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, March 01, 2009

Best Actor or Best Actress? The Way It Was, 1 March

He actually thought he'd win the Academy Award for Best Actor (for Charley's Aunt, in which he played a dual character/dual gender role), a source of mirth for Mary (Livingstone), Don (Wilson), and Dennis (Day) . . . until Jack (Benny) saunters back from a shopping jaunt in an unexpectedly great mood. ("They didn't know whether to name me Best Actor or Best Actress.")

Rochester: Eddie Anderson. Himself: Phil Harris. Additional cast: Peter Lind Hayes. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Dennis Day. Writers: Milt Josefsberg, Sam Perrin.


1932: "RADIO'S DISTINCTIVE LAUGH NOVELTY"---That serial old-time radio comedy of manners and malaprops that lends this journal its name among other things, Easy Aces, goes network, after two years as a Kansas City, Missouri favourite; the show appears for the first time on CBS, based at first in Chicago and sponsored by Lavoris.

The mouthwash will sponsor the show---starring creator/writer Goodman Ace as a harried realtor, Jane Ace as his wife and malaproprietress, Mary Hunter as live-in best friend (and human laugh track) Marge Hale, and Paul Stewart as ne'er-do-well brother-in-law Johnny---until October 1933, when the show will move to New York and pick up a new sponsor, American Home Products, who want especially to promote a brand-new aspirin . . . Anacin.

Any connection between the sponsoring product and the net results of Mrs. Ace's mayhem is almost entirely coincidental.

Eventual cast members include Ken Roberts as Cokie, the Aces' semi-adopted "son"; Ethel Blume as Betty, Jane Ace's beyond-her-years young niece; and, Alfred Ryder (known best as Sammy on The Goldbergs) as Betty's eventual young husband, Carl Neff.

But why would Lavoris drop the highly-regarded show? In due course, Goodman Ace will tell an interviewer its radio representative complained about a broadcast starting late---the representative's own clock was a minute or two ahead of the time kept by the originating station clock.

1941: FREQUENCY MODULATION---W47NV in Nashville is the first FM radio station in the United States to receive a licence for commercial operation. It transmits at 44.7 MHz. The station will leave the air in 1951.


VIC & SADE: HANK GUTSTOP THROWS A PARTY (NBC, 1944)---Vic (Art Van Harvey) comes home in an oddly cheerful mood before dining at a downtown hotel, Russell (David Whitehouse, standing in for Bill Idelson who'd been drafted into World War II) swaps cheerful back-fence barbs with nemesis Heinie Call and Vic, and Sade (Bernadine Flynn) finally pries the reason for Vic's good mood her jaunty husband. Writer/director: Paul Rhymer.

YOU BET YOUR LIFE: THE SECRET WORD IS "DOOR" (NBC, 1950)---A bachelor and a spinster ("chosen by our studio audience," which tells you something about audiences as matchmakers), a butler and a housewife, and a French consulate mademoiselle and a sightseeing bus driver, take a whack at Groucho Marx, who whacks back in his customary fashion, one week after another earlier couple landed $3,500. Announcer: George Fenneman.


1885---Lionel Atwill (singer: The Eveready Hour, old-time radio's first known variety show), Croydon, U.K.
1904---Glenn Miller (as Alton Glenn Miller; trombonist/arranger/bandleader, The Chesterfield Show; USO Matinee), Clarinda, Iowa.
1910---David Niven (actor: NBC Radio Theatre; Lux Radio Theater), Kirriemuir, Scotland.
1915---Cy Harrice (announcer: The Big Story; Cavalcade America), Chicago.
1916---Dinah Shore (singer: The Eddie Cantor Show; singer/hostess: The Dinah Shore Show; Command Performance), Winchester, Tennessee.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home