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, June 08, 2008

"A More Literate Fright-Fest": The Way It Was, 8 June

1947: "---If The Twilight Zone has a genuine old-time radio father, in terms of subtle turns, intelligent writing, and an airy but unmistakeable, psychologically poetic and quiet horror, it is probably the poetically psychological suspense anthology created by the mastermind behind Lights Out, with narration and lead character portraiture by the tastefully arresting, "quietly yours," Ernest Chappell, that premieres today.

[A] more literate fright-fest . . . Quiet, Please, which went in for surreal psychological horror stories.

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

NETWORK ANNOUNCER: The Mutual Broadcasting System presents the first of a series of new and unusual dramatic programs, written and directed by Wyllis Cooper and featuring Ernest Chappell.
MUSIC: Extract from Franck, Symphony in D Minor; fade in and up.
NARRATOR: Quiet, please . . .(pause; music up, then under). . . Quiet, please . . .
MUSIC: (fade)
NARRATOR: About 5800 feet above sea level---a little house, maybe twenty feet long, fifteen feet wide. It's made of corrugated iron sheets with a high peaked roof, sort of hangs over the edge of the mountain top, with nothing but the spikes of pine trees stretching all the way down to Pasadena, better than a mile below you.
MUSIC: (Up and out.)
NARRATOR: You ever get out to California? Well, if you do, get up there sometime and take a look at that little house . . .

From there, our speaker (Chappell) recalls the night he and two accomplices decided that observatory would be just the place to hide the loot from a bank robbery they pulled, on this premiere edition of Quiet, Please.

A reasonable, simple peer of Suspense and Lights Out for perhaps the most cleverly memorable thriller/horror offering in old-time radio history, Quiet, Please may been just a little too advanced to enjoy a long air life: the show will live barely past a second anniversary overall and well short of a year following its move from Mutual to ABC.

Additional premiere cast--Aldo: Martin Lawrence. Hugh: J. Pat O'Malley. Astronomer: James Van Dyke.


1929: THEY MAY LOSE THE FRESH AIR TAXI COMPANY---That's if Andy (Charles Correll) can't make the next installment to the furniture company, on tonight's episode of Amos 'n' Andy. (NBC.)

Amos: Freeman Gosden. Writers: Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll.

1947: COMING EVENTS---They prove rather intriguing in 1912, spinning forth from between a circus fortune teller and a winning sweepstakes ticket, on tonight's edition of The Clock. (ABC.)

Alvin Sweet: Don Crosby. The Clock: Hart McGuire.Additional cast: Amanda Dodd, Sheila Sorou, Rip Becknell, Len Taylor. Writer: Lawrence Klee.


1918---Robert Preston (actor: Lux Radio Theater; Eternal Light; Medicine USA; Silver Theater), Newton Highlands, Massachussetts.
1921---Alexis Smith (as Gladys Smith; actress: Lux Radio Theater; Stars in the Air; Screen Guild Theater), Penticton, British Columbia.
1927---Jerry Stiller (comedian/actor: The CBS Radio Mystery Theater), New York City.
1931---Dana Wynter (as Dagmar Wynter; actress: The Black Museum; The Lives of Harry Lime), Berlin.
1937---Joan Rivers (as Joan Alexandra Molinsky; comedienne: The Voices of Vista), Brooklyn.


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