College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Jubilee

The Third Edition Catalog

Jubilee was the War Department Service Division (SSD) and Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) program cataloged as series H-11 by SSD to October 1943 and AFRS thereafter. This was an historic series and the recordings of the series preserved in the Glenn Miller Archive (GMA) collections are an important national treasure. Jubilee was conceived and programmed to present African-American artists and their music to the armed forces personnel of the United States and allied nations around the world. During the history of the program, eventually other artists were invited to participate, but Jubilee is remembered as a showcase for African-American talent. In additional to big bands, small jazz groups and singers, many talented dramatic and comedic performers appeared on Jubilee. Their performances are featured by the GMA on the weekly Star Spangled Radio Hour program produced for KEZW, Denver and streamed online worldwide.   

In 1985, Rainer E. Lotz of Bonn, Germany published the First Edition of Jubilee program catalog. In 2005, Carl A. Hällström and Bo F. Sherman published an on-line Second Edition Jubilee program catalog and added many additional programs and details. The Glenn Miller Archive (GMA) is honored to host and produce the Third Edition of the definitive Jubilee program catalog with the continued guidance of Carl A. Hällström and Bo F. Scherman.

The GMA Third Edition of Jubilee is arranged by Program Sequence 1-433, in files linked to this home page. Following is the history of Jubilee and an overview of the catalog. Updates are being made to the catalog and dates of publication are included as a reference.

"Plant You Now And Dig You Later"

NBC Hollywood

NBC Hollywood

Broadway actor, producer and songwriter Maj. Mann Holiner (1897-1958) conceived Jubilee in 1942. He was commissioned in September 1942 and assigned to the Radio Section of the Special Services Division. Holiner had produced the Blackbird musical revues on Broadway and a radio series by African-Americans entitled Freedom‘s People. Jubilee was designed to showcase African-American talent and to augment the popular variety programs Command Performance and Mail Call.

Ernest (or Ernie) “Bubbles” Whitman was an actor and entertainer who had appeared in many motion pictures. He portrayed the Pharaoh of Egypt in Green Pastures (1936) and Lt. Jim Europe of World War I fame in Stormy Weather (1943). Whitman cast a large shadow over Jubilee, both physically and artistically. He had a great sense of self-deprecating humor and relished the role of master of ceremonies. Whitman understood the importance of Jubilee and made every effort to temper the comedy with the serious intent of promoting African-American artists and serving the war effort. A physically large man, Whitman endured many jokes about his size and gave back better. He was “hep to the jive” as frequent Jubilee guest Cab Calloway might put it, and his announcements are peppered with jive talk. One of his most famous lines as “plant you now and dig you later” when closing the programs. Whitman’s lines were both scripted by the SSD and AFRS staff but also widely ad-libbed, as were the other SSD and AFRS variety programs. Also, the host and entertainers could get away with a lot of dialogue which otherwise might not pass the censors at the domestic radio networks.

Jubilee 172 (L-R): Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Ernie Whitman

Jubilee was originally produced as a one-hour program recorded before a live audience. Usually two complete programs were culled from the sessions. As did other SSD-AFRS radio studio productions, programs were free-form and then recorded, so the raw material may have been ten or more minutes longer than one hour, allowing for more relaxed and spontaneous performances. The programs also came to be assembled from studio recording sessions conducted without audiences with applause dubbed in. Comedy skits and musical content were frequently duplicated from other SSD/AFRS programs. Occasionally white artists were included in the programs and by the middle of 1945 they became regular guests. Starting in 1944 the AFRS Orchestra of Maj. Meredith Willson (1902-1984) conducted by M/Sgt. Michel Perriere became regularly present for the proceedings.

