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.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Now, Here's a Pair . . . : The Way It Was, 1 December

1941: A MAN'S CASTLE---If you were to think of Spencer Tracy with a lady partner not named Katharine Hepburn, with whom would you think to pair him? If one of your answers is Ingrid Bergman, you are anything but alone in the thought. Someone does precisely that, for an unforgettable old-time radio adaptation of the 1933 film.

With millions jobless during the Great Depression, squatter's camper Bill (Tracy) takes a homeless young woman (Bergman) into his squatter's camp, where he feeds her and she makes him a castle inside a shack, falling in love with him in spite of his restless ways.

The kicker: He learns she's pregnant, causing him to want nothing more than to hit the first freight train out of town---but not until he plots a toy store robbery, to leave her with some kind of money, with the camp wastrel (Arthur Hill) who's eyeing her, which leaves our hero shot and scrambling for options as the police come closing in on him.

All of which pours through tonight's edition of LUX RADIO THEATER (CBS.). Ira: Edgar Barriot. Host: Cecil B. DeMille. Adapted from the story and screenplay by Lawrence Hazard and Jo Swerling.


THE CLOCK: ONE-EYED CAT (ABC, 1946)---An elderly paraplegic attached to his gentle, one-eyed cat is victimised by a ruthless new private nurse. The Clock: Hart McGuire. Additional cast: Unknown. Writer: Lawrence Klee.

MY FRIEND IRMA: THE REWARD (CBS, 1947)---One year after scrambled Irma (Marie Wilson) and sensible Jane (Cathy Lewis) became housemates ("So many people wonder how I can keep living with a girl who thinks President Hoover invented the vacuum cleaner"), an envelope of petty cash Richard (Leif Erickson) brings for Jane to hold proves only too tempting to scheming Al (John Brown), when it turns up in a purse Irma finds while Jane's out at the drugstore. Prof. Kropotkin: Hans Conreid. Mrs. O'Reilly: Gloria Gordon. Writers: Parke Levy, Stanley Adams.

ROCKY FORTUNE: MURDER AMONG THE STATUES (NBC, 1953)---It's one thing for Rocky (Frank Sinatra) to take a handyman's gig tending statuary in a tony art parlour, but it's something else again when he stands to join the stiffs. Additional cast: Jan Minor, Ted Osborne, Leon Janney, Joseph Julian, Ed Begley, Mandel Kramer. Writer: Ernest Kinoy.

GUNSMOKE: JUD'S WOMAN (CBS; REBROADCAST: ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICE, 1957)---A frightened woman, who turned shelter-seeking Matt (William Conrad) and Chester (Parley Baer) away during a violent storm, now asks Matt to hide her from her violent man, who threatens Matt after he shelters her with Kitty (Georgia Ellis)---and who hijacks the stage on which Matt's booked her out of town. Doc: Howard McNear. Additional cast: Unknown. Announcers: George Fenneman, George Walsh. Writer: Marian Clark.


1896---Ray Henderson (composer: Music for Millions; Cue Magazine Salutes ASCAP), Buffalo, New York; Ethel Shutta (singer/comedienne: The Jack Benny Program), New York City.
1898---Cyril Ritchard (actor: Best Plays; U.S. Steel Hour; NBC Star Playhouse), Sydney, Australia.
1913---Mary Martin (singer/actress: Lifebuoy Health Soap Program; Good News of 1940; Kraft Music Hall), Weatherford, Texas.
1914---Johnny Johnston (singer: The Breakfast Club; Club Matinee; Duffy's Tavern; Rhapsody in Rhythm), St. Louis.
1917---William Tracy (actor: Roosty of the AAF), Pittsburgh.
1918---Thomas Hayward (singer: Serenade to America; Name Speaks), Kansas City.
1920---Mary Wells (actress: John Steele, Adventurer), Omaha, Nebraska.
1939---Dianne Lennon (singer, with the Lennon Sisters: Music on Deck; Voices of Vista; Guest Star), Los Angeles.


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