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, November 19, 2007

Talking Turkey: The Way It Is, 19 November

Well, it looks as though the day after your correspondent's birthday has something in common with the birthday itself: In terms of events that were to change the proverbial course of old-time radio, it seems 19 November is as much of a turkey as 18 November. That is only too appropriate with Thanksgiving three days away and a couple of genuine turkeys hitting the airwaves gobbling today and tonight.

We've just fired the writer who composed that setup line. He'll never gobble at this table again.


1942: KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOUR---Live from Sixth Ferrying Group, Air Transport Command, Long Beach, California: Bud (Abbott) urges Lou (Costello) to hurry up and hire their next leading lady, whom he thinks will be guest star Merle Oberon, on tonight's edition of The Abbott & Costello Show. (NBC.)

Botsford/Bugs Bunny: Mel Blanc. Pierre: Possibly Bert Gordon. Announcer: Ken Niles. Music: Lee Stevens and his Orchestra, the Camel Five, Connie Haines. Writers: Martin A. Ragaway, possibly Parke Levy, possibly Pat Costello.

1944: TURKEY HUNT---Inspired somewhat by Babs' (Peggy Conklin) high school play, Riley (William Bendix) can't wait to bring in a Thanksgiving turkey he hunted himself---but the family can't believe the turkey accepted the challenge to hunt the turkey in the first place, on tonight's edition of The Life of Riley. (ABC.)

Peg: Paula Winslowe. Junior: Scotty Beckett. Annoucner: Ken Niles. Writers: Ruben Ship, Ashmead Scott, Alan Lipscott.

1944: VIVACIOUS LADY---Adapted from the 1938 Ginger Rogers/James Stewart vehicle: While visiting New York to retrieve a wayward cousin, a youthful professor (Lee Bowman) falls in love with and marries a nightclub singer (Linda Darnell)---who makes it difficult if not impossible for her husband to break it to his tyrannical father, on tonight's edition of The Old Gold Comedy Theater. (NBC.)

Keith Morgan: Jack Edwards, Jr. Host/director: Harold Lloyd. Adapted from the 1938 screenplay by P.J. Wolfson.

1950: THANKSGIVING TURKEY---The problem is that nobody knows just who the turkey is, when the mixups begin after Connie (Eve Arden) sets out to avoid a Thanksgiving alone, on tonight's edition of Our Miss Brooks. (CBS.)

Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Walter: Richard Crenna. Boynton: Jeff Chandler. Conklin: Gale Gordon. Harriet: Gloria McMillan. Stretch: Leonard Smith. Writer: Al Davis.

1959: WALLY BALLOU ON THE COMING WORLD'S FAIR---Our intrepid reporter ("He's mandatory listening for all employees at Pompous Pith Helmet Works") scopes the planning for the eventual 1964 New York World's Fair, including emblem designer David L. McCelligan. Meanwhile, Arthur Shrank reports from WJIM Lansing, and Ray's caught off guard when Bob asks if he's found the music for Great Come and Get It Day, among other doings and undoings on today's edition of Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network. (Trick question . . . )

Writers: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.


1863---Billy Sunday (evangelist: The Back Home Hour), Ames, Iowa.
1864---George Barbier (actor: Song of the Islands), Philadelphia.
1889---Clifton Webb (as Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck; actor: Lux Radio Theater), Indianapolis.
1897---Bud Green (lyricist: Great Moments in Music), Austria.
1901---Charles Webster (actor: Life Can Be Beautiful; Backstage Wife), United Kingdom.
1905---Eleanor Audley (actress: Father Knows Best), New York City; Tommy Dorsey (trombonist/bandleader: The Jack Pearl Program; Fame and Fortune; The Tommy Dorsey Show; G.I. Jive), Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
1919---George Fenneman (announcer: You Bet Your Life; Dragnet; actor: I'll Fly Anything), Peking (Beijing); Alan Young (comedian: The Jimmy Durante Show; The Alan Young Show), North Shields, Northcumberland, U.K.


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