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.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What the Hell! The Way It Was, 24 August

The devil is very much in the details when you live and die by the polls . . . and try applying them to eternal questions of good versus evil.

Pollster Figger Fallup (Joseph Julian)---famous for molding as well as recalling and analysing public opinion and racing results alike, with astonishing accuracy, crystalising trends and futures alike, making new consumption out of old and often entrenched habit and new fortunes for staggering businesses or bettors, and disguising his actual identity from even his closest aides---takes on a new client (Bob Dryden) willing to pay an unfathomable fee.

A client calling himself Mr. Lucifer.

He wants a simple way to plan Hell's future population and, thus, operations. But both pollster and client learn the hard way that human fallibility can't always be narrowed down by contemporary surveying methods---certainly, not without exacting a painful price---after Mr. Lucifer reviews the initial report and finds the prospects' good far enough outweighs their bad.

Miss Shekel: Elaine Ross. Announcer: Bob Hite. Music: Possibly Amerigo Moreno. Director: Paul Roberts. Writer: Henry E. Fritch.


THE GENERAL TIRE PROGRAM STARRING JACK BENNY: THE HOUSE OF ROTHCHILD (NBC, 1934; COMMERCIALS AND MUSIC SELECTIONS EDITED OUT)---Freshly returned from Atlantic City, Jack (Benny) and company perform the title sketch . . . or, at least, they would, as soon as they can seat an audience who actually has the right tickets to the right program. Cast: Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson (also announcer), Frank Parker, and Gracie Allen in a brief cameo. Music: Don Bestor. Writers: Harry Conn, Al Boasberg.

SWING SCHOOL: SWEET VERSUS HOT (CBS, 1937)---It's not that the King of Swing is one of the world's great microphone repartee men (as a banterer, Benny Goodman was a virtuoso clarinetist and bandleader), but you'll get to hear Benny Goodman blow a clever solo clarinet kickoff to his longtime theme, "Let's Dance," before launching into his musical "debate" as to whether sweet and hot music can swing equally. The highlight "arguments" include an early Benny Goodman Quartet version of the Goodman band standard "Stompin' at the Savoy," considerably shorter than the near-show stopping version the foursome (Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa) would unsheath at the Goodman band's landmark Carnegie Hall concert two years later. Additional cast: Pat O'Malley. Announcer: Bill Goodwin. Chorus Director: Meyer Alexander.

THE JUDY CANOVA SHOW: A DATE WITH MICKEY ROONEY (CBS, 1943)---That's the reason Judy (Canova) isn't in a big hurry to bolt back home to Rancho Canova, and it's also the reason she's driving everyone just a little nuts after getting an apparent note from the film star to meet her that night. Music selections include "Just Because." Geranium: Ruby Dandridge. Sylvester/Pedro: Mel Blanc. Singing Song Plugger: Eddie Dean. Floorwalker: Possibly Joseph Kearns. Muscular Customer: Gerald Mohr. Announcer: Ken Niles. Music: Opie Cates. Director: Joe Rines. Writers: Fred Fox, Henry Hoople.


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