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Amos 'n' Andy

Right: Freeman Gosden (Amos) and Charles Correll (Andy) contemplate a deluge of fan mail at the Merchandise Mart studios in 1936. Gosden and Correll were radio's first mega-stars. Between 1929 and 1931 the nation stopped dead in its tracks and tuned in the nightly fifteen-minute "Amos 'n' Andy" broadcast.

Gosden and Correll, 1936

Correll and Gosden as a singing duo, ca. 1925

Left: Gosden and Correll as a vocal duo, around 1925. "Amos 'n' Andy" in their first incarnation were known as "Sam and Henry", characters Gosden and Correll developed while staffers at WGN between 1926 and the early months of 1928. They were vaudvillians. Correll was a fairly decent pianist; both sang. Gosden and Correll had previously done radio stints at KYW, WLS and the Edgewater Beach Hotel-based WEBH (where they were paid for their performances with food from the dining room).


Right: Gosden and Correll on the air at WMAQ. Early in 1928, Gosden and Correll pressed WGN to allow them to record the increasingly popular Sam 'n' Henry show and to distribute pressings to stations beyond WGN's normal broadcast range. WGN, fearful of losing control of its hottest property, refused. When their WGN contract expired not long thereafter, Gosden and Correll entered into an agreement with WMAQ (then owned by the Chicago Daily News) that allowed them to syndicate their broadcasts through recordings. Since WGN owned the rights to the Sam 'n' Henry title, Gosden and Correll were obliged to find new names for their characters. Thus on WMAQ Sam 'n' Henry became Amos 'n' Andy.

Gosden and Correll in the WMAQ studios

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Amos is missing 03/09/1943
One step ahead of the law 6/16/1944 
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The NBC Blue Network began broadcasting Amos 'n' Andy on August 19th, 1929 from the WMAQ studios in the Daily News Building. When NBC purchased WMAQ in November of 1931, Gosden and Correll moved their show to the newly-opened NBC studios in the Merchandise Mart.

Amos 'n' Andy generally originated in studio F (renamed studio J following the construction of additional studios in 1935). Gosden and Correll---and Amos 'n' Andy---moved to Hollywood early in 1938.

During Gosden and Correll's NBC-Chicago days, their engineer was generally a young man by the name of Glenn Webster. Glenn has shared his photo album with me. It includes a remarkable photo of Glenn and Gosden and Correll in studio F.