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 07, 2007

"The Only Show In Radio Where the Audience Writes the Script": The Way It Was, 7 November

1937: POP MEDICINE?---The popular Dr. Christian film series graduates to old-time radio, with the films' genial star, Jean Hersholt, taking the role on the air, and Dr. Christian launches a sixteen-year radio life on CBS, with a unique twist: in due course it becomes, indeed, as announcer Art Gilmore introduces: the only show on the air which uses scripts chosen from audience submissions---with the chosen author winning up to $5,000.

Dr. Christian's cast includes first Lurene Tuttle and then Rosemary DeCamp as Nurse Judy Price; and, in various roles, Gale Gordon, Carl Stanton, and Walter Tetley (Tuttle's future Great Gildersleeve castmate).

Hersholt will remain in the role for the show's entire life, except for a two-week spell in 1945, when he returns to Copenhagen and his fill-in becomes Claude Rains as Dr. Alexander Webb.


1932: SCI-FI HITS THE AIR---Courtesy of old-time radio's first "space opera," Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which premieres today with Matt Crowley in the original title role and Adele Ronson as co-pilot Wilma Deering for the entire run.

Very few episodes will survive for future collectors, a surprise considering the show is so popular among the comic-strip set that its mail-order gift and premium offers will become almost as popular as the show itself. In due course, the cardboard space helmet---originally obtained with a metal seal from a can of Cocomalt, which sponsored the show---becomes a prize collectible.


1943: THE POT ROAST---Enjoying a rare day off, Gildy (Harold Peary) rushes to buy a pot roast for dinner . . . which is where he makes his first mistake, on tonight's edition of The Great Gildersleeve. (NBC.)

Marjorie: Lurene Tuttle. Birdie: Lillian Randolph. Leroy: Walter Tetley. Hooker: Earle Ross. Writers: John Whedon, Sam Moore.

1948: TRIPLE CROSS---Winning six figures on a crooked roulette wheel in Las Vegas---to which an underworld gambler (Herbert Vigran) lures him through the box---proves only slightly less embarrassing to Holliday (Alan Ladd) than losing the money to a beautiful blonde and walking into a murder plot, on tonight's edition of Box 13. (Mutual.)

Suzy: Sylvia Picker. Writer: Russell Hughes.

1948: SAM SHOVEL, PRIVATE EYE---After repeating the famous quiz show call-matching offer, Fred (Allen) offers Arthur Treacher a script for the television crime drama he plans to do in England, on tonight's edition of The Fred Allen Show. (NBC.)

Cast: Portland Hoffa, Peter Donald, Minerva Pious, Parker Fennelly, Kenny Delmar. Music: Al Goodman and his Orchestra, the Five DeMarco Sisters. Writer: Fred Allen, Larry Marks, Nat Hiken.

1948: ADAM AND THE DARKEST SHOVEL---Three Chicagoans are all who remain alive following a nuclear holocaust, and two (Ernest Chappell, Kathleen Corell) must decide whether to perpetuate the human race all over again, on tonight's edition of Quiet, Please. (ABC.)

Doc: William Adams. Writer: Wyllis Cooper.


1868---Royal Copeland (commentator: Health Talk; The Fleischmann Hour), Dexter, Michigan.
1883---Solomon Lightfoot Michaux (Baptist preacher: Elder Michaux's Happiness Church Service), Newport News, Virginia.
1890---Phil Spitalny (conductor: Nestle Chocolateers; Blue Coal Revue; Hour of Charm), Odessa.
1895---Jerry Belcher (interviewer: Vox Pop; Our Neighbours), Austin, Texas.
1897---Herman J. Mankiewicz (writer: Lux Radio Theater), New York City.
1902---Ed Dodd (creator: Mark Trail), Lafayette, Georgia.
1903---Dean Jagger (actor: Crisis in War Town; Columbia Workshop; Cavalcade of America), Lima, Ohio.
1913---Margorie Anderson (disc jockey: Forces Favourites; The Woman's Hour; Home for the Day), London.
1916---Joe Bushkin (jazz pianist: Saturday Night Swing Club; Eddie Condon's Jazz Concert), New York City.
1918---Billy Graham (evangelist: Hour of Decision), Charlotte, North Carolina.
1922---Al Hirt (as Alois Maxwell Hirt; jazz/pop trumpeter: Voices of Vista; The Navy Swings; Here's to Veterans), New Orleans.
1926---Joan Sutherland (operatic soprano: Metropolitan Opera broadcasts), Sydney, Australia.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home