Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 27: Happy Birthday Donna Reed!

Happy Birthday to Donna Reed! She personified Mid-Western goodness and dependability, fans may best remember her from her role as Mary Hatch in It a Wonderful Life. She also made some great radio appearances during the Golden Age of Radio!

January 27, 1905 Howard McNear was born

On this day in 1905, Howard McNear was born.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January 19: Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe

January 19: Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe ate a live raven on the air on this day in 1928. Oh, all right. It was Charlotte Bronte. But today is Poe's birthday (1809) and his contributions to old time radio should be celebrated.

Poe may have died without hearing a single radio broadcast, much less without appearing in one, but his chilling tales have been widely adapted. One program, WGN's The Weird Circle loved putting Poe's work on the air. They broadcast "The Fall of the House of Usher" on Jul. 8, '43; "A Terrible Strange Bed," Jul. 29, '43; "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," Aug. 5, '43, and "William Wilson," Sept. 9, '43, and "The Tell-Tale Heart," Jan. 30, '44.

For the latter, "The Tell-Tale Heart," the WC crew had to lengthen Poe's original story. It was a task also undertaken when Inner Sanctum and The Hall of Fantasy adapted the work. Inner Sanctum's version starred the master of disaster, Boris Karloff.

Black Mass adapted "A Predicament," "The Telltale Heart," "The Man in the Crowd," and "Found in a Bottle." NBC Presents: Short Story ran "Cask of Amontillado," and "The Tell-Tale Heart."

Poe died in 1849.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18: Happy Birthday, Cary Grant

January 18: Happy Birthday, Cary Grant

When was the last time you used the word "debonair" in a sentence? It's out of fashion, and not a whole lot of today's men merit the adjective. But it's a word often used to describe Cary Grant, star of Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and North By Northwest. He was always neatly coiffured, even when being chased by an airplane, and wore a steely look on his placid face.

As for oldtime radio: Cary appeared on several vintage radio programs, chief among them
Lux Radio Theater. He appeared on that series' productions of The Philadelphia Story and Madame Butterfly as well as episodes entitled "The Theodora Goes Wild," "Only Angels have Wings," "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" and "The Awful Truth Stars Cary Grant."

He also starred on several episodes of Suspense, including "On a Country Road," broadcast Nov. 16, 1950. His co-stars were Cathy Lewis and Jeannette Nolan.

It's also worth a note, since it's Grant's birthday, that his 1948 movie Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House was adapted into a radio sitcom.

So put a little grease on your hair, light a pipe, and flash a smile in honor of Cary Grant. He would've been a hundred and eight!