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‘Plantation Party’ Opened Doors to Radio Success

St. Petersburg Times – Jul 15, 1945 ‘ Plantation Party ’ Opened Doors to Radio Success A few year ago, a series called “ PlantationParty ” ended a four-year run over NBC , out of Chicago. Throughout its run, the show enjoyed a good rating . . . and subsequent developments have proved that there was a good reason for it. Two of the latest proofs are offered by Curt Massey and Marlin Hurt, both of whom are starring in new shows of their own. Curt Massey, with Carol Bruce and Harry Sosnik’s orchestra, has the spotlight on the new “Sunday on the N-K Ranch” series. Massey, following a few guest appearances on the Andrews Sisters show, was so widely hailed as the next male singing, sensation, that he was signed as headliner on the replacement series while famous Andrews threesome entertains overseas. On “ Plantation Party ,” Curt sang, played trumpet and violin, with his sister, Louise Massey, and her Westerners. Hurt, multiple-voiced comic who is Beulah , the colored maid,

LIFE WITH LUIGI: Mr. Basco, Citizen

LIFE WITH LUIGI : Mr. Basco, Citizen This is a great day for Luigi—no longer an immigrant, but a working partner in these United States! “Dear Mama Mia: Tomorrow is gonna be one of the most important days of my life—I’m going to take the test for my first citizenship papers. Already I look more American . Is hard to explain exactly how I feel, Mama.” Cy Howard is the creator of Luigi, the Little Immigrant, and is also the producer and director of the Life With Luigi show. Life With Luigi is the story of the everyday experiences of Luigi Basco, an Italian immigrant who has come to—and loves— America , land of equal opportunity for all who are willing, as he is, to work for it. Luigi is a new kind of comedy-program character. You laugh with him, not at him, as you listen to his struggles to learn the new language, the customs so different from those of his native country. Cy Howard, responsible for MyFriend Irma , is “father” of Luigi, too. J. Carrol Nais

Radio Kaka

Those crazy Scandinavians! Those of us who were born after the Golden Age of Radio can still appreciate the sentiment from Garrison Keillor telling us about the bachelor farmers in his native Minnesota. Those crazy Scandinavians! Our latest arcane contribution from Scandinavia to the world of radio enjoyment is not anything very new, but it is fun, and a lot easier to appreciate than lutefisk. We recently came across a reference to Radio Kaka, or Radio Cake, on the Swedish Wikipedia page (please don't ask what we were looking at Swedish Wikipedia for...) Radio cake is not only a simple to make and tasty treat, but it has a delightful story, as well. Radio cake was a staple of Swedish cookbooks for decades. Several bloggers have commented on seeing the recipe in their grandmother's cookbook collection. There are two popular stories of how the confection got its catchy name. The more staid version was that the treat of biscuits covered in chocolate could be enjoyed whil

Wow! $10,000 Every Week (for a Dummy)

The Milwaukee Journal – Jan 14, 1945   Wow! $10,000 Every Week HOLLYWOOD , Calif. (AP) Edgar Bergen his earning 10 grand a week for his radio show Sunday nights at 7. That is pretty nice moola for talking to one’s self for approximately 20 minutes. Pressed for confirmation of this amazing stipend, the shiny domed parent of Charlie McCarthy replied: “Yes, I guess it’s true although I never see the dough. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t seem any different than when I was earning $1,000 a week.” The NBC ventriloquist reflected that he was none too happy about his success, although he admitted a bit of the ham entered into this statement. “I have to be nice to so many people—sponsors, agents, producers, directors, and—”   he added with a grin—“newspapermen. In the old days when I was playing night clubs. I only had to be nice to the manager, and if I didn’t like, I could move on to another date.” “And back in those days, I could take a rest whenever I wanted,

