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.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The World's First Honoured FM? The Way It Was, 9 December

1940---Longines-Wittnauer---whose wristwatches are often touted in old-time radio spots as "the world's most honoured watch," and who sponsor the music program, The World's Most Honoured Music featuring the Longines Symphonette Orchestra---becomes the first known FM radio advertiser, signing an ad deal with New York City's experimental W2XOR.


Two days after Axis Japan attacks Pearl Harbour, a nation and its old-time radio continues girding for war . . .

FIRESIDE CHAT: "THE CLIMAX OF A DECADE OF INTERNATIONAL IMMORALITY---So says President Roosevelt of Pearl Harbour, in his first Fireside Chat since the Japanese attacks.

Roosevelt also includes at once an admonition and an encouragement to radio.

It must be remembered by each and every one of us that our free and rapid communication these days must be greatly restricted in wartime. It is not possible to receive full and speedy and accurate reports front distant areas of combat. This is particularly true where naval operations are concerned. For in these days of the marvels of the radio it is often impossible for the Commanders of various units to report their activities by radio at all, for the very simple reason that this information would become available to the enemy and would disclose their position and their plan of defense or attack.

Of necessity there will be delays in officially confirming or denying reports of operations, but we will not hide facts from the country if we know the facts and if the enemy will not be aided by their disclosure.

To all newspapers and radio stations---all those who reach the eyes and ears of the American people---I say this: You have a most grave responsibility to the nation now and for the duration of this war.

If you feel that your government is not disclosing enough of the truth, you have every right to say so. But in the absence of all the facts, as revealed by official sources, you have no right in the ethics of patriotism to deal out unconfirmed reports in such a way as to make people believe that they are gospel truth. Every citizen, in every walk of life, shares this same responsibility. The lives of our soldiers and sailors---the whole future of this nation -- depend upon the manner in which each and every one of us fulfills his obligation to our country.

CBS WORLD NEWS TODAY: SITUATION UPDATE---John Daly anchors this newscast which covers further actual or feared further Japanese attacks, a possible Nazi German declaration of war against the United States when Hitler addresses the Reichstag, and other developments in the immediate wake of Pearl Harbour and the U.S. entry into World War II.


1941: FORTY PERCENT OFF---That's what a post card offers at the Wistful Vista Wholesale Outlet, a natural lure for a sucker like our man McGee (Jim Jordan), on tonight's edition of Fibber McGee & Molly. (NBC.)

Molly: Marian Jordan. Mrs. Uppington: Isabel Randolph. LaTrivia: Gale Gordon. Wimpole: Bill Thompson. Announcer: Harlow Wilcox. Music: Billy Mills Orchestra, Martha Tilton, the King's Men. Writer: Don Quinn.

NOTE: The program begins with NBC News announcing it will deliver the latest war news before every program "day and night"; whether this was the first such announcement and break-in over the network, two days after Pearl Harbour, cannot be determined at this writing.

The news includes: a sultan "of one of the little melee states" ceding his homeland to the BRitish on behalf of the war; the U.S. banning new German, Austrian, and Italian citizenships in the U.S. until the war ends; and, a British raid against a German stronghold in Calais.

1945: OPERA COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN---That would now be Gildersleeve (Harold Peary), after Hooker (Earle Ross) snookers Gildy into taking the gig from him, on tonight's edition of The Great Gildersleeve. (NBC.)

Marjorie: Lurene Tuttle. Leroy: Walter Tetley. Birdie: Lillian Randolph. Peavey: Richard LeGrand. Additional cast: Unknown. Music: Jack Meeham. Writers: John Whedon, Sam Moore.

1949: FRENCH LESSONS---Liz (Lucille Ball) and Iris (Bea Benaderet) take those after they're embarrassed trying to read a French restaurant menu, on tonight's edition of My Favourite Husband. (CBS.)

George: Richard Denning. Atterbury: Gale Gordon. Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Pugh.


1897---Hermoine Gingold (actress: Stage Struck), London; Herb Lytton (actor: Gallant Heart), unknown.
1902---Margaret Hamilton (actress: Lux Radio Theater; The Couple Next Door; The Free Company), Cleveland.
1903---Brace Beemer (actor: The Lone Ranger), Mount Carmel, Illinois; Matty Malneck (bandleader: Campana Serenade; Duffy's Tavern), Newark.
1905---Dalton Trumbo (writer: Arch Oboler's Plays; Lux Radio Theater), Montrose, Colorado.
1906---Freddy Martin (saxophonist/bandleader: Penthouse Serenade; The Burns & Allen Show; The Fitch Bandwagon; The Jack Carson Show), Cleveland; Ken Niles (announcer/actor: Hollywood Hotel; The Rudy Vallee Show; The Abbott & Costello Show; A Date with Judy), Livingston, Montana.
1909---Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (actor: Silent Men; Lux Radio Theater; This is War; We Care; The Big Show), New York City.
1911---Broderick Crawford (actor: The Hallmark Playhouse; Cavalcade of America), Philadelphia.
1912---Bartlett Robinson (actor: Portia Faces Life; Perry Mason), New York City.
1916---Kirk Douglas (as Issur Danielovitch Demsky; actor: Hollywood Byline; Screen Director's Playhouse), Amsterdam, New York.
1918---George Heinemann (creator: Faces in the Window), unknown.
1927---Benny Green (pianist/writer: Stop the Week; Kaleidoscope), Leeds, U.K.
1928---Dick Van Patten (actor: Let's Pretend; Reg'lar Fellers), Richmond Hill, New York.
1934---Dame Judi Dench (actress: BBC Radio Drama), York, UK.


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