John Dunning, author of On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio , called Jack Kirkwood a "comic's comic." This was due to Kirkwood's passion and dedication to the craft, his great work ethic, and his background banging out jokes for years on the vaudeville circuit. The host of The Jack Kirkwood Show was born on this day in 1894. His show ran from '43-'53 under various named, and treated audiences to sketch comedy, including spoofs of Westerns and other genres of radio programs (this also according to Dunning). The veteran comic made appearances all over the dial, trading wits with Bob Hope and Edgar Bergen , and also guesting on Ozzie and Harriet , Hallmark Playhouse , and Fibber McGee and Molly . A happy birthday to Mr. Kirkwood!
Could Tyrone Power have been anything other than an actor? The branches of his family tree included Laurence Olivier and Tyrone Guthrie, who instituted the Stratford Festival, while his great-grandfather, Tyrone Power (1795-1841) was an actor, as was his father Tyrone Power, Sr. Thus, the man known for his parts in The Black Swan, The Mark of Zorro , and Blood and Sand couldn't have been better suited for a life on stage and in front of the camera. Today's birthday boy made many solid appearances on some of the biggest radio shows, such as Lux Radio Theatre , The Cavalcade of America , and The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre . On Jan. 7, 1940, he starred alongside Humphrey Bogart in an adaptation of Robert Sherwood's "The Petrified Forest." Power's radio travels also allowed him to work with Gale Gordon , Bob Hope , Bing Crosby , and Hans Conried . So take a moment and remember the times you heard Mr. Power on the radio, on this, the day of his 1914 birt
A dancer as a child and actress and sex symbol as an adult, Rita Hayworth was born Margerita Carmen Cansino on this day in 1918. Star of Gilda, Pal Joey, and Separate Tables, the stunning brunette was also once married to Orson Welles and romantically involved with Prince Aly Khan, Aga Khan's son. But let's allow others to worry about her lovelife, her scandals and intrigues. We're here to celebrate her radio performances: there were many. She appeared on The Lux Radio Theatre , Gulf Screen Guild Theatre , The Pepsodent Show (hosted by Bob Hope ), Suspense , and Command Performance . On these top-flight shows, she acted alongside Cary Grant , Cecil B. DeMille, George Burns , and Angela Lansbury . Hayworth was dashing and sensual, and has been recognized by collective memory as one of the great film actresses of all time.
I don't know, I think Leslie Townes Hope would be a great name for a comedian and all-around show biz icon. LT Hope, perhaps. But we know the man born on this day in 1903 not by his birth name but as Bob Hope . Self-effacing but razor-sharp, wholesome but with a racy edge, Hope had wide appeal and will go down in history as one of the top comedians of the twentieth century. Like all the big stars of the Depression and World War II eras, Hope was versatile enough to thrive in various media: film and radio, and later television. His biting monologues sizzled on the airwaves to American homes on The Pepsodent Show . He then began broadcasts on military bases, entertaining overseas troops, something for which he would go on to be best known. 1943 would take Hope into perilous locales in Sicily, Ireland, Africa, and England, with his USO troupe made up of Jack Pepper, Tony Romano, and Frances Langford . In the upcoming years, he'd entertain servicemen and servicewom
Guizar was a classically-trained Mexican singer who starred with Roy Rogers and Bob Hope in Hollywood films. His acting and singing career spanned an astonishing seventy years. He's probably best known for his song "Alla en el Rancho Grande," the title song from a 1936 film. His radio appearances were on Duffy's Tavern , Hello Americans , Its Time to Smile , Mail Call , and Quiz Kids . His appearance on Duffy's Tavern had him singing "La Feria De Las Flores," just before Talullah Bankhead read from Boris Voitekhov's "The Last Days of Sevastopol." You just can't find radio like this anymore, folks!
Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, was born on this day in 1905. The pride of Hamlin, West Virginia, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in WWII . Yeager made a few interesting radio appearances. In 1951, he guested on The Bob Hope Show giving the host a ride in an airplane. In 1953, The Hallmark Hall of Fame dramatized General Yeager's breaking of the sound barrier, with Raymond Burr , Lamont Johnson, and host Lionel Barrymore . After the program proper, Yeager had a brief conversation with Barrymore. Finally, he appeared in a brief clip on the series Eyes On the Skies, discussing the Ground Observer Corps. One learns something new every day, right? Happy birthday, Chuck Yeager.
