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Showing posts from November, 2014

November 30, 1926: Happy Birthday Richard Crenna

If anyone had the acting prowess to change characterizations over the years, that was embodied in Richard Crenna . Born November 30, 1926, Crenna started his early years as a character actor for radio, eventually moving on to film and television . He grew up in Los Angeles and served his tour of duty as a radio operator in WWII . Upon his return after the conflict, Crenna attended college and took up acting. Richard Crenna began his radio legacy on The Great Gildersleeve as Walter “Bronco” Thompson. He played that role for 9 years, 1948-1957. His stimulus as a comic actor carried him over to do a duel run on another radio program from 1948 to 1952, as Walter Denton on Our Miss Brooks . His portrayal as the affable and naive Mr Denton played well in attracting him handle television roles in similar character positions. He performed on the I Love Lucy program and   George and Gracie . In both guest star roles Crenna hit his mark as a “lacking worldly wisdom, but sure willing to learn

November 29, 1950: Dick Haymes plays pilot Dockery Crane in the ABC premier, 'I Fly Anything'

November 29, 1950: Vocalist Dick Haymes played the role of freight pilot Dockery Crane in the ABC program I Fly Anything . The program survived for only a short period, which forced Haymes to get back to singing, where he earned his good name. Dick Haymes was an Argentine singer who made a name for himself in the states. His work as a vocalist allowed him to join a number of big bands, and he was popular on old time tadio and television.

November 25, 1945: The Fred Allen Show' airs for the First Time

 November 25, 1945: A parody of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, The Lass That Loved a Sailor, went on air on The Fred Allen Show . The parody was named ‘The Brooklyn Pinafore’ and was performed by American baseball infielder Leo Ernest Durocher and actress Shirley Booth.

November 24, 1944: The FBI in Peace and War goes on air for the First Time on CBS

  November 24, 1944: The FBI in Peace and War went on air on CBS for the first time. Its fourteen year broadcast made it one of radio’s longest-running crime shows. The FBI in Peace and War   was the 8th most popular show on radio at the time, following Dragnet . The show was adapted from the Frederick Collins' book of the same name.

November 23: Happy Birthday, Boris Karloff

November 23: Happy Birthday, Boris Karloff Unlike a lot of radio stars who would go on to careers in television or film, Boris Karloff was a star of the silver screen before embarking on a radio career. He is best known for starring as Frankenstein 's monster in the 1931 opus Frankenstein (as well as in some sequels). He would later cross over and appear in many radio shows. He hosted The Boris Karloff Show in 1957, with episodes such as "The Vampire's Grave," " Shakespeare 's Hometown," and "The White House." Shows on which he appeared as a guest include " Bergen & McCarthy ," " Inner Sanctum ," " Lights Out ," " Martin and Lewis ," " Jack Benny Program" and more. To these shows he lent his distinctive, deep, slow, spooky drawl. Later in his life he would play many voice roles, including that of the narrator of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas ." Karloff's birth

November 20: Happy Birthday, Judy Canova

The Beach Boys rarely surfed; Creedence Clearwater Revival, for all their Bayou songs, weren't from that region; and Judy Canova , sometimes called The Ozark Nightingale, did not hail from the Ozarks.  She wasn't even from Georgia, which means that the act Three Georgia Crackers, which she had with her brother Zeke and sister Annie was another marketing ploy. Judy played the role of the country innocent to the hilt, and found success at a young age.  Before long, the hoky act--with Judy yodeling, singing, and picking a gee-tar--had ironically made Broadway . She then became a big radio star.  She started on Rudy Vallee 's The Fleischmann Hour and then landed her own show, appropriately called The Judy Canova Show. This included music and skits and stories about pigs.  Some advertisements featured a pencil sketch of Judy in a straw hat and pigtails, looking not unlike the mascot for the Little Debbies snacks that would fatten a nation a little later. Today marks t

November 19: Happy Birthday, Alan Young!