SSD-AFRS produced the live audience portions of the programs at mostly NBC but also at the Blue Network (formerly NBC Blue, which became ABC in 1945) and CBS. Other mainly musical segments were made at the transcription studios of C. P. MacGregor, Radio Recorders and Universal Recorders. NBC provided the technical facilities for the Blue Network so both NBC and Blue (ABC) produced programs were transmitted directly to the NBC recording studio for recording and, later, dubbing, insuring maximum possible recording fidelity. NBC recorded the programs through 1947 when Radio Recorders took over responsibility supplemented by the Don Lee Mutual Studio (KHJ), C. P. MacGregor and Universal Recorders. Backup protection copies of the recordings were made for safety purposes. This provided protection against technical problems but also a catalog of material to use for assembling future programs.  The producer auditioned the direct line recordings to decide what edits were necessary to assemble a 30-minute Jubilee transcription. The engineers assembled and re-recorded the transcriptions by the use of multiple playback machines electronically linked to a master disc recorder (the Scully lathe). The staff made additions by switching from one playback machine to another and they made deletions by stopping the master recorder. The dates assigned by SSD-AFRS to Jubilee programs in their records appear to line up with the assembly and re-recording work. The dates may align with the actual recording dates of the program materials or be one to several days later.

Jubilee transcription discs were thus mastered and then dubbed for distribution to Office of War Information (OWI) and military radio stations around the world by priority air shipment. The War Department Special Services Division Radio Branch became Armed Forces Radio Service in November 1943. Musical recordings made for Jubilee were also distributed on SSD-AFRS disc jockey programs including Downbeat and Sound Off. Musical recordings made for Jubilee were also circulated among the AFRS Basic Music Library of transcription discs designed by Maj. Meredith Willson to stock military radio stations with current records (there was a musicians’ strike underway).

Jubilee was continuously produced until hostilities ended and beyond. Ernie Whitman eventually left the program and the format changed. African-American artists were present but did not predominate. AFRS faced major budget cuts with demobilization and the unification of the armed forces in 1948. The V-Disc program ended in May 1949 and the premiere Command Performance program ceased original productions. There was a brief resurgence of activity during the Korean conflict but from then forward and with the addition of television, military broadcasting took a different direction. Jubilee was one of the finest productions of the World War II and immediate postwar era.

The Importance of Jubilee

Lena Horne and Count Basie

Lena Horne and Count Basie

Rainer E. Lotz began work on his Jubilee documentation during the early 1960s in Germany. After a hiatus due to overseas postings in Bolivia, Thailand and Uganda, Lotz resumed his work. In person and long distance, he sought to collect as much information as possible concerning Jubilee from the American Forces Network in Germany and the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. Subsequently his successors and recently the GMA have continued to add information to the Jubilee knowledge base, including AFRS documents, scripts and a fairly complete set of the audio program recordings. 

During World War II, the Armed Forces Radio Service developed into the largest disc-producing enterprise in the history of recorded sound. From Los Angeles, thousands of AFRS discs were shipped to radio stations and military bases all over the globe. The discs have an important because they were not affected by the recording bans imposed by the musicians´ union during 1942-44 and again in 1948. Most of the Jubilee programs were devoted to jazz and many were recorded live, for enthusiastic audiences of servicemen. The largest single body of evidence of the change from Swing to Bop is found among the AFRS “Jubilee” recordings.

In 1951 Theodore Stuart DeLay, Jr., An Historical Study of the Armed Forces Radio Service to 1946 as an unpublished dissertation presented to the Faculty of the Department of Speech, University of Southern California. This document and the book by GMA donor and honoree Richard Sherwood Sears, V-Discs, A History and Discography, published in 1982, the works of Rainer Lotz and several AFRS guides published by Harry MacKenzie of Scotland, remain the sole public sources of information about AFRS. In recent years the contributors to the Second Edition and now Third Edition of Jubilee, Carl A. Hällström and Bo F. Sherman, have sought to supplement the established guides with additional information. During preparation for the forthcoming book Resolved, Dennis M. Spragg uncovered additional detail about AFRS programs and procedures.

