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, May 25, 2008

"I--I've Just Heard The Most Dreadful Thing": The Way It Was, 25 May

1943: SORRY, WRONG NUMBER---The original, one-woman tour de force (except for a very brief appearance by a police sergeant), that provides one of old-time radio drama's signature moments, enough so that it will be repeated seven times (its final such airing will be in 1960) before its parent series expires at last, premieres tonight.

[It] was an inspired use of radio to tell a story . . . a scary pas de deux between Moorehead and sound man Berne Surrey. When transferred to film . . . the earplay fell flat.

---Gerald Nachman, in "Radio Noir---Cops and Grave Robbers," from Raised on Radio. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1998.)

Bedridden Leona (Agnes Moorehead), whose husband is missing, panicks when she overhears a murder plot---hers---on the telephone . . . and can't convince anyone else she heard it, in a performance that will make Moorehead (already a respected radio presence) all but an overnight star, and lead to its adaptation for a classic 1948 film with Barbara Stanwyck as Leona, and it all begins on tonight's edition of Suspense. (CBS.)

Sgt. Martin: Unknown. Music: Lud Gluskin. Writer: Lucille Fletcher.

Agnes Moorehead, already a co-star of Lionel Barrymore's gentle Mayor of the Town series, will go on to appear more often on Suspense than any other performer, making thirty-two performances on the long-running program.


1892---Bennett Cerf (narrator: Biography in Sound), New York City.
1907---Barbara Luddy (actress: The Road of Life; The Woman in White), Helena, Montana.
1908---Linda Watkins (actress: Amanda of Honeymoon Hill; Big Guy; The Fat Man), Boston.
1913---Richard Dimbley (first known BBC radio reporter), Richmond-on-Thames.
1916---Kenin O'Morrison (actor: Charlie Wild, Private Detective), St. Louis; Ginny Simms (singer/actress: The Ginny Simms Show; Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge), San Antonio.
1917---Steve Cochran (actor: Voice of the Army; Unexpected; Screen Director's Playhouse), Eureka, California.
1918---Henry Calvin (actor: Big Guy), Dallas.
1919---Lindsey Nelson (sportscaster: Monitor Preview; Biography in Sound; original team leader, New York Mets baseball), Campbellsville, Tennessee.
1921---Kitty Kallen (singer: Kitty Kallen Calling; Harry James and His Music Makers), Philadelphia.
1925---Jeanne Crain (actress: Lux Radio Theater; Hallmark Playhouse), Barstow, California.
1929---Beverly Sills (as Belle Miriam Silverman; soprano: Major Bowes' Capitol Family/Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour), Brooklyn.


1949: ED WYNN NARRATES ARCHIE'S OPERA---And it's even money who'll be less the same, the veteran comedian or opera, on tonight's edition of Duffy's Tavern. (NBC.)

Archie: Ed Gardner. Eddie: Eddie Green. Finnegan: Charles Cantor. Miss Duffy: Possibly Sandra Gould. Writers: Ed Gardner, possibly Larry Rhine, possibly Bob Schindler.


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