Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Land of the Free: The Way it Was, 21 February

1943---What should have been a steady success, to gather by its mastermind and the performers attracted to its productions, is born today---Free World Theatre, on NBC's Blue Network.

The show is the creation of Arch Oboler, who took Lights Out from Wyllis Cooper and fortified it even further as a master thriller, and who will produce and direct Free World Theatre as well as adapt all its material from their sources.

In spite of that, and in spite of such film and radio titans joining in as Edward Arnold, Kenny Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Ronald Colman, Joseph Cotten, Judy Garland, Paul Henreid, Lena Horne, Charles Ruggles, and Orson Welles, Free World Theatre will run for nineteen installments only.

Among its more distinctive productions: the all-black adaptation of "Something About Joe," featuring Lena Horne, Rex Ingram, Hazel Scott, the Charioteers, and the Hall Johnson Choir, on 23 May 1943.


1943: DESERT HEAT---The 21st Ferrying Group of the Ferrying Division, Air Transport Command in Palm Springs gets some additional live heat from Carmen Miranda in the middle of the usual wisenheimer mayhem, on tonight's edition of The Chase & Sanborn Show Starring Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy. (NBC.) Additional cast: Don Ameche, Bill Forman, Joan Merrill, Mortimer Snerd. Music: Ray Noble. Writers: Possibly Joe Bigelow, Joe Connelly, Dick Mack, Bob Mosher.

1948: YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS---"First, I want to say I'd like to dedicate this story to all the husbands who will some day marry Jane," drawls (Goodman) Ace. What a surprise, after her usual complications set in, between Jane (Ace)'s indignation over Ace forgetting their fifteenth-and-a-half wedding anniversary, and the comely candy manufacturer (Gertrude Warner) who is his new advertising client, on tonight's edition of mr. ace and JANE. (CBS.) Cast: Leon Janney, Florence Robinson, Eric Dressler, Ken Roberts, Michael Abbott. Writer: Goodman Ace.

1950: THE RED MARK---The prison island of New Caledonia hosts a grisly clash between an inmate (William Conrad) and the island's grotesque official executioner (Will Geer), on tonight's edition of Escape. (CBS.) Cast: Harry Bartel, Paul Frees, Julius Mathews, Barbara Whiting. Adaptation (from a story by John Russell): Les Crutchfield, John Dunkel.


1880---Frank Orth (actor: Boston Blackie), Philadelphia.
1893---Ernest Whitman (actor: Beulah, Circus Days), Fort Smith, Arkansas.
1907---W.H. Auden (poet/writer: Columbia Workshop), York, U.K.
1915---Ann Sheridan (The Oomph Girl; actress: The Smiths of Hollywood, Stars in the Air), Dallas.
1916---Norman Jolley (actor: Space Patrol), Adel, Iowa.
1921---Shirley Bell (actress: the title role of Little Orphan Annie; Captain Midnight), Chicago.
1929---James Beck (actor: Dad's Army), Islington, North London, U.K.


Blogger Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of Judy Garland, there is an exciting and popular new group on Yahoo called THE JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE. They have ultra rare audio files, great photo's, lively discussions, and just about the most eclectic bunch of Judy enthusiast's you could ever hope to meet.
There are fans of every age and level of expertise, family members of Judy's, people who knew her, saw her, authors of books about her, people who have made movies about her, and more.
The only thing missing is you. Feel free to drop in and download some free musical rarities or join in on a discussion.
Once you visit our little Judyville you may never want to go home.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kallman said...

Dan---I appreciate the tip! -- Jeff

12:06 PM  

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