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 12, 2007

Your Rexall Family Druggist: The Way It Was, 12 November

1885---He will appear in fifty-nine films, playing mostly minor supporting roles as stern men, whether judges, doctors, or farmers. He will play one such character (Judge Hacker) twice, in separate versions of a film (Scandal Sheet made twenty-one years apart. His final film appearance, released almost concurrent to his death, will be as the old farmer in James Stewart's Charles A. Lindbergh biopic, The Spirit of St. Louis.

But the Barnetts of Blue Ridge, Texas have even less notion that the son they birth today will play against type in an old-time radio role that millions will know without having the name to place with the voice.

Griff Barnett will become your Rexall family druggist in 1948---a soft-spoken approximation of a small town pharmacist---in the commercial spots that open and close the first two years' episodes of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, before its sponsorship is taken over by RCA Victor.


1944: TRUE TO LIFE---Dick Powell reprises his 1943 film role as a radio writer needing fresh ideas, boarding with a quirky family, and deriving plenty of inspiration---especially from the daughter with whom he falls in love, on tonight's edition of The Old Gold Comedy Theater. (NBC.)

Host: Harold Lloyd (who also directed). Co-stars: Rosemary DeCamp, Victor Powell. Writer: Possibly Harry Tugend (a longtime writer for Fred Allen), adapting the story and screenplay by Ben and Sol Barzman, Bess Taffel, and Don Hartman.

1950: BABY SNOOKS AND DIVA---In which radio's meanest widdle kid hectors Dame Tallulah for tips on how to become such a grand actress, once Groucho Marx gets finished (for the time being) with his customary opening ad-lib harassment (and see if you can spot the vintage joke head writer Goodman Ace recycled effectively for Groucho!), on tonight's edition of The Big Show. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Ezio Pinza, Jane Powell, Hanley Stafford, Frank Lovejoy, John Agar, Jimmy Wallington, Meredith Willson. Music: Meredith Willson and His Orchestra, the Big Show Chorus. Writers: Goodman Ace, Selma Diamond, Frank Wilson.

1959: ONE FELLA'S FAMILY---THE NEIGHBOUR'S DOG---From Book Ex Eye Eye, Chapter Vee Eye Eye, Pages 2, 3, 5, 11, and 234, on today's edition of Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network. (Your guess is as good as mine . . . )

Writers: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.


1903---Jack Oakie (comedian: Jack Oakie's College), Sedalia, Missouri.
1911---Claudia Morgan (actress: The Right to Happiness), Brooklyn.
1917---Jo Stafford (singer: The Tommy Dorsey Show; The Ford Show; The Chesterfield Supper Club), Coalings, California.
1920---Richard Quine (actor: Dr. Christian; Mayor of the Town; Family Theater), Detroit.
1922---Kim Hunter (as Janet Cole; actress: Medicine USA; Philco Radio Playhouse; The CBS Radio Mystery Theater), Detroit.
1929---Grace Kelly (actress: Family Theater; The Bob Hope Show), Philadelphia.


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