Showing posts with label Radio Hall of Fame. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Radio Hall of Fame. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30: Happy Birthday, Eve Arden



She was Our Miss Brooks; she played a pickpocket in The Marx Brothers flick At The Circus; and for an encore, turned in memorable performances as the wacky high school principal in Grease and its sequel. Eve Arden, born on this day in 1908, was multi-talented and loved by millions for her roles in radio, TV, and film.

The lovely strawberry blonde began her show biz career on the stage, as a teenager. But before long she was on the silver screen, finding a niche as the sidekick, witty and wise-cracking. Her prolific late-30's film output inlcuded Oh, Doctor, Stage Door, Cocoanut Grove, and Having Wonderful Time.

In 1948, after nearly two decades fighting in the show business trenches as a comic character actress, Arden landed a starring role, that of high school teacher Connie Brooks in Our Miss Brooks.

The literature teacher was likeable--in fact, praised by organizations of actual teachers--a strong female character who stood up to the shenanigans of the sketchy Principal Conklin (Gale Gordon). She was sarcastic rather than ditzy or bubbly, and rather than being hit on by her male colleagues, she was the one doing the hitting, repeatedly trying to snag the attention of the bio teacher, Mr. Boynton (Jeff Chandler).

The show succeeded on the radio and succeeded in its television guise, which ran from 1952-57.

Eve Arden's given name was Eunice Queens, and legend has it that the Arden came from a fortuitously-placed jar of Elizabeth Arden hand cream.

She died in 1990, and was posthumously inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.


Sources:

Evearden.com

Movies.nytimes.com



Monday, July 7, 2014

July, 7: Happy Birthday, Bill Stern

Early American baseball never had quite the voice it did in announcer Bill Stern.

Born on July 1, 1907, Bill Stern would lead a life of sportscasting and baseball announcing that very few in his genre ever eclipsed.

By 1988, 17 years after his passing in 1971, Bill Stern would be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Stern started doing on-air broadcasting in 1925 for a Rochester, New York radio station. in 1937, Stern went to work for NBC doing boxing commentating on the Colgate Sports Newsreel. As one of the big names in radio sportscasting, Stern developed a theme of making on-air stories that were never authenticated in any form. He would give the acknowledgement that whether the stories were true or not; “might be actual, may be mythical, but definitely interesting.”

A car accident in 1935 caused Bill Stern to have one leg amputated; but, it never stopped him from his on-air work. He had opportunity to be the on-air sports commentator for NBC Newsreels. Stern had opportunity to portray himself in two Hollywood movie productions including Pride of the Yankees.

The verbose, but much loved sportscaster was also a major fan of baseball and loved to share stories; including the one about who created the curve ball  Stern never missed a chance to talk the sports he loved.

After retiring from the big leagues, Bill Stern continued doing local sports casting for the Mutual Broadcasting System during the 50’s and 60’s. He passed away in November of 1971.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 22: Happy Birthday, Chico Marx

March 22: Happy Birthday, Chico Marx

It's pronounced "Chick-o." Legend has it that in an early press release, the typesetter forgot the "k," and in a spirit of whimsy, the Marx Brothers left it that way. It therefore began to be pronounced the way it was spelled, and the name essentially began going by either pronunciation.

In the fall of '32, the mispronounced Marx brother began appearing with just Groucho on a radio program called Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, the Monday installment of Standard Oil's Five Star Theatre. Chico played Emmanuel Ravelli, the assistant to Groucho's lawyer character.

In Spring of '34, the two had a quick stint on a show called Marx of Time which lampooned current events.

Chico appeared in a handful of episodes of Pabst Blue Ribbon Town, which Groucho Marx hosted.

He also lent his talents to Command Performance, Radio Hall of Fame, and Hollywood Hotel. The piano-playing funny man died in October of 1961. His real name was Leonard.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16: Happy Birthday, Henny Youngman


Not quite St. Patty's Day and not the Ides of March, today is still special by way of marking the birth of comic groundbreaker Henny Youngman. There are many examples of people who adore Youngman's work. Take my wife...please. Youngman wrote that seminal one-liner, along with, "I miss my wife's cooking...as often as possible," and "I was so ugly, when I was born, the doctor slapped my mother."

Youngman was born Henry Yungman in Liverpool, England, in 1906. He learned the violin, began playing it in a jazz combo in American nightclubs, and then got into comedy. He ground out the brutal nightclub circuit for the rest of his life, though for much of it was an established star.

His fame as a comedian took him to old-time radio, with appearances on Radio Hall of Fame and Command Performance. We salute the King of the One-Liner, Henny Youngman.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9: Happy Birthday, Hans von Kaltenborn

July 9, 1878 was the entrance of Hans von Kaltenborn, or better known as HV Kaltenborn. This American radio commentator had the intellectual mind and the voice for diction. He was destined to be a top choice for radio news reporting. Growing up in Wisconsin, Kaltenborn planned on a career in news reporting starting out as a newspaper reporter.

His ability to retain information and keen understanding for world affairs would profit him greatly in the years to come. CBS radio was keen to bring kaltenborn aboard as a radio reporter covering Europe and the Far East. Besides reporting the news, he would offer commentary and analysis to the situations; making him one of the first in his field. One radio historian said this of Kaltenborn, “Kaltenborn was known as a commentator who never read from a script. His "talks" were extemporaneous created from notes he had previously written.”

In 1940, he moved over to NBC and in 1948 had one of his first gaffes in reporting. Kaltenborn predicted Dewey the winner in the Presidential elections;although Harry S Truman would eventually receive the victory. He handle his mistake with class and decorum. He left broadcasting in 1953; still adding color commentary at times for upcoming elections. HV Kaltenborn would portray himself in two motion pictures; including James Stewart’s lead in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In June of 1965, Kaltenborn passed away. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2011.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 3: Happy Birthday, Norman Corwin


Today we salute an innovative and pioneering writer and producer, Norman Corwin. In 2011, Corwin died at the age of 101. He is known for his production of the broadcast "On a Note of Triumph," which trumpeted the Allied victory in World War II.

In 1938, Corwinbegan his noteworthy radio program Words Without Music. One of his next endeavors was Columbia Presents Corwin, which took flight in March of 1944. Corwin wrote the original scripts for the programs, each of which was a documentary-style look at the topic at hand. The inaugural episode was "Movie Primer," which looked at some of the pomposity of the movie business. For his thoughtful, high-quality programs, he tapped into the Rolls Royce of available talent: Charles Laughton, Orson Welles, and Everett Sloane, to name a few.

A later work of distinction was American in England, in which Corwin conducted man-on-the-street interviews with British folks during World War II.

Corwin would go on to win many awards and distinctions, ultimately making it into the Radio Hall of Fame.