Kraft Music Hall was an umbrella title for several television series aired by NBC in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s in the musical variety genre, sponsored by Kraft Foods, the producers of a well-known line of cheeses and related dairy products. Their commercials were usually announced by "The Voice of Kraft", Ed Herlihy.
The original Kraft Music Hall was a radio series aired from 1933 to 1949. It was one of the most popular programs of its type, particularly during the period (1936–1946) when it was hosted by Bing Crosby. However, unlike similar programs, it did not make the transition directly to network television; Kraft's early ventures into that field entailed the sponsorship of a famed series of dramas, initially broadcast live, under the title Kraft Television Theatre.
By 1958, Kraft was prepared to revive the Music Hall for television. The first host was "Mr. Television", Milton Berle, who had become television's first superstar by hosting an earlier NBC program, the Texaco Star Theater. An alternate summer host in the program's early period was Englishman Dave King. The program achieved its greatest success while being hosted by Perry Como beginning in 1959.
In 1966, the program was a summer replacement for The Andy Williams Show, known as the Kraft Summer Music Hall, with singer John Davidson as the host. Comedian George Carlin was a featured regular.
Beginning in 1963, Kraft Music Hall specials hosted by Como were presented about once a month, through 1967. During the 1963-64 and 1964-65 television seasons, Kraft Suspense Theatre (co-produced by Como's "Roncom Films") was broadcast in the same time slot during the remaining weeks.
In the fall of 1967, the Kraft Music Hall returned as a weekly series, but without Perry Como who abruptly ended his association with Kraft Foods after the 1966-67 season. A policy of guest hosts was implemented, employing some of the leading figures in the U.S. entertainment industry at the time, including Rock Hudson, Lorne Greene, George Burns, Dinah Shore and Woody Allen. In 1968, the practice of regular hosts was reinstated, with programs starring, in succession, country singer Eddy Arnold, John Davidson (again) and Ed McMahon. Arnold's programs all featured an appearance by comedian/impressionist John Byner.
Other leading performers who appeared on the Kraft Music Hall on a reasonably frequent basis were Don Rickles, Alan King, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Mitzi Gaynor, Bobby Darin, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Wayne Newton, Johnny Cash and Simon & Garfunkel.