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, September 27, 2009

Goya, Vey! The Way It Was, 27 September


Series star Ronald Colman himself has written this script that launches with a particularly Hall (Colman)-like dilemna: Only Vicki (Benita Hume Colman) can turn a grump about the morning junk mail, which already bothers Hall no end, into a soliloquy on behalf of increasing Ivy College's student enrollment. And only Hall could find amid the junk mail rubble a query from the attorney for a wealthy Ivy graduate's widow, who spent her final years trying to recover her family's lost art treasures . . . including and especially an authenticated Goya.

The question at first: whether to sell the painting and using the proceeds for a new Ivy arts center, or whether to display the painting on campus. Then the attorney (Ken Peters) visits the Halls with a development the Halls may not like hearing---a knowledgeable art critic believes the painting may be a fake, but that the dead widow may have hyped it to avoid paying duty when she brought it home to the United States. And to make things worse: board chairman Wellman (Herbert Butterfield), not exactly a Hall ally, wants it hung in the hall named after him, unaware it may be a fraud.

And there's a sealed letter from the dead widow that's addressed to Hall . . . and can be opened by no one but himself---after the painting's accepted or a monetary compensation is accepted in its place, which raises the question of what Wellman might do if and when he learns the truth about the painting.

Announcer: Ken Carpenter. Music: Henry Russell. Director: Nat Wolff. Writer: Ronald Colman.


INFORMATION, PLEASE: (NBC BLUE, 1938)---On the day he opens in The Night of the King, Basil Rathbone (better known for playing Sherlock Holmes) joins musicologist Sigmund Spaeth---the author (Read 'Em and Weep; The Common Sense of Music), composer, and scholar whose old-time radio career as a music appreciator and analyst earns him the nickname that also titled one of his radio programs, The Tune Detective---to augment the regular panel of Franklin P. Adams (humourist, New York Post) and John F. Kieran (sports columnist, The New York Times). Moderator: Clifton Fadiman. Announcer: Howard Claney. Music: Joe Kahn. Director: Don Golenpaul.

AVALON TIME: MEETING THE IN-LAWS (NBC, 1939)---Host Red Skelton, in his final months hosting the show, peels through a stream of news jokes and a little give-and-take with some of the musical cast debating whether the show needs more music or more comedy, before launching a sketch in which a newlywed couple (Edna Stillwell, Skelton) is meeting her parents---for the first time. Additonal cast: Dick Todd, Bud Vandover, Marlin Hurt. Announcer: Del King. Music: The Avalon Chorus; Bob Strong Orchestra. Writers: Unknown.

THE GREEN HORNET: VOTES FOR SALE (NBC BLUE, 1940)---With the city's anti-machine mayor facing a dangerous and even violent re-election challenge from his corrupt machine predecessor, the Green Hornet (Al Hodge) wants the city to think he's backing that predecessor---the better to push the critical, machine-breaking ward's votes the mayor's way. Kato: Raymond Toyo. Lowry: Jack Petruzzi. Lenore Case: Lee Allman. Additional cast: Unknown. Director: James Jewell. Writers: Fran Striker, Dan Beattie, Leo Boulette.

MAYOR OF THE TOWN: THE PAPA DEAR CONTEST (NBC, 1942)---A pleasantly crusty evening of checkers with the judge (possibly Irvin Lee) is interrupted by two Hollywood producers who want the skeptical mayor (Lionel Barrymore) to help with a project the town's chamber of commerce is abetting already: finding the ideal father figure in Springdale for their next film, inspiring the mayor to make a surprising choice for the honour. Marilly: Agnes Moorehead. Additional cast: . Announcer: Harlow Wilcox. Music: Gordon Jenkins Orchestra. Director: Jack Van Nostrand. Writer: Jean Holloway. (Final broadcast for NBC; show moves to CBS as of 7 October 1942.)

THE SIX SHOOTER: THE COWARD (NBC, 1953)---Stopping in Temple City on a job to retrieve cattle, Ponset (James Stewart)'s conscience is troubled by a once-rough man who's changed to a gunless, even even-keeled soul, leaving him with an unwarranted image as a coward, a possibly nasty battle with a rancher who's poaching his and his pregnant wife's cattle, a secret Ponset learns unexpectedly from the frightened woman, and an unexpected rifle purchase. Announcer: Hal Gibney. Music: Basil Adlam. Director: Jack Johnstone. Writer: Frank Burt.


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