The War Department tasked SSD and later AFRS with the production of entertainment and information. One of the first goals was to provide musical and variety entertainment for service men and women. To produce variety programs radio studios had to be developed or rented. To save time and expense, the studios were rented. The service need to be located where talent and facilities were most plentiful and this meant Southern California. Not only original programming but network programming was needed to serve the needs of the armed forces worldwide, so agreements were reached with the commercial radio networks. Musicians were exempt from the recording strike provisions if the recordings were for the entertainment of the armed forces, so bandleaders and bands could appear on SSD-AFRS programs and V-Discs. The live productions needed an orchestra and musical director so Maj. Meredith Willson came on board. He selected musicians from Army and Army Air Force bands for his AFRS orchestra. Artists donated their time for SSD-AFRS programs under the auspices of the Hollywood Victory Committee. What this meant was programs including Jubilee could be produced that would otherwise be too expensive to otherwise put together. The collective cultural heritage of the SSD-AFRS series is thus profound.


Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Lena Horne

Jubilee was produced from 1942 to 1949 and revived during the Korean conflict in 1952-1953. The series had important socio-cultural implications. In 1942 the military radio program planners strongly felt the large pool of African-American entertainers ought to be given the opportunity to contribute to the war effort. Producers conceived the concept Freedom’s People, a program intended specifically for African-American troop morale using as a basis old WPA (Work Progress Administration) recordings. Freedom’s People was an NBC Red Network series that was broadcast between September and December of 1941. Maj. Holiner was presented with this idea and replied he felt an African-American entertainment program ought not to be directed toward a specific audience. Holiner believed the entertainment quality of a good program would be of benefit to everyone. As the production idea evolved, it became evident focusing the program might inadvertently shed light on racial tensions within the segregated armed forces. The name of a Holiner commercial program Jubilee was selected.

The first Jubilee program produced October 9, 1942, would not bear much resemblance to the format that quickly became apparent after Whitman became host. The first several programs were not as fast-paced and contained serious messages the made the program flow awkward. The first cast included Rex Ingram, Ethel Waters, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra, and the Hall Johnson Choir. SSD assigned Capt. Charles Vanda, former CBS west coast programming director, to write the program. Dore Shary, who went on to become production manager and president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, assisted Vanda. Sgt. James "Jimmy" Lyons, a former popular San Francisco disc jokey, produced the program in 1944 and 1945.  Bill Scott produced the 1952-1953 revival.

At first, it was thought white entertainers would appear exclusively on Command Performance, et.al., and black entertainers would appear exclusively on Jubilee. This first changed after Command Performance moved from New York to Hollywood. Producer S/Sgt. Robert L. Welch started using black entertainers on Command Performance regularly. Soon thereafter he opened Jubilee up for white entertainers. Welch felt mixing it up would benefit the showmanship of both programs and offer better overall quality. SSD-AFRS were able to do this without undermining the essential African-American nature of Jubilee. The early programs in the series were the only exclusively African-American programs broadcast to a wide audience and was contrary to the otherwise limited and stereotyped access offered to black entertainers by commercial radio in the United States. The war effort was mirroring society. The United Service organizations (USO) offered limited opportunities for black entertainers to help. Dick Campbell, Coordinator for Colored Talent for USO Camp Shows, Inc., worked tirelessly to improve the situation for African-American troops and entertainers alike. A December 1944 report noted, “Of the 173 USO units now overseas, only 3 are colored. Of the 837 entertainers, only 29 are colored and of the 383 overall USO units since 1941, five colored; of the 2,066 performers to date, 39 colored”.

Many of the Jubilee programs offer an exclusive opportunity to hear an important period of jazz history otherwise lost because of the recording strikes and when jazz was changing in style. Jubilee transcriptions are among the only recorded examples of the period for many bands and soloists. This was an exciting period and Jubilee documents it. Programs 1-45 (Decca and Capitol settled with the American Federation of Musicians in October-November 1943), 46-107 (RCA Victor and Columbia settled in November 1944) and 270-327 roughly correspond to the period of the strikes.

Nat "King" Cole, Jimmie Lunceford and Lena Horne

About The Third Edition Catalog

DISCOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Number listing -

All the programs listed in numerical order. The special Christmas programs, which were not given individual numbers, are listed in chronological order following Jubilee No. 433, the last numbered release.

