1/2. Jeffrey Robinson recalls a remarkable double act which became the biggest thing on American Radio: two African Americans from the deep South trying to make a new life in Harlem.
2/2. Jeffrey Robinson recalls the controversy when the Amos 'n' Andy Show made the step from radio to television.
They were the biggest thing in American Radio; the story of 2 African Americans from the deep south trying to make a new life in Harlem. 1 in 3 Americans tuned in every night. They created the radio serial in the 20's using conventions that still apply in radio and TV today. They were as well known as Garbo and Gable in 1930. But for 40 years they've been an embarrassment. Whisper it. Amos and Andy were white men. Presented by Jeffrey Robinson.
They had been the biggest thing in American entertainment, now they would take the big step into television. Two white men playing black characters on the radio caused scarcely a ripple of complaint but black actors playing Amos and Andy on the TV created a crisis for CBS Television, for the Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People and for Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, the begetters of the controversial duo.