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.
---broadcastellan.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

That's the First $64 Question: The Way It Was, 21 April

1940---Call it the birth of a notion, call it the birth of a cliche, call it, even, the grandfather of a scandal if you must---but the first $64 question reached and yielded today, on CBS's popular Take It or Leave It, hosted by Phil Baker.

For those who don't mind taking it (right up the wazoo or otherwise), here is one surviving sample of the show, first aired 13 July 1947. For those who prefer to leave it, please feel free to enjoy one of quite a number of charming parodies of the quiz, such as this, killing two satirical birds with one stone, cast by cheerfully cantankerous Henry Morgan.

CHANNEL SURFING . . .

1941: THE LETTER---The W. Somerset Maugham morality play, adapted to radio from the 1940 film, with Bette Davis re-creating her 1940 film role of a wife whose self-defence claim in the killing of her suspected lover is complicated by the letter his widow produces, in which she seems to have invited him to meet her as lovers the night of the killing, a letter producing in turn a moral dilemna for her husband (Herbert Marshall, also re-creating his film role) and the family attorney (James Stephenson, likewise), on tonight's edition of Lux Radio Theater. (CBS.)

1949: EDDIE CANTOR IS WORKING TOO HARD---Only the first hints involve how many dates he books in a day and how long it's been since he's kissed his wife, on tonight's edition of Maxwell House Coffee Time with George Burns and Gracie Allen. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Bill Goodwin, Toby Reed, Bea Benaderet. Writers: Paul Henning, Keith Fowler, George Burns.

1957: CHICKEN FEED---A domestic quarrel over the mere dime he gave his young son causes a frustrated husband and father (Lloyd Bridges) to take a long cooling-off drive that brings him into a fortune of trouble in a coffee shop, when he realises he left the house without his wallet . . . and his wife won't accept his collect call home, on tonight's edition of Suspense. (CBS.)

Additional cast: Amzie Strickland, Betty Groble, Lou Krugman, Jack Cruschen, Charlie Long, Lou Merrill, Dick LeGrand. Writer: Lawrence Goldman.

PREMIERING TODAY . . .

1898---King Calder (actor: The Second Mrs. Burton, Barry Cameron, Martin Kane, Private Eye), Maryland.
1905---Ted Osborne (actor: Dr. Kildare, Cinnamon Bear), Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1907---Beatrice Kay (singer: Gaslight Gayeties, The Beatrice Kay Show), New York City.
1911---Leonard Warren (singer: The Voice of Firestone, The Bell Telephone Hour), New York City.
1914---Norman Panama (writer: The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope, Lux Radio Thater), Chicago.
1915---Anthony Quinn (as Antonio Rudolfo Oaxaca Quinn; actor: Lux Radio Theater), Chihuahua, Mexico.
1919---Don Cornell (singer: Sunday Serenade, Fountain of Fun, One Night Stand, The Big Show), New York City.
1921---Betty Jane Rhodes (singer: Meet Me at Parky's, The Packard Hour), Rockford, Illinois.
1923---Tex Antoine (announcer: The Eternal Light, The Jane Pickens Show), unknown.
1932---Elaine May (comedienne: NBC Monitor), Philadelphia.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ron Sayles said...

Hi Jeff. I try to catch your blog everyday, though sometimes I miss. It is a great blog, especially for those of us lucky fortunates who were brought in the era of "Olde Tyme Radio." I did not have my first TV 'till I was 14 years old so I am fairly well grounded in OTR. I do have one question for you, are you getting "PREMIERING TODAY..." from my birth/death list? If you are, fine, feel free, just curious.

Ron Sayles

4:53 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kallman said...

Ron---Until now I didn't even know you had such a list! (I've been getting it from a couple of different places, but I'm always glad to have an extra source.) And a good thing you tipped me to it, since you had a couple of birthdays I wasn't otherwise aware of for today. Keep in touch! --- Jeff

9:44 AM  

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