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, December 31, 2007

Never Forget Those We've Lost

Death, as it must, came in 2007 to a number of people who contributed to making the old-time radio experience a joy for those who lived it as it was, and a pleasure to those who know it now not (see this journal's motto) as clanking nostalgia but as living, breathing art. Saluting them once more:

BOB CARROLL, JR., 27 JANUARY---He first helped Lucy get the laughs when he teamed with fellow writers Madelyn Pugh and Jess Oppenheimer for My Favourite Husband.

FRANKIE LAINE, 6 FEBRUARY---The big voice made his bones on New York WINS in the 1940s; when the big voice began to nail the big hits, he became a big enough and frequent enough guest on Tallulah Bankhead's The Big Show.

EDDIE FIRESTONE, JR., 1 MARCH---That original Brewster boy also spent time playing Seymour on The Goldbergs and hopping from radio soap to radio soap, including One Man's Family, Hawthorne House, The Story of Mary Marlin, and Woman in White.

NELLIE LUTCHER, 8 JUNE---Legendary jazz and rhythm and blues pianist/vocalist (as a child, she backed blues legend Ma Rainey) who caught her big break when Frank Bull put her on a benefit broadcast for KFWB Los Angeles in the mid-1940s---catching the ear of Capitol Records executive Dave Dexter and launching an influential ("Hurry On Down" and "He's a Real Gone Guy" were her big hits) if short-enough lived recording career.

DONALD HERBERT, 12 JUNE---Mr. Wizard wasn't just for television---Herbert had acted and written for numerous Chicago-based radio shows after returning from World War II (with a Distinguished Flying Cross among other honours) before becoming the editor and interviewer for the children's radio health documentary, It's Your Life.

TERESA BREWER, 17 OCTOBER---Spitfire pop hitmaker of "Ricochet" and "Music, Music, Music" (among others) in the early 1950s, her brassy voice belying her diminutive figure, a long string of radio appearances before she was out of her teens. Later---after retiring to raise her family---she earned a reputation as a solid jazz singer; among other things, she sang with Duke Ellington for the last recording sessions of his lifetime.

DEBORAH KERR, 20 OCTOBER---Disciplined elegance and subtle daring. She joined Van Heflin and Walter Pidgeon as their leading lady for episodes of Lux Radio Theater; she joined Ray Milland as his leading lady for Screen Guild Theater; she was part of the unforgettable seventh installment of The Big Show---with Louis Armstrong, Phil Harris, Bob Hope, Frankie Laine, Martin & Lewis, and Dorothy McGuire.

The art never dies, even if the artist, alas, must . . .


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