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.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ain't That a Kick in the Head: The Way It Was, 7 June

1917---He does not ask for another belt when getting that first slap; neither does his obstetrician start him crying with a certain foot movement that would provoke him to croon, "Ain't that a kick in the head" . . . but a Steubenville, Ohio baby born today will grow up to play the crooning straight man to a certain madcap partner in nightclubs, films, and old-time radio (1949-1953), before graduating to fame as a more polished singer, actor, and fifth of the second and best-known edition of the Hollywood Rat Pack.

He will grow up as a high-school dropout, a bootleg booze deliverer, an amateur boxer, and a speakeasy and underground casino dealer, before getting his first singing break with the Ernie McKay Orchestra, using a style derived from Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers, and in due course joining Sammy Watkins---who encourages him to adopt the name under which he becomes famous, especially when he meets a young comedian named Jerry Lewis at New York's Glass Hat: Dean Martin.


1944: D-DAY COVERAGE CONTINUES---And, in one case, completely pre-empts a popular soap opera, as The CBS News Roundup pre-empts Young Doctor Malone.

However, four popular soaps broadcast as usual, with the periodic reference to or quick word from the fighting: Big Sister, The Romance of Helen Trent, Portia Faces Life, and Joyce Jordan, M.D. (formerly Joyce Jordan, Girl Intern), not to mention the semi-serial mystery, The New Adventures of Perry Mason. (All CBS.)

Meanwhile, George Hicks of the Blue Network (the to-be ABC) delivers a magnificent report in the wake of the D-Day landings success, from the USS Ancon.

1946: FEMALE OF THE SPECIES---A beautician (Lizbeth Scott) tries explaining to her prospective attorney a murder she only contemplated but didn't commit, on tonight's edition of The Molle Mystery Theater. (Original: NBC; rebroadcast: Armed Forces Radio Service.)

Additional cast: Unknown. Writer: Irene Winslow.

1947: COURTING AT SUMMER CAMP---Junior's (Scotty Beckett) vacation plans, possibly interrupted when Riley (William Bendix) needs to borrow a fin from him, provoke Peg (Paula Winslowe) to remember the summer he courted her while working at a camp, on tonight's edition of The Life of Riley. (NBC.)

Digger: John Brown. Writers: Ruben Ship, Alan Lipscott.


1891---Alois Havrilla (annoucner: The Campbell Soup Orchestra), Pressov, Hungary.
1896---Hope Summer (actress: Girl Alone), Mattoon, Illinois.
1897---George Szell (conductor: NBC Symphony Orchestra; New York Philharmonic), Budapest.
1903---Glen Gray (bandleader, with the Casa Loma Orchestra: Camel Caravan), Metamora, Illinois; Joseph Kahn (pianist: The Voice of Firestone; The Story of Mary Marlin), New York City.
1908---Boris Goldovsky (commentator: Metropolitan Opera), Moscow; Clarence Straight (actor: Those We Love), unknown.
1909---Jessica Tandy (as Jessie Alice Tandy; actress: The Marriage), London.
1911---Stanley Unwin (actor/sound/commentator: Beyond Our Ken), Pretoria.
1913---Tom Collins (actor: Chandu the Magician; One Man's Family), Chicago.
1919---Ray Scherer (NBC News: News of the World), Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1924---Dolores Gray (singer/actress: The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street; The Jack Smith Show), Chicago.
1926---Dick Williams (singer, with the Williams Brothers: The Bing Crosby Show), Wall Lake, Iowa.


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