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.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Ticket to Portability: The Way It Was, 27 December

1947---Bell Laboratories' John Bardeen, William Shockley*, and Walter Houser Brattain invent the transistor---which many consider the 20th Century's most important invention, and which will put radio into massive portability mode within a very few years of its invention, after the first transistor radio is introduced by Intermetall at the 1952 Dusseldorf Radio Fair; and, after Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates (Indianapolis) produces the first commercial transistor radio in 1954.


1939---The Glenn Miller Show, a fifteen-minute offering featuring the rising trombonist/arranger/bandleader in his own old-time radio showcase, premieres on CBS.


THE FRED ALLEN SHOW (AN HOUR OF SMILES): DR. ALLEN'S CLINIC (NBC, 1939)---After spoofing the opening of Gone With the Wind and "interviewing" humourist Robert Benchley, three from the audience host a roundtable chat with the master on whether spouses should vacation together after each year's together; and, the Mighty Allen Art Players (John Brown, Charles Cantor, Minerva Pious, Walter Tetley) spoof the analyst's office. With Portland Hoffa. Announcer: Harry Von Zell. Music: Peter Van Steeden Orchestra, Wynn Murray. Writers: Fred Allen, Arnold Auerbach, Herman Wouk.

THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE: LEROY MAKES NITRO (NBC, 1942)---Leroy's (Walter Tetley) anxiety to experiment with his new Christmas present---a chemistry set---may just be enough to make Gildy (Harold Peary) explode. Birdie: Lillian Randolph. Marjorie: Lurene Tuttle. Hooker: Earle Ross. Peavey: Richard LeGrand. Writers: John Whedon, Sam Moore.

THE WHISTLER: THE DOUBLE-CROSS (CBS, 1942)---Living with the widowed detective who stopped him from going to reform school, and caring for his young son, a one-time hoodlum has to prove himself straight come Christmas Eve, when he discovers he's being framed for a safecracking at the store where the detective got him his job. Cast: Unknown. The Whistler: Bill Forman. Writer: J. Donald Wilson.

THE JUDY CANOVA SHOW: JUDY DISCUSSES HER DIARY (NBC, 1947)---With Aunt Aggie (Ruth Perrott), to whom Judy (Canova) translates the Mona Lisa's smile and decides to put some of her diary entries on the air. Pedro: Mel Blanc. Geranium: Ruby Dandridge. Benchley: Joseph Kearns. Announcer: Howard Petrie. Music: Charles Dent Orchestra, the Sports Men. Writers: Fred Fox, Henry Hoople, John Ward.


1879---Sydney Greenstreet (actor: Adventures of Nero Wolfe; Hollywood Star Preview), Sandwich, UK.
1893---Ann Pennington (actress: Good News of 1938), Camden, New Jersey.
1901---Marlene Dietrich (as Marie Magdalene Dietrich; actress: Cafe Istanbul; Texaco Star Theater Starring Fred Allen; Lux Radio Theater), Berlin.
1906---Oscar Levant (pianist/panelist/raconteur: Information, Please; Kraft Music Hall; Texaco Star Theater Starring Fred Allen; The Fred Allen Show), Pittsburgh.
1916---Cathy Lewis (actress: The First Nighter; The Great Gildersleeve; The Whistler; My Friend Irma; actress/producer/director: Suspense), Spokane, Washington.

* - This is, indeed, the same William Shockley who would become controversial, many years later, for his eugenics theories and published opinions---including that which stated his belief that individuals with IQs below 100 should be sterilised.


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