Major Bowes Star On The Famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame
MAJOR EDWARD BOWES
Originator and Host on Radio 1930’s & 1940’s. Bowes was a real estate speculator who got into the entertainment business by buying a Boston theatre, Bowes built the famed Capitol Theatre in New York City in 1918 and was it's managing director until his radio interests forced him to quit in the late 1930's. The Original Amateur Hour grew out of his interest in the Capitol Theatre. In the early days of radio, as a promotion feature for the theatre, Bowes started a Sunday noon hour broadcast over local radio station WHN. By 1934, the idea of the Amateur Hour had evolved, and the program was presented nationally. It was an instant success. Bowes' name became a byword, his sing-song "All right, all right," when waving aside an inept performer was mimicked by millions. Major Bowes' Amateur Hour units toured the country, taking the place of vaudeville. Bowes himself began a series of travels and personal appearances that reached its climax when 67 cities had named him honorary mayor.The program stayed at the top of the polls for the rest of the 1930s, but just before World War II, it started to fall off.The war finished it. One of the features of the Amateur Hour was audience participation — the listeners were invited to telephone in their choices for best performer on each program. These calls ran to 20,000 an hour in half a dozen cities. Wartime telephone restrictions forced Bowes to abandon this feature.He kept the show going throughout the war, however, playing at Army camps whenever possible. But the taste had changed, and in April 1945, Bowes retired from radio.He died at his country home in Rumson, New Jersey on June 14, 1946, on the eve of his 72nd birthday.
Yes. Major Edward Bowes was an Army Major
Portrait of Major Bowes by Famed American Artist
James Montgomery Flagg, who gained fame as the artist of the Army recruiting poster: “Uncle Sam Wants You”, above.
Original Microphone Used By Major Bowes For Auditions
in his Capitol Theater and CBS Offices.
This is the very microphone first sung into by future stars such as:
Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, Robert Merrill and Beverly Sills!
Major Bowes & Charlie Chaplin
Major Bowes & Cecil B. DeMille
February 17, 1938
Major Bowes & Amelia Earhart
& Salvation Army Capt. E. Bale
December 5, 1930