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Showing posts from 2014

Looking for very old radio commercial ...

As a kid  my ear was practically glued to our Zenith . Almost every station in Philadelphia carried a singing commercial by a dentist: Dr . Algase. He must have been a pioneer since in those days it was not ethical for doctors and dentists, etc to advertise. After much searching I found on the sheet music the cover (right) . That song, Show a Sunny Smile,was composed by Dr. Algase himself and legend has it that he sang it as well!  He also founded a club  and even produced a radio wedding!  Attached is the cover of the music. If by some miracle there as a recording of that singing commercial I would be surprised and delighted.  The singer (Dr. Algae?) was a tenor backed by a 1920s or 1930s type orchestra.  I know that they should be very rare especially those that were local. If you happen to have such a recordings, please reply below!

Mary Margaret McBride Obituary

  mary-margaret-mcbride-obituary-leader-herald-gloversville,johnsontown,ny-1976-01-19 Here's radio star, Mary Margaret McBride 's obituary from the Herald Glovers-Johnstown dated Jan 19, 1976.  Interviewing more than 30,000 people on the radio including Harry S. Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt . Her network program ended in 1954.

Dark Venture article from January 1946

HERE IS A moment in the life of every person when he is on the verge of entering upon a ‘dark venture’ _a time when he hovers on the brink of committing a crime. Most of us never do it. ‘ Dark Venture ’ tells the stories of those who do.” This is producer Leonard Reeg’s explanation of the basic idea behind the weekly thrill series heard Each Tuesday evening over American, Produced by Reeg, narrated by scripters as Larry Marcus, Bob Light and Dwight Hauser, with music by Dean Fossler, “Dark Venture” offers realistic, psychological studies of me and women with troubled minds who choose the hard way, the fast way, the wrong way, to solve their problems. The series was conceived by J. Donald Wilson who, incidentally, has one of the finest libraries on psychology in the world. 1. PLAY PICTURED is “Holy Acrimony “. Scene is Bill’s apartment Sharon (Betty Moran) and Bill (Dwight Hauser) have been secret lovers for several months. Sharon’s husband, Elton, stands between them

The Great Gildersleeve’s Big Break: Harold Peary's Unforgettable Laugh

Sunday, March 21, 1943 THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL – SCREEN and RADIO              11 The Great Gildersleeve’s Big Break If Stage Hadn’t Been Too Wide, Hal Peary Mighty Not Have Jumped to Stardom By J. D. Spiro *Picture on page 1 THE HON. Throckmorton P.Gildersleeve , water commissioner of the widely known but mythical town of Summerfield, is today a considerable sort of person in the life of this nation. When at the appointed hour each Sunday (5:30 p. m. our time) he steps to the microphone in NBC’s Hollywood studios some 28,000,000 individuals over the country cock their ears toward their radio sets and eagerly wait to learn what the Great Gildersleeve is about to do next. Yet it was only yesterday, as time goes, that the  Great Gildersleeve   was but an unsung stooge for Fibber McGee and Molly . In truth, until one night in radio New Year’s week of 1939, the  Great Gildersleeve   was just a lot of other fellows of diverse nationalities, including the Chi

Erno Rapee Believes Radio Creates Music Lovers

The Milwaukee Journal – Jun 10, 1938 Erno Rapee Believes Radio Creates Music Lovers THE United States, claims Erno Rapee, director of the Radio City Music Hall symphony orchestra, is fast becoming a nation of highly discriminating music lovers, a country in many ways more hospitable to even the most revolutionary in modern music than any to be found in present day Europe. A few years ago in America, Rapee says, to the average man Tschaikowsky was merely an unpronounceable Russian name; Debussy, a radical French composer whom none but a few of the musically elect were supposed to be able to fathom, and Georges Enesco, modern Rumanian master, an artist in composition as well as in concert completely unknown. But now the tide has turned. The voice of a people, long frowned on by “friends of music” on the cultured continent, the accredited home of great art, is being culticated, Rapee believes. And more and more America calls for the masterpieces, both contemporary and cla

