Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 1943: Flashgun Casey airs on radio for the First Time

July 7, 1943: Flashgun Casey debuted on radio later to be renamed as Casey, Crime Reporter and got an instant fame.  The old time radio series began as stories recounted in Black Mask magazine.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6, 1947: 'Candid Microphone' went on-air for the first time

July 6, 1947: Candid Microphone went on air for the very first time on ABC radio. It was created by Allen Funt, who used a hidden microphone to set up funny and unusual situations for random people.

Candid Microphone was a practical joke radio series created by Allen Funt. It aired every Saturday night on ABC (and later on CBS every Tuesday). The show was the radio precursor of the popular TV hidden camera reality series entitled "Candid Camera," which aired until May 5, 2004.

In Candid Microphone, microphones were hidden and meant to catch people's reactions to some surprising situations.

Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5, 1948: Richard Denning and Lucille Ball starred on CBS' 'My Favorite Husband'

July 5, 1948: My Favorite Husband, starring Richard Denning and Lucille Ball, turned out to be the talented redhead's premier radio show on CBS.  Both the characters were known as "two people who live together and like it."

My Favorite Husband was the title of a radio program on CBS and a TV series. It was based on Isabel Scott Rorick's three novels, namely "Outside Eden," "The Record of a Happy Marriage," and "Mr. and Mrs. Cougat." The program, which had a total of 124 episodes, told the story of the well-off couple George and Liz Cooper.

Lucille Ball, the series' female lead star, was asked by CBS to play the same role in the TV adaptation of the series with her co-start Richard Denning. However, she refused, insisting that her real-life husband Desi Arnaz should do the male lead role. Reluctantly, the  network agreed, and gave them the show I Love Lucy instead. The show's main sponsor became Phillip Morris after the original sponsor Jell-O terminated its sponsorship.

The television version of My Favorite Husband aired in 1953 with Barry Nelson and Joan Caulfield as the new Mr. and Mrs. Cooper.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3, 1945: Victor Borge hosts his own show

July 3, 1945: Danish comedian Victor Borge hosted 'The Victor Borge Show’. It was a summer stand-in for Fibber McGee and Molly.

Borge was also employed by Bing Crosby for "Kraft Music Hall" on NBC. Later, he became a regular on the television show, What's My Line?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2, 1939: NBC presents 'The Aldrich Family'

July 2, 1939: NBC showed The Aldrich Family.

The Aldrich Family was a popular teenage sitcom that focused on the adventures of Henry Aldrich, the Aldrich Family's son. It was well-remembered for its introduction, with Henry's mom shouting, "Hen-reeeeee! Hen-ree Al-drich!" The show lasted until 1953.

Enjoy this later broadcast "Selling Christmas Cards" from 1942:

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1: Happy Birthday, James M. Cain

Fans of old-time radio have no doubt enjoyed adaptations of the gritty fiction of James M. Cain. Cain, whose 1892 birthday we commemorate today, wrote Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. These classics were adapted into bracing radio dramas by such programs as Screen Guild Theater and Lux Radio Theater

Cain was a tough customer whose contribution to the "hard-boiled" noir genre was a bit different from those of writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, since he wrote about the criminal rather than the detective. He also explored human depravity, applying keen psychological insight. He was drawn to the unsympathetic character and often featured one manipulative criminal seducing another into a web of evil. No wonder radio producers were drawn to his work. We salute, thee, James M. Cain.