Sunday, September 29, 2019

September 29, 1930: The First Broadcast of Lowel Thomas on CBS

September 29, 1930 : On this day Lowell Thomas made his debut on CBS. He replaced Floyd Gibbons on the 15 minute newscast program that aired at 6:45 PM. Thomas, who began as a reporter for the New York Daily News at age 19, continued his career in radio broadcasting for the next 46 years with his special greeting, "This is Lowell Thomas."

Lowell Jackson Thomas was born on April 6, 1892. He was on of the best American writers, broadcasters, and travelers. He was known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous, a feat that made Thomas $1.5 million. Thomas also wrote a book, With Lawrence in Arabia (1924), about his time in the desert and Lawrence's exploits during the war. It would be the first of fifty-six volumes.

During the 1920's, Thomas was a magazine editor. In 1930, he debuted as a broadcaster on the CBS radio network, delivering a nightly news and commentary program. After two years, he switched to the NBC radio network, but returned to CBS in 1947.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

September 28: Happy Birthday, Ed Sullivan



We all know Ed Sullivan's catch phrases, his mannerisms, the big stars that appeared on his television show.  But as with most public figures, there's more to him than the standout facts, the signature iconography.

Sullivan was, as many know, a newspaper columnist before getting into television broadcasting.  Yet his range of media extended even further--his early career also developed on the airwaves.

His radio life began with some reporting; he produced a couple of shows still known to history, as catalogued by radiogoldindex.com.  An early one was Ed Sullivan: Your Mennen Reporter.  It aired on May 22, 1944, and included several "did you know" segments on miscellaneous topics, one of them being the quality of the teeth of people of various racial groups.

Ed Sullivan's Diary went out over the air in 1945, with no exact date known.  There seem to have been three programs, and Jo Stafford, Tommy Dorsey, and Barry Wood were involved.

We salute Ed Sullivan, born today, 1901.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

September 26: Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot



Today we recognize one of the great twentieth-century American poets, T.S. Eliot.  The Nobel Prize winner is well-known for his opus "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and his 434-line epic "The Waste Land."

In 1954, already a very established literary figure, Eliot appeared on the NBC program Anthology, reading from "The Waste Land."  His works "Four Quartets," and "Murder In the Cathedral" were adapted by Orson Welles' high-quality program The Columbia Workshop.

The world of the literary and the popular needn't be exclusive, and in the golden age of radio, they weren't.  A happy birthday to Thomas Stearns Eliot.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 15, 1934: Premiere of The Gibson Familly Featured by Eddie Green and Ernest Whitman

 
September 15, 1934: The first ever musical drama comedy went on air on NBC from the studios of WEAF. The stars of the show were Eddie Green and Ernest Whitman, who were often termed as ‘network radio's only colored comedians’.

The musical drama comedy that starred Eddie Green and Ernest Whitman was titled The Gibson Family.  The program combined  the elements of a musical with those of a romantic comedy. The program was aired as a 1-hour radio program sponsored by Procter & Gamble for promotion of its product Ivory Flake.