Couplings -

During the early months of production, AFRS transcriptions were pressed so that the first half of one program would be on the first record and the second half of one program would be on the second record. A second show in the same series was pressed on the flip sides (the first Jubilee program was pressed “back to back.”). Although this procedure allowed the broadcasting engineer to change from one record to the other without listener detection when using two turntables and two pick-ups, it caused trouble when one record of the pair was lost or damaged. In such cases neither program could be played. After May 1943 AFRS ordered all shows pressed “back-to-back” on a single record. This simplified many problems of distribution and production. No major change in this standard pressing process was made during the war years.

AFRS Program Announcer -

This term is used to describe the announcer responsible for the opening and closing program identification. In most cases the introduction and the signoff, both the spoken announcements and the musical themes, were added in the studio and not recorded during the live performances. The term “Special Service Division” is used through October 1943 and “Armed Forces Radio Service” thereafter.

Master Of Ceremonies -

This term is used throughout even if there were more than one emcee, and even when the “master” was actually a “mistress”. The emcees were mostly film and radio personalities. The most famous, and for years almost synonymous with Jubilee was Ernie “Bubbles” Whitman

Date Of Dubbing -

In some cases these dates may be identical with the recording dates. As a rule the AFRS shows were assembled at a later date, often even using “wild tracks” from a great number of different recording dates and locations. The sources of the dates of dubbing are the AFRS Jubilee Program Lists, which were available only for the years 1942-1945. The term “dubbing”, although technically not quite correct, is used throughout to describe the process of “assembling” or “rerecording” the final 30-minute Jubilee shows on 16" electrical transcriptions (ET).

Date Of Broadcast -

SSD-AFRS Los Angeles guidance as for local stations to broadcast Jubilee at a pre-set hour on Friday nights, once a week, 53 weeks a year. Station libraries used to pencil the day of broadcast on the actual record label or protective paper sleeve, and those notes provide a source for information contained in the Third Edition. In some cases the dates may be the dates on which the records were removed from the station library; in other cases the programs were used out of sequence; or repeated at the individual station‘s discretion, particularly when a batch of records did not arrive in time. Program listings for AFN in Europe show different times for Jubilee broadcasts so the Los Angeles guidance was not necessarily followed in the field.

Label Information -

Early Jubilee transcriptions had the names of the performers printed on the actual labels. The practice of printing the names of the performers on the labels was discontinued with the exception of the special Christmas releases. Therefore the Jubilee catalog is based on aural verification. Inevitably this is the source of many potential misinterpretations and phonetic misspellings. In some cases the program number and playing time were printed, but as a rule they were added by rubber stamps on the labels of standard design, at a space left blank for this purpose. The running number of the show was normally stamped in the “lower segment” of the label, but sometimes in the “middle band” next to the spindle hole. The playing time was supposed to be 30 minutes (15 minutes per side), but could differ slightly, e.g., “29:23.” Later transcriptions bear the standard information “29.15” “45”, indicating an exact playing time, inclusive of “fill ins”, of 30 minutes.

Label designs -

Although there were several variations, the basic design of the AFRS “Jubilee” series labels remained basically the same: A “middle band” across the spindle hole separating the “upper segment” from a “lower segment.” The colors used were those of the American flag - white, red, and blue - with printing in blue and red. All labels are 114mm in diameter (except those printed in New York, which were only 105mm in diameter).

LABEL TYPE 1:

Releases 1-58 (1942-1943). Legend in the upper segment: “War Department. Special Service Division present.” Legend in the lower segment: “Jubilee. This transcription is the property of the War Department of the United States Government and use for commercial purposes is prohibited”. On earlier shows a listing of featured artists is also shown in the lower segment, sometimes in phonetic misspelling. Some transcriptions have the additional information of pressing plant and master number. From about “Jubilee” No. 49 onwards this practice was discontinued.

LABEL TYPE 2:

Releases 59-113 (1944). Legend in upper segment: “War Department. The Armed Forces Radio Service present.” Legend in lower segment: “Jubilee. This transcription is the property of the United States Government, and must be returned to the Armed Forces Radio Service upon completion of use. Its use or reproduction, in whole or in part, for commercial or other purposes, is strictly prohibited without the consent of the Armed Forces Radio Service”. For “Jubilee” numbers 100-103 the smaller (105 mm) diameter label was used.

