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, February 08, 2009

Before the Fall: The Way It Was, 8 February

1922---President Warren G. Harding, the first American president to speak on the radio directly (the 1920 campaign he won was also the first known to have been covered by radio), has a radio installed in the White House.

That installation occurrs just over three months before his administration---via Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall---begins to boil over Teapot Dome, the scandal that will launch when Fall is discovered to have accepted $404,000 worth of gifts to lease public oil reserves in Wyoming to oil executives Harry F. Sinclair and Edward Dolheny without competitive bidding, the leases being legal but the gifts, not.


1924: AIR GENERAL---A Chicago speech by Gen. John Joseph Carty is the first coast-to-coast old-time radio broadcast hookup.

Carty has been an American Telephone and Telegraph vice president in charge of research and development for the Bell System, who was commissioned by the military and, for World War I, organised fourteen Signal Corps battalions from Bell System personnel, as well as serving the chief signal officer of the American Expeditionary Forces and designing communication circuits for military supply services operating in France, securing and maintaining transatlantic communications between U.S. forces in France and Washington.

After the war, Carty was officer in charge of communications for the American Committee to Negotiate Peace.

In due course, the National Academy of Sciences will come to present an annual John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science, established by AT&T in 1932 in his honour.

1929: PLAYING KOY---Phoenix, Arizona radio station 6 BBH begins broadcasting under its newly approved change in call letters, to KOY. Three years later, the station will become an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System.

One of the station's earliest employees, according to its own history notes, is a twelve-year-old boy whose job it is to sweep the floors of owner Earl Nielsen's combination of sporting goods store and radio station. The boy's name: Barry Goldwater.


TARZAN: TARZAN TO THE RESCUE (SYNDICATED, 1933)---After rescuing Professor Porter's party, Tarzan (James H. Pierce) returns to his jungle to face a challenge to his leadership of the apes and a new rescue to perform---Jane (Joanne Burroughs), who's been kidnapped by pirates. Jane: Joan Burroughs. Additional cast: Unknown. Writers: Unknown; based on the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

THE BURNS & ALLEN SHOW: MUDDLING WITH THE MENJOUS (CBS, 1944)---Adolph Menjou and his wife Veree Teasdale get their crack at getting muddled by Gracie---who opens the broadcast with a gentle appeal for more war bond buying---as she and George celebrate their wedding anniversary while the Menjous split over a dubious quarrel. Additional cast: Elvia Allman, Mel Blanc, Jimmy Cash. Music: Felix Mills and His Orchestra. Writers: Paul Henning, George Burns, Keith Fowler, possibly Hal Block.

FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY: McGEE'S NEW DIAL PHONE (NBC, 1954)---He simply has to have one after one of his more annoying lodge buddies turns out to have one first. >Doc: Arthur Q. Bryan. Wimpole: Bill Thompson. Writer: Phil Leslie.


1886---Charles Ruggles (actor/comedian: Texaco Star Theatre; Suspense; This Is My Best), Los Angeles.
1902---Lyle Talbot (actor: Your Hollywood Informer; Calling All Cars; The Unexpected), Pittsburgh.
1905---Truman Bradley (announcer: Easy Aces; The Red Skelton Show; Drene Time), Sheldon, Missouri.
1908---Myron McCormick (actor: Portia Faces Life), Albany, Indiana.
1911---Judith Allen (actress: The Shadow), New York City.
1913---Betty Field (actress: The Aldrich Family), Boston.
1914---Margot Stevenson (actress: The Shadow), New York City.
1917---Robert Dryden (actor: We Love and Learn; Call the Police), unknown.
1920---Lana Turner (actress: The Abbott and Costello Show; Lux Radio Theater), Wallace, Idaho.
1925---Jack Lemmon (actor: Dimension X; X Minus One), Boston.
1931---James Dean (actor: Hallmark Playhouse), Byron, Indiana.


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