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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"the lawyers hopped on us good": The Way It Was, 29 May

1941: SHOULD HE UNSOLVE THE MURDER, THEN?---Amidst semi-frequent correspondence with Hollywood film publicist Jack Mulcahy---who often steered him guest stars, as well as publicising one or two of his very few films (one of which was Sally, Irene, and Mary, a film that also featured Alice Faye and her then-husband Tony Martin)---Fred Allen takes one of his customary none-too-genteel pokes at a gossip or two and a busybody or two, the latter of whom sought to sue Mr. Allen over one of his vintage One Long Pan spoofs.

may 29th

dear jack . . .

received your letter this a.m. i saw the quote in the reporter. personally, i don't care about it. the only bad thing is the gravity that is accorded the bunk in gossip columns by most of the people out there. to call the last picture a turkey might upset mark sandrich, y. frank and mr. b.

the pallbearer lines and the impersonal stuff i don't care who prints but matters that can be misconstrued by some of the touchy chaps in your profession can lead to a lot of bother and lead to hard feelings as you know how things finally get magnified in certain circles.

i have never met that west coast columnist named stein. he had the audacity to print that portland and i were living in a flophouse, or something, while we were in hollywood. i never even bother to correct anything those finks write for to pay any attention to anything they say or quote only gives importance to their semi-libelous trivia.

in the future i shall be more careful what i write. if those yucks have to fill their columns they can scurry around and find items the hard way.

we had some trouble with the earl derr biggers estate but it has died down. we killed charlie chan on a program a couple of months ago and the lawyers or mrs. biggers hopped on us good. we have been plugging all of darryl's pictures when we get a chance and i guess the office didn't check on the charlie chan reference. the name didn't mean anything to us. we could have used any name but being 20th-minded i put in chan and started the whole mess. legally, they have no claims and some day someone will go into court with one of these shakedown cases and after one decision has been handed down all of the jerk nuisance letters, etc. will be stopped at the source.

you have my permission to tell stein what we think of him.

sincerely . . .


---Fred Allen, published posthumously in fred allen's letters. (Joe McCarthy, editor; New York: Doubleday & Company, 1965.)


1940: SWEEPING INTO OFFICE---Broadcasting from Treasure Island at the San Francisco World's Fair, George (Burns) thinks Gracie (Allen) will be a shoe-in for the White House if they can get a powerful Bay Area wheel behind her campaign---assuming he can shut her up about the man's sensitivity about his red beard, on tonight's edition of The Hinds Honey & Almond Cream Program Starring Burns & Allen. (CBS.)

Additional cast: Frank Parker, Truman Bradley. Music: Ray Noble & His Orchestra. Writers: George Burns, Paul Henning.

1949: GETTING JERRY'S GOAT---Dean (Martin) thinks Jerry (Lewis) will shake off a broken romance by seeing Henry Fonda on stage in Mr. Roberts, but when Jerry's inspired to serious acting Fonda comes up with a role for him, on tonight's edition of The Martin & Lewis Show. (NBC.)

Music: Dick Stabile and His Orchestra. Writers: Ray Allen, Dick McKnight.

1949: THE TREASURE OF HANG LEE---An anonymous request to buy a particular jade after rejecting two other pieces in a Chinatown gift shop promises "a lot of money" and a lot of interest to Holliday (Alan Ladd), but the ancient jade's tip toward a reputed treasure may tip him and the shopkeeper toward murder, on tonight's edition of Box 13. (Mutual.)

Suzy: Sylvia Packer. Kling: Edmund MacDonald. Additional cast: Possibly Luis van Rooten, Lurene Tuttle, Alan Reed, Frank Lovejoy. Writer: Russell Hughes.


1892---Mario Chamlee (singer: Tony and Gus; Arco Birthday Party; Swift Garden Party), Los Angeles.
1894---Beatrice Lillie (comedienne: The Beatrice Lillie Show; The Fred Allen Show; The Big Show), Toronto.
1897---F. Hugh Herbert (writer: Meet Corliss Archer; Lux Radio Theater), Vienna; Erich Wolfgang Korngold (composer: Contemporary Composers' Concerts; The Railroad Hour), Brno, Czechoslovakia.
1903---Bob Hope (as Leslie Townes Hope; comedian: The Quick and the Dead; The Pepsodent Show; The Bob Hope Show; Command Performance; Mail Call; The Big Show), Eltham, U.K.
1909---Mary Jane Higby (actress: When a Girl Marries; This is Nora Drake), St. Louis; Dick Stabile (bandleader: The Martin & Lewis Show), Newark.
1911---Vivi Janiss (actress: Aunt Mary), Nebraska.
1913---Iris Adrian (actress: The Abbott & Costello Show), Los Angeles.
1914---Stacy Keach, Sr. (producer/director: Tales of the Texas Rangers), Chicago.
1918---Herb Shriner (comedian: The Camel Comedy Caravan; Herb Shriner Time), Toledo.
1924---Bob Corley (actor: Beulah), Macon, Georgia.


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