LABEL TYPE 3:

Releases 114-224 (1945-1947). Legend in upper segment: “War And Navy Departments. Armed Forces Radio Service presents.”

LABEL TYPE 4:

Releases 225-355 (1947-1949). Legend in upper segement: War And Navy Departments. Armed Forces Radio Service. “The Voice of Information and Education”. Legend in lower segment: “Jubilee. Property of United States Government. This transcription will be used only as authorized by the Commandant – Armed Forces Radio Service. Its use or reproduction, for private or commercial purposes, in whole or in part, is prohibited by existing directives and regulations”.

LABEL TYPE 5:

Releases 356-365 (1949-1950). Legend in upper segment: Army * Navy * Air Force. Armed Forces Radio Service. “The Voice of Information and Education”. The series number, shown in the middle band, was changed from H-11 to EN-11.

LABEL TYPE 6:

Special Christmas issues of 1945, 1947 and 1948. The design incorporates a “Christmas iconography” of bells and holly (upper segment) and Christmas trees with lighted candles (lower segment) in red and green print. Legend in upper segment: “Armed Forces Radio Service”. Legend in lower segment: “Jubilee (Christmas Show)”. This is followed by a listing of featured artists and the standard copyright warning.

Wax Information -

The Third Edition gives the wax information exactly as shown in the original ETs, which are available for visual inspection. AFRS transcriptions were manufactured by various companies, including the Allied Record Manufacturing Company, the Columbia Record Corporation, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), Radio Recorders, the C. P. McGregor Studios, and eventually by a completely new recording, processing and pressing plant - Universal Recorders (from about 1945 onwards). Jubilee transcriptions were probably manufactured by those enterprises, as evidenced by the various master and control numbers in the wax. During the 1942-1945 period most of the Jubilee transcriptions were pressed by Columbia and RCA. “Jubilee” No. 1 states on the label: “Mfg. by Columbia Record Corp.” and it bears a 4-digit control number prefaced with “RR”; “RR” is thought to denote Radio Recorders. Later Columbia used the prefix “D”, which is the symbol for 16", 33rpm custom transcriptions. Most of the early Jubilee discs have no control numbers; a typical record looks something like: H-11-21-2 PT. 2, meaning Jubilee (i.e. series H-11), show number 21, part 2 of 2. Later RCA introduced regular master numbers in the 072000 series (1942-1943), or a combination of numbers and letters. A typical example would look something like this: ND4-MM-6912-1B (Jubilee No. 100).  The code means: N = New York (most transcriptions show H = Hollywood); D = the forth decade; 4 = the fourth year of the decade (i.e. D4 = 1944). After the dash two letters denote the type of material and size of record. For Jubilee only the combination MM was used, the first M = electrical transcription, the second M = 16" or 40 cm diameter, 33rpm, normal groove. The four-digit figure is the equivalent of a master number. The final figure and letter are not take numbers but normally indicate stampers. It has been suggested that RL indicates that records have been made by the Recording Laboratories of the Allied Record Manufacturing Company; while UR is supposed to be the code for the Universal Recorders of Hollywood.

Music Credits -

There are no music credits on disc labels or most extant documents so these had to be ascertained with aural evidence.

Recording and Broadcast Dates -

The relevant AFRS recording books were lost or destroyed and only partial information  resides at the National Archives and Library of Congress. Parts of the database found their way to private collections and some of these have been gathered for the Third Edition. Press reports, trade journals and other AFRS documentation is of assistance. As with most AFRS transcriptions there appears to be generally as much as 12-week (three month) time lags between recording and broadcast.

Personnel -

The personnel listings are based upon the announcements and dates of the programs and other reliable sources and discographies, and primary sources including the National Archives and Library of Congress.  

