The pleasing baritone voice of Curt Massey has been largely forgotten, consigned to a dusty corner in the halls of popular music history. But in the 1940s and '50s Massey, who died in 1991 at age 81, was a star on network radio and Los Angeles-area television. And he later co-composed and sang the theme song for the TV show Petticoat Junction, which ran on CBS from 1963 to 1970.
His 15-minute Monday to Friday network radio show Curt Massey Time began in 1949. The show was sometimes called Curt Massey Time with Martha Tilton to reflect the prominence of his co-star. In 1952 the title was changed to Alka-Seltzer Time to highlight the sponsor. By the following year the show was heard on two networks -- at noon on CBS and again during the supper hour on Mutual.
But Alka-Seltzer Time had run its course by November of '63, although Massey and Tilton were still heard on other network radio programs. They also co-hosted a 15-minute daily TV show in Los Angeles from 1956 to 1963.
Massey was given an Emmy Award in 1961 for his radio and TV work. That was also the year Capitol issued an album titled after his network program. The LP contained the same type of standard and novelty songs that had been popular on the radio show. The orchestra for the album was conducted by renowned studio guitarist Bob Bain, who also contribute some hot licks on his instrument.
Breezin' Along with the Breeze
The Curt Massey Time LP does not appear to be available in a digital format. There was a Curt Massey Time CD issued by the British label Hepcat around 2007 but this probably consisted of radio transcriptions. It's available from Amazon in the U.K., but there's no track listing or source information.
Massey composed the theme for Petticoat Junction with Paul Henning, who created the characters featured in the rural sitcom. A 45 single with Massey singing the theme was issued by Capitol in 1964. It differs slightly from the versions heard on the TV show -- and it's in stereo.