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.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Loveable, Impractical: The Way It Was, 23 July

1908: MORE SMILES THAN TEARS---He will prove something of an old-time radio jack of all trades in his way; his credits will include Cavalcade of America, The Chase, Columbia Presents Corwin, Columbia Workshop, The Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Joe Palooka, Lawyer Q, The March of Time, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, Our Gal Sunday, Portia Faces Life, Rich Man's Darling, So This Is Radio and This Is Your FBI. And, he will also play the title character when G.K. Chesterton's classic crime-solving Roman Catholic priest is adapted to radio as The Adventures of Father Brown.

But when Mother and Father Swenson become the proud parents of infant Karl today, they little suspect he will become remembered best for playing the title role in one of the classic comic soap operas of old-time radio.

ANNOUNCER:---And, now, smile awhile with Lorenzo Jones and his wife, Belle.
MUSIC: ("Funiculi, Funicula"; up and under)
ANNOUNCER: We all know couples like loveable, impractical Lorenzo Jones and his devoted wife, Belle. Lorenzo's inventions have made him a character to the town, but not to Belle, who loves him. Their struggle for security is anybody's story, but somehow, with Lorenzo, it has more smiles than tears.
MUSIC: ("Funiculi, Funicula," up and out)
ANNOUNCER: (reading spot for Bayer aspirin)
ANNOUNCER: And, now, Lorenzo Jones and his wife, Belle. Lorenzo has boarded up the workshop. His house gadgets are old fashioned, and has turned his attention to the world of tomorrow. Weather control, rockets to the moon, and splitting the atom, etcetera. He's also written a letter to the paper, describing a model town which science could produce immediately, if the people demanded it, and has received an enthusiastic response. A batch of letters has come in agreeing with him. Then, yesterday, the mayor called Lorenzo and made an appointment with him for this afternoon. And, now, in the Jones's living room, we find Lorenzo and the little woman . . .

Lorenzo Jones will premiere on NBC in 1937 and will endure as its comic self (written by Theodore and Mathilde Ferro) until, for whatever reason, Frank and Anne Hummert, who produced the show, decided to throw it more into the semi-standard soap mode of crime and disaster (one particular, memorably absurd storyline will involve Lorenzo as a kidnapped amnesiac and Belle on murder charges), destroying the show's singularity and life.


1935: SELLING SHARES IN AN ARIZONA SILVER MINE---Having parted with Abner (Norris Goff) and thrown in with Squire (also Goff), Lum (Chester Lauck)learns just what kind of business he's joined with the shifty swindler while Abner tries to talk Grandpap (also Lauck) into joining him, on today's edition of Lum & Abner. (NBC.)

Writers: Chester Lauck, Norris Goff, Jay Sommers.

1943: THE LODGE ROBE NEEDS ALTERATION---Vic's (Art Van Harvey) and Rush's (Johnny Coons) repose on the porch is interrupted when he reads Uncle Fletcher (Clarence Hartzell) a letter from the lodge, at least when he can get a word in edgewise through Fletcher's usual diversionary talk, on today's edition of Vic & Sade. (NBC.)

Sade: Bernadine Flynn. Writer: Paul Rhymer.


1894---Arthur Treacher (actor: Philco Radio Playhouse; Philip Morris Playhouse on Broadway; The Jack Carson Show; The Fred Allen Show; Duffy's Tavern), Brighton, U.K.
1901---Maurice Brachhausen (chief of sound effects, American Broadcasting Company), unknown.
1910---Gale Page (actress: The Story of Holly Sloan; Masquerade), Spokane, Washington.
1912---Jackson Beck (actor: Philo Vance; The Casebook of Gregory Hood; March of Time; announcer: The Adventures of Superman), New York City.
1915---Frances Chaney (actress: Terry and the Pirates), Odessa, Ukraine.
1916---Sandra Gould (actress: Sad Sack; Duffy's Tavern), Brooklyn.
1920---Christopher Lynch (singer: The Voice of Firestone), County Limerick, Ireland.
1925---Gloria de Haven (actress: NBC Radio Theater; Lux Radio Theater), Los Angeles.


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