WHAMradio001.jpg

Top; Kenneth Spencer, center, during an NBC broadcast rehearsal for "Negro History Week," in New York City, photographed by 'M.Smith,' one of the famous Harlem twin photographers, Marvin and Morgan Smith, circa 1938.

Above; Kenneth Spencer is seen standing to the left of the WHAM radio sign, Rochester, New York, circa 1934. Kenneth Spencer earned a living while attending the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester by singing for radio station WHAM, and performing Saturday and Sunday evenings at Chateau.

 

 Above: Kenneth Spencer sings to a crowd in front of the New York Public Library during a WNYC broadcast for the Victory Square dedication, 1943, photographed by Leavia Friedberg.

As part of the dedication ceremonies for Victory Square on 50th Street and Sixth Avenue, the National Entertainment Industry Council, with the cooperation of the United Theater War Activities Committee and the Hollywood Victory Committee, set up remote broadcasts of entertainers in an effort to to promote the sale of war bonds. Spencer often sang at public events throughout New York, especially for the causes of African Americans, children, the working man, and the war effort. In 1944, he sang "Freedom Road," and "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" at Ebbett's Field in Brooklyn, at a rally for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

 

Kenneth Spencer performs with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on July 5, 1947, for a live radio broadcast of ABC's "Sunday Evening Hour."

 

 

Kenneth Spencer with the Peters Sisters, at the Casino Municipal in Nice France, 1949. Spencer was invited by the French government to sing at their International Music Festival. Spencer gave concerts at Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice, and Paris. This opportunity opened the world to Kenneth's talents, and opportunities overseas far outweighed those in the states, prompting him to move to Paris.

 

 

Kenneth Spencer in an undated handout photograph from ABC Studios in London, circa 1960

 

 
IMG_4095.jpg

Kenneth Spencer at his last television performance in Germany, weeks before his fatal plane crash in Lake Ponchartrain, New Orleans, in February 1964.