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 04, 2008

A Major Western Anchor: The Way It Was, 4 May

1922---Almost two years after it begins experimental broadcasting under the call letters 6ADZ, Los Angeles radio station KGC changes its call letters to KNX. In 1937, CBS buys the station---basically ending the Lee-Columbia Network, following a rift between CBS chief Bill Paley and Donald Lee, whose son Thomas would succeed his father and convert the Lees' western U.S. stations into the western end of the Mutual Broadcasting System.

KNX will be a major western anchor for some of old-time radio's classic programs, including the serial version of Tarzan of the Apes, Lux Radio Theater and Our Miss Brooks. By 1968, however, after broadcasting a mix of music and talk programs following the classic radio era finale earlier in the decade, KNX will go all-news, a format under which it will remain well beyond the turn into the 21st Century.


1945: "THE GERMAN COMMAND AGREES TO THE SURRENDER OF ALL GERMAN ARMED FORCES"---World War II in Europe is about to end at last, as the world joins Chester Wilmot of the BBC in awaiting the formal announcement. It won't have long to wait, as British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery---barely a month after he commanded the 21st Army Group across the Rhine amidst the final, magnificent Allied plunge---accepts and announces the surrender terms to which the German military at Luneberg Heath agree.

Meanwhile, back in the jungle, correspondent W.V. Thomas delivers the soon-to-be-famous mock Germany Calling broadcast in which he discloses the "vacation" of freshly-deposed and captured pro-Nazi radio propagandist William (Lord Haw-Haw) Joyce---"he has left," Thomas says, "for a short vacation---an extremely short vacation, if the British Second Army has anything to do with it."


1946: STAGECOACH---Adaptation of the 1939 Oscar winner (best score; best supporting actor Thomas Mitchell), in which a pregnant woman (Claire Trevor, recreating her film role) and an outlaw (Randolph Scott) are among the stage passengers leery of Geronimo's possible war activity, on tonight's edition of Academy Award Theater. (CBS.)

Writer: Frank Wilson, adapted from the screenplay by Ernest Haycox and Dudley Nichols.

1948: PLAYING HOOKY---Spring fever hits the Fosters variably and Judy (Louise Erickson) particularly, as Oogie (Richard Crenna) learns when she talks him into ditching school in favour of canoeing, on tonight's edition of A Date With Judy. (NBC.)

Melvin: John Brown. Dora: Myra Marsh. Randolph: Nick Davis. Writer: Aleen Leslie.

1953: THE IDOL OF CROMM CROK---It's a pagan idol to whom human sacrifices are offered and whose followers have just that in mind for three Appalachian vacationers (Eloise Kummer, Richard Thorne, possibly Carl Dreyson), on tonight's edition of The Hall of Fantasy. (Mutual.)

Writer: Richard Thorne.


1886---Earl Lee (actor: One Man's Family), Kansas.
1903---Luther Adler (actor: Mystery Without Murder; The Greatest Story Ever Told), New York City.
1909---Howard Da Silva (actor: Lux Radio Theater; Suspense; Forecast), Cleveland; Ed Max (actor: Voyage of the Scarlet Queen; Cinnamon Bear), Georgia.
1924---Gene Klavan (comedian: Klavan and Finch), Baltimore.
1927---Terry Scott (actor: Junior Choice; Great Scott, It's Maynard; Hugh and I), Watford, U.K.
1929---Audrey Hepburn (as Audrey Kathleen Ruston; actress: U.N. Story), Brussels.


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