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, December 21, 2008

Leave Us Yule a Log on the Fire: The Way It Was, 21 December

So history takes a day off. Doesn't mean old-time radio does . . .

In one of the best of the series' Christmas season programs, "The wise old actor with the sage old brush"---as Archie (Ed Gardner) describes guest Monty Woolley---is going to play Santa Claus in Duffy's Tavern's annual Christmas pageant. Or, so thinks Archie, who hasn't quite invited him until he happens to turn up in everybody's favourite Lower East Side dump. ("Look what a challenge it'd be to you as a thespedestrian!")

This installment includes Archie reading the anti-classic holiday poem Abe Burrows composed for him, "Merry Christmas to Yez All." ("It'll go beautifully wid dat cracked mirror"---Eddie the waiter.) Eddie: Eddie Green. Miss Duffy: Florence Halop. Finnegan: Charles Cantor. Music: Pete Reems and His Orchestra, Bob Graham. Writers: Ed Gardner, Abe Burrows, further unknown.


FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY: LOOKING FOR A CHRISTMAS TREE (NBC, 1943)---In which the Sage of 79 Wistful Vista (Jim Jordan) learns the hard way (doesn't he usually?) that waiting until the last minute to get the Christmas tree is as big a pain in the rump roast as waiting until the last minute to buy the Christmas presents---especially when everyone they know seems to have the same problem. The real treat: Teeny (Marian Jordan, who also plays Molly) reprises her charming performance "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" with the King's Men, whose Ken Darby set the classic poem to music. Uncle Dennis: Bill Thompson. Alice Darling: Shirley Mitchell. Louie: Possibly Hugh Studebaker. Doc: Arthur Q. Bryan. Announcer: Harlow Wilcox. Music: Billy Mills Orchestra, the King's Men. Writers: Don Quinn, Phil Leslie.

THE JUDY CANOVA SHOW: A QUIET CHRISTMAS PARTY (NBC, 1946)---Following a charming, quasi-countrified Christmas medley, Judy (Canova) and Aunt Aggie (Ruth Perrot) hope to have a quiet home Christmas party. Geranium: Ruby Dandridge. Pedro: Mel Blanc. Benchley: Joseph Kearns. Announcer: Howard Petrie. Music: Bud Dant Orchestra, the Sports Men. Writers: Fred Fox, Henry Hoople, John Ward, Hank Ladd.

THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM: LAST-MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING (NBC, 1947)---With three more shopping days before Christmas, Jack (Benny) meets Mary (Livingstone) for shopping and opens a charge account, Dennis (Day) ponders a gift for his parents, and Phil (Harris) flirts with a salesgirl (possibly Shirley Mitchell) who remembers him from last year's shopping. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, the Sports Men. Announcer: Don Wilson. Writers: George Balzar, Sam Perrin, Milt Josefsberg.

BOB & RAY PRESENT THE CBS RADIO NETWORK: ONE FELLA'S FAMILY: WRAPPING THE PRESENTS (YOU'LL NEVER GUESS, 1959)---From Book Ex Ex Eye Eye, Chapter Vee Eye Eye Eye, Pages 1, 112, and the Bottom of Page 113. Writers (actual or alleged): Bob Elliot, Ray Goulding.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. I drop by about once a week.

FYI, Bob and Ray and Duffy's Tavern do not appear to be available from the linked download site.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kallman said...

Ano---Thanks! For the kind words and the advisory . . . am fixing now.---Jeff

6:33 AM  

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