Quiz Master Kills Intruder

The Milwaukee Journal – Apr 22, 1947 Quiz Master Kills Intruder Firs at Prowlers in Kitchen; One Escapes; Other an Ex-Convict Chicago, III. - (AP) – Joe Kelly, quizzer of the famed radio Quiz Kids , shot at two prowlers in the kitchen of his apartment Monday night, killing one. Andrew Aitken, deputy chief of detectives, said the dead man was identified from fingerprints as Harold C. Fransen, 25, an ex-convict who had been paroled to the army, saw service, as a paratrooper overseas, and was released as psychoneurotic in 1945. He died in a back yard adjoining that of Kelly’s apartment building after leaping a four foot fence with .38 caliber bullet wounds in his back and neck. A trail of blood indicated the other burglar had been wounded. Kelly said he, his wife, Mary, and their son, Joseph, jr, were sitting in the darkened living room of their apartment discussing the son’s November wedding plans when a noise was heard in the kitchen. Joseph, jr.,

Loyal Judy Canova Is Wild About Florida Hurricanes

St. Petersburg Times – Jul 15, 1945 Loyal Judy Canova Is Wild About Florida Hurricanes Earl Wilson, New York columnist who writes under the heading “It Happened Last Night,” wrote the following interview with Wilson and the New York Post: By EARL WILSON I come from God’s country, meaning the great state of Ohio, the modern Eden, and while gabbing with Judy Canova , who calls herself a Florida Cracker, I found she’s even more loyal to her state than I claim to be. She’s even wild about Florida’s hurricanes. The bums in California wanted her to kid the Florida oranges on her radio program—and she wouldn’t. Personally, I think President Truman’s return to his home state recently may have caused state pride to perk up everywhere. Postmaster General Hannegan of Missouri has a lot of state pride, too, and according to the Republicans here, he’s going to give jobs to all Missouri Democrats not busy reporting to their parole officers. *  *  * “CALIFORNIANS,” Miss

THE Hollywood hills give Arch Oboler a lift!

The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 4, 11940 THE Hollywood hills give ArchOboler a lift! “It seems,” he says, “that all these Hollywood people live on top of cliffs and mountains. And when you go calling it’s no cinch. When Mrs. Walter Huston was on the program recently I took the supporting cast and drove all the way up to her home—6,000 feet above sea level on the ‘Rim of the World drive,’ one of the most breath taking, heart fluttering journeys you can imagine. “In half an hour you leave the orange groves and are up in the ice and snow. They’ve got a home like a feudal castle. Just imagine this tremendous redwood house, with a vast living room three stories high, and a stone fireplace large enough to roast an ox. Well, I toted my portable recording outfit all the way up there and we had a really good rehearsal because everyone was rested. “I’m getting so that I can’t produce a play unless I’m sitting on the edge of a cliff.” Several month ago, after a whirlwi

Alice Faye Still Going By Carlton Cheney

The Milwaukee Journal – Mar 16, 1941 Alice Faye Still Going By Carlton Cheney JUST take a glimpse at Alice Faye if you want to realize how swiftly eight years can spin by. To most of you—and us, too—Alice seems like a mere youngster, who has come along pretty rapidly in the last two or three years. But now let’s look at the record: Back in 1933—a good eight years— Rudy Vallee publicly asserted: “No, I am not going to marry Alice Faye , that beautiful blond singer in my band.” And Rudy kept his word, too. He never married Alice. Jump ahead to 1937 and let’s hear a pronunciamento of Miss Faye herself: “I will never marry Tony Martin . I don’t like young actors. They’re too selfish.” Three days later she eloped with the 22 year old singing actor, Tony Martin. She explained a few days after the ceremony: “I guess it was because of a quarrel or something. Tony insisted that I marry him or else. I’m still up the air. Marriage is a kind of letdown to romance. I

Washington Afro-American – Sep 18, 1951

Washington Afro-American – Sep 18, 1951 With only a five-minute-break during a rehearsal for their Saturday night NBC-TV “ Your Hit Parade ” show (10:30), the program’s singing stars (left to right), Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson and Eileen Wilson have to tackle one ice cream soda between them. The radio edition of the program is now heard on Thursday nights, at 10. Jack Webb , heard twice weekly over the NBC radio network, has gained a reputation for being authentic as well as versatile in the dramatizations of “ Pete Kelly’s Blues ” and “ Dragnet .” When playing as Pete Kelly or Detective Sergeant Joe Friday on “ Dragnet ,” Webb has a manner and a voice that are not easily forgotten. A regular feature of this show is the straight role played by actress, Meredith Howard, who sings a blues number during each performance. She is not identified as to race nor is there any reference made forward the part she plays. This is in keeping with NBC policy of integration on th

