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, December 12, 2007

Marconi's Double Play: The Way It Was, 12 December

1896: HERE 'TIS---Toynbee Hall in London receives a taste of the future when Guglielmo Marconi demonstrates radio publicly for the first known time.

The demonstration occurs not long after Marconi's cousin Henry Jameson-Davis arranges his introduction to British Post Office engineer in chief Nyilliam Preece. A subsequent success follows on Salisbury Plain; within a year, Marconi will obtain a patent and found the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company---which will launch the world's first radio factory a year following that in Chelmsford.

1901: ATLANTIC CROSSING---Three years after he launches the world's first radio factory, Marconi picks up the first radio signal known to cross the Atlantic, near St. John's, Newfoundland.


1957: ELVIS? BAH! HUMBUG!---KEX in Portland, Oregon cans disc jockey Al Priddy. His heinous offence? Playing Elvis Presley's rendition of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas"---the station had banned the Pelvis's version of Der Bingle's holiday biggie.

It's enough to make you wonder what would be Priddy's fate had he played the rendition cut almost as memorably, in 1953, complete with the "yi-yi-yi" kicking off the second verse, by Clyde McPhatter and the original Drifters.


1937: ADAM & EVE AND INFAMY---In one of the most legendary hours of old-time radio, Mae West and Don Ameche perform the infamous "Adam & Eve" comedy sketch---written by, of all people, horror and suspense master Arch Oboler (in a rare comedy foray) . . . but the infamy will be misplaced, as the real controversy comes between West and Charlie McCarthy, the hoopla eventually getting West barred from radio for almost two decades, beginning after tonight's edition of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Edgar Bergen, Nelson Eddy, Dorothy Lamour. Music: Robert Armbruster Orchestra. Announcer: Ken Niles. Additional writers: Alan Smith, possibly Carrol Carroll.

1941: LOCKET IN THE LOAF---So it was discovered in bakemeister Lum's (Chester Lauck) latest confectionery invention, on today's edition of Lum & Abner. (CBS.)

Abner/Grandpappy: Norris Goff. Writers: Chester Lauck, Norris Goff.

1944: QUIZ SHOW SMOKES FOR FOLKS---After complaining about a mistake on his bank statement (only he would kvetch when the bank makes a mistake in his favour), McGee (Jim Jordan) prepares to go on a radio quiz---with Teeny (Marian Jordan, also Molly), of all people, testing him before show time, on tonight's edition of Fibber McGee & Molly. (NBC.)


1893---Edward G. Robinson (actor: Lux Radio Theater; Big Town; The Big Show), Bucharest.
1898---Noreen Gammill (actress: The Bill Goodwin Show; The Opie Cates Show), Missouri.
1902---Helen Menken (actress: Second Husband), New York City.
1908---Hank Ladd (actor: The Phil Baker Show), Chicago.
1909---Karen Morley (actress: War Town; Lux Radio Theater), Ottumwa, Iowa.
1913---Winston Burdett (newscaster/commentator: CBS World News Today; CBS World News Roundup), Buffalo, New York.
1915---Frank Sinatra (The Chairman of the Board; singer/actor: Your Hit Parade; Songs By Sinatra; The Frank Sinatra Show; Texaxo Star Theater with Fred Allen; Rocky Fortune), Hoboken, New Jersey.
1918---Joe Williams (blues/jazz singer, with Count Basie and His Orchestra: Stars for Defense), Codele, Georgia.
1923---Bob Barker (host: The Bob Barker Show), Darrington, Washington.


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