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, April 11, 2007

In This Corner, KDKA: The Way It Was, 11 April

1921---Already the first old-time radio station known to have aired a commercial broadcast (the returns of the 1920 presidential elections), Pittsburgh's KDKA jumps into another ring first---a boxing ring: the station broadcasts live the bout between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.

Dundee and Ray fight to a draw on this night and in a rematch in mid-May, also held in Pittsburgh. Dundee, will stop George (KO) Chaney later the same year to win the world junior lightweight title.

Come summer, KDKA will also have the real answer to "Who's on first": the station will become the first ever to broadcast a live major league baseball game.


1940: "IT AIN'T COSTIN' A CENT---THE NETWOIK'S JUST DOIN' IT FA PRESTIGE"---And thus is an old-time radio audience invited for the first time to audition a rather informal evening . . . at a cozily crumbling New York dive whose ill-tempered (and terminally unseen) owner---a fellow named Duffy---is feeling as kvetchy as an Irish barkeep can feel, when his shiftless manager can't seem to find one Irish tenor in the whole of New York to enhance its first known radio appearance, on tonight's edition of Forecast. (CBS.)

Archie, the Manager: Ed Gardner. Additional Cast: Gertrude Niessen, F. Chase Taylor (Col. Stoopnagle), Larry Adler. Music: Don Kirby and His Orchestra. Writers: Ed Gardner, Abe Burrows. Announcer (believe it . . . or not): Mel Allen. (Yes, children---that Mel Allen.)

1947: A DINNER PARTY FOR JANE'S BOSS---Airheaded receptionist Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson) and sensible Jane Stacy (Cathy Wilson) become accidental roommates following a sidewalk collision---but that may be nothing compared to the collision Jane fears after Irma invites her boss and would-be boyfriend to a dinner party . . . in their two-room flat, on tonight's premiere of My Friend Irma. (CBS.)

Richard: Leif Erickson. Al: John Brown. Mrs. O'Reilly: Jane Morgan. Professor Kropotkin: Hans Conreid. Writers: Stanley Adams, Parke Levy, Roland MacLane.

1948: ONE LONG PAN ANSWERS BASIL RATHBONE---After he mulcts thoughts and asides on exaggeration in advertising from the Allen's Alley demimonde, Fred (Allen) answers Basil Rathbone's (himself) call for new mystery scripts---with a new yarn for One Long Pan, on tonight's edition of The Fred Allen Show. (NBC.)

With Portland Hoffa. Senator Claghorn: Kenny Delmar. Titus: Parker Fennelly. Mrs. Nussbaum: Minerva Pious. Ajax Cassidy: Peter Donald. Music: Al Goodman and His Orchestra, the Five DeMarco Sisters. Writers: Fred Allen, Nat Hiken, Bob Weiskopf.


1893---Lou Holtz (comedian: The Fleischmann Hour, Kraft Music Hall), San Francisco.
1904---Paul McGrath (host: The Inner Sanctum Mysteries; actor: My Son Jeep), Chicago.
1907---Paul Douglas (actor: Meyer the Buyer), Philadelphia.
1909---Sylvia Picker (actress: Box 13), New York City.
1912---John Larkin (actor: Perry Mason, Dimension X, Ford Theater), Oakland.
1921---Toni Darnay (actress: Just Plain Bill, The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters, Nona from Nowhere), Chicago.


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