Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 29: Happy Birthday Nelson Eddy

A baritone that could sweep the hearts of bubble gum chewing teenagers to older women was Nelson Eddy. Born June 29, 1901, this classically trained crooner led four decades of entertaining people through radio, movies and live concerts. Most people will remember him for his time spent filming a number of movies opposite Jeanette MacDonald.

The first notice of Eddy singing (besides early years being fired for crooning on the job Nelson Eddy would hit the Hollywood scene and contract with MGM to make almost 20 motion pictures. His on-screen performances were as well received as his nightclub performances. Eddy made over 600 on-air radio appearances.
) was a tenor in a church boys choir. During his teens he became a trained singer of the opera genre. His talent drew him attention when he won a singing competition in Philadelphia. Throughout the 20’s and into the early 30’s, Eddy could be seen in some of the more impressive opera houses around the country. By 1933,

Nelson Eddy would host The The Voice of Firestone in 1936, The Chase and Sanborn Hour from 1937-1939 and his own program with CBS from 1947-1948. Nelson Eddy drew acclaim for his rendition of “Shortenin’ Bread” with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on the Sanborn radio program. In the late 40’s he performed on the Lux Radio Theatre broadcast alongside of Cecil Demille. Nelson Eddy would also be heard on the Alan Young Show, as well as perform a few other operas on-air. In 1967, Eddy died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 27, 1940: The famous Pianist Alec Templeton's first show on radio NBC

June 27, 1940: The Quiz Kids radio show debuted on NBC and aired until 1953. It was first heard as a showcase for blind, piano virtuoso Alec Templeton.

The excellent piano player Alec Templeton was born in Westfield, New Jersey. He is best remembered as the husband in the gentle daily radio comedy "Ethel & Albert," a show written by Peg Lynch. The program also had a TV run in 1953.  He showed up consistently in TV guest roles from 1950 until his unfortunate death on April 27, 1965 at the age of 62.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 26: Happy Birthday Peter Lorre

László Löwenstein, better known as Peter Lorre, was born in present day Slovakia in June of 1904.
Lorre’s early years were rather dismal having lost his mother, not getting along with his stepmother and his father suffering a long-term illness. This all during the years preceding and including WWI.

However, at the age of 17, Lorre began a career in entertainment with a renowned Viennese puppeteer. In the early 20’s, Lorre moved to Berlin and began his work in film by starring in a couple of moving pictures. However his work in the German made film “M” would bring him to the attention of Alfred Hitchcock.

Some of his more notable film work was as the Japanese detective, Mr Moto, that ran in a few film episodes. During the 1940’s, Lorre made a number of motion pictures with names, such as George Raft and Humphrey Bogart, that carried through the troubled American period of war. After that world war, Peter Lorre spent time doing some projects for radio.

 The “creepy foreigner” was more than a voice, it was a caricature of who he created on radio. That is how it was for Mystery in the Air. One of the hallmark points of Lorre’s career was to gain the first ever villainy role in a James Bond production.

Through the 60’s, he would guest star in a number of television shows and make radio appearances. His one child, Catherine, died of diabetes complication in the mid 80’s. The master of intrigue and mayhem would pass away in 1964 due to a stroke. The beloved hunchback rang his last toll.

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 1947: 'Wendy Warren and the News' went on air on CBS

June 23, 1947: Wendy Warren and the News went on air for the 1st time on CBS. The program lasted till 1958. Contrary to its title, the show was not a traditional news bulletin rather it was an ongoing series. Show’s 3 minute opening bulletin marked its uniqueness. The show was presented by Douglas Edwards who narrated the news during. Later, he became a regular news anchor at CBS.

Contrary to what it sounded like,  Wendy Warren and the News  was not a radio news program but rather a noontime drama series preceded by the afternoon news report. Wendy Warren, the show's lead character, was portrayed by Florence Freeman.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

1946 Great Crepitation Fart Contest

Not for the faint of heart, here is the remarkable 1946 Crepitation (Fart) Contest (part of the 1946 News Broadcasts Collection).

You'll enjoy the fart-off between champion Englishman Lord Windsmear, and  challenger, Australian Paul Boomer who had stowed aboard a cabbage freighter.

The hilarious comedy recording was apparently created a spoof by two Canadian radio sportscasters in 1946, but this 15 minute recording definitely has some gems in it.  Apparently they made several copies, but it was not for distribution. The recording was copied again and again on disc and reel to reel tape. It was distributed underground and played in dark rooms and back alleys around the world.

This recording is available with many other delightful treats on Random Rarities #7 available on  MP3 CDAudio CD, and instant download.

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 1944: Marvin Camras patents his wire recorder

June 13, 1944: Marvin Camras received US patent for his wire recorder.  Camras was an electrical engineer and inventor. He created the wire recorder to tape some of his cousin's songs. He found that magnetic tapes helped with splicing and storing records, as well.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 12, 1955: The University of Chicago Round Table transmits for the last time

June 12, 1955: The University of Chicago Round Table, first ever radio program without a script was transmitted for the last time on NBC. It was also first winner of the famous George Foster Peabody Award.

The guests at the "round table" were politicians, business owners, journalists, etc. The topics of the show included politics, nutrition, business affairs and daily topical news.

Enjoy this fascinating 1948 broadcast discussing "Race Problems and World Peace":