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.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another Shadow Looms: The Way It Was, 8 May

1939---The Shadow of Fu Manchu, serialising three of the famous novels and featuring a cast that includes Gale Gordon, Hanley Stafford (Baby Snooks), and Gerald Mohr, premieres for a 156-episode run on NBC.


1945: SOLEMN GLORY---Now it's clear, officially and unequivocably, to pull the corks and let the party begin for V-E Day. Just so long as it isn't forgotten that there's still business coming in in the Pacific, that is . . .

"PEACE IN EUROPE . . . PEACE IN EUROPE . . . "---One of the classic old-time radio broadcasts: mild-mannered Mutual Broadcasting System commentator Gabriel Heatter, whose usual sign-on ("Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, there's good news tonight") took a new meaning entirely even if he doesn't use it, for once, as he ruminates on the moment the German surrender became final and official.

"THIS IS A SOLEMN BUT GLORIOUS HOUR"---So says President Truman, while cautioning against the complete celebration until the Pacific war is won, in an otherwise joyous announcement delivered to Congress and carried live.

"TODAY WE GIVE THANKS"---So begins King George VI in an address to the U.K., originating from the BBC and carried on NBC.

REMEMBER . . . ---For those who died fighting the war, from Field Marshal Montgomery.

THE U.K. CELEBRATES---Winston Churchill does, too.

"AN ATMOSPHERE OF CALM THANKSGIVING"---So said NBC News, Washington, opening this V-E Day special broadcast that includes comments from Fleet Admiral William E. Leahy; Gen. of the Army George C. Marshall, the Army's chief of staff; Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Fleet; Gen. of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander-in-chief of the Allied Expeditionary Force; Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean areas; Gen. of the Army H.H. (Hap) Arnold, commander-in-chief, Army Air Force; and, Gen. of the Army Douglas MacArthur, commander-in-chief, U.S. Army Pacific forces.

THE HEARTY PARTIES---The BBC listens in on the revelry . . .


1940: AUNT CLARA'S KANGAROO---The trip to the Surprise Party convention will have to wait at least long enough to retrieve the train tickets---because the Surprise Party's Presidential candidate (Gracie Allen) gave the tickets to a stranger who wanted to be at the broadcast . . . not to mention assuring George (Burns) will tend Aunt Clara, on tonight's edition of The Hinds Honey & Almond Cream Program with Burns & Allen. (CBS.)

Additional cast: Frank Parker, Truman Bradley. Music: Ray Noble and His Orchestra. Writers: George Burns, William Burns, Sid Dorfman, Paul Henning.

1948: JUDY INTERVIEWS LANCELOT BUCKINGHAM---And to think it was supposed to begin with Buckingham interviewing Judy (Canova), on tonight's edition of The Judy Canova Show. (NBC.)

Pedro: Mel Blanc. Geranium: Ruby Dandridge. Additional cast: Hans Conreid, Gale Gordon, Joseph Kearns, Jess Kirkpatrick. Music: Charles Dann and His Orchestra, the Sports Men. Writers: Fred Fox, Henry Hooper, John Ward.

1948: BABY FOOD---Last week, they handed me a rather distasteful assignment at the advertising agency where I work: they asked me to prepare an advertising campaign for a brand-new baby food that was due to come out on the market. They sent me a sample of the stuff. It looked like strained moss. And I'm sure no self-respecting baby in his right mind would ever walk into a restaurant and order this stuff.

So drawls (Goodman) Ace, on whose doorstep even a self-respecting baby might get himself left, the day Ace plans to bring a new baby food's maker home for a softening-up dinner, on tonight's edition of mr. ace and JANE. (CBS.)

Jane: Jane Ace. Norris: Eric Dressler. Sally: Florence Robinson. Agnes: Beatrice Karns. Fischer: John Driggs. The Ga-Ga Baby (you're not seeing things): Madeline Gibbs. Ken: Ken Roberts. Writer: Goodman Ace.

1949: MYSTERY SHOW (a.k.a. PETER LORRE)---To please a potential new sponsor, Dean (Martin) and Jerry (Lewis) agree to try a mystery show---which seems impossible until they spot guest Peter Lorre's theatrical opening and decide to try talking him into it, assuming they can get past his secretary, on tonight's edition of The Martin & Lewis Show. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Paul McMichael, Roger Price, Ed Herlihy. Music: Dick Stabile and His Orchestra. Writers: Ray Allen, Dick McKnight, Roger Price, Jim Whitney.

1949: MOTHER'S DAY PRESENT---Phil (Harris) balks at buying Alice (Faye) a mink for Mother's Day . . . until the six words guaranteed to send things from bad to worse---and jail---come from Remley (Elliott Lewis), on tonight's edition of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. (NBC.)

Little Alice: Jeanine Roos. Phyllis: Anne Whitfield. Julius: Walter Tetley. Additional cast: Unknown. Writers: Ray Singer, Dick Chevillat.

1949: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STARS---A man (Ernest Chappell, who narrates) and his museum worker companion (Jane White), seeking gold and silver in the well of the sky, see only a soldier's skeleton when they find it at last---but she hears oddly alluring music through a deep, ancient hole, on tonight's edition of Quiet, Please. (ABC.)

Steve: Mark Forbes. Writer/director: Wyllis Cooper.


1895---Fulton J. Sheen (bishop: The Catholic Hour), El Paso, Illinois.
1899---Arthur Q. Bryan (actor: Fibber McGee & Molly; The Great Gildersleeve), Brooklyn.
1901---Katherine Raht (actress: The Aldrich Family; Against the Storm), Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1910---Mary Lou Williams (jazz pianist/composer: The Mildred Bailey Show; Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy), Atlanta.
1913---Sid James (comedian: Hancock's Half Hour), Newcastle, South Africa.
1915---John Archer (actor: The Shadow; Gateway to Hollywood), Lincoln, Nebraska.
1919---Lex Barker (actor: MGM Theater of the Air), Rye, New York.
1926---Don Rickles (yes, that Don Rickles; announcer: NBC University Theater of the Air---believe it . . . or not), New York City.
1940---Ricky Nelson (as Eric Hilliard Nelson; actor/singer: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), Teaneck, New Jersey.


Blogger Kameron D Kiggins said...

Great blog!

Y'know, I always liked the theme music for The Shadow of Fu Manchu more than the show itself!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kallman said...

Kameron---Thanks! Funny you should say that, a friend of mine says likewise!---Jeff

9:34 AM  

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