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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Rough Cut of Justice: The Way It Was, 26 May

The night before final summations to the jury, an accused wife killer asks his attorney to get him a knife---to use against the man he claims committed the crime.

Cast: Unknown. Writer: Arch Oboler.


1993: DEATH OF A PATRIARCH---The man who sought respite from his ordinarily megahigh old-time radio dramas by creating the most popular radio serial ever to originate from San Francisco, in storyline and in broadcast origin, dies today at age 91.

Chronicling the affluent and mostly upright Barbours of San Francisco, Carleton Morse's One Man's Family was born in 1932 at NBC's Sutter Street studios in the Bay City and broke a radio soap pattern, airing weekly until 1950 and then converting to a daily fifteen-minute serial format.

The Louisiana-born Morse was the number one radio dramatist on the West Coast already---his creations included The Witch of Endor, The City of the Dead, Captain Post, Crime Specialist, The Game Called Murder, Dead Men Prowl, and a quartet of programs based on San Francisco police files---when he tired of the murder and mayhem and developed a simple but effective family drama.

After the First World War, there was a beginning of a deterioration of the family, of parent-child relationships. I had been brought up with very strict, conventional home life, and it rather appalled me to see what was going on.

---Carleton Morse, to an interviewer.

Written mostly by Morse, with One Man's Family co-star Michael Raffetto (Paul Barbour) and Harlan Ware contributing later in the show's run, One Man's Family earned the ultimate compliment in due course, when mad-lib comedians Bob & Ray developed a running satire of the soap known as "One Fella's Family," right down to satirising the show's trademark episode introductions ("Book See El See, Chapter Vee Eye Ex Eye Eye Ex Vee").

The man who once bound his One Man's Family scripts into leatherback bindings also created another rather enduring old-time radio drama. Perhaps you've heard of that one, too: I Love a Mystery.


THE JELL-O PROGRAM STARRING JACK BENNY: MR. MORTIMER'S PARTY (NBC, 1940)---He just so happens to be the show's sponsor, he just so happens to be targeted for a party in his honour, and his host (Jack Benny) just so happens to be trying to deny he's worried about his next season's option being picked up. With Mary Livingstone. Rochester: Eddie Anderson. Himself: Don Wilson (announcer). Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Dennis Day. Writers: Howard Snyder, Hugh Wedlock, Jr., Bill Morrow, Ed Beloin.


1884---Charles Winninger (actor: Uncle Charlie's Tent Show), Athens, Wisconsin.
1886---Al Jolson (as Asa Yoelson; singer/actor: Shell Chateau; Kraft Music Hall), Srednick, Lithuania.
1887---Paul Lukas (actor: The Quick and the Dead; The Big Show), Budapest.
1893---Edward MacHugh (singer: Gospel Singer), Dundee, Scotland.
1895---Norma Talmadge (actress: Thirty Minutes in Hollywood), Jersey City.
1907---John Wayne (as Marion Robert Morrison; actor: Three Sheets to the Wind), Winterset, Iowa.
1908---Robert Morley (actor: U.S. Steel Hour), Semley, U.K.
1911---Ben Alexander (actor: Dragnet; The Great Gildersleeve), Goldfield, Nevada.
1914---Ziggy Elman (as Harry Aaron Finkelman; trumpeter, with Benny Goodman and His Orchestra: Let's Dance; Camel Caravan; Swing School), Philadelphia.
1915---Sam Edwards (actor: One Man's Family; Meet Corliss Archer), Macon, Georgia; Martin Stone (producer: The Author Meets the Critics), unknown.
1918---John Dahl (actor: Cavalcade of America; Voice of the Army), New York City.
1920---Peggy Lee (as Norma Deloris Egstrom; singer: The Jimmy Durante Show; The Chesterfield Supper Club; The Peggy Lee Show), Jamestown, North Dakota.
1931---Chet Norris (actor: Tomorrow Calling; The Cisco Kid; ABC Radio Workshop), Manhattan Beach, New York.


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