Radio Widow Loves Life (Bill Stern's Wife)

The Milwaukee Journal – Aug 25, 1940 Radio Widow Loves Life Wife of Bill Stern Hears but Seldom Sees Her Wandering NBC Sports Announcer By Harriet Stern (Wife of Bill Stern ) I AM A stranger to the radio audience but my husband is probably better known to you than he is to me you see, he never comes home. When we were first married several years ago, I realized that it was like marrying traveling salesman who was always  traveling. But I never thought that my only look at my husband  would be either in the early morning or very late at night. Long ago I gave up inviting people over for dinner. You see, I soon ran out of excuses as to why Bill was late. But please do not misunderstand. I love it! It’s like being on merry-go-round and always trying for the brass ring. Bill is busy morning, noon and night, but I, at least, have one advantage over other wives. All I have to do is turn on the radio and I know at once where my wandering boy is tonight. Nor

Amos ‘n’ Andy Still Struggle for Script Ideas

The Milwaukee Journal – Jul 1, 1941 Amos ‘n’ Andy Still Struggle for Script Ideas TWO gentlemen from the west were entertaining H. Allen Smith of the New York World Telegram in an elegant suite of the elegant Savoy Plaza. One of the two, wearing a tan bathrobe over his shorts, was on a chair next to a window and was squinting into a kaleidoscope—not one of your little cigar size Kaleidoscopes, but a kaleidoscope as big as a virgin bologna. As he turned the thing slowly in his hand he kept saying: “Lawd, lawd! Is that purty! Purtiest thing I ever saw in my life.” The other gentleman from the west—a handsome fellow in expensive togs- sat on the edge of his chair and occasionally reached out hesitantly for the kaleidoscope. “C’mon, now,” he said. “Lemmy look a while. It’s my turn gold urn it, and you had it long enough.” The names of these two are Amos ‘n’Andy . On the desk stood a portable typewriter and in it a script sandwich composed of two sheets of onion

George Burns Loves Gag He Pulled 3,000 Times

The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 16, 1941 George Burns Loves Gag He Pulled 3,000 Times A STATISTICIAN with a flair for adventure made a pilgrimage recently to the home of George Burns and GracieAllen . He emerged a week later, weakly muttering facts and figures which summarized something like this: George and Gracie , in the 18 years of their career together, have used up approximately 40,000 jokes. One joke which makes George laugh has been used 3,000 times, and it’s still good for laughs from George. Burns and Allen , long before they became NBC stars, played seven years of vaudeville with only two routines, titled “Sixty Forty” and “Lamb Chops.” Each act ran 14 minutes, and changes in routine were events of such importance that George and Gracie , before inserting a new joke, went to some small town to break it in. “Now,” Gracie says, “the new joke is broken in, and is still going strong on our NBC programs.” When Burns and Allen, booked on the Gus Sonn circu

Faithful Frost Fans Are Alice’s Pride

<Demure, lady like and looking far aloof from crime, Alice Frost plays Pam North in the NBC mystery series, “ Mr . and Mrs. North ”> Faithful Frost Fans Are Alice’s Pride THE Alice Frost Fan club will be five years old in June. In that time Alice, reversing the recipe for a well behaved child, has been heard but not seen in a variety of roles ranging from saint to sinner to siren. Currently she is whimsical Pam North of NBC ’s “ Mr . and Mrs. North ,” (WTMJ, Wednesdays, 7p. m.). Thorough it all the 150 in the limited membership of her fan club have remained unwaveringly loyal. Listeners have a way of associating actresses with the parts they play, but the Frost fans can take changes in their stride. The women who visualized Alice herself as the very personification of the sweet, high minded girl she played so long in “ Big Sister ,” now accept her with equal enthusiasm as that gay amateur sleuth, Pam North. And when she’s heard, as she often is, as the e

