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, May 16, 2007

You're Gonna Be A Biiiiii-iii-iiig Star, Mr. Gildersleeve: The Way It Was, 16 May

1941: THE JOHNSON WAX PROGRAM WITH . . . THROCKMORTON P. GILDERSLEEVE---That is precisely the way Harlow Wilcox announces it, to kick off the audition program for old-time radio's founding spinoff show.

The show: Stentorian Gildersleeve (Harold Peary, in the role he made a hit on Fibber McGee & Molly) bids a slightly pompous farewell to his girdle-making company employees before boarding a train from Wistful Vista to Summerfield, where he's the unexpected designated executor for his late brother- and sister-in-law's estate . . . and, the designated guardian to their precocious two children---assuming a local family court judge who's his equal for ornery can be reversed when he demands a large cash bond, in a battle of wits between the barely-armed. (NBC.)

Evelyn Forrester: Lurene Tuttle. (The character will be re-named Marjorie when the show is picked up as a regular series.) Leroy Forrester: Walter Tetley. Judge Hooker: Earle Ross. Writer: Leonard Levinson.

And, with a slight nip and tuck in the original script, this is the basic episode under which The Great Gildersleeve will premiere as a regular series come August, under the regular sponsorship of the Kraft Cheese Company.


1925: THE HORSY SET IS ON THE AIR---At least, those members who happened to be three years old and in the Churchill Downs starting gates for the Kentucky Derby, which is broadcast over a radio network for the first time, based from Louisville's WHAS.


1943: CHILE---Allen's Alley addresses raising chickens during a meat-rationing period, and a freshly-rising solo singer named Sinatra has to be convinced to sing a newly-written song ("Every schnook I meet thinks he's a songwriter!"), possibly before he'll be allowed to sing "She's Funny That Way," on tonight's edition of Texaco Star Theater with Fred Allen. (CBS.)

Additional cast: Portland Hoffa, John Brown, Charles Cantor, Minerva Pious, Alan Reed, Jimmy Wallington. Music: Al Goodman and His Orchestra, Hi-Lo Jack and the Dame. Writers: Fred Allen, Harry Tugend, Nat Hiken.


1882---Mary Gordon (actress: Those We Love; Sherlock Holmes), Glasgow, Scotland.
1905---Henry Fonda (actor: Eyes Aloft; Romance; Suspense; Family Theater), Grand Island, Nebraska.
1909---Margaret Sullavan (actress: Electric Theater; Hollywood Playhouse; Lux Radio Theater), Norfolk, Virginia.
1912---Studs Terkel (as Louis Terkel; journalist/occasional actor: Desintation Freedom; Ma Perkins), Bronx, New York.
1913---Woody Herman (as Woodrow Charles Herman, clarinetist/bandleader: The Wildroot Show), Milwaukee.


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