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.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"What Can She Do With a Bagpipe?": The Way It Was, 24 February

1946: THE WINNERS GET THE WRONG THINGS---Fred Allen has suffered neither fools nor giveaway shows gladly. And here the master ad-libber and satirist takes one of his best pokes at the surging radio trend. He zaps the seeming nonsensibility of some prizes and the implicit absurdity of others, before sauntering to The Alley to discuss hobbies (home movies for Senator Claghorn, putty saving and deer end mounting for Titus Moody, cooking for Mrs. Nussbaum---"I'm throwing in two horseshoe crabs for luck!") and sliding into a clever hillbilly satire . . . with Arthur Treacher, as Britain's first hillbilly star, on tonight's edition of The Fred Allen Show. (Original broadcast: NBC; rebroadcast: Armed Forces Radio Service.)

Additional cast: Kenny Delmar, Peter Donald, Parker Fennelly, Portland Hoffa, Minerva Pious, Alan Reed. Music: Al Goodman Orchestra; vocals: the DeMarco Sisters. Writers: Fred Allen, Nat Hiken, Bob Weiskopf. Original sponsors: Tender Leaf Tea, Blue Bonnet Margarine.

(Bonus material: The AFRS recording of the show edits out the commercials but fills in the time with an extra selection of the harmony-rich DeMarco Sisters, whom arranger-composer Gordon Jenkins recommended to the Allen staff after hearing the five siblings in the elevator of his office building---and, the story has gone, was so impressed he re-ran the elevator its full length so the quintet could sing another song for him. At their absolute best, the DeMarco Sisters were a match for the Andrews Sisters aesthetically, if not commercially.)


1942: LUM AN AIR RAID WARDEN---It might be something to break the monotony of Lum (Chester Lauck) fearing he might wreck Diogenes Smith's confidence in him as circulation manager for the war preparedness pamphlets---and his own chances for a prize as Pine Ridge's model citizen---on today's episode of Lum & Abner. (CBS.)

Co-star/co-writer: Norris Goff.

1944: THE WALSH GIRL---Elizabeth Janeway, new to the best-seller lists with her first novel, The Walsh Girls (and the wife of Roosevelt Administration economic advisor Eliot "Calamity" Janeway), joins composer/critic (and frequent radio guest) Deems Taylor as the guest panelists lined up with regulars John F. Kieran and Franklin P. Adams under Clifton Fadiman's baton, on tonight's edition of Information, Please. (NBC.)

1952: BUYING A NEW CAR---That would be Jack (Benny), who sees a circular advertising "liberal trade-in allowances" and decides that's a good reason to unload the old Maxwell at long enough last (Mary Livingstone: "What are you gonna get---an Essex or a Stutz?"), on tonight's edition of The Jack Benny Program. (CBS.)

Additional cast: Eddie Anderson, Dennis Day, Phil Harris, Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson. Writers: Milt Josefsberg, Sam Perrin, John Tackaberry.


1876---Victor Moore ("The Lothario of the Lumbago Set"; comedian: The Jimmy Durante Show), Hammonton, New Jersey.
1890---Marjorie Main (actress: Columbia Presents Corwin), Acton, Indiana.
1914---Zachary Scott (actor: Suspense, Encore Theatre, U.S. Steel Hour, Screen Guild Theatre), Austin, Texas.
1919---Betty Marsden (actress: Beyond Our Ken, 'Round the Horne), Liverpool, U.K.
1921---Abe Vigoda (actor: CBS Was There/You Are There), New York City.
1924---Steven Hill (actor: Treasury Salute, Up For Parole), Seattle.


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