This is an online encyclopedia of personalities of Old Time Radio. It is designed for educational and entertainment purposes.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scrappy Lambert (1901-87)

Harold R. Lambert was born May 12, 1901, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He stayed in New Brunswick for a great portion of his life. He went to Rutgers University, where he was a cheerleader. One of his fellow cheerleaders was Billy Hilpot (1904-85). After they graduated from the university, they got jobs at radio station WEAF in New York. They did a comedy show, sponsored by Smith Brothers Cough Drops. They were known as Trade and Mark (the words written immediately under the pictures on the cough drop box).

Scrappy also sang with many of the name bands at the time. He didn't sing for any one group; he was one of the first freelance singers. He did sing for a period with Ben Bernie, along with his buddy Billy Hilpot. That lasted from 1926 to 1928. It wasn't an exclusive contract and Scrappy sang with many other bands. He worked cheap but he worked so much he was one of the richest singers of his day. He used other names besides his own: Burt Lorin, Glen Burt, Buddy Blue, William Brown, Harold Clarke, and many, many others.

Later, Billy Hilpot and Scrappy did the Smith Brothers Cough Drop Program on the NBC network (yes, I know this is a bottle of cough syrup, but it's got the same picture). Scrappy was also heard on the Maxwell House Show Boat. Other shows include Bob Hope and Lum 'n' Abner.

In 1943, MCA offered Scrappy an office job managing various artists and productions for radio. That was the end of his career as an artist. Some of the programs he worked with included Father Knows Best and Queen for a Day. He stayed at MCA until 1948.

In 1948, he became a talent agent on his own. One of his clients was Robert Young. Scrappy and he had a close relationship until Young was working on the TV series, Marcus Welby, M.D., some 20 years later. Besides working as a talent agent, he also worked in oil and real estate. After leaving that business, he retired back to his home town, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Scrappy was married several times. He once married one of the Radio City Rockettes. He died at his home in New Brunswick on November 30, 1987, at the age of 86.

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