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Showing posts from April, 2012

Sammy Davis Jr & The Rat Pack

Performing was the only life that Sammy Davis Jr. knew. Sammy's parents were vaudevillians; his mother a Puerto Rican tap dancer, and Sammy Sr. was part of Will Mastin's dance troupe. When little Sammy was three his parents separated. Sammy Sr., not wanting to lose custody of his son, took him on the road. Soon the boy joined the act, which became the Will Mastin Trio. (When a theater manager would object to such a young child performing, Sammy Sr. would hand Sammy Jr. a rubber cigar and bill him as "Silent Sam, the Dancing Midget.”)  Show business and his father's protection largely shielded Sammy from racial prejudice while he was young, but he saw racism first hand when he answered the call to serve in the Army during WWII . "Overnight the world looked different. It wasn't one color anymore. I could see the protection I'd gotten my whole life from my father and Will... It was as if I had been walking through a swinging door for eighteen year, a do


March 5, 1979 “MYSTERY THEATER” WEEKEND BROADCASTS TO BE DEVOTED TO CLASSIC TALES OF MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE Broadcasts Recommended by NEA; Set To Start March 31 The Saturday and Sunday broadcasts of the CBS MYSTERY THEATER , starting Saturday, March 31, will be devoted to adaptations of the classic tales of mystery and suspense that have been presented from time to time during MYSTERY THEATER’s first five years, it was announced by Richard M. Brescia, Vice President and General Manager of the CBS Radio Network. Mr. Brescia made the announcement to station executives attending the CBS Radio Affiliates Association board meeting last week in Palm Beach, Fla. “This lineup of classics,” Mr. Brescia said, “will certainly be good news to the loyal -- and every growing -- radio drama audiences across the country. These productions by Hi Brown are adaptation of celebrated short stories, novels and plays penned by literary greats, including Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, O.

Radio Mystery Theater: 1979 Highlight Listings

January 29, 1979 HIGHLIGHT LISTINGS Monday, February 19 through Sunday, February 25 (Consult local station for time of broadcast.) Monday, February 19 (Time) -- WXXX, CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER , “ The Shock of His Life ,” starring Larry Haines , with E.G. Marshall, host . After suffering a violent electric shock, a man realizes he can read the future like it was the first page of tomorrow’s newspaper. Bar and grill owner Herbie Boggs, furious because his television set goes clack just as a Sunday football game is about to begin, tries to fix the set himself. Result: an electric shock that sends him to the hospital. When he recovers, he discovers he has developed the capability of predicting what will happen the next day. Sadie, his wife, without being electrified, but with a woman’s intuition, foresees nothing but trouble ahead -- for both of them. It doesn’t take long for her prediction to come true. CAST: Herbie Boggs...........LARRY HAINES     Dr. Bains.....

Meredith WILSON: Serious Composer (Who Likes Slapstick Comedy) And Conductor Keeps Young in Music Business

Biography Meredith Willson Serious Composer (Who Likes Slapstick Comedy) And Conductor Keeps Young in Music Business” Meredith Wilson , whose agile pen and brisk baton will be responsible for the music on NBC’s “The Big Show” on Sunday nights (premiere Nov. 5, 6:00-7:30 p.m., EST), is a musician of remarkably variegated experience—ranging from serious composition and the writing of best-selling-books to band-leading and slapstick comedy. His many-faceted character, as a matter of fact, so baffled the distinguished British conductor, Dr Albert Coates, during a broadcast in which  Wilson  clowned with the late Frank Morgan that Coates was temporarily horrified. “I conducted you ‘Missions of California” symphony because I considered you one of the most promising of the young American composers”. Coates told  Wilson  later, “but when I saw you doing that slapstick” Coates shuddered, failed to finish the sentence. He was a busy man for the next 10 years, directi

CBSRMT: Robert Dryden, actor on O.Henry

December 27, 1976 FEATURE ROBERT DRYDEN, ACTOR, ON O.HENRY, WRITER “Somehow, and I really don’t know how, I missed reading O. Henry,” says Robert Dryden who will star as the master short story writer for seven consecutive nights when the CBSRMT MP3 , starting its fourth year on Monday, Jan. 10, presents seven adaptations of O. Henry stories. “By playing the roles, I have become fascinated with the man,” say Dryden . “He was an artist with words, to be sure, and here and there you see flashes of great depth. He seems to have been a complex sort of person, enormously lonely, and sombre. “He had an uncanny awareness of the human condition and an understanding of people. whom he treated with a combination of toughness and tenderness. But apparently he had a low image of himself, thus a gravitating toward people on the bottom of the pile. “ He also had a marvelous ability to not use too many words, presenting his stories in a straightforward, simple manner. And he

"Was Jack Benny Gay?": The Amount of Weight In Jack Benny's Loafers

While doing research for an article I came across an unexpected search result: "Was Jack Benny Gay?" There was no more than the question as previously stated from the original poster, but the replies made for interesting reading, ranging from: Jack Benny Celebrating his 39th Birthday "Of course not, he was a well known skirt-chaser in his youth, and he was married to Mary Livingston for many years" "Sure he was, everyone in Hollywood with the possible exception of John Wayne was and is homosexual!" "Part of Benny's "schtick" was his limp-wristed hand-to-face gestures. He was not gay, but emphasized what his fans observed as "acting like a girl" for humor. While heterosexual Benny tried to gay it up, many really gay actors or comedians in those days tried to act as "straight" as they could muster." "... the idea behind his character was to have him a little on the ambiguous side. His charact

Radio Mystery Theater Notice to Station Managers (March 1979)

March 8. 1979 RE:     MYSTERY THEATER “CLASSICS” TO:    STATION MANAGER Effective Saturday, March 31, until Sunday, December 30, the Saturday and Sunday broadcasts of MYSTERY THEATER will consist of selected classics originally aired during the first five years of this radio drama series. The first weekend of MYSTERY THEATER classics will feature “ Diary of a Madman ” by Guy de Maupassant, Saturday, March 31, and “ The Mysterious Stranger ” by Mark Twain , Sunday, April 1. In later weeks, stories by Edgar Allen Poe , Ambrose Bierce, O. Henry, Oscar Wilde, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Emily and Charlotte Bronte will be heard. A complete list of the MYSTERY THEATER  classics is attached. Also, Specific program information will continue to be sent in the present manner by Norman Ginsburg, Director of Information Services. As a reminder, the Saturday and Sunday feeds of MYSTERY THEATER take place at the following times: 9:07 P