly performances that earned Harry the title, "King of the Ivories."

[MUSIC: GFO pianist plays another four-bar break]

Listeners sent Harry Snodgrass cigarettes, candy, clothing. Ladies sent him offers of marriage. And the folks in radio land sent this would-be armed robber thousands of dollars in cash!

Harry's fan mail so swamped prison officials that they had little time left for either punishment or rehabilitation.

And so finally, prison officials decided that, even though they had Harry locked into a three-year contract, they would have to release him from it---just so they could get back to business.

Harry's final radio appearance was January 14th, 1925. A studio audience was invited. The audience was so large that the program was held in the chamber of the Missouri Capitol Building where the State General Assembly usually met.

That night, Harry stepped to the mike, thanked his listeners and promised to "make good" on the outside. The warden handed Harry a check for three-thousand-five-hundred dollars---every penny sent in by Harry's invisible audience.

And then Harry sat down at the piano and played one last hot lick...


KASEM: Shortly thereafter, Harry Snodgrass walked into freedom---and became a vaudeville headliner---a productive member of society---thanks to RADIO!


KASEM: In addition to the sound of music over the airwaves, another sound that's never failed to thrill listeners is the roar of the crowd---from basketball courts, baseball diamonds and football fields. For years on the radio there was one voice you could always hear above the roar of the crowd---it belongs to our next inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Here to introduce him is a gentleman who's successfully moved from from the ball field to the broadcast booth. Formerly one of the greatest third-basemen for the Chicago Cubs---now a part of WGN Radio---Ladies and gentlemen---Ron Santo!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "Take Me out to the Ball Game"]

SANTO: If you were to walk out the door of this building and head north on Michigan Avenue, you'd discover that just north of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the name of the Magnificent Mile changes. The sign post will tell you that you're walking on "Jack Brickhouse Way"---for that is the name Michigan takes on for a block or so.

Now, to have a street named after you in this town you have to be somebody. Somebody like a great patriot or a president..

Or you have to be a really nice guy---and acknowledged as such by millions.

The street named "Jack Brickhouse Way" runs by the Tribune Tower. And on that block back in 1934, radio station WGN opened one of the most opulent broadcasting facilities that ever adorned radio's golden age.

It was through the doors of WGN that Jack Brickhouse first walked in the year 1940---a twenty-four year old young man who had broken into broadcasting four years earlier at station WMBD in his home town of Peoria.

At WGN, Jack Brickhouse became a Jack-of-all-trades. He executed station breaks. He introduced big bands from live remotes.

But there was one area in which Jack immediately excelled---and that was when he was assigned to cover sporting events. And it was in play-by-play sports that Jack Brickhouse made a mark as indelible as one could imagine. First on radio. And then on television.

And so, over four decades, millions of Chicagoans and tens of millions of Americans came to know Jack Brickhouse---through WGN, through the Mutual Broadcasting System, through the DuMont Television Network---and, in the age of sattelites, through cable television.

Back when Jack was doing the man-on-the-street show in Peoria, he probably never dreamed that some day a street in Chicago would be named after him.

But there is one dream he has long harbored---a dream which has not yet come true. And that dream is to be sitting before a mike in a booth during the last game of the World Series, calling the play by which the Chicago Cubs clinch the world championship.

That hasn't happened yet. But, hey, wait until next year. Or, perhaps I should say, "HEY, HEY!"


SANTO: Ladies and gentlemen, the Radio Hall of Fame is proud to induct Jack Brickhouse of WGN Radio, Chicago!


BRICKHOUSE: [remarks]

[MUSIC: GFO plays "HIT THE ROAD, JACK" continuing into break]

BOHANNON: Coming up next at the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago---Rock and Roll legend Johnny Rivers and the howlings of Wolfman Jack!

[MUSIC: GFO continues "HIT THE ROAD, JACK" into break]



[MUSIC: GFO plays "Sing, Sing, Sing"/MUSIC UNDER]

KASEM: Never over the nine decades that music has been transmitted over the air has mucis been presented by a more unique personality than the one we honor now. He is gone---but his howlings still echo.

