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August 14, 1933: The First Broadcast of Ma Perkins

August 14, 1933: Radio Soap operaMa Perkins’ was transmitted for the first time on WLW. The show remained solely on NBC air waves initially, before moving to CBS as well. Virginia Payne started playing Perkins at the age of 23 and continued to do so for 27 years (7,065 episodes) without missing a single episode.  Ma Perkins operated a lumberyard in Rushville Center. The other characters were Perkin’s children--Fay, Evey and John.  Additionally, Shuffle Shober was Perkins' friend.

Ma Perkins  also known as Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins was a radio soap opera which was broadcast from 1933 to 1949 on NBC and on CBS from 1942 to 1960. The show was heard simultaneously on both networks from 1942 until 1949. In the early broadcast the show was sponsored by Oxydol but in 1956 Oxydol dropped its sponsorship. The program continued with various sponsors until 1960.

The series was scripted by Robert Hardy Andrews with Orvin Tovrov and produced by Frank and Anne HummertMa Perkins ran for a total of 7,065 episodes both on NBC and CBS.
Ma Perkins was also popular as "America’s mother of the air" featuring Virginia Payne. Ma Perkins was portrayed as a widow who was kind, trusting, had a big heart and a great love for humanity. She became a raw model of humanity relationship at that time.


  1. the star, virginia paine, played ma for the entire 30 year run. thats 5 days a week.while other cast members changed, virginia remained at the helm. quite a feat.

  2. eah, and she was only in her 20s when she started the series. There was nothing like a great radio actor.

  3. amazingly, unlike today, a long running series had the same stars, if not full cast, from beginning to end.


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