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.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bouncing Ike: The Way It Was, 19 December

1958: THE SATELLITE PRESIDENT---U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower broadcasts the first known radio message bounced off a communications satellite based in space. The President spoke from Goldstone, California when the broadcast was transmitted from the radio mirror balloon.

Eisenhower expressed among other things the hope that space-based communications could be used on behalf of peace for all mankind.


THE JELL-O PROGRAM STARRING JACK BENNY: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (NBC, 1937)---Aside from writing Santa to demand the whereabouts of the sled he asked as a boy, and arguing with Adolphe Menjou over whose bags under whose eyes are bigger, Jack (Benny)---who thinks everyone should be a kid for Christmas---passes out gifts to the cast (Don Wilson, Phil Harris, Mary Livingstone, Kenny Baker), whom he only thinks forgot to give him a gift, before the cast contorts a Christmas story out of the famous fairy tale. Announcer: Don Wilson. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Kenny Baker. Writers: Al Boasberg, George Balzer, Milt Josefsberg, Sam Perrin.

FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY: FIBBER SNOOPS FOR PRESENTS IN THE CLOSET (NBC, 1944)---Like that's a big surprise . . . as Fibber (Jim Jordan) is reminded rather rudely when he sees a don't-even-think-about-it note from Molly (Marian Jordan) before the usual clutter comes clattering down on him. Alice Darling: Shirley Mitchell. Doc Gamble: Arthur Q. Bryan. Beulah: Marlin Hurt. Announcer: Harlow Wilcox. Music: Billy Mills Orchestra, the King's Men, and special treat Marian Jordan (as Teeny) singing the Ken Darby (of the King's Men) arrangement of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Writer: Don Quinn.

MAXWELL HOUSE COFFEE TIME WITH BURNS & ALLEN: GRACIE'S LOOKING FOR A JOB (NBC, 1946)---George (Burns) has good reason to be shattered when Gracie (Allen) gets a job in a department store's glassware department for a little extra Christmas money. The Happy Postman: Mel Blanc. Additional cast: Sandra Gould, Gale Gordon, Jim Backus. Announcer: Bill Goodwin. Music: Meredith Willson and His Orchestra. Writers: Paul Henning, George Burns.

BOX 13: THE SAD NIGHT (MUTUAL, 1948)---A child's copy book dated from 1930 finds its way to Holliday (Alan Ladd), who learns the hard way that it's going to help him find his way to a murder plot. Suzy: Sylvia Picker. Kling: Edmund McDonald. Additional cast: Lurene Tuttle, Alan Reed, Luis van Rooten, John Beal. Writer: Russell Hughes.

THE PHIL HARRIS-ALICE FAYE SHOW: JACK BENNY AS SANTA (NBC, 1948)---In one of the all-time old-time radio Christmas classics, Phil's (Harris) former boss does the surprising job on a Christmas Eve in which the Harris children (Jeanine Roos, Anne Whitfield) want to stay up and see Santa---not Daddy (who sings a charming re-arrangement of "Jingle Bells") in costume, this time. Willie: Robert North. Remley: Elliott Lewis. Music: Walter Sharp with the Phil Harris Orchestra. Writers: Ray Singer, Dick Chevillat.

CANDY MATSON, YUKON 2-8209: JACK FROST (NBC, 1949)---A snobbish friend (Helen Klieb) now working as a classy department store advertiser bumps into Candy (Natalie Masters) at the store and asks her to find a missing Santa's helper. Burke: Lou Tobin. Liggett: John Grobert. Watson: Jack Thomas. Mallard: Henry Leff. Writer: Monte Masters.


1888---Fritz Reiner (conductor: Curtis Institute Musicale; Ford Sunday Evening Hour), Budapest.
1894---Ford C. Frick (sportswriter/baseball commissioner: Baseball: An Action History), Wawaka, Indiana.
1902---Sir Ralph Richardson (actor: Adventures of Sherlock Holmes), Cheltenham, UK.
1907---Ray Noble (bandleader: The Burns & Allen Show; The Chase & Sanborn Hour), Brighton, UK.
1911---Clark Dennis (singer: The Breakfast Club; Fibber McGee & Molly; Chesterfield Presents), Roscommon, Michigan.
1915---Edith Piaf (as Édith Giovanna Gassion; singer: The Big Show), Paris.
1923---Gordon Jackson (actor, BBC), Glasgow.
1933---Cicely Tyson (actress: Sears Radio Theater), New York City.


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