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, November 21, 2007

It Isn't Good Night, It's All But Goodbye: The Way It Was, 21 November

1959: ---This time, it is not good night, it's all but goodbye: Just over five months after he joins the station, Alan Freed is canned by WABC New York, for refusing to sign an affidavit stating he had never taken money in exchange for playing particular records on his popular radio show.

Freed himself announces his departure on the air. Coming as it does as a partial side effect of the quiz show scandal rocking television, the payola scandal will help destroy Freed's career as a radio big-timer.

A mere six months after he's fired by WABC, Freed will face the House Oversight Committee investigating the scandals; he will refuse to testify despite being granted immunity, and in short order he'll plead guilty to twenty-nine counts of commercial bribery, receiving a $300 fine and six months sentence (suspended).

Freed will end up destroying himself as he tries and fails to reclaim his once-glittering career, drinking heavily enough to contract uremia and die, penniless, in 1965, shortly after he is hit with tax evasion charges. At one point, in 1960, he will have a chance at reviving his big-time career, when Los Angeles KDAY hires him, but he will leave when the station refuses to sanction his promoting of the kind of live rock and roll spectaculars that helped swell his name in New York---or the kind that got him fired from WINS, a Boston show that ended in a riot and with charges lodges (though eventually dropped).

It bears repeating: Freed's ethics would be questioned often enough. (Like many in the day, he claimed songwriting credits as possible promotional payoffs; he was also accused of underpaying talent who appeared in his famous rock and roll spectacular shows and tours before the payola scandals.) But no one could or would really question his rock and roll heart.


1943: A ROYAL VISIT---An old college mate of Gildersleeve's (Harold Peary), whose son visited a year ago, is now married to a countess---and they plan a Summerfield visit that ramps up the ongoing household cleaning and repainting into overdrive, on tonight's edition of The Great Gildersleeve. (NBC; rebroadcast: Armed Forces Radio Service.)

Marjorie: Lurene Tuttle. Leroy: Walter Tetley. Hooker: Earle Ross. Birdie: Lillian Randolph. Leila: Shirley Mitchell. Additional cast: Unknown. Writers: Sam Moore, John Whedon.

1948: DIAMOND IN THE SKY---William Martin's (possibly Frank Lovejoy) invitation to a Parisian adventure has Suzy (Sylvia Picker) skeptical, and Dan (Alan Ladd) learns soon enough how right she is---he's needed to help retrieve a pricey diamond with only too much interest elsewhere, on tonight's edition of Box 13. (Mutual.)

Kling: Edmund MacDonald. Additional cast: Alan Reed, Luis Van Rooten, John Beal, Lurene Tuttle. Writer: Russell Hughes.

1948: THE MODEL TEACHER---Connie (Eve Arden) hopes a magazine interviewing her as a model teacher makes Boynton (Jeff Chandler) take notice . . . until he notices the predatory editor (Mary Jane Croft) doing the interview instead, on tonight's edition of Our Miss Brooks. (CBS.)

Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Walter: Richard Crenna. Harriet: Gloria McMillan. Conklin: Gale Gordon. Writer: Al Lewis.

1948: ONE FOR THE BOOK---A twelve-year-old snafu continues, to the consternation of the science fiction obsessed Air Force major (Ernest Chappell, who also narrates) who was there as an Army Air Corps sergeant when it began in the first place, on tonight's edition of Quiet, Please. (ABC.)

Sergeant: Dan Sutter. Colonel: Melva Lewis. Doctor: Sal Vickerson. General: Floyd Butler. Writer: Wyllis Cooper.

1951: THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR---One of them isn't the high price of turkey; another isn't such a husband as grumpy Willy Lump Lump (Red Skelton), on tonight's edition of The Red Skelton Show. (CBS.)

Additional cast: Lurene Tuttle, Pat McGee, Dick Ryan. Music: David Rose and his Orchestra, the Smith Twins. Announcer: Rod O'Connor. Writers: Edna Skelton, Jack Douglas, possibly Ben Freedman and Johnny Murray.


1882---Alfred White (actor: Abie's Irish Rose), unknown.
1905---Ted Ray (comedian: Ray's a Laugh), Wigan, Lancastershire, UK.
1908---Mary Young Taylor (commentator: The Martha Deane Show), Star Lake, New York.
1912---Eleanor Powell (singer/dancer: The Flying Red Horse Tavern), Springfield, Massachussetts.
1919---Steve Brodie (actor: Mike Mallory), El Dorado, Kansas.
1920---Ralph Meeker (actor: Crime Does Not Pay), Minneapolis.
1921---Vivian Blaine (actress: Lux Radio Theater), Newark.
1927---Joseph Campanella (actor: Zero Hour), New York City.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home