Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11, 1940: Theme song for 'Make Believe Ballroom Time' on WNWE

October 11, 1940: Glenn Miller composed the title theme song for Make Believe Ballroom on WNEW, hosted by Martin Block. The song was recorded at the Victor studios in New York City.

Block designed the element of doing a "live" radio station broadcast, finishing with entertainers (on records) like Frank Sinatra or Harry James. The show was broadcast from the "Crystal Studios" at WNEW.

Copycat editions of the Ballroom included Keith Sandy at CKEY in Toronto and Al Jarvis at KHJ Los Angeles.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 10, 1932: The Debut of Radio Soap Opera

October 10, 1932: The birth of Judy and Jane (sponsored by Folger's Coffee), and Betty and Bob (sponsored by General Mills), two programs that were among radio's earliest venture into radio soap operas. The two programs captured the hearts (and ears) of audiences until the early 1940's.

Judy and Jane was a story about the friendship of two women who were very concerned about life in their small town of Honeycrest. Judy and Jane was produced by Frank and Ann Hummert.

Betty and Bob was created by the powerhouse producer couple of Anne and Frank Hummert in 1932. The show was the first widely popular daytime serial soap opera . The show was a typical Cinderella story soap opera creation which told the love story of a simple poor girl and a rich distinguished man.  Betty was a secretary at  Bob's company. Her love for Bob was not accepted by Bob's family.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9, 1943: Land of the Lost' Airs on ABC Radio

October 9, 1943: Fantasy adventure Land of the Lost went on air on ABC. It revolved around the underwater adventures of children Jimmy and Isabel and Red Lantern, a red fish. Junius Matthews and Art Carney starred as Red Lantern.

The series was a huge success from 1943 to 1948. The show opened with "In that wonderful kingdom at the bottom of the sea..." It aired on 80 different radio stations.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 1944: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet' airs on CBS for the 1st time

October 8, 1944: The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet made it debut on CBS radio.

The old time radio comedy would move from CBS to NBC to 1948, and make a switch back to CBS in April 1949. It then switched to ABC from October 1949 to the end of its run on radio in 1954. 402 radio episodes were made of the classic sitcom. Even though the characters of David and Ricky Nelson were on the show earlier, they were portrayed by professional actors until 1949.

Ozzie and Harriet was one of the longest running sitcom featuring a real family. It was a true-life portrayal of the Nelsons. A reality radio show, if you will.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 1939: 'Kate Hopkins, Angel of Mercy' debuted on CBS

October 7, 1939: The Kate Hopkins 15-minute radio drama Angel of Mercy was heard for the first time on CBS radio. It was written by Chester McCraken and Gertrude Berg (writer and Emmy Award-winning actress of The Goldbergs, a popular radio and TV series in the 1940's & 1950's). Tom Hopkins, Kate's husband, was played by eventual Beat the Clock host Clayton 'Bud' Collyer. Ralph Edwards of future This is Your Life fame was the announcer of the four year run of Angel of Mercy was and the sponsor was Maxwell House coffee.

Starring Margaret MacDonald as the title character, Kate Hopkins, Angel of Mercy was a daytime drama show that featured the story of Kate Hopkins, a nurse who treats the sick and poor people of a small town called Forest Falls.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 6, 1937: CBS aired Dave Elman's 'Hobby Lobby'

October 6, 1937: CBS broadcast Hobby Lobby, a program hosted by Dave Elman, American hobbysist. The show theme is "The Best Things in Life are Free" and was sponsored by Fels Naptha soap, Hudson Paper Products, and Colgate Dental Creme.

Hobby Lobby was actually created by Dave Elman himself. The show involved encouraging people to write about their unusual hobbies, and a select few would come to the radio to promote it and have it judged by invited celebrities. The show was such a huge success that many people sent mail about their hobbies, and there also were celebrities who wanted to appear on the show. Hobby Lobby lasted until 1948, when Elman decided that he would continue teaching hypnosis to medical doctors and dentists.