Sunday, April 24, 2016
The 1990s industrial rock band Rage Against the Machine might not have meant their name to be an homage to the classic radio gem X Minus One, but the phrase does do a good job of summing up the show's common story lines. On this revival of Dimension X, men fight computers and robots and are attacked by alien star fleets.
Today, 1955, marks the first time radio listeners got to hear the famous lines, "Countdown for blast off...three, two, X Minus One!" NBC launched (get the pun?) the series, with Don Pardo announcing as only he can.
Wendell Holmes, Ken Williams, and Luis Van Wooten starred in "No Contact" in which a space ship made a voyage toward a planet called Volta in a future time known as 1987.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
People can debate whether it was "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup," or "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille," but there can be no dispute over the fact that the film director was also a huge figure in oldtime radio.
Cecil DeMille was a regular actor and frequent host of The Lux Radio Theatre, working alongside such greats as Loretta Young, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable, and Geraldine Peck. His run on the show stretched from 1936-1945.
DeMille was amazing in his ability to adapt to media after media. Born--today--in 881, he began as a stage actor and writer. He met the new medium of film and began directing silent films in 1914. When radio began crackling over the airwaves, he became a virtuoso in that form, also becoming a legend in talkies--motion pictures with sound.
We salute a paragon of versatility, a man known as a filmmaker whose legacy also includes great work in front of the microphone.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Bios of Lucille Ball abound, and most people know at least a little bit about the famed comedienne. But on the occasion of her birthday, we get a chance to look at her contributions to oldtime radio.
Her first big break was the chance to star in the radio program My Favorite Husband along with Richard Denning. The two played a Minneapolis couple, with Lucille's character Liz, being a goofball housewife. She signed each time with a cordial "Jell-O, everybody," to plug the sponsor, General Foods' Jell-O. The show would later make the jump to television.
But what a lot of people may not realize is that she also made the rounds as a guest on just about any radio show you can name: The Kraft Music Hall, Screen Guild Theatre, Mail Call, The Campbell Playhouse, and The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre to name a few.
Many things to many people, Lucille Ball was a giant of old time radio. Happy birthday, Lucille!