The Show Isn’t Live! Der Bingle, Ampex, and the Third Reich!

Posted by on March 20, 2008

I was listening to some OTR today, one of the Bing Crosby shows, I believe it was the Kraft Music Hall, and suddenly started thinking about radio in general and how it went from being live to being taped.

Did you know Bing Crosby was instrumental in this technology?

Bing Crosby


While most folks know of Bing’s service to the troops in World War II, most do not know of his direct influence in the way entertainment was presented to the American consumer in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, the golden age of radio.

The shows were live, presented just as they happened, running risks of going over time and the occasional blooper. In fact any number of things could happen. Nobody knew this better than Bing, being the radio veteran he was. While we can’t know for certain, this had to be an overriding factor in his meeting and subsequent partnership with John (Jack) Mullin, who had used the German magnetophon (captured from the Reich after the war) to record audio. A partnership, investment and a company later, Bing Crosby soon had tape-delayed shows. Picked up by the rest of the radio entertainers, this technology spread rapidly.

Try the links below for more background information and pictures. Remember next time you hear your favorite radio show….especially if it’s transcribed!

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!



Bing CrosbyCollection,Gonzaga

Obit: John T. Mullin

Der Bingle Technology (online story)

Ampex Corporation


(1) National Archives

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