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, April 19, 2009

Appropriate Atmosphere: The Way It Was, 19 April

Not to be confused with the book and film about the Titanic disaster, by any means: A wife (Ann Sothern) renting a cozy little Greenwich Village apartment for her mystery writing husband (Robert Young) hopes it provides a more appropriate atmosphere for him to work in---which they get only too quickly, when a corpse turns up among the decor.

Based on the screenplay by Richard Fluornoy and Jack Henley, from a story by Kelley Roos.


1965: ALL NEWS, ALL THE TIME---Once one of New York's premiere rock and roll stations (and once the New York home of the man who gave the music its name, Alan Freed), WINS goes all news, all the time, in due course becoming trademarked by the sound of a ticker machine running behind the desk anchors (a sound effect still in use at the station in 2007) and by a long-running slogan, "You give us twenty-two minutes, we'll give you the world."

From our WHY ON EARTH SHOULD AN OLD-TIME RADIO FAN CARE? department: The station was born in 1924 as WGBS, owned as many stations of the day were by a major department store (Gimbel's, in this case), and its premiere broadcast should be considered a classic radio lover's dream: hosted by Eddie Cantor, featuring guests including George Gershwin, Ukulele Ike Edwards, Rube Goldberg, the Dolly Sisters, Rudolf Friml, and the Vincent Lopez Orchestra.

Not that the station wasn't an old-time radio fan's delight in its latter day life as WINS: even as the station graduated toward rock and roll (at one time being even competition for the like of WABC, WMGM, and WMCA), it had room in 1954 for a morning show featuring Bob & Ray, who moved from WNBC.

WGBS (and its sister station in Philadelphia, WIP) might have become one of the great majors of the classic radio era had it not been for the Federal Radio Commission---the FRC in in 1928 ordered Gimbel (which had organised its radio arm into the Gimbel Broadcasting Service a few years earlier) to move both WGBS and WIP to share time on the same frequency, which ended up undermining them in both markets, three years before Gimbel sold the station to William Randolph Hearst . . . who changed the call letters to WINS.

You can read more about the foregoing here


THE GOLDBERGS: ROSALIE IS BACK HOME (CBS, 1942)---Everyone seems anxious to know what happened when Rosalie (Roslyn Siber) visited Walter (Edward Trevor), but nobody seems in a big hurry to do much other than let her rest from the long trip home---almost, given Jake (John R. Waters) is even more anxious than Molly (Gertrude Berg) usually would be, considering Rosalie came home almost as fast as she took off in the first place. Sammy: Alfred Ryder. Seymour: Arnold Stang. Announcer: Clayton (Bud) Collyer. Writer/director: Gertrude Berg.


1897---Vivienne Segal (actress: Jantzen Radio Program), Philadelphia,
1913---Sylvia Froos (singer: The Sylvia Froos Show, The Fred Allen Show), New York City.
1914---Betty Winkler (actress: the third of five to play the title role in Joyce Jordan, Girl Intern/Joyce Jordan, M.D.; also, Abie's Irish Rose, Theater of Romance), Berwick, Pennyslvania.
1920---Frank Fontaine (comedian/singer: The Jack Benny Program, The Bob Hope Show), Cambridge, Massachussetts.


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