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 15, 2009

They Just Had To Do This: The Way It Was, 15 March

Marlene Dietrich (who starred in the 1936 film from which this program is adapted directly) and Herbert Marshall (taking Gary Cooper's film role) absolutely had to do this old-time radio broadcast, so it is said they insisted---enough so that they actually push the start of shooting a film back a day in order to perform, as automobile engineer Tom Bradley (Marshall), used to smuggle the jewels stolen by a thief (Dietrich) with whom he can't help falling in love.

Additional cast: Otto Krueger, Zeffie Tillbury. Adapted from the screenplay by Edwin J. Mayer, Waldemar Young, and Samuel Hoffenstein, based on the play by Hans Szekely and R.A. Stemmle. Host/producer: Cecil B. DeMille.


1922: THE SOUTH GOES CHIME TIME---Today the South hits the air for the first time, so far as is known, when Atlanta's WSB signs on formally. It realises the dream of Atlanta Journal publisher John S. Cohen, who was convinced by former Navy wireless operator Walter Tison to build a commercial station and ordered equipment post haste---all aimed at beating the rival Atlanta Constitution to the on-the-air punch among Atlanta newspapers.

Just over a week later, country musician Fiddlin John Carson is believed to be the first musician to perform live on WSB. The station will seem to make a specialty of country, gospel, and (ahem) "serious" music in its first decade.

It will also seem to lay claim to originating perhaps the most famous identification tones in radio history. A pair of twin sisters, Nell and Kate Pendley, appear at the station with a set of dinner chimes to sign off each WSB program: the first three notes of "Over There." There will be those radio lovers, in due course, who will swear the Pendley tones at least inspired a certain three-note chime, soon enough, to become immortal as the calling card of a certain national radio network* to which WSB just so happens to be affiliated . . .

The original Pendley Twins four-block dinner chime and its mallet, by the way, will remain on display in the WSB studios, after their final use, into the 21st Century.


THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE: TEN BEST DRESSED (NBC, 1942)---To which Gildersleeve (Harold Peary) aspires, after he's picked to compete with nine other men for Summerfield's representative in a Ten Best Dressed in America competition. Leroy: Walter Tetley. Hooker: Earle Ross. Birdie: Lillian Randolph. Marjorie: Lurene Tuttle. Peavey: Richard Legrand. Writers: Sam Moore, John Whedon.

THE LIFE OF RILEY: ADVICE TO THE LOVELORN COLUMN (NBC, 1947)---Riley (William Bendix) throws Babs' (Sharon Douglas) boyfriend Simon out of the house---again; Peg (Paula Winslowe) argues that he's wrong and overreacting---as usual; and, a frustrated Riley seeks helpful advice from a newspaper advice columnist---what a revoltin' development that is. Junior: Scotty Beckett. Digger: John Brown. Writers: Irving Breecher, Alan Lipscott.

MY FRIEND IRMA: BUY OR SELL (CBS, 1948)---Catching Irma (Marie Wilson) pouring whiskey on geraniums is child's play for Jane (Cathy Lewis), compared to fighting the party line while Richard (Leif Erickson), in Nebraska on business, plans to call with tip on a commodities investment in which she wants Irma to join her. (Note: Program ends with sponsor Lever Brothers' contest announcement.) Professor Kropotkin: Hans Conreid. Al: John Brown. Mrs. O'Reilly: Gloria Gordon. Additional cast: Unknown. Announcer: Frank Bingham. Writer: Parke Levy.


1877---Montague Love (actor: Screen Guild Theatre, Suspense), Portsmouth, U.K.
1904---George Brent (actor: Leave It to the Girls, Lux Radio Theater; moderator: Doctor Fights), Dublin; J. Pat O'Malley (actor: Cavalcade of America, Lux Radio Theater), Lancastershire, U.K.
1910---Nick Stewart (actor: Hollywood Newsreel of the Air), New York City.
1913---Macdonald Carey (actor: Just Plain Bill, Woman in White), Sioux City, Iowa.
1915---David Schoenbrun (reporter/commentator: CBS World News Tonight, CBS News Paris), New York City.
1916---Harry James (trumpeter, Benny Goodman Orchestra: Let's Dance; bandleader: Spotlight Bands, Call for Music, The Danny Kaye Show), Albany, Georgia.
1917---Carl Smith (singer: Grand Ole Opry), Maynardville, Tennessee.
1919---Lawrence Tierney (actor: Lux Radio Theater), Brooklyn.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home