Produced by Louis G. Cowan, Command Performance aired between 1942 and 1949 over the Armed Forces Radio Network (AFRS) with a direct shortwave transmission to American troops overseas. Performed before a live audience in Hollywood, the weekly listening military audience was estimated at 95.5 million. Troops sent in requests to hear their favorite celebrities, and they also suggested unusual ideas or situations for them to be put into. Top stars of the day appeared, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Shirley Temple, Abbott & Costello, Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and many more. First heard on March 1, 1942 (almost three months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor), Command Performance would have cost a commercial sponsor a weekly talent fee of $50,000 but for Uncle Sam, all fees were waived. The program generally ran for 30 minutes each week, except for holiday and special broadcasts, continuing well after World War II for a total of 400+ programs.
4/23/42 w/ Pat O’Brien, Burns & Allen, Frank Morgan, Frances Langford and John Conte.
5/7/42 w/ Bette Grable, Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Phil Harris, Eddie Anderson, Mary Martin and Judy Canova.
5/13/42 w/ Marlene Dietrich, Mitzi Green, Al Jolson, Eddie Peabody, Tommy Riggs and Kenny Baker.
5/18/42 w/ George Raft, Deanna Durbin, Dinah Shore, Rudy Vallee and Elvia Allman.
6/2/42 w/ Mickey Rooney, Betty Hutton, Bob Burns, Freeman Gosden & Charles Correll (Amos ‘n’ Andy), Bert Gordon and Harry James and His Orchestra.
6/11/42 w/ Don Ameche, Max Baer, Carole Landis, Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra.
6/18/42 w/ William Powell, Martha Tilton, Gene Autry, Judy Garland, George Jessel, Mel Blanc, The Melody Ranch Boys and Lou Bring and His Orchestra.
7/28/42 w/ Cary Grant, Ruth Hussey, Judy Garland, Ruth Hussey and Woody Herman and His Orchestra.
7/7/42 w/ Bob Hope, Ginny Simms, Rosalind Russell, Lena Horne and Les Brown and His Orchestra.
7/14/42 w/ Edward Arnold, Jack Benny, Jascha Heifetz and The RKO Studio Orchestra.
7/21/42 w/ Pat O’Brien, Hal Peary, Lillian Randolph, Walter Tetley, Dick Powell, Frances Langford and The Twentieth Century Fox Orchestra.
8/4/42 w/ Clark Gable, Cass Daley, Jerry Colonna, Carmen Miranda, Bette Davis, Dinah Shore and Count Basie and His Orchestra.