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.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Undecided, or Stubborn? The Way It Was, 17 July

In which a classic cast have at Norman Corwin's impeccable trial-in-verse of a stubborn molecule refusing classification, a clever advance upon the technique with which Corwin first experimented successfully in The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, and a staggering allegorical telegraph of the coming atomic bomb drop.

Prosecutor: Robert Benchley. Clerk: Norman Lloyd. Judge: Groucho Marx. Vice president in charge of physiochemistry: Elliott Lewis. Miss Anima: Sylvia Sidney. Additional cast: Keenan Wynn, in four roles. Music: Carmen Dragon, conducted by Lud Gluskin. Writer: Norman Corwin.


LUM & ABNER: BOSS ABNER MAKES CLERK EDDARDS' LIFE MISERABLE (MUTUAL, 1935)---That'll teach Lum (Chester Lauck) to forget to buy the fire insurance and lose his theater by fire, as Abner (Norris Goff) has agreed to hire him back at the Jot 'em Down Store . . . but he's exhausted from overwork and spilling his frustrations out to Grandpappy Spear (also Goff). Writers: Chester Lauck, Norris Goff.

THE SHADOW: ABOARD THE STEAMSHIP AMAZON (MUTUAL, 1938)---A gun smuggler, his mother, and a comely financier planning to graduate to revolution provide a seafaring headache for Lamont (Orson Welles) and Margo (Agnes Moorehead). Additional cast: Unknown. Announcer: Arthur Whiteside. Writers: Possibly Edith Meiser, Edward Hale Bierstadt, Jerry Devine.

THE GREEN HORNET: POOR SUBSTITUTES (MUTUAL, 1940)---Britt (Al Hodge) is only too anxious to discover the reason behind Axford's (Jim Irwin) discovery: several families on the Daily Sentinel's needy families list a year ago doing a little too well this year. Lenore Case: Lee Allman. Kato: Tokutaro Hayashi (a.k.a. Raymond Toyo). Lowry: Jack Petruzzi. Writer: Fran Striker.

ACADEMY AWARD THEATER: THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (CBS, 1946)---Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Virginia Bruce highlight this interpretation of the Oscar-nominated (best art direction, best music score) 1937 swashbuckler about a king's distant cousin (Fairbanks) asked to impersonate the kidnapped monarch, whose fiance (Bruce) notices one too many personality changes for comfort. Adapted from a screenplay by Albert Sanchez Moreno.

OUR MISS BROOKS: THE CARELESSNESS CODE; OR, GREAT CAESAR'S BUST(ED) (CBS, 1949)---In a particularly classic installment, levying petty fines for often spontaneously-enacted school safety rules is the way Conklin (Gale Gordon) plans to finance a new bust for the front of the school library---of himself, to replace a bust of Julius Caesar, until frequent defendant Connie (Eve Arden) finds a way to teach him the hard way how finely pettiness comes to bury Caesar's would-be successor. Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Walter: Richard Crenna. Harriet: Gloria McMillan. Boynton: Jeff Chandler. Writer: Al Lewis.


1889---James Cagney (actor: Arch Oboler's Plays; Screen Guild Theater), New York City; Erle Stanley Gardner (author and creator of Perry Mason; The Adventures of Christopher London), Malden, Massachussetts.
1902---Edward Gargan (actor: This Is Your FBI; This Is Our Heritage), Brooklyn.
1904---William Gargan (actor: Martin Kane, Private Eye; Barrie Craig, Private Investigator), Brooklyn.
1906---John Carroll (actor: Hello Mom; Suspense), New Orleans.
1912---Art Linkletter (as Gordon Arthur Kelly; comedian/host: Art Linkletter's House Party; People Are Funny), Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
1914---Eleanor Steber (singer: The Voice of Firestone), Wheeling, West Virginia.
1915---Cass Daley (comedienne: The New Fitch Bandwagon; The Cass Daley Show; Maxwell House Coffee Time), Philadelphia.
1916---Irene Manning (singer: Mr. Broadway; The Railroad Hour), Cincinnati.
1918---Red Sovine (as Woodrow Wilson Sovine; singer: Country Music Time; Country Hoedown), Charleston, West Virginia.
1920---Helen Walker (actress: Proudly We Hail; Suspense; Old Gold Comedy Theater), Worchester, Massachussetts.
1935---Diahann Carroll (as Carol Diahann Johnson; singer/actress: Army Bandstand; Manhattan Melodies; Stars for Defense), Bronx, New York.


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