On June 21 of 1921, Ernestine Jane Russell was born and thus began a story and life that was the envy of millions of women and eye-catching of men. Miss Russell made her movie debut in 1943 when she filmed “The Outlaw”. A famous pose of her stretched out on hay and holding a revolver was an instant pin-up hit for servicemen everywhere. Her obvious physical traits notwithstanding, Miss Russell drew the attention for her acting ability that would garner her much success in the years to follow. However, she was a versatile performer as a singer as well and her talent was added to a number of films. She performed with Kay Kyser and his band for radio by creating two hit singles, “As Long As I Live” and “Boin-n-n-ng”. Her 1948 hit movie The Paleface with Bob Hope , was broadcast for radio on Screen Director’s Playhouse in 1950. She also would record for Columbia a number of ballads that allowed America to hear her talents rather than simply focus upon her body shape. Jane Rus
If Hedda Hopper looks like someone who should host a gossip show on the radio , chalk that up to one instance of order in the universe. From 1939-'47 she did that very thing on a couple of networks with a few different sponsors. The former actress and gossip columnist was nimble-tongued and clever, a good fit for the airwaves. Later, she would turn her show into Hedda Hopper 's Hollywood, a variety show with guests such as Bob Hope , Audey Murphy, and Humphrey Bogart . Hopper's radio gossip began as a series of segments on Rudy Vallee 's show.
February 1: Happy Birthday, Clark Gable Both before and after his epochal role in 1939's Gone With The Wind, Clark Gable made more than a dozen appearances of popular radio shows including Lux Radio Theatre , Cavalcade of America , and Good News . One of his earliest roles was in a 1936 performance of "The Legionnaire and the Lady" on the Lux Radio Program . This was an adaptation of the film Morocco, and starred, in addition to Gable, Marlene Dietrich . On May 5, 1937, Gable starred with Josephine Hutchinson and Jack LaRue in a Lux production of "A Farewell To Arms." On May 5, 1938, he starred in "Manhattan Melodrama" on Good News . In all, Gable's radio performances allowed him to work with Ginger Rogers , Bob Hope , Lucille Ball , Lana Turner , and Judy Garland . We honor the King of Hollywood for his sterling on-air performances.
December 12: Happy Birthday, Frank Sinatra! Frank Sinatra ? was “Old Blue eyes”, part of the infamous Rat Pack , a crooner and an actor and he set the hearts of millions of women worldwide aflame. He was born in December of 1915 and passed away in 1998. In between stood the legacy of an icon on the build. If he wasn’t singing “Did It My way”, Sinatra was dallying with the ladies; both professionally and personally. Perhaps one of his favorite mediums was radio, as he both sang and did on-air interviews. Frank Sinatra was not shy about his talent and played it to the hilt with the media and the public. He sang for Capitol Records, performed in Las vegas and Atlantic City and made a number of motion pictures. He even won a best Supporting Actor role in From Here To Eternity. During his career, he performed with the big names; Harry James , Andrews Sisters , Dean Martin, Bob Hope and many more. Frank was married to 4 different women, and had 3 children with Nancy. Politically, Si
December 10: Happy Birthday, Dorothy Lamour Dorothy Lamour was born in Louisiana in 1914, as Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton. Known as “Dottie” to many of her friends, Miss Lamour maintained an illustrious career as a leading lady and was constantly being sought after by the major studios. Her classical beauty came as a benefit to her in 1931, when she was crowned Miss New Orleans. Many of her famous performances carried through as the beauteous jungle girl or third part of the “On the Road” movie triangle with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby . Her voice was an asset as well, having sang alongside notables Rudy Vallee and her husband Herbie Kaye. On the radio, she hosted NBC’s “ Sealtest Variety Theatre ” during the late 40’s. One thing that could be said about Miss Lamour was her ability to spellbind a crowd and that paid in huge dividends for the war effort during the 1940’s raising over 300 million in bonds. Into her later years, Dorothy Lamour still carried herself with dignity and grac