Bob & Ray: Wally Ballou Visits The Sleepy Time Laboratory

For nearly 45 years Bob and Ray entertained millions of radio listeners and television viewers. Bob and Ray’s long partnership began at Boston radio station WHDH in 1946 when Goulding, after delivering the news on Elliott’s music program, began to stick around and swap anecdotes with the host. Listeners demanded more, however, and the station soon scheduled Matinee with Bob and Ray. It offered offbeat comments on the day’s news, fables about fictitious characters and bogus contest offers.

Today, reporter Wally Ballou visits the Sleepy Time Laboratory ..

**The Bob & Ray CBS radio show ran locally on KIRO 710/100.7 **

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks
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12 thoughts on “Bob & Ray: Wally Ballou Visits The Sleepy Time Laboratory

  1. I’ve been a fan of Bob & Ray since the 1st moment I heard their radio comedy. So very clever and so funny! What’s not to like?
    There were 2 funny 1930s radio guys often credited as the forerunners of Bob & Ray. Listed as among radios 1st satirist, they were Frederick Chase Taylor and Wilbur Budd Hurlick … better known as Col. Stoopnagle & Budd. The story goes that this radio comedy team began in 1932 when a thunderstorm knocked out the network feed to their Buffalo, NY radio affiliate. The 2 radio station personnel, faced with dead air, where thrown in front of the microphone anf began improvising. The duo almost instantly came up with the characters of Col. Lemuel Q. Stoopnagle, an eccentric ex- navy inventor … famous for the invention of the upside-down lighthouse for submarines and his bemused interviewer/straight man Budd. They began to ad-lib for the next 2 hours and the rest, as they say, is history! They were an instant local hit and soon moved on to national prominence. As their radio success continued, they soon found themselves in a few movie shorts. For a peek at this early radio comedy duo, here’s a look at a couple of their films:

  2. Jay,
    Back in the early ’90s I did a public speech on highlights from the Golden Years of radio. Had in it a short demo of Bob and Ray and many of the other famous shows, had not heard of Stoopnage & Budd.

  3. Well Steven, I just felt that in everyone’s life a little Stoopnagle & Budd must fall. Actually, despite the duo’s popularity they are basically forgotten today, largely because very little of their radio work has survived since the 1930s. I am aware of a couple of radio appearances …. which I will share here. The duo split up in 1938 because of personal differences. Stoopnagle’s career continued with guest appearances on radio shows and as a writer of humorous articles for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post. Budd returned to Buffalo and obscurity.

    1. Steven ~ One final bit of trivia about Stoopnagle & Budd. Col. Stoopnagle (nee: Frederick Chase Taylor) was 1st cousins with the American author of weird and horror fiction (ie: “At The Mountain of Madness”, etc.) H. P. Lovecraft. Not to be confused with H. P. Lovecraft, the psychedelic rock band of the late ’60s from Chicago, who named themselves after the macabre writer. You may recall their 1967 single “Anyway That You Want Me” … written by Chip Taylor, the same guy who wrote “Wild Thing”.

    1. The exact same song. I had forgotten about The Liverpool Five version. It was a long time ago, so my memory may be faulty, but in LA (where I was living at the time) I remember the H. P. Lovecraft version.

    1. Well Steven, I think most of us are prone to have a preference for the 1st version we heard of a song. We can’t help but identify with that version. As I understand it, the Pacific Northwest was one of the hotbeds for The Liverpool Five’s version. “Want Me” was their only appearance on the national charts … spending one week at #98 on Billboard. The band was originally known as the Steve Laine Combo, but management changed their name to The Liverpool Five, to capitalize on the popularity of The Beatles, when sending them on tour in Germany & Austria. None of the group’s members were actually from Liverpool … they were all Londoners. For some reason after touring the Far East the band moved to Spokane and then to LA. By 1968, when the band disbanded, Freddie Dennis, from Spokane, had replaced original bassist Dave Burgess. Freddie Dennis later became a member of the Seattle band The Sonics.

      1. Jay,

        Re preference for the 1st version: this is why I blow my top when an oldies station plays some remastered bastardized fake stereo echo version instead of the original – the one that brings back the memories. We listened in glorious unequalized mono.

  4. Interesting. That video I have of Sonics doing Witch from 10 years ago, Freddie Dennis was one of the guys in the band. He did lead vocal on several tracks. Rosalie of course on other cuts.

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