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.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Lo, The King Approacheth: The Way It Was, 30 May

1909---David and Dora Goodman, loving Jewish immigrants from Hungary, little realise the destiny of their ninth child, Benjamin David, when he arrives today in Chicago.

As in, a few years' woodshedding, false starts, studio and stage pit gigs, unwanted stops, and the like, following an impoverished boyhood that managed to include a musical education regardless.

As in, old-time radio helping graduate him from rumour to legend, when he hits Los Angeles toward the end of a dispiriting tour, and gets a big surprise, thanks to his New York-based radio turns on NBC's Let's Dance---the broadcasts, heard three hours earlier out West, have built him a readymade audience that explodes one night at the Palomar Ballroom when, as if to say the hell with it, he ditches his tour repertoire of stock charts and throws his real book of swingers and stompers at the crowd.

He will also bring jazz to, arguably, the largest audience in the history of the art; perform legendarily at Carnegie Hall; discover such giants of the art as Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, Charlie Christian, Mel Lewis, Eddie Sauter, and Peggy Lee; and, become a regular fixture on classic radio at least through the mid-1940s, until a series of illnesses forces him to scale back his musical activities somewhat, even as the era he helped ignite likewise scales back under other pressures . . .


1947: COLLEGE CHUM---Old college prankster Snodgrass Selby (Frank Nelson) interrupts Bill's (Harry Von Zell) reverie about the office rent with a couple of prank calls from the Moosehead Bar and Grille . . . but then Bill brings Snodgrass home for more mayhem, on tonight's edition of The Smiths of Hollywood. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Brenda Marshall, Jan Ford, Arthur Treacher. Writers: Bob Krasnow, Jr., Dick Nasserman.


1891---Ben Bernie (The Old Maestro; bandleader: Musical Mock Trial), Bayonne, New Jersey.
1892---Raymond Clapper (news commentator sponsored by White Owl; killed during World War II), LaCygne, Kansas.
1896---Whispering Jack Smith (singer: The Whispering Jack Smith Show), The Bronx.
1899---Ruth Perrott (actress: Vic & Sade; Meet Me At Parky's), unknown.
1902---Stepin Fetchit (as Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry; actor/comedian: Hollywood Hotel), Key West, Florida.
1906---Norris Goff (actor/writer: Lum & Abner), Cove, Arkansas.
1908---Mel Blanc (The Man of a Thousand Voices; comedian/voice artist: The Judy Canova Show; The Fred Allen Show; The Jack Benny Program; The Mel Blanc Show), San Francisco.
1911---Douglas Fowley (actor: Hollywood Hotel), New York City.
1915---Frank Blair (newscaster: America Looks Ahead; announcer for Fulton Lewis, Jr.), Yemasse, South Carolina.
1917---Peter Leeds (actor: Rogue's Gallery; The Bob Hope Show; The Stan Freberg Show), Bayonne.
1923---Jimmy Lydon (actor: Young Love), Harrington Park, New Jersey.
1936---Keir Dullea (actor: The CBS Radio Mystery Theater), Cleveland.


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