‘Actors Are Not Egotists’ by Jack Benny

The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 13, 1938   ‘Actors Are Not Egotists’ A Radio Comedian Turned Screen Actor Here Gives You His Evaluation of His Co-workers and, in the Benny Manner, Emerges With All Banners Flying in His Defense of This Maligned Profession By Jack Benny Jack Benny , as everybody but an unidentified man in French Indo-China knows, appears on NBC Sunday nights with his radio troupe. His next film for Paramount is called “Never Say Die.” HERE is something I’ve wanted to get off my chest for years, I expect to be given arguments about it. There will be many snorts of “Oh, yeah?” But a Benny never falters for mere snorts. He’s faced too many dead-on-their-seats audiences. I say actors as a class aren’t nearly so sold on themselves as nonprofessionals think. Here’s what I mean. An Irishman named Mike wanted to go for a sleigh ride but he didn’t have a sled. His friend Pat did Mike thought over the situation and he said to his wife “Sure it’s

Time Travel in Old Time Radio

Listening to old time radio is in a way its own way to time travel.  Hearing live news events unfold take you back to 60+ years ago.  Additionally, the following old time radio episodes are time-travel themed you may enjoy: Buck Rogers Some old time radio listeners would debate Buck Rogers radio show  is not time travel story. The origin of Buck Rogers, the premiere broadcast, wouldn't be considered a time travel since he himself never "traveled." Buck was put into suspended animation which is considered by die-hard sci-fi buffs as a medical procedure to slow down the heart rate and other physical functions to: One, perform medical procedures such as heart surgery and Two, for long-term interplanetary travel (i.e. Planet of the Apes ). Some fish are capable of being frozen and re-animated after appearing lifeless for a few days in a block of ice. There have been debates regarding whether suspended animation would be considered time travel, but since they cannot go b

Monday Night COMES TO LIFE

Monday Night COMES TO LIFE Fibber McGee takes a simple shortcut to change his Monday broadcasting period to 9 o’clock Eastern, 8 o’clock Central Standard Time, NBC . Thus, listeners get a more convenient hour, and he gets what he usually gets—the works. “I’ll tell you a show everybody’s listening to in Hollywood—it’s Fibber McGee and Molly .” Reporters caught this from Jack Benny , star of NBC ’s Sunday night Jell-O program, the other day in Chicago enroute from Hollywood to New York. One hundred weeks ago, sponsored by Johnson’s Wax, this new radio comedy team came strolling down the airlanes. Amazingly soon they became required hearing to millions of Monday night radio listeners. Without benefit of intensive Hollywood fanfare or Broadway ballyhoo, Fibber McGee and Molly have become firmly—and fondly—intrenched in America’s receptive heart. “We’ll have to tell you later” . . . this gay gaballero is, by his own admission, pretty hot stuff with smart quips and witty

Mad Russian on Eddie Cantor Program: "What Gets Russian So Mad?"

The Milwaukee Journal – Nov 1, 1942 What Gets Russian So Mad? By BCL ON THE Eddie Cantor program exists one of those cases where a stooge is a much funnier than the boss comic. Such a comic— Bert Gordon, the “Mad Russian” —often causes listeners to remark: “Why doesn’t  that guy get a show of his own? He’d  kill ‘em!” Well, as near as we can find out from a survey of expert opinion, the answer is that “The Mad Russian” is “spot” comic, good only for a few minutes at a time. The idea is that Bert’s excruciating accent which makes any word he speaks funny, would in large doses tire the listener. So, too, it is suggested, would Jerry Colonna ’s style wear out—Colonna of the unmatched timing and delivery. The above does not detract from the Gordon charm. When he opens up at 8:30 every Wednesday with his “How do you do?” Eddie Cantor’s show, otherwise pretty dismal except for the singing Dinah Shore , takes on new life. Gordon is actually anything but a mad Rus

Fitch Old Time Radio Advertisement: Which kind of beard do you have . .

Another great advertisement from Fitch on Shaving Cream and their sponsored old time radio shows: Which kind of beard do you have . . . TOUGH? WIRY? LIGHT? All come off clean . . . comfortably . . . with Fitch’s NO-BRUSH Yes! No matter what type of beard you have, try Fitch’s No-Brush. It delivers a close, easy shave even in cold or hard water. The instant you apply it, the special “skin conditioner” ingredient goes to work to prepare even the most sensitive fact for a mighty sweet, smooth shave, Fitch’s No-Brush gets right next to your skin . . . holds those whiskers up until the razor mows ‘em down! Leaves the face with a frosty cool feeling that lasts for hours. Whether yours is a “problem” beard or the ordinary “garden” variety, you’ll find solid comfort shaving once you've  SWITCHED TO FITCH. BRUSH USERS! Ask for Fitch’s Brush Shaving Cream, it also contains the special “able conditioner” and gives an abundance of Laches. LISTEN TO “ FITCH

