Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 9: Happy Birthday, Paul Robeson


If you are a football-playing Civil Rights activist and actor, you can relate to Paul Robeson. He was a pioneering African-American actor with stage roles in Othello, and Show Boat and film roles in Show Boat and Sanders of the River.

In 1936, Robeson appeared on the variety show The Magic Key. An excerpt from a 1959 performance of Othello is also available.

Robeson's groundreaking roles in various productions of Othello are the subject of Lindsey R. Swindall's book The Politics of Paul Robeson's Othello , published by the University Press of Mississippi.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8, 1941: The hero Without a Name: The Lone Ranger

Brace Beemer, the previous radio show announcer of 'The Lone Ranger' took over the title role of Earle Graser, the eight year voice of the show after he died in an auto accident.

With his popular mask and sidekick Tonto, the native American, Reid ("The Lone Ranger") was a Texas Ranger who fights injustices in the West. Undoubtedly, this program became a part of the American culture and still has an impact in today’s world.

Along with penetrating the culture, the program also reached the big screen as complete hit both in the TV series and film. Though he was introduced as Reid, the Lone Rangers’ name was never explained or announced in the public.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April 6, 1931: Little Orphan Annie by Harlod Gray's First Broadcast on Radio


April 6, 1931: Harold Gray's comic strip character  Little Orphan Annie, had her radio debut over the NBC Blue network.

Little Orphan Annie was created from a rough sketches to be a story with fragile atmosphere and novelistic plot story . The dialog describes Grays's conservative political philosophy. In his write, Gray made no attempt his critical political views of President F.J Roosevelt.

 

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5: Happy Birthday, Bette Davis


Rumored to have intimidated--and insulted--Marilyn Monroe on the set of All about Eve, Bette Davis is one of the icons of the 40's and 50's. Known as a diva among divas, feuding with Joan Crawford and Humphrey Bogart and flicking her acerbic opinions into the air like so many ashes from her ever-present cigarettes, she was much more than a doe-eyed princess.

She first hit the airwaves in 1935 on an episode of Shell Chateau. From there, Bette Davis appeared in Command Performance, Calvalcade of America, and many episodes of Lux Radio Theater. Her most regular gig was on Whispering Streets, in 1958.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April 4: Happy Birthday, Frances Langford


With episode titles like "Family Picnic," "College Days," "Cleaning the House," and "Performing MacBeth," The Frances Langford Show sounds like Ozzie and Harriet with just a splash of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre on the Air tossed in just to keep things interesting.

The gorgeous singer hosted the show only through the crazy Summer of 1947--it was a Summer replacement for The Burns and Allen Show. The half-hour show featured Langford crooning such numbers as "I'm Always Blowing Bubbles," "Almost Like Being In Love," and "When You're Cryin'."

Langford grew up in Lakeland, FL, which probably makes it a bit unlikely that she was trained as an opera singer. She changed her style to Big Band after a tonsillectomy, and her radio and stage careers began to develop in parallel.

She was a regular on The Rudy Vallee Show. She was born on this day in 1913, and lived until 2005.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April 3: Happy Birthday, Doris Day



On Mar. 28, 1952, CBS took the air with The Doris Day Show, a radio program featuring an established recording artist and actress. The show used the format that was by then a staple: soothing musical numbers and then performances by guests, most of them stars of stage, screen, and air. Guests included Kirk Douglas, Ronald Reagan, Danny Thomas, and Ray Bolger. Howard Keel was probably the most frequent guest, with Gordon MacRae not far behind.

As was the case with many of the big stars of the time period, Day also made plenty of appearances on the various big-name radio shows. The fetching singer-actress climbed the radio ladder with appearances on The Rudy Vallee Show, Command Performance, The Bob Hope Show, Kraft Music Hall and Stars For Defense.

The songstress who gave us "Till The End of Times," "My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time," and "I Got the Sun in the Mornin'" lives on in the memories of old time radio fans.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1, 1941: The start of Radio’s rise again

April 1, 1941: Station W71NY of New York City signed the first contract for advertising on a commercial FM station.

In the 1940’s, due to the effect of the changes of FM’s frequency, the radio industry experienced a sharp decline. However, on April 1, 1941, Joseph Creamer, the owner and operator of an FM radio station in New York (W71NY), was able to convince companies that the FM subscribers were a valuable audience. As a result of his perseverance, he won an advertising contract for the commercial FM radio station, the first of its kind.