This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
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FROM LYNCHBURG, VA....THE NATURAL BRIDGE REVUE!
(From Radio Recall, August 2010)
Well actually this 1930s radio show came from New York, but it did have a factual Lynchburg connection. The show was sponsored by Craddock-Terry Shoe Corporation, then based in Lynchburg, Virginia, whose shoes were named after the famous nearby natural landmark, the Natural Bridge.
A 15 minute musical variety program, the series ran for about a year, from May 1930 to April 1931.
Although the show was broadcast from Manhattan, the sponsors frequently offered as a giveaway premium, a full-color photograph of the Natural Bridge in Virginia.
From May 1930 until October 1930, it starred a young singer from Central Virginia, “Cile” Turner, who specialized in singing African-American folk songs and spirituals (although she herself was white) and she traveled by train from Lynchburg, VA up to New York City for the Friday night live broadcasts every week. Only two audio copies have survived from this series and Turner is not in either.
She was replaced by two unidentified singers with the company names of “Nat” and “Bridget” who sang individuals songs and duets. They had a live band to accompany them and an announcer who did the commercial copy and narrated short skits. Nat and Bridget also sang the theme song:
“Step up! Pep Up! And ‘shoe’ away your blues!
We’ve found the answer in Natural Bridge Shoes!
And at only five or ten dollars a pair
It’s a recipe for walking on air.”