Tuesday, November 20, 2012
November 20, 1929: On this day, The NBC Blue Network broadcast The Rise of the Goldbergs for the first time. The series writer Gertrude Berg also starred as the lead character, Molly Goldberg. The series name was shortened to The Goldbergs radio show when it moved to CBS in 1936. The program ran until 1945 and returned for one season in 1949-1950. Listeners responded well to the New York setting and the motherly character of Molly who shouted things like "Button up your neck. It's cold outside."
In many ways, the program that Gertrude Berg devised in 1928 was unique. There was no such daily serial drama that reflected its creator's own ethnic background explicitly. Berg wrote all the scripts until the late 1930s, which was about five to six fifteen-minute stories per week. She was also the star of the show and was paid $75 a week or equal to $930 in 2009. When a new script writer was hired, Berg continued to act as the show's producer. Also, she performed the role of the main character herself throughout the show's nearly thirty year history on radio and television, making her an iconic staple of the program.