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, January 14, 2008

Wings: The Way It Was, 14 January

1947: NO PERSUASION NECESSARY---After agreeing that failing to persuade CBS chieftain Bill Paley would mean he wouldn't give it a try, old-time radio titan Norman Corwin---discovering Paley needed no persuasion, and spending much of 1946 traveling the world to gather its material---launches One World Flight, a CBS series in which he introduces America to the immediate, post-World War II world.

The good news: Corwin was presented the first One World Award, by the Wendell Willkie Memorial and the Common Council for American Unity, in memory of the former Republican presidential candidate, before launching the sixteen-country trip that produces the series. The bad news, depending upon your point of view, will be enunciated best, in due course, by Corwin biographer R. LeRoy Bannerman: "The global odyssey formed for Corwin . . . the conclusion that, despite promising, gallant hopes for the future, the One World dream of Wendell Willkie was still as remote as ever."


1945: MRS. NUSSBAUM INVITES THE GANG TO HER RESTAURANT---When he returns to New York (the Astor Hotel, to be specific) for a couple of shows, Jack (Benny) learns one of those wishing to welcome himself and his entourage (Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day, Eddie Anderson, Phil Harris, Don Wilson) is Mrs. Nussbaum (Minerva Pious) herself---"Allen's Alley's" favourite Jewish housewife wants him to be the guest of honour at her new restaurant ("What a romantic place---we are featuring soft lights and hard salami . . . We are also featuring a floor show which would make Sherman Billingsley turn Greek with envy," on tonight's edition of The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny. (NBC.)

Announcer: Don Wilson. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Dennis Day. Writers: George Balzar, Sam Perrin, Milt Josefsberg.

1945: NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH---Anne Baxter, Herbert Marshall, and Alan Young have a romp re-interpreting the 1941 film about a stockbroker manipulating his niece's charity drive while she asks his new partner to double his contribution---which he's staked on a bet that he can tell the truth for a full day, on tonight's edition of The Old Gold Comedy Theater. (NBC.)

Host/director: Harold Lloyd. Based on the screenplay by Ken Englund and Don Hartman.


1901---Bebe Daniels (actress: Life with the Lyons), Dallas.
1904---George McCoy (1930s discussion host), unknown.
1906---William Bendix (actor: The Life of Riley; Lux Radio Theater), New York City.
1908---Russ Columbo (bandleader/singer: The Russ Columbo Show), Camden, New Jersey.
1909---Joseph Losey (director: Words at War), La Crosse, Wisconsin.
1911---David Gothard (actor: The Romance of Helen Trent; The Adventures of the Thin Man), Beardstown, Illinois.
1914---Harold Russell (actor: NBC University Theater; Lux Radio Theater), North Sydney, Nova Scotia.
1915---Mark Goodson (producer/director: Portia Faces Life; Pop the Question; Winner Take All; Rate Your Mate; Battle of the Boroughs; Stop the Music; Beat the Clock), Sacramento, California.
1915---George Ansbro (announcer: Young Widder Brown; Waltz Time), Brooklyn.
1919---Andy Rooney (writer: The Red Skelton Show), Albany, New York.
1931---Caterina Valente (singer: Guard Session), Paris.
1938---Jack Jones (singer: The Steve Lawrence Show; Stars for Defense), Hollywood.


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