Orchestra leader Howard Barlow and soprano Nadine Conner
prior to an appearance on The Voice of Firestone
The Voice of Firestone TV show was a 30 minute musical series that aired on NBC from 1949-1954 on NBC and from 1954-1963 on ABC. It mostly featured classical and opera music but once in a while a popular singer would make an appearance.
Voice of Firestone Cast:John Daly ............ Host / Narrator (1958-1959)
Howard Barlow and the Firestone Con-cert Orchestra
Voice of Firestone Trivia:
Like many early radio and TV shows, the sponsor's name was a part of the show's title. In this case, the series was sponsored by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.
The Voice of Firestone TV show was one of the first entertainment series on the air. Up until that time, most shows on television were either news or sports programs.
By 1954 there was a lot more competition on TV than there was in 1949 when the Voice of Firestone premiered. NBC decided that they could no longer give the show the best time slots available and tried to convince the Firestone Family to allow them to move the show to a different night or time slot. Harvey Firestone wouldn't hear of it though and, instead, talked the younger ABC network into airing the show in a great slot. Five years later, however, ABC also insisted on moving the show and when Firestone again refused, the series was canceled. There was a huge public outcry from the small audience that was still watching the series. Many of them wrote their Congressman and Senators! The FCC actually threatened ABC if it didn't offer the show at least some airtime but wouldn't back up Firestone's demands for prime time slots. This may have been the first occurence of the argument about whether the public airwaves should be used for "intellectual" shows or ones that the public wants to see.
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