The Catalog Files

The Catalog Files may be found here, arranged in the following sequence:

Jubilee 1-100 (Updated July 28, 2014)

https://www.colorado.edu/music/node/1449/attachment

Jubilee 101-200 (Updated June 12, 2014)

https://www.colorado.edu/music/node/1451/attachment

Jubilee 201-300 (Updated June 12, 2014)

https://www.colorado.edu/music/node/1463/attachment

Jubilee 301-433 (Updated June 16, 2014)

https://www.colorado.edu/music/node/1811/attachment

The files are constantly updated so please check back from time to time.

To see Jubilee 1-100, 101-200, 201-300 and 301-433, please click the link below the title above.

Credits:

Summary by Dennis M. Spragg (GMA)

Original source material: Rainer E. Lotz and Richard Sherwood Sears

First Edition Catalog (1985), Rainer E. Lotz

Second Edition Catalog (2005), Carl A. Hällström and Bo F. Scherman

Third Edition Catalog (2014), GMA (Spragg) with Carl A. Hällström and Bo F. Scherman

Copyright 2014, University of Colorado Boulder American Music Research Center and Glenn Miller Archive

All Rights Reserved

Acknowledgments:

Mr. Lotz’ First Edition contained the following acknowledgments, which the GMA wishes to publish with the Third Edition. Some of the contributors are deceased:

It would be difficult to adequately thank all those musicians, researchers, collectors, discographers and enthusiasts whose help and encouragement this book would virtually have been impossible. Special mention must be made to Dr. Ulrich Neuert, who made available his vast Jubilee files. Among others who gave valuable assistance were: Benny H. Aasland (Sweden), Steve Adams (USA), Dan Allen (Canada), Walter C. Allen (USA), Michael Arié (Austria), Trevor H. Benwell (Great Britain), Edward Berger (USA), Sidney J. Bromley (Australia), Denis Brown (Great Britain), Don Brown (USA), Robert Carneal (USA), John Chilton (Great Britain), L. Charles Clavié (France), Ron Clough (Great Britain), Gerhard Conrad (Germany), Anthony B. Cox (Malawi), Jimmy Crawford (Great Britain), Ed Crommelin (Canada), Gordon A. Davies (Great Britain), John R. T. Davies (Great Britain), Georges Debroe (Belgium), Ted De Lay (USA), Milton C. Dickens (USA), Walter Dummer (Germany), Ernie C. Edwards (USA), Otto Flückiger (Switzerland), Neil Fontaine (USA), Mark Gardner (Great Britian), Charles Garrod (USA), Frank Gibson (Great Britain), Herbert Glover (USA), Jeffrey P. Green (Great Britain), Tim Guynon (USA), Robert J. Harlan (USA), Sheldon Harris (USA), A. Harrison (Great Britain), Mike Head (Great Britain), G. Walter Hein (Germany), George W. G. Hulme (Great Britain), Trevor Huyton (Great Britain), Carl A. Hällström (Sweden), Calvin Jackson (Canada), Ken Keating (Australia), Barney Kessel (USA), Fritz Klahre (Germany), Len Kunstadt (USA), Claude Lefévre (France), Arnold Laubich (USA), Jan Lohmann (Denmark), Harry Mackenzie (Scotland), James H. Mc Bath (USA), Bob McCunney (USA), Frederick H. Mc Fadden (USA), Jack Millar (Great Britain), William R. Miner (USA), Bill Ordowski (USA), Siegfried Palmer (Germany), Diethelm Paulussen (Germany), John A. Payne (India), Christopher A. Pirie (Great Britain), Edward F. Polic (USA), Lothar Polomski (Germany), Robert S. Porter (USA), Dieter Salemann (Germany), Gordon Salyer (USA), Bo F. Scherman (Sweden), Walter C. Scott (USA), Richard S. Sears (Abu Dhabi), James R. Smart (USA), Bob Smith (USA), Roland R. Smith (Great Britain), Thomas B. Smith (USA), Klaus Stratemann (Germany), Rolf Stübing (Germany), S. Tucker (USA), Roland van Heeswijk (USA), Malcolm Walker (Great Britain), Malcolm Webb (Great Britain), Bozy White (USA), Keith Williams (USA), Tony Williams (Great Britain).