Oh, so you won’t talk?”

They were kidding Roy Shield, director of the Climalene Carnival orchestra. It was lunch time. Roy’s associates on the Carnival were doing the kidding. He was doing the eating. And saying little, as usual.

“Honest, Roy, you ought to say something to the Carnival listeners some Thursday morning. Here you are, a successful musical director, with years of broadcasting experience. Yet you’re afraid to hear the sound of your own voice if you think it’s going into the microphone.”

Don Is Persistent
This was Don McNeill speaking, the same Don McNeill who speaks to thousands of Climalene users each Thursday morning as master of ceremonies of The Climalene Company’s popular radio show.

Still Roy busied himself with his pork chops, grinning, but refusing to accept the challenge.

But Don was persistent. “I’ll just dare you to say one word during the next show. Just one word.”

Then Roy shocked the entire luncheon group. “All right,” he said. “I will.”

Next Thursday morning an intensely interested group of Carnivalites – musicians, singers and guest stars – waited expectantly for the big morning musical show to get under way at NBC studios in Chicago. Soon it was in full swing. And presently it came time for Don to step to the microphone and announce:

He’s Afraid No Longer
“For many months we of the Carnival have been trying to get our musical director, Roy Shield, to lay down his baton long enough to bring a message to his friends of the radio audience.

“Mr. Shield steadily refused, not because he wished to be unfriendly, but because he suffers from microphone shyness – a malady that makes the tongue incapable of sound. But today he has resolved to break the spell. S H I E L D S P E A K S !”

Roy moved resolutely forth to a microphone, determination written on his genial face. “Hello,” he said.

That was all – but it was enough. It broke the spell. A week later Roy said five or six words. Another week and he obligingly took a small part in a humorous dialogue. What’s more, he seemed to enjoy it. Today, whenever an extra voice is needed for the Carnival, Roy can be counted on to help.

Hands Can’t Keep Still
This extremely popular musical director, one of radio’s finest, is so accustomed to directing an orchestra that he almost constantly drums with his right hand. Friends engaged in conversation with him are often startled to find Roy beating out a rhythmic tattoo in time to their conversation.

When Roy Shield obligingly answered Don McNeill’s challenge and spoke to Carnival listeners, the grateful master of ceremonies expressed his thanks with this pen sketch of the musical director. Three outstanding characteristics of the genial musician are caught in Don’s sketch – his contagious smile, the baton always held in his left hand and the nonchalant position he always assumes before the music rack.

He smiles so constantly there are perpetual crinkles about his eyes; it’s nearly as difficult for him to frown as it was for him to speak. Yet when Roy bangs that baton on the music rack with a peculiar motion, studio associates toe the mark as promptly as if he had cracked a whip.

So much is the Carnival musical director in demand that his last “vacation” was spent in Hollywood, where he composed more than twenty tunes for use in motion pictures.

From The Climalene News, Canton, Ohio, February, 1936

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