Getting lazier as his waistline increased, Crosby disliked being tied down to a weekly radio appearance. It took a court order to get him to complete his contract for Kraft, his sponsors for nine years. When he was finally free, half of the industry rolled out its handsomest offers, most of them with a transcription deal so Crosby could record several shows, then take a month off for baseball, golf, and the horses. Philco Corp., a late started and small spender in the pursuit, landed him last week.
For three years starting Oct. 2, Philco will pay a weekly guarantee of $24,000 for a transcribed Crosby package to be aired on a cross-continent schedule Wednesday nights at 9 by a minimum of 325 stations, including the 208 of the ABC network. For each station that is added an additional sum will be paid, and if Philco reaches its announced goal of 600 stations (two-thirds of the nation's transmitters) Crosby's weekly take will total well over $30,000. Philco will pay for the package and its dealers will pay for the time. If the Groaner's Hooper rating falls below 12, either party of the contract can call the deal off or insist that Crosby work as a live performer.
The show's format will be similar to all other Crosby hoedowns and will include a girl singer to be selected, Skitch Henderson at the piano, the Charioteers, and John Scott Trotter's orchestra. The disks will be cut by World Broadcasting Corp., a subsidiary of Decca Records in which Crosby is a stockholder.