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 28, 2008

No Such as Too Much Fred: The Way It Was, 28 December

So nothing of earthshattering historical import regarding radio (old-time or otherwise) occurred on this date? Relax. Listen. And anyone who says there's such a thing as too much Fred Allen is talking through his or her chapeau . . .

For everyone who's ever gotten the business from whatever place of business gives them a hard time over post-Christmas exchanges, this one's for you . . .

All Fred (Allen) wants to do is exchange the cuckoo he got for Christmas . . . because the little bird comes out of his house backward. All he had to do to make things go from bad to worse was let Monty Woolley (himself) talk him into suing when the store refuses to take the clock back.

Portland: Portland Hoffa. Senator Claghorn: Kenny Delmar. Titus Moody: Parker Fenelly. Mrs. Nussbaum: Minerva Pious. Ajax Cassidy: Peter Donald. Music: Al Goodman Orchestra, the Five DeMarco Sisters. Writers: Fred Allen, Robert Weiskopf.


THE INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES: DEATH HAS CLAWS (NBC Blue, 1941)---A tenement tenant (Santos Ortega) disturbed by howling cats along the side wall may have a lot more to disturb him than just their infelicity. Additional cast: Unknown. Host: Raymond Edward Johnson. Writer/director: Himan Brown. (Note: Static and squelch in this recording.)

LUX RADIO THEATER: KATHLEEN (CBS, 1943)---Herbert Marshall and a maturing Shirley Temple reprise their 1941 film roles in this slightly sugary but still tautly produced and performed adaptation, in which a twelve-year-old girl (Temple)---whose mother died in her babyhood, whose absentee workaholic father (Marshall) amplifies her longing for a real family, and who's invented one, forcing her to keep her friends at bay and her nanny to hire a psychologist (Frances Gifford, in the Laraine Day film role)---hopes to marry her father to the psychologist, instead of seeing him marry his icy girl friend. Host: Cecil B. DeMille. Adapted from the screenplay by Mary C. McCall, from a story by Kay Van Riper.

SUSPENSE: A THING OF BEAUTY (CBS, 1944)---A once-renowned English stage actress (June Dupres, standing in for an ill Ida Lupino), living nine years in seclusion following ten years of institutional isolation, finally---and unexpectedly---reveals what caused her original breakdown to her priest and his protege, both of whom know she thinks only a man of God will help her find peace. Additional cast: Herbert Rawlinson, John McIntire. Writer: Robert L. Richards, based on a story by Elizabeth Hiestand.

DUFFY'S TAVERN: BALANCING THE BOOKS (NBC, 1945)---Fearing the worst when the boss hires an accountant to go over the bar's books, edgy Archie (Ed Gardner) wangles a tavern gig for The $64 Question (featuring guest Garry Moore), hoping to use the prize to balance the books. Miss Duffy: Sandra Gould. Finnegan: Charles Cantor. Eddie: Eddie Green. Writers: Ed Gardner, Larry Gelbart, possibly Larry Marks.


1887---Charles Dingle (actor: Meet the Dixons), Wabash, Indiana.
1890---Frank Butler (actor: Mr. Chameleon), Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK.
1903---Earl (Fatha) Hines (pianist/composer/bandleader: Chamber Music of Lower Basin Street), Duquesne, Pennsylvania.
1905---Cliff Arquette (actor: Myrt & Marge), Toledo, Ohio.
1908---Lew Ayres (actor: Dr. Kildare), Minneapolis.
1909---Olan Soule (actor: Bachelor's Children; Joan and Kermit), La Harpe, Illinois.
1914---Lee Bowman (actor: Life in Your Hands; My Favourite Husband), Cincinnati.
1915---Dick Joy (announcer: My Secret Ambition; The Saint; Adventures of Sam Spade), Putnam, Connecticut.
1923---Andrew Duggan (actor: Hollywood Radio Theater; The Voice of the Army; Top Secret), Franklin, Indiana.
1927---Martin Milner (actor: Dragnet), Detroit.
1929---Brian Redhead (host: A World in Edgeways; Today (U.K.); From Plato to NATO), Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.


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