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.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

On The Good Ship Radiopop: The Way It Was, 4 March

Ethel Merman and hostess Tallulah Bankhead renew their friendly bitchcraft practise . . .

MERMAN:---I'm surprised at you, Tallulah, being this nervous---haven't you ever met the daughter of a President before?
BANKHEAD:---Yes, I did meet one.
MERMAN:---Well, I hope you weren't this nervous with Miss McKinley . . .

Otherwise, it's Fred Allen presenting the show an endurance award; music director Meredith Willson ("Well, sir, Miss Bankhead") saluting Bankhead in song; and, Clive Brooks, Margaret Phillips, and Hugh Reilly offering segments from the Philip Barrie play, Present Threshold, among other highlights and laughlights.

Additional cast: Portland Hoffa, Frankie Laine, Herb Shriner, Margaret Truman. Announcer: Ed Herlihy. Music: Meredith Willson, the Big Show Orchestra and Chorus. Writers: Goodman Ace, Selma Diamond, George Foster, Mort Greene, Frank Wilson.


1910: TUBULAR AIRTIME---The inventor of the three-element electron tube, Dr. Lee DeForest, conducts an experimental broadcast in New York.

1925: HE DOES SOLEMNLY SWEAR---For the first time in American history, citizens not in Washington could hear the President of the United States take his oath of office and give his inaugural address: the inauguration of radio-friendly Calvin Coolidge, elected in his own right after first succeeding to the office on the death of scandal-plagued Warren G. Harding, is broadcast live.

Coolidge has already been the first President to give an address to Congress (6 December 1923) carried on live radio and the first to give a political speech over the medium. Two years after his inauguration, Coolidge will sign the federal Radio Act of 1927, birthing the Federal Radio Commission (later known as the Federal Communications Commission).

1942: ON THE GOOD SHIP RADIOPOP---Now a fourteen-year-old adolescent in real life, child film star Shirley Temple stars as Judy Graves in Junior Miss, an old-time radio situation comedy that premieres this morning on CBS.

Addressing middle class adolescence, the show's original cast also includes K.T. Stevens as mother Lois, Gale Gordon as father Harry, Myra Marsh as maid Hilda, and Priscilla Lyon as Fuffy Adams. The writers will include Herbert Little, Jr., Jack Rubin, Charles Sinclair, and David Victor.

For all that she made an old-time radio presence in her own right---appearing in installments of, among others, Command Performance, Family Theater, Lux Radio Theater, Romance, and Screen Guild Theater---no installments of Junior Miss will appear to have survived the end of the classic network radio era.

1952: SHOVING OFF---Courier, America's first known seafaring radio station, is launched by President Harry S. Truman.


1888---David Frederick Smith (creator: March of Time), Clarksburg, Indiana.
1892---Helen Van Tuyl (actress: Bachelor's Children), Iowa.
1896---George Shelton (comedian: It Pays To Be Ignorant), New York City.
1907---Edgar Barrier (actor: The Saint), New York.
1913---John Garfield (actor: Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players), New York City.
1916---William Alland (actor: Mercury Theatre of the Air, Frontier Gentleman), Delmare, Delaware.
1921---Joan Greenwood (actress: Stagestruck), London.


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