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 08, 2009

On with the Feud: The Way It Was, 8 March

Sunday night will never be quite the same on old-time radio, now that Jack Benny's number one mock nemesis is moving there . . . at a time late enough to hear him first and zap in kind.

First, however, former sailor Jack (Benny) bounces a few off his own dime in front of a crowd of cheering, laughing Marines, who cheer even louder for Mary (Livingstone) when she complains about the trip down from Los Angeles in the Maxwell ("I'm so black and blue you'd think I'd been dancing at the Paris Inn last night") and the blowout that caused the delay---not to mention the solution Jack had Rochester (Eddie Anderson) improvise.

Themselves: Don Wilson (announcer), Phil Harris, Dennis Day. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Dennis Day. Writers: Sam Perrin, George Balzar, Milt Josefsberg.

Now that he's had a perfect opportunity to lance Benny's boil and Dennis Day's baboon joke, Fred (Allen) and the March of Trivia march over one of its customary salutes to those in Hollywood who contributed next to nothing to film in 1941; special guest Maurice Evans is enlisted to provide the show a little more savoir faire now that it's on Sunday nights; John J. McDonald of Holy Cross College, a tenor who's won the Texaco College Competition, stands for an interview by Mr. Allen; and, the Texaco Workshop Players present "The Hardy Family in the Penitentiary; or, Life with Father"---or they would, if Fred can't convince them his life story is worth telling.

Themselves: Portland Hoffa, Kenny Baker (vocals), Jimmy Wallington (announcer). The Texaco Workshop Players: John Brown, Wynn Murray, Minerva Pious, Alan Reed. Music: Al Goodman Orchestra, Kenny Baker. Writers: Fred Allen, possibly Herman Wouk, Harry Tugend.


1993: THE DIKE CLOSES---Dutch old-time radio legend Johan Bodegraven dies of cancer at 78. A tax specialist like his father at first, Bodegraven became a longtime host for the Dutch Christian Radio Association (NCRV), whose radio game shows Radio Hunt and Mast Climbing (1952-57)---the latter featuring an ascending climb for more, deeper questions answered properly, with the grand prize . . . a smoked ham, a touch American radio satirist Fred Allen (whose biting gags and parodies against ostentatious, reductionist American quiz shows were legendary)---enjoyed a wide audience in the Netherlands.

Bodegraven later became an occasional television presence, but he remained a radio man first and foremost, becoming concurrently the face of NCRV's on- and off-air charitable works.


MY FRIEND IRMA: DOUBLE TROUBLE (CBS, 1948)---It's the morning after a double date between Jane (Cathy Lewis) and Richard (Leif Erickson), and Irma (Marie Wilson) and Al (John Brown) . . . and, perhaps needless to say, neither couple is speaking to each other, after Irma inadvertently insulted Richard's mother, leaving both roommates hoping a home-cooked dinner will win them back. Prof. Kropotkin: Hans Conreid. Mrs. O'Reilly: Jane Morgan. Writer: Parke Levy, Stanley Adams.


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