Television: Time Remembered

Back in the era when the loudspeaker was edging out the speakeasy among U.S. pastimes, a pair of second-rate jazz singers stood before a microphone at NBC's WMAQ in Chicago, shifted into heavy Negro dialect, and gave birth to a national institution. Within two years the Amos 'n' Andy show of Freeman Gosden (Amos, Kingfish et al.) and Charles Correll (Andy) was radio's first great popular craze, so captivating that U.S. telephone calls soon fell off 50% between 7 p.m. and 7:15, and movie theaters stopped their films to pipe in the show. Last week balding Freeman Gosden, 58, and silver-haired...

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