Zoom Radio Show

updated 4-10-2014




Bob Wills KGO-AM Zoom Cereal Radio Show Intro
Jack Webb (yes, that Jack Webb) announcer.

(Updated 01/29/12)

On March 26, 1946 Bob Wills started a weekly radio show on KGO-AM out of San Francisco, California. The show was supposed to be live, broadcast from across the Bay at the Oakland Auditorium Theater. However, if you notice from the script ( click on script links below ) they were broadcasting on April 30th from Hollywood.
The show was introduced by Jack Webb (later of T.V.s “Dragnet” fame) and MCed by Cactus Jack (Cliff Johnson). However, the show from Hollywood only has Jack Webb MCing. The show was sponsored by Zoom cereal, which was described by one former Texas Playboy as tasting like cardboard! During the Tiffany Transcriptions sessions, the band recorded a Zoom Cereal jingle using Junior Barnard’s signature guitar lick at the end. 
Zoom Jingle

Recent discoveries indicate that the show was syndicated on the ABC radio network with at least one other station, KMPC in Bakersfield, CA, carrying it (see ad to right). It is not known if any other ABC stations aired it.
The show only lasted a few months with the final broadcast being aired on June 18, 1946.

KGO Outro
Below are the scripts to the April 30th, 1946, and audio for the intro and outro of the show. Note that Jack Webb follows the script almost exactly, while Bob’s part of the script always says “AD-LIB”!

KGO Intro 4/30/1946 (page 1 of the script below)

KGO Outro 4/30/1946 (page 6 of the script below)

Zoom script 4/30/1946 page 1

Zoom script page 2

Zoom script page 3

Zoom script page 4

Zoom script page 5

Zoom script page 6

KGO_web

12 Responses to Zoom Radio Show

  1. Mike says:

    I have the records on Kaleidoscope and I’m also a fan and collector of old time radio. I would really like to hear not only the songs, but the complete radio shows. Is there any way one could get hold of them? Have they been published, or are there any plans to publish them? Thanks.

    • admin says:

      So far, I have found two introductions to the show and one closing segment. No complete show has been found. There used to be several CDs out of Bob Wills radio airchecks, but I don’t know if they are still available. But none from the Zoom Show have surfaced…yet.

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks, Mr. Admin.

    I suspected if the Zoom Radio Shows had been found they would have been mentioned on one or more of the old time radio sites I frequent. Or on one of the blogs.

    BTW, I’m doing a four hour Jack Webb special tomorrow (Wednesday) on KFJC, mostly Webb’s work in San Francisco. I have a different copy of this intro segment, but I’d like to include this one instead, because it’d give me an excuse to mention tiffanytranscriptions.com. Bob Wills’ Tiffany Transcriptions have been an important part of our music library ever since we got the records (more than 20 years ago as I recall). We still play ‘em now.

    I sure wouldn’t mind hearing that outro!

  3. Ron Owens says:

    I stumbled upon two CDs on the internet entitled “Bob Wills: In Hollywood” and “Rare California Airshots.” Many members of the Tiffany Band are on the recordings (although the sound quality isn’t as good as the Tiffanys). Could these contain the Zoom Shows?

    • admin says:

      I do not believe these are Zoom shows. “Bob Wills in Hollywood” is made is mostly from the Armed Forces Radio Services transcriptions and a few numbers recorded for films. The AFRS tracks are especially good because of the sax playing of Tiny Mott.
      “Rare California Airshots” is from transcriptions, or acetates broadcast over KMJ Fresno and KERN in Bakersfield. These are fascinating and I have become more and more interested in them. They pre-date the Tiffanys, yet are mostly the same band, with some notable exceptions, and they use the same theme (but definitely a different recording of it.) Some of songs, arrangements and even solos are similar, but are sometimes in a cruder stage. And they are sometimes wilder (usually Junior) and looser than the Tiffanys. I do not know how many songs were recorded. Willsologist Buddy McPeters has suggested that these transcriptions were perhaps an early enterprise of Bob Wills, Cactus Jack and Cliff Sundin before they formed the Tiffany Transcriptions.
      More of these KERN/KMJ transcriptions, with better sound, can be found on the CD Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys “Radio Days” on Tomato Record. If you are into the Tiffanys you should seek these out. I would love to know more about them and hear more. They’re great! Perhaps someone with more knowledge about these will write in.

      • Ron Owens says:

        Thank you for the information. I too was impressed by the quality of the Rare California Airshots. I did some looking, and apparently they were part of the “Bob Wills’ Melody Roundup” show which, for a time, was a part of the AFRS but later became a civilian show. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information as to how long the show lasted or how many songs were recorded. Nevertheless, the songs on the CD are good, very good. Perhaps if my editing skills improve, I could touch up the audio on some of the songs. But that’s different matter.

        On a side note, are you planning on adding biographical information on the Tiffany Band members on the site in the near future? I was planning on making a video on the Texas Playboys, and there are some band members that I just cant find substantial information on.

        • admin says:

          I’ve been meaning to try to check the beginning and ending dates of the various Bob Wills radio shows broadcast from Bakersfield and Fresno but haven’t had a chance yet. Regarding bios of band members, this website will continue to grow as I have the time to research and post on it. I would like to have bios of the band members at some point although that information is available for many of them elsewhere on the web. Which band members are you specifically having trouble getting info on? Have you checked the bios on http://texasplayboys.net/index.htm ? They also have a good discussion forum where you could ask questions.

          • Ron Owens says:

            I have checked that website and I found information on many of the band members. But there are some that still elude me. I cannot seem to find substantial information on (and I know that some of these aren’t Tiffany Band members.) Les Anderson, Alex Brashear, Monte Mountjoy, Ted Adams, Tiny Mott and Al Stricklin. Any information you could provide would be appreciated.

          • admin says:

            Well the easiest is Al Stricklin since he wrote a book “My Years with Bob Wills”. Here’s a link to Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Al-Stricklin/e/B001K8IOVI

  4. okiedokie says:

    Love your site! I am only just discovering the incredible music of Bob Wills & was wondering where is the best place to start with the Tiffanys, especially featuring Junior Barnard’s playing??Also, are there any cds that have the Zoom jingle?

  5. Bob Richards says:

    Wow. That was great. A young Jack Webb. This is the first time I’ve heard Cactus Jack’s voice since 1947. I sent him a letter requesting that he play the whole theme song. He always faded it out. It was, “Let’s Ride With Bob.” He did it for me. I even bought one of those $5 adding machines. What a joke that was. That same year Bob & the badn appeared in San Jose, and I met him during a break. I was 12. He was really nice to me.

    What you’ve done with this site is wonderful. Thanks for all the info. It’s been a long time since I learned anything new about this subject.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for you nice comments. As you have pointed out Cactus Jack was well know for his theme song, “Let’s Ride With Bob”. That tune is such a classic of western swing. The steel guitar slide leads into the big band horn sound with Bob hollerin’ all over it. Bob was in good form for this one. Not a fiddle in sight on that one. Alex Brashear, who was latter on the Tiffanys takes a trumpet solo.

      I don’t know about the adding machine, can you give us more information on that?

      The story of Cactus Jack has yet to be told. There are several allegations of dishonesty in his dealing with Tiffany Music and with Bob Wills, yet he has said that he gave his best years to Bob Wills with little to show from it. There’s a story out there somewhere.

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