Mark Flanders and Joan Ellison created Circa 1939 to take audiences back to the world where Classic American Popular Songs were fresh and new.
The extremely condensed story of CIRCA 1939.........
After hearing a 1926 recording of "Fascinating Rhythm" with George Gershwin at the piano and Adele and Fred Astaire singing - and over a hundred other hair-standing-on-end recordings from the Golden Age - they set out to recreate those great performances. Joan put her Oberlin Conservatory master's degree to the test and began transcribing piano accompaniments from the original recordings, as they honed their vintage vocal skills.
Listening to recordings of the duo-piano team of Arden and Ohman, Gershwin's pit pianists, they decided to attempt a whole duo-piano Gershwin show. Joan's transcribing skills were sorely tested trying to figure out which piano was playing what but she prevailed, and Gershwin On the Air was born.
They added an RCA-44, the microphone used in all the recordings and radio shows of the '30s and '40s. And after hearing the Andrews Sisters with Bing Crosby on the Kraft Music Hall, The Melody Maids were brought to life. They appear in Gershwin On the Air, and join Mark Flanders onstage for "Don't Fence Me In" in A Date With Judy as well as other songs from their days on The Iowa Barn Dance Frolic.
They started setting the songs in radio shows authentic enough to be pulled from the ether of the 1939 Columbia Broadcasting System, and using authentic radio commercials, including their personal favorite: J-E-L-L-O.