March of Dimes Program, City Hall

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Speeches and performances for the rally of the opening of the 1952 March of Dimes campaign on the steps of City Hall.

Earl Wrightson sings the Star Spangled Banner with the 581st Band. MCs Winchell & Mahoney introduce Sam Levenson, who talks about his youth in the neighborhood, recites jump-roping songs. Lanny Ross comes on stage and sings "grown up songs" ("All My Love," "Ritorno a Sorrento"). The Mayor talks about the importance of the work of the March of Dimes to combat the polio epidemic. Earl Wrightson sings "Without a Song." Jan Murray does a stand-up routine about the crowd, reporters, and weather. He is interrupted by a man who explains why there are so many airplanes are flying overhead: they are going to drop March of Dimes pledge parachutes. The audience is instructed to catch one and send it in with their contributions. The band plays "Sleigh Ride." Helen Hayes comes on stage to talk about Larry Jim Gross, the poster boy of the March of Dimes for 1952. Larry Jim then tells everyone to join the March of Dimes and receives the money that's been contributed. It's also Larry Jim's birthday, so everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to him. The radio picks up only Mahoney. Then Winchell asks Mahoney to sneeze for the audience (?). Mahoney says he'll sneeze if Winchell tickles his nose. That goes on for a while. Mahoney introduces Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Winchell and Mahoney conclude the show.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69476
Municipal archives id: LT493