November 25: Happy Birthday Joe DiMaggio To be a ballplayer for the New York Yankees in the 30's, 40's, and 50's was to be a national sports icon, a celebrity of the highest order. A star among stars was Centerfielder Joe DiMaggio , who hosted a sports-themed radio show , The Joe DiMaggio Show, from Sept. 17, 1949 to Oct. 7, 1950. The show started on CBS, then jumped to NBC. It included the theme song "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio ." The Joe DiMaggio Show was a sort of sports-oriented variety show. It included a sports quiz for both kids and adults from the studio audience; a roundup of recent Major League action; and a dramatization of a sports story from a famous sports writer; and a segment in which DiMaggio answered fan mail. Sports writers who appeared included Lou Effrat, Jim Kahn, and Mel Allen. Mandel Kramer, Everett Sloane, Leon Janney, and Jackson Beck played roles in the re-enactments of stories, which included one on Pancho Segura, tennis cham
In the 1930's, thin, henna-headed John Dehner popped from show biz industry job to show biz industry job, jockeying discs and drawing cartoons for Disney. He even played some piano. One can see him dreaming of being in front of the camera, and it may have been the part of the villain he craved. That's what he's known for, anyway. Dehner often played a crooked bank owner or a leader of a band of desperadoes in movies and TV Westerns. He was booked to play various bad guys in the radio version of Gunsmoke . However, he wasn't always a villain or a one-time character. He landed the role of playing Paladin on the radio version of Have Gun--Will Travel . He co-starred with Ben Wright and Virginia Gregg . We love the pencil-thin mustache, John. Thanks for the memories!