Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 25, 1945: The Fred Allen Show' airs for the First Time

 November 25, 1945: A parody of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, The Lass That Loved a Sailor, went on air on The Fred Allen Show.

The parody was named ‘The Brooklyn Pinafore’ and was performed by American baseball infielder Leo Ernest Durocher and actress Shirley Booth.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 1944: The FBI in Peace and War goes on air for the First Time on CBS

November 24, 1944: The FBI in Peace and War went on air on CBS for the first time. Its fourteen year broadcast made it one of radio’s longest-running crime shows.

The FBI in Peace and War was the 8th most popular show on radio at the time, following Dragnet. The show was adapted from the Frederick Collins' book of the same name.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23: Happy Birthday, Boris Karloff

November 23: Happy Birthday, Boris Karloff

Unlike a lot of radio stars who would go on to careers in television or film, Boris Karloff was a star of the silver screen before embarking on a radio career. He is best known for starring as Frankenstein's monster in the 1931 opus Frankenstein (as well as in some sequels). He would later cross over and appear in many radio shows. He hosted The Boris Karloff Show in 1957, with episodes such as "The Vampire's Grave," "Shakespeare's Hometown," and "The White House."

Shows on which he appeared as a guest include "Bergen & McCarthy," "Inner Sanctum," "Lights Out," "Martin and Lewis," "Jack Benny Program" and more. To these shows he lent his distinctive, deep, slow, spooky drawl. Later in his life he would play many voice roles, including that of the narrator of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

Karloff's birth name was William Henry Pratt.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20: Happy Birthday, Judy Canova

The Beach Boys rarely surfed; Creedence Clearwater Revival, for all their Bayou songs, weren't from that region; and Judy Canova, sometimes called The Ozark Nightingale, did not hail from the Ozarks.  She wasn't even from Georgia, which means that the act Three Georgia Crackers, which she had with her brother Zeke and sister Annie was another marketing ploy.

Judy played the role of the country innocent to the hilt, and found success at a young age.  Before long, the hoky act--with Judy yodeling, singing, and picking a gee-tar--had ironically made Broadway.

She then became a big radio star.  She started on Rudy Vallee's The Fleischmann Hour and then landed her own show, appropriately called The Judy Canova Show. This included music and skits and stories about pigs.  Some advertisements featured a pencil sketch of Judy in a straw hat and pigtails, looking not unlike the mascot for the Little Debbies snacks that would fatten a nation a little later.

Today marks the birth of an interesting comedienne and performer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19: Happy Birthday, Alan Young!

November 19: Happy Birthday, Alan Young!

Before his well-known role opposite "The Famous Mr. Ed," this British actor starred in a radio show bearing his name. The Alan Young Show took the air in 1944, a radio Summer replacement. This NBC show was a sitcom, featuring Young trading quickfire burns with his girlfriend, Betty, played by Jean Gillespie and then Louise Erickson. Jim Backus would eventually join the cast, playing Hubert Updike III.

Episode titles include "Books," "Raising Rabbits," "Landscaping," "Cucamunga Killer," and "Alan, the Movie Star." The action took place in a little cottage in Van Nuys, CA. advertisements for the 7:30 Friday shows promised "FUN!"

Raised in Scotland and Canada, Young became enamored of radio when he was bedridden with acute asthma. Reaching adulthood, he broke into the business on a Canadian show called "Stag Party." Later, after starring in The Alan Young Show, he would make cameos in several episodes of Adventures in Odyssey.

If you're wondering if he is the same Alan Young who made guest appearances on ER, Murder, She Wrote, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, the answer is "yes" on all accounts. But more significantly, Young played Scrooge McDuck in various Disney productions.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 15, 1926: The Form of New Radio Network

November 15, 1926: On this day, 24 radio stations were aired for the first time from the National Broadcasting Company. The program was broadcast from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for 4.5 hours continuously. This day is known as the birthday of network radio.

Announcing the National Broadcasting Company, Inc. ads were published in numerous publications in September, 1926. The network's debut broadcast followed on November 15th. The new NBC had an advisory board that consisted of nationally prominent citizens. The advisory board  held an initial meeting on February 28, 1927, discussing concepts for the first steps of the company. These meetings were recounted in a privately published Memorandum of Minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nov 11: Happy Birthday, General George S Patton

Happy Birthday to the famed US General, George S. Patton!

Known as "Bandito", "Old Blood and Guts", and simply "The Old Man", George S. Patton was one of the most successful and notable commanders of WWII. His incredible drive and lust for battle he told troops as they stormed Normandy, "Keep on advancing… whether we go over, under, or through the enemy." He was known for colorful language and motivating fighting men when they needed it most. He said, "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."

Enjoy this 1945 broadcast of These Are Our Men about "Old Blood and Guts"