Some of us were trying to work out WHO was the first comic to release an Lp that was actually recorded LIVE. There have been comedy recordings since the dawn of the record industry back in the 1890, but all were studio recordings with no audience. So, who recorded their act and with an audience?
In this discussion were some pretty highly placed comedy insiders and experts. The argument centered on a small group of comics, all who made their vinyl debut in the 1950s. There was Lord Buckley, Mort Sahl, and Lenny Bruce. We went our ways content we had solved it then I spotted this 78rpm album set in the 24/7 Comedy vault.
Bob Hope’s ‘I Never Left Home’ is a collection of excerpts from his appearances on radio performing at various military bases. There are four records in this set, one each for the Army, The Navy, Coast Guard and the Marines. Bob was the first comedian to see not only the value in recording his live shows, but also cross marketing them to the consumer once they got home in 1945.
This set was put out in a simultaneous release with his book of the same title, telling the stories behind the five years of USO shows around the world. That sort of thinking was way ahead of the curve of all other comics in the 1940s and certainly paved the way for others.