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.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ever Ready: The Way It Was, 4 December

1923: ONE SMALL STEP FOR RADIO VARIETY---WEAF New York airs the first edition of the first commercially sponsored variety program in old-time radio history, the National Carbon Company's The Eveready Hour. Within a year, it will feed to several stations that come in due course to form the core of what becomes the National Broadcasting Company.

Famous soon enough for such one-act musical plays as "The Mayor of Hogan's Alley" and "How's the Judge," and performers such as Bugs Baer, Belle Baker, Eddie Cantor, Pablo Casals, and Will Rogers (when the show went "network," including Election Day returns), The Eveready Hour will air until 1930.


1954: WHO LET THE MOONDOG OUT?---WINS star disc jockey Alan Freed is denied the further use of his nickname Moondog on the air by New York State Supreme Court Justice Carroll J. Walker.

Walker thus upholds the claim of blind, bohemian singer/musician/composer Louis Hardin, who claimed rights to the nickname on the basis that he was known by the nickname long enough before Freed---whose original program in Cleveland was known as The Moondog Rock and Roll Matinee---laid claim to it.

Hardin enjoys a small but influential career as an idiosyncratic musician and composer with orchestral aspirations; his best-remembered compositions, however, will probably be "Moondog Symphony," which Freed himself has played on his radio show, ironically enough; and, a bluesy trance number, "All is Loneliness," made familiar to a later generation of rock fans by Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin.


1939: A MAN TO REMEMBER---Bob Burns and Anita Louise take the Edward Ellis and Anne Shirley film roles, in this slightly over-idealised take on a humanitarian small-town doctor repelling greed among the locals including his own son, on tonight's edition of Lux Radio Theater. (CBS.)

Host: Cecil B. DeMille. Adapted from the 1938 screenplay by Dalton Trumbo.

1947: GRACIE WANTS BING CROSBY TO RETIRE---Only Gracie (Allen) could consult a psychiatrist and conclude that getting Der Bingle to call it a day is the way to settle George (Burns) and his nerves, on tonight's edition of Maxwell House Coffee Time Starring George Burns and Gracie Allen.. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Bill Goodwin, Gale Gordon, Hans Conreid, Bea Benaderet. Announcer: Toby Reed. Music: Meredith Willson and his Orchestra. Writers: Paul Henning, Sid Dorfman, William Burns, George Burns.

1947: BE YOUR HUSBAND'S BEST FRIEND---Fearing George (Richard Denning) would rather play poker than go out with her, Liz (Lucille Ball) listens to a women's club speaker's suggestion that she make herself her husband's best friend---assuming George doesn't think that with friends like this, he doesn't need enemies, on tonight's edition of My Favourite Husband. (CBS.)

Katie: Ruth Perrott. Iris: Bea Benaderet. Atterbury: Gale Gordon. Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Pugh.

1949: THE WEIGHING MACHINE---Connie (Eve Arden) isn't the only one promised a tall, dark man entering her life, on tonight's edition of Our Miss Brooks. (CBS.)

Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Walter: Richard Crenna. Harriet: Gloria McMillan. Mr. Monet: Harold Moore. Conklin: Gale Gordon. Boynton: Jeff Chandler.


1889---Buck Jones (as Charles Gebhart; actor: Hoofbeats), Vincennes, Indiana; Isabel Randolph (actress: Dan Harding's Wife; Fibber McGee & Molly), Chicago.
1921---Deanna Durbin (as Edna Mae Durbin; singer/actress: The Eddie Cantor Show), Winnipeg, Manitoba.


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