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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From Town Hall Tonight to the Caine and Beyond: The Way It Was, 27 May

1915---What a battle-fatigued, near-paranoiac minesweeper commander has in common with a battle-tested old-time radio satirist is born in New York City today.

For five years following his graduation from Columbia University, until his entry into World War II, Herman Wouk will join Arnold Auerbach as the prime assistants in helping Fred Allen compose the scripts of his weekly satirical splendor. He will also make a friend for life in Allen, even after he became one of America's most respected men of letters, Pulitzer Prize-winning and otherwise.

dear herman---

sorry it has taken me so long to write and tell you how much portland and i enjoyed the caine mutiny.

since i gave up my program it seems my days have no pattern. my brother has been back in the hospital and between trips to boston and a few guest dates here i never seem to get anything done.

i think your book is excellent. the chapters describing the storm at sea and the court martial are really wonderful. the queeg character is a perfect portrait of a weakling rampant and the love story is sustained well.

it just occurred to me that since you are no longer in my employ i have a nerve turning critic at this late date . . .

---Fred Allen, letter to Herman Wouk, dated 3 May 1951, as republished in Joe McCarthy (ed.), fred allen's letters. (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1965.)


1957: LET'S ROCK, CANADA---Toronto's CHUM (the neon sign atop the station's headquarters becomes nearly if not equally as famous) becomes Canada's first top forty radio station, a life that will see its surveys become Canada's most influential, not to mention becoming Canada's first station to play both Elvis Presley and the Beatles and the station future rock and roll icon Neil Young would credit with teaching him what really went in in contemporary music when he listened as a boy before migrating to the U.S.


1935: LUM HAS DISAPPEARED---That's all Abner (Norris Goff), Dick Huddleston (Goff) and Grandpap (Chester Lauck, who also plays Lum) need after the statue unveiling fiasco, with Dick assuring Abner the mill pond's the last place Lum might have disappeared---while frowning on Lum's wanting to erect a statue to himself in the first place---on today's edition of Lum & Abner. (NBC.)

Writers: Chester Lauck, Norris Goff.

1947: THE FRENCH INTERIOR DECORATOR---Mel (Blanc, who also plays Zookie) balks when Betty (Mary Jane Croft) asks him to ask her father (Earle Ross) to approve their marriage, but when he offers to repaint the old man's supermarket on the house it may prove to be a coat of another colour, on tonight's edition of The Mel Blanc Show. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Hans Conreid, Joseph Kearns. Music: Victor Mills and His Orchestra. Writer: Mack Benoff.


1904---Marlin Hurt (actor: Fibber McGee & Molly, Beulah), Du Quoin, Illinois.
1911---Vincent Price (actor: The Saint; Lux Radio Theater; The Price of Fear), St. Louis.
1919---Ray Montgomery (actor: Dear John), unknown.
1921---Redd Stewart (lyricist: Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys), Ashland City, Tennessee.


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