Uncle Don at the Zoo

Uncle Don Carney
Sonora MS-488
Total Time: 19:05

Uncle Don was a children’s radio program which aired on WOR radio from 1928 to 1947. The host was Uncle Don Carney, a former vaudevillie performer who was born Howard Rice in 1897. The half-hour program was broadcast daily, five or six days a week.

Debuting September 1928, it was the most popular children’s show of that era due to the powerful 50,000 watt range of New York’s WOR station. Carney sang, played the piano, told stories and introduced a variety of features: the “Earnest Savers Club” which encouraged setting up accounts at the Greenwich Savings Bank; a “Healthy Child Contest”; a “Talent Quest” that provided screen tests for winners. Each program began with Uncle Don arriving in the imaginary autogyro he called his “puddle-jumper.” His opening song was widely known:

Hello nephews, nieces too,
Mothers and daddies, how are you?
This is Uncle Don all set to go,
With a meeting on the ra-di-o!
We’ll start off with a little song
To learn the words will not take long;
For they’re as easy as easy can be,
So come on now and sing with me:
Hibbidy-Gits has-ha ring boree,
Sibonia Skividy, hi-lo-dee!
Honi-ko-doke with an ali-ka-zon,
Sing this song with your Uncle Don!

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