Top 10 Old Time Radio Books

I thought I would create my own list of  best books on Old Time Radio . The Top 10 Books on OTR: On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning (1998) The Jack Benny Show, Milt Josefsberg (1977) Raised on Radio, Gerald Nachman (2000) Heavenly Days: The Story of Fibber McGee and Molly, Charles Stumpf (1987) The Great American Broadcast: A Celebration of Radio's Golden Age.  Leonard Maltin (1997) Remember Radio, Ron. Lackmann (1970) The Big Broadcast 1920-1950, Frank Buxton Speaking of Radio, Chuck Schaden (2003) Treadmill to Oblivion, Fred Allen (1954) Sunday Nights at Seven: The Jack Benny Story, Jack & Joan Benny (1990) *Honorable Mention* The Shadow Scrapbook, Anthony Tollin Fibber McGee's Scrapbook, Charles Stumpf Much Ado About Me, Fred Allen What would YOU pick to be on a list?

Meredith Wilson: "A Composer Turns Into Comedian"

The Milwaukee Journal – Nov 22, 1942 A Composer Turns Into Comedian By Robert Myers HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) When Dr. Albert Coates, distinguished Brit- Meredith Wilson perform as a radio comic, he got up and walked out of the studio. “I played your ‘Missions of California’ symphony in concert because I considered you one of the most promising of the young America composers,” Dr. Coates told Wilson afterward. “But when I saw you doing that . . . that slapstick with Frank Morgan , it was just too much. I was horrified.” Versatile, affable Wilson, who would have been called a heretic a few years ago by the lovers of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, laughed. “I try to enjoy everything I do. It is fun to do comedy lines. And I don’t believe this outlet has in any manner injured my reputation in the field of music.” Wilson, tall and easygoing, is proud of several things. One is his home town of Mason City, Iowa. Another is his versatility. He was written two symphon

Benny for Mexico

February 20, 1943 Benny for Mexico NEW YORK, Feb, 13— Jack Benny will do one and possibly two broadcasts from Mexico City within the next six weeks. South-of-the- border emanation stems from Benny’s show for servicemen, which will bring him into Mexico early in April. Currently the comedian, in addition to doing his broadcasts for servicemen, is devoting each Mondau and Tuesday to a vaude type of show, using his radio casts as nucleus, at army camps and navy bases. Now in Canada to entertain and broadcast before Canadian and British troops, Benny will play his way back to the Coast and then head for camps in Texas and finally Mexico.

Irene Rich's “DEAR JOHN” Old Time Radio Program

First Families of Radio “DEAR JOHN” STORIES have been told successfully in the form of betters in many novel and magazine yarns. Now IreneRich is doing a radio serial with letters . Kach Sunday evening she writes a letters to “Dear John,” but the letter fades quickly into a dramatic episode, which, in turn, fades into some such words as these, “And in, dear John, that’s the way things are. . .” Miss Rich, Faith Chandler, writes of her married life with Josh Chandler, writes of her married life with John Chandler (Norman Fields). Josh’s first wife is died. He has two grown children, Noel (Ray Minitgomeyy) and Carole (Betty Moran). Stumbling-block for Faith is the children’s nurse, Puindexter Brice—or Bricey, as they call her. Before Josh married Faith, nurse Briery was able to influence the children’s thinking and actions pretty much without interference. When Faith comes, both Noel and Carole turn in her for advice. So Brice is madly jealous. Her retaliation is a sly at

The Mighty Allen Art Players

The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 21, 1943   Browse this newspaper>> The Mighty Allen Art Players Two Russian one Englishman, a Yank and a star who impersonates Chinese detectives. That’s Fred Allen and his famed “Mighty Art Players.” TAKE Charlie Cantor, for instance. Charlie was born in Russia on Sept. 4, 1898. He was such a tiny tot when his parents brought him to America that he never knew the name of his birthplace. His parents never mentioned it, so he honestly wouldn’t know his home town if you showed it to him. Fred Allen  fans currently know Cantor’s voice as either Socrates Mulligan or Rensselaer Nussbaum, two residents of that mythical slum section called Allen’s Alley . Charlie doesn’t even have to clear his throat to change to a high voiced dope, a rasp throated taxi driver or a mincing vice-president. His voice agility makes him quite a favorite with radio directors . . . which should provide listeners with a lot of fun trying to identify him on as