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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Defacing Defoe: The Way It Was, 10 February

Mrs. Niles (Iris Adrian) has written a play based on that Defoe classic, with Lou (Costello) as Crusoe and Charles Laughton---who can't exactly figure out just how he got shanghaied into this one---playing Friday. Special attraction is Mel Blanc playing a sound man on the show . . . and interjecting sounds where they're least expected. Includes Abbott & Costello's "Abbreviations" routine, and a special end report---from Ted R. Gamble, the Treasury Department's National War Division director---on the progress of the department's war bonds sales.

Additional cast: Ken Niles (also the show's announcer). Music: Freddie Rich Orchestra, Connie Haines. Writers: Possibly Martin A. Ragaway, Pat Costello.


1893: "I'M DYNAMITE. DYNAMITE!"---It will never be verified whether he emerged nose first, but Mitchell and Margaret Durante's third child freshly born today will grow up to become one of America's most beloved entertainers, on old-time radio and elsewhere.

I eats raw eggs. I eats rawr eggs an' I t'rows out me chest, like dis, an' I'm dynamite. Dynamite!

---Jimmy Durante, to H. Allen Smith, circa 1939-1940.

Rawr eggs may be the answer. Or perhaps it's some uncaptured cosmis ray that creates the dynamite. In all events there can be no dispute about the results in the case of Mr. Durante. He's dynamite in his sleep. On the stage, before the sound cameras, in front of the mike, he's a clown without peer. And he carries his artistic madness beyond those regions where it means money in his kilts. I, for one, can testify that Jimmy Durante is dynamite during an interview.

---H. Allen Smith, in "All Nose," from Low Man on a Totem Pole. (New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1941.)


TED WEEMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA FROM THE TRIANON BALLROOM (MUTUAL, 1937)---The kickoff number---new to the Weems book, "Old Fashioned Swing," sung by Perry Como (who's been with the band for about a year, launching his own long career)---and "When My Dreamboat Comes Home," number five on the jukebox and sales charts, are the highlights of this installment of the Weems ensemble's regular quarter-hour remote broadcsts.

THE ADVENTURES OF DICK TRACY: MYSTERY IN THE HOTEL (NBC BLUE, 1938)---The Man With the Yellow Face has threatened a prominent Egyptologist, and Tracy (Matt Crowley) has retrieved a mysterious code---but now he has to pull a friend out of the ocean fast. Additional cast and writers: Unknown.

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR: HOUSE FOR SALE (CBS, 1958)---Our couple is puzzled by a telephone call asking her (Peg Lynch) how much they're asking for their home, which isn't for sale, in spite of his (Alan Bunce) reminding her they've often speculated idly on the prospect of a future sale. Writer: Peg Lynch.


1910---James Monk (actor: Mr. Moto), unknown.
1922---Neva Patterson (actress: Cavalcade of America), Nevada, Iowa.
1929---Jerry Goldsmith (composer/conductor: Frontier Gentleman, Romance), Los Angeles.


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