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, March 10, 2008

Denver on the Air: The Way It Was, 10 March

1922---Denver, Colorado's first radio station, KLZ, hits the air for the first time, after Minnesota-bred, radio-loving dentist W.D. Reynolds receives a licence for his experimental 9ZAF station.

Long a CBS affiliate, KLZ would endure numerous changes until the mid-1990s, including several music format changes and two failed tries at sports-oriented radio, before religious broadcaster Crawford Communications buys the station and converts it to a Christian talk and music format.


1955: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED---Silver Eagle, Mountie---starring Jim Ameche (brother of film and Bickersons star Don) as Jim Ryan (The Silver Eagle)---airs for the final time on ABC today, four months shy of what would be its fourth anniversary.

The show will make the cut into Frank Buxton and Bill Owens' The Big Broadcast 1920-1950 in spite of its not having premiered until a year after the designated coverage range of that guidebook---because those two authors will consider its demise to equal "the end of top-flight radio adventures."

ANNOUNCER (cold echo): The Silver Eagle!
SFX: (wolf . . . ; fade up galloping hoofs)
ANNOUNCER: A cry of the wild . . . a trail of danger . . . a scarlet rider of the Northwest Mounted serving justice with the swiftness of an arrow.
SFX : (Arrow effect; . . . thud)
ANNOUNCER: The Silver Eagle!
MUSIC: Theme ("The Winged Messenger," fade under for)
SFX: (Blizzard . . . dog team fading up and under)
ANNOUNCER: The untamed North . . . frontier of adventure and peril. The lone, mysterious North . . . where one man, dedicated to the motto of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, faces danger and death to bring in the lawless and maintain the right . . . the most famous Mountie of them all . . . the Silver Eagle.
MUSIC: Theme (up and under).

---The standard introduction of Silver Eagle, Mountie.

The supporting cast has included Mike Romano and later Jack Lester as Joe Bideaux, John Barclay and later Jess Pugh as Inspector Argyle, Vic and Sade alumnus Clarence Hartzell as Doc, and Ed Prentiss (later Bill O'Connor) as the show's narrator.

Silver Eagle, Mountie was the creation of James Jewell, whom Buxton and Owen cite as having been considered the dean of the adventure thanks to having been the original producer for two such classic radio series, The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet. (Jewell's sister, Lenore Allman, had asked for a radio role at Detroit's WXYZ, where Jewell then handled both those series---and he obliged, writing her into The Green Hornet as Lenore Case.) He also wrote for Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy from 1943-1951.

But Jewell also has a comedy legacy: he created and directed The Black Ace, which included the first known running old-time radio comedy role played by a young man whose future included a regular support role in Drene Time, with Don Ameche and Frances Langford (including playing shiftless brother-in-law Amos in the Bickersons sketches) and frequent guest appearances on Tallulah Bankhead's The Big Show---Danny Thomas.

Silver Eagle, Mountie's writers included Jewell, Thomas Elvidge, Gibson Scott Fox, John F. Kelly, James Lawrence, and Richard Thorne.


1939: WELL!! Y'ALL---Guess who's coming to Pine Ridge University to receive his honourary degree (hint: he's only 39 years old), never mind that Lum (Chester Lauck) doesn't exactly believe anything of the sort, other'n someone playing a joke, on today's edition of Lum & Abner. (CBS.) Co-star/co-writer: Norris Goff.

1950: WOMEN'S RIGHTS, PART TWO---Since Liz (Lucille Ball) and Iris (Bea Benaderet) won't give up their hankering for equal rights, George (Richard Denning) and Atterbury (Gale Gordon) decide to have it their way: they can go out and win the bread, prompting the ladies to agree so long as their husbands do the housekeeping, a deal that seeds a slightly ticklish consequence for Liz and Iris, on tonight's edition of My Favourite Husband. (CBS.) Writers: Bob Carroll, Madelyn Pugh, Jess Oppenheimer.

1960: ONE FELLA'S FAMILY---A QUIET EVENING AT HOME---Riiiiiiiiiight, from Book Eye Vee, Chapter Eye Vee, Pages Eye Eye Eye Vee, but you also have to bear with Wally Ballou reporting from the Suffern Succotash Company meat processing plant to get there in the first place, on today's edition of Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network. (You have to ask, you're not doing it right.)

Writers: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.


1888---Barry Fitzgerald (actor: His Honour, the Barber), Dublin.
1898---Cy Kendall (actor: Tarzan, One Man's Family, Escape), St. Louis.
1900---Peter DeRose (singer/pianist: Sweethearts of the Air), New York City.
1905---Richard Haydn (actor: The Charlie McCarthy Show), London.
1911---Warner Anderson (actor: Terry and the Pirates), Brooklyn.
1918---Heywood Hale Broun (commentator: CBS Sports), New York City.
1921---Paul Coates (writer: Dragnet), New York City.


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