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!
Harriet Hilliard was born on July 18, 1909 and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. Later on as she got involved in vaudeville, she became a part of the band that Ozzie Nelson was band leading. They became a married couple a few years later and thus began the Nelson fame of Harriet Nelson through the years. Although she had a comfortable career as a film actress under the Hilliard name; she felt it important to move on to handle her work with Ozzie in the band subsequent radio program. In 1944, Harriet began working with Ozzie on the The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , dealing with the everyday life raising 2 sons (David and Ricky). It took some time before the boys were actually able to perform as themselves for the radio show. early on, the rambunctious sons were portrayed by radio actors. The radio antics of this program grew so popular that ABC Television brought them on board to continue their program. Harriet Nelson brought a sense of stability to Ozzie’s impetuous character on
With episode titles like "Family Picnic," "College Days," "Cleaning the House," and "Performing MacBeth," The Frances Langford Show sounds like Ozzie and Harriet with just a splash of Orson Welles ' Mercury Theatre on the Air tossed in just to keep things interesting. The gorgeous singer hosted the show only through the crazy Summer of 1947--it was a Summer replacement for The Burns and Allen Show . The half-hour show featured Langford crooning such numbers as "I'm Always Blowing Bubbles," "Almost Like Being In Love," and "When You're Cryin'." Langford grew up in Lakeland, FL, which probably makes it a bit unlikely that she was trained as an opera singer. She changed her style to Big Band after a tonsillectomy, and her radio and stage careers began to develop in parallel. She was a regular on The Rudy Vallee Show . She was born on this day in 1913, and lived until 2005.