Philip Cohan, longtime radio producer and director from its golden age, died Nov. 27 in Pacific Palisades of natural causes. He was 94.
At his peak as a radio producer during the 1940s, Cohan produced and directed a number of highly popular radio shows heard nationwide.
Born in Connecticut, he graduated from the U. of Pennsylvania and was hired by Paramount Pictures in 1928, where he managed the music department in their studio on Long Island.
While at Paramount he worked on several Marx Brothers films including “Coconuts” and “Animal Crackers.”
In 1935 Cohan moved over to the CBS Radio Network, where he became a member of the program development staff and developed a program with composers Rogers and Hart.
Cohan produced numerous radio shows including “The Paul Whiteman Chesterfield Show,” “The Kate Smith Show” and “The Columbia Workshop,” where countless writers, actors and directors received their start in the business.
He also created, produced and directed “The Saturday Night Swing Session,” which featured the likes of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.
During the 1940s, Cohan produced “All God’s Chillun” featuring Paul Robeson and for the rest of the decade, produced and directed the weekly “Jimmy Durante Show” on CBS radio. Toward the end of the decade comedian Garry Moore was added to Durante’s show.
When Moore and Durante jumped to the new medium of television, Coahn followed as a TV producer.
In later years, he served as a TV consultant and became an active member of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters and the Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama Variety and Comedy.
Cohan is survived by his children.