November 19: Happy Birthday, Alan Young ! Before his well-known role opposite "The Famous Mr. Ed," this British actor starred in a radio show bearing his name. The Alan Young Show took the air in 1944, a radio summer replacement . This NBC show was a sitcom, featuring Alan Young trading quickfire burns with his girlfriend, Betty, played by Jean Gillespie and then Louise Erickson. Jim Backus would eventually join the cast, playing Hubert Updike III. Episode titles include "Books," "Raising Rabbits," "Landscaping," "Cucamunga Killer," and "Alan, the Movie Star." The action took place in a little cottage in Van Nuys, CA. advertisements for the 7:30 Friday shows promised "FUN!" Raised in Scotland and Canada,  Young  became enamored of radio when he was bedridden with acute asthma. Reaching adulthood, he broke into the business on a Canadian show called "Stag Party." Later, after starring in T

November 15, 1926: The Form of New Radio Network

November 15, 1926: On this day, 24 radio stations were aired for the first time from the National Broadcasting Company. The program was broadcast from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for 4.5 hours continuously. This day is known as the birthday of network radio. Announcing the National Broadcasting Company, Inc. ads were published in numerous publications in September, 1926. The network's debut broadcast followed on November 15th. The new NBC had an advisory board that consisted of nationally prominent citizens. The advisory board  held an initial meeting on February 28, 1927, discussing concepts for the first steps of the company. These meetings were recounted in a privately published Memorandum of Minutes.

Nov 11: Happy Birthday, General George S Patton

Happy Birthday to the famed US General, George S. Patton! Known as "Bandito", "Old Blood and Guts", and simply "The Old Man", George S. Patton was one of the most successful and notable commanders of WWII. His incredible drive and lust for battle he told troops as they stormed Normandy , "Keep on advancing… whether we go over, under, or through the enemy." He was known for colorful language and motivating fighting men when they needed it most. He said, "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." Enjoy this 1945 broadcast of These Are Our Men about "Old Blood and Guts"

November 11, 1938: Kate Smith sings 'God Bless America'

November 11, 1938: On this date, Kate Smith recorded the American patriotic song "God Bless America" for the first time and later became closely identified with this song. The lyrics were written by Irving Berlin twenty years before  Kate Smith   sung them on the radio. Kate Smith  was best known for her rendition of this song, which was written by Berlin while he was working for the US Army. Five years later, due to the popularity of this rendition, it was featured in the musical show entitled "This is the Army,"  which  featured other songs also composed by Berlin.

November 7, 1937: Jean Hersholt starred as the famous 'Dr. Christian' on CBS

  November 7, 1937: The Vaseline sponsored  the radio show Dr. Christian premiered on this date on CBS. Jean Hersholt starred in the leading role of caring  Dr. Christian   remaining on air until 1954.  His assistance nurse, Judy, was played by Rosemary De Camp, Laureen Tuttle, Kathleen Fitz and Helen Kleeb. The theme song of the series was "Rainbow on the River." Dr. Christian   was a radio series broadcasted on CBS until 1954. It starred Jean Hersholt as the title character, a physician who worked in the small but peaceful town of River's End. Hersholt's role as Dr. Christian was so popular among people that some of them actually sent mails asking for medical advice.  The series inspired the making of six films and one television series.

November 5: Happy Birthday, Roy Rogers!

Leonard Franklin Slyke, better known by his stage name of Roy Rogers , was born on November 5th, 1911 in the Midwest city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Slyke began his career by moving to California to sing, performing in the music group the Sons of the Pioneers. After making his first film appearance in 1935, he steadily worked in western films. While working on a film with Gene Autry in 1938, Slyke was rechristened Roy Rogers after Autry walked out on his contract. Roy came from a shortening of Leroy and Rogers came from the last name of Will Rogers, an American cowboy and humorist . His radio show, The Roy Rogers Show , ran for 9 years before moving to TV from 1951-1957 and starred his wife, Dale Evans . Over the years it changed its format. Originally it appeared as western music and variety show. There was always an element of action in the programs, and usually the episodes are broken up with songs, performed by The Sons of the Pioneers. Rogers, “King of the Cowboys,” passed away on

November 2: Happy Birthday, Burt Lancaster

In the world of show biz bios, you can either be a lower-working class kid from Bumble Bluffs, Illinois who hopped on a tomato truck and rode out to L.A. hoping to make it big, or you can come from one of the big cities and be drawn to the entertainment world around you. Burt Lancaster wasn't from Bumble Bluffs.  He was born in New York City and was very affected by Joan Crawford and Lon Chaney in the 1927 silent film The Unknown.  From there it was a stint working for the circus (OK, maybe he was a bumpkin from the corn belt), Hollywood, and eventually his huge roles in Elmer Gantry, Atlantic City, and The Birdman of Alcatraz. If you were a radio listener at the time and you wanted to hear Burt's voice, you could tune in to The Bob Hope Show , Hedda Hopper 's Hollywood , Lux Radio Theatre , and The Cavalcade of America .