Dick Tracy in B Flat was produced by Command Performance, a weekly radio show that was part of the Armed Forces Radio Service. The AFRS produced records and broadcasts for troops overseas during World War II and Command Performance is commonly considered their best show. This nearly hour long broadcast was produced February 15, 1945 and showcased an amazing collection of Hollywood star talent. Dubbed the first “cartoon operetta”, Dick Tracy in B Flat was a vaudville style show with song and comedy and Director Pat Weaver went on to call the result “the greatest radio show in history.”. Yet, except for the live audience in Los Angeles, no American in the states heard the broadcast as the show was only sent to soldiers overseas.
The All-Star Cast included :
- Bing Crosby as the virtous and unflappable Dick Tracy
- Dinah Shore as honey tongued Tess Trueheart
- Bob Hope as the slippery hoodlum Flattop
- Frank Sinatra as the murderous Shaky
- Judy Garland as the innocent Snowflake Falls
- Jimmy Durante as the gravel voiced Mole
- The Andrews Sisters as the sexy Summer Sisters
- Jerry Colonna as Tracy’s oft confused Police Chief
- Frank Morgan (i.e. the Great Oz) as drunk thespian Vitamin Flintheart
- Cass Daley as gravel voiced Gravel Gertie
- and Harry Von Zell as the Narrator
- Directed by Pat Weaver
- Conducted by Meredith Willson.