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, April 15, 2009

Farewell to a President: The Way It Was, 15 April

This afternoon, there is white snow on the mountains that view Hollywood from the distance. The sun shines brightly, the sky is blue, and the air is warm with spring. It might be any day in California, for nature neither knows nor cares about the trials and tribulations of man, whom she both fights and serves. She looks upon life and death as one, for she has long fashioned either from the same material. And just as the one is interchangeable with the other, so in nature's book is each indestructible . . . Life is eternal; death is eternal. Today, in Hollywood, we in the entertainment unite to pay tribute to one whose death, as is nature's work, will likewise prove eternal.

Thus does Ronald Colman open for a small phalanx of film and old-time radio stars rounding up in a sometimes mawkish, sometimes wishfully wistful, sometimes moving, music-wrapped farewell to President Roosevelt.

The stars also include Jim and Marian Jordan (in character as Fibber McGee & Molly and Teeny), Ginny Simms, Ed Gardner (Duffy's Tavern), Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll (who created and play Amos 'n' Andy but speak as themselves), Bette Davis, Robert Young, Harold Peary (The Great Gildersleeve), James Cagney, Jack Benny, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Roth, and others. (NBC.)


1945: While some of a country's most popular entertainers say a final farewell to a freshly-interred Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of her most signature broadcast journalists says a harrowing hello to the Holocaust's actuality, while an Englishman introduces the world to a second such notorious camp . . .

"FOR MOST OF IT, I HAVE NO WORDS" (CBS)---There still exist numerous examples of what made Edward R. Murrow's reputation as a larger-than-life journalist with the gift of the prose poet. But among them there exists no equal to his harrowing "rather mild" report from Buchenwald. We need almost no visual evidence to know its grotesquery. Almost. The mute horror underwriting Murrow's understatement is only too vivid.

"HERE, OVER AN ACRE OF GROUND . . . " (BBC)---Richard Dimble is almost as harrowing in this brief, jarring extract from his report on the liberation of another notorious Nazi camp: Bergen-Belsen, which will prove among other things to have been the camp in which died a young Dutch Jew whose diary, discovered by her father after his liberation and return home, will grip numerous readers around the world in due course---Anne Frank.

"NOW, EVEN THE MUFFLED DRUMS ARE QUIET" (CBS)---Anchored by Robert Trout, a report from Hyde Park conveys the graveside service and morning burial of FDR on the grounds of his primary home. Meanwhile, Eric Sevareid, freshly dispatched to the United Nations's founding conference in San Francisco, delivers his first report from that milieu, including a retrospective on his most recent coverage of the war abroad; and, Charles Collingwood, from Paris, reflects on further reaction to FDR's death and further war advance news.


NICK CARTER, MASTER DETECTIVE: THE CAT BRINGS DEATH; OR, THE MISSING PERSIAN (MUTUAL, 1944)---Already pressured by a rash of unsolved jewel robberies, the last thing Lt. Riley (Humphrey Davis) needs is a dowager (Bryna Raeburn) demanding her missing and possibly stolen expensive Persian cat be returned post haste. Carter: Lon Clark. Patsy: Helen Choate. Writer/director: Jock MacGregor.

FAMILY THEATER: WANTED---ONE BABY (MUTUAL, 1948)---A tiremaker's manager (Kenny Baker) is driven to two-front desperation: at work from his indifferent boss (Alan Reed); and, at home after he and his wife (Marla Dwyer) think they've conceived at last only to learn otherwise yet again. Additional cast: Daws Butler. Host: Paul Henreid. Writers: Frances Rickett, Van Rodden.

BOB & RAY PRESENT THE CBS RADIO NETWORK: HIDING EASTER EGGS (THREE GUESSES, 1960)---On One Fella's Family, Book Ex Eye Eye, Chapter Vee Eye, among other tender mercilessness. Writers: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.


1900---Eddie Garr (actor: The Fleischmann Hour), Philadelphia.
1907---Theodore Granick (moderator: American Forum of the Air), Brooklyn.
1915---Hans Conreid (actor: Lux Radio Theater, The Great Gildersleeve, Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air, My Friend Irma, Life with Luigi), Baltimore.
1933---Roy Clark (singer/guitarist: Town and Country Time), Meherrin, Virginia.


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