Here to induct him tonight into the Radio Hall of Fame is a close friend---and a Rock and Roll legend whose sold thirty-million records. His hits include 'Secret Agent Man,' 'Poor Side of Town' and 'Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu.' Ladies and gentlemen---direct from MEMPHIS---here's JOHNNY RIVERS!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "MEMPHIS" as RIVERS enters...then under and out]

RIVERS: How many of you out there had the privilege of hearing Wolfman Jack on the radio back in 1964 when he was blasting across North America from XERF just across the border from Del Rio, Texas?

Do you remember what it was like to hear him howl for the first time?

Had you ever heard a voice like that?

Had you ever heard anybody yell "GET NAKED" on the radio before?

The quarter-million watts of XERF---and the million watts of the Wolfman's talent--- turned Wolfman Jack into a legend.

For years we wondered about the man behind that voice. Was he white? Was he black? Was he even human?

Finally---in 1973 when he was tapped by a young director named George Lucas to appear in the film "American Graffiti---we saw the Wolfman for the first time. And that was enough to turn Wolfman the legend into Wolfman the cult figure. And that was enough to launch the Wolfman---and the down-home music he played---into the entertainment mainstream. And so millions regularly heard him on his syndicated radio shows and saw him on NBC television's "Midnight Special."

The real Wolfman was Robert Weston Smith---born in 1938 in New York into an upper- middle class family that disintegrated when he was a child on account of his parents' divorce. That trauma was something he never forgot. And what kept his own life from disintegrating was an obsessive desire to become a disk jockey.

Smith learned most of his craft in the School of Hard knocks---though he did place first in his class at the National Academy of Broadcasting.

In his early broadcasting years, he worked under the name of "Daddy Jules" in Norfolk and "Big Smith" in Shreveport. And by his side as he moved from one market to another, across the border and back, was a woman.

Wolfman fans will recall his on-air references to the WOLFWOMAN. That was Lou Lamb, whom Robert Weston Smith married in 1960. The Wolfman was determined not to repeat the example of his parents. The Wolfman and the Wolfwoman remained together until the Wolfman's death from a heart attack last year.

Though the Robert Weston Smith is now silent, the howlings of the Wolfman come back at us. How so? Listen to something the Wolfman wrote a few years back.

I quote:

"Ya know, it's a fact that everything ever broadcasted stays out there in the stratosphere, and sometimes, through some fluke of transmission, old sounds return exactly as they were originally heard".

End of quote.

The Wolfman was right. Listen!


RIVERS: The Radio Hall of Fame is proud to induct Robert Weston Smith---THE WOLFMAN

BOHANNON: Accepting for the Wolfman is the WOLFWOMAN---Lou Lamb Smith!

[MUSIC: GFO plays more of WOLFMAN INTRO]

WOLFWOMAN: [remarks]

[MUSIC: GFO plays more of WOLFMAN MUSIC/then under and out]

KASEM: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our business here tonight at the Radio Hall of Fame where we've just inducted five new members---Jack Brickhouse, James Quello, Susan Stamberg, Jerry Williams---and Wolfman Jack.

We thank you for listening---and we invite you to visit us here at the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago's Cultural Center.


KAYSEM: I don't know how we managed, but we have an extra minute or so left before we wrap things up. So I'd like to read a brief Request & Dedication I received.

It says, "Dear Casey: I am writing you in hopes that you can help me say "Thank you" to a very special friend. This friend has been with me all my life, always there beside me, sharing the good times and the bad.

"When times were tough, my friend was there with encouragement and a song to lift my spirits, to help take away my fear and loneliness. When times were good, my friend was there as well---as when I fell in love, and proposed, and started to build a family.

"Casey, my life would be empty without my special friend---my special friend, the radio. Please tell all the folks on radio how important they all are to me. Thank them for their hard work and dedication. And let them know just how much everyone in this great country of ours appreciates them. Signed---a listener"


KASEM: And finally, this is Casey Kasem saying good night---from Chicago!

[MUSIC: GFO plays "Of Thee I Sing"/MUSIC UNDER]

BOHANNON: [credits]

[MUSIC: GFO continues "Of Thee I Sing". If pad is needed, IMMEDIATE SEGUE to "Sing, Sing, Sing"


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