President’s Job Leaves No Times To Become Ardent Fan Of Radio

The Pittsburgh Press – Oct 3, 1934 President’s Job Leaves No Times To Become Ardent Fan Of Radio First Lady Tells Of Listening ‘At Home’ By S. H. STEINHAUSER Every radio star would like to know that he or she is a favorite in the White House. Amos ‘n’ Andy were the admitted favorites of President Hoover, who let the cat out of the bag in a letter to the Washington Press Club. Mr. Hoover was to attend a gridiron dinner and the death of Chief Justice Taft intervened. The President sent a note to the diners “in the words of two famous gentlemen ‘un lax’.” Now comes the question of the New Deal radio favorites. <Mr. Steinhauser> There are none, Mrs. Roosevelt has told radio friends who surround her after each of her weekly broadcast. The Roosevelt are too busy to listen in and only on the White House sets when there is a particular program in which the President feels they have some special interest. If they can find leisure moments t

Fibber and Molly Still Real Folks

The Milwaukee Journal – May 19, 1940 Fibber and Molly Still Real Folks By Bill Porter JIM and Marian Jordan (better known to their fans as Fibber McGee and Molly ) are pretty disturbed about some untrue stories being printed about them. “Most of the stories lead you to believe that we were never successful until we became Fibber McGee and Molly ,” said Jim Jordan, “and you’d think that $10 a week was the most we made on radio before we hit the big dough. The truth is a much better story. If you’ll print it we’ll tell it to you.” I said, “Okay, I’ll print it, Mr. Jordan” And he said, “Mr. Jordan is my dad. I’m Jim.” The Jordans, prosperous now whatever  their financial condition before, live today in what you might call an estate, out Encino way. The place is surrounded by a rose-covered, brick wall. Within the walls are flower gardens, lawns, a swimming pool where Mrs. Jordan takes swimming lessons, a shop where Jim makes furniture, a small orange grove with a

‘Night Watch,’ Radio Show, Real Thing in Police Work

Ready Eagle – May 3, 1954 ‘ Night Watch ,’ Radio Show, Real Thing in Police Work By NON THOMAS Hollywood , May 3 (AP) – The new “ Night Watch ” radio show tops “ Dragnet ” for realism in the cops-and-criminal department. It’s the genuine thing. Listeners to “ Night Watch ” on CBS Monday nights will hear the actual nabbing of a criminal. The recording was made during an arrest by Culver City, Calif., police. Columbia ’s answer to Jack Webb is an enterprising young man named Donn Reed. A radio veteran, he dreamed up “ Night Watch ” in an effort to find something new in radio. “I remember one day I came out of a radio conference feeling very depressed,” he told me. “I said to another fellow that I was tired of rehashing the same old things in radio. If only there was something new. “That day I went over to the place where I play handball. Another person who plays there is Ron Perkins who plays there is Ron Perkins, a sergeant with the Culver City police. H

Darn Clever, These Sound Effects Men

The Milwaukee Journal – Apr 23, 1939 Darn Clever, These Sound Effects Men CLEVER, these sound effects men. They’re not merely content in inventing a gadget for a given sound; they make the same gadget do for many sounds. Knives and forks, for example, are used not only in eating sequences, but in exciting dueling scenes as well. A compressed air tank used for decompression hisses, can give the illusion of a tinkling bell buoy bobbling back and forth at sea. All you have to do is strike the side of the tank with a soft mallet. Squirting a seltzer water bottle sounds over the air just like turning on the water faucet. The seltzer bottle doubled in a comedy scene on a recent “ Town Hall Tonight ” broadcast when FredAllen used it to produce the sound of milk strumming into a pail.

Goldbergs Anything But Idle

The Pittsburgh Press – Nov 24, 1953 Goldbergs Anything But Idle Molly Busy Doing ‘House of Glass’ By JACK GAVER United Press Staff Writer NEW YORK –“ The Goldbergs ” may be off the air for the present, but that doesn’t mean that the creator of this much-loved program is idle. Gertrude Berg. Who is the author and the Molly Goldberg of the series, celebrated her 24 th anniversary on network radio last Friday, busy with a new series called “The House of Glass.” NBC introduced this radio show a few weeks ago after “The Goldbergs” dropped out of the television picture – temporarily everyone hopes—because there was just no so called prime time available for it. TV sponsors who spent the sort of money “The Goldbergs” get hesitate to buy anything that doesn’t have a good time segment.