One of the first and most memorable juvenile adventure shows, Jack
Armstrong, The All-American Boy was created in Chicago by the
advertising agency Blackett-Sample-Hummert and writer Robert Hardy
Andrews. Broadcasting the show from WBBM/Chicago, CBS launched Jack
Armstrong on July 31, 1933.
The show centered on Hudson High School student Jack Armstrong
and his friends Billy and Betty Fairfield. From 1933 to 1950, the
trio joined Billy and Bettys Uncle Jim for a series of globe-trotting
adventures. During the 1950-51 season, Jack became a government
agent and the show was renamed Armstrong of the SBI.
Sponsored for many years by Wheaties, Jack Armstrong transformed
the Breakfast of Champions" into a major marketing phenomenon.
Uncommon objects which figured into the shows current storyline
would likely be offered as a "premium" to listeners who
mailed in a dime and a Wheaties box top.
Six different actors played the title role of Jack Armstrong, including
Jim Ameche (1933-38) and Charles Flynn (1939-43 and 1944-51). The
program's best-known announcer was legendary Chicago voice Franklyn
MacCormack, who delivered his commercials with the help of an a
Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy was inducted into the
Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
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