Not to be confused with his son, the loathsome gab-show host, Morton Downey, Jr., Morton Downey was "The Irish Nightingale," a popular and successful singer. In the employ of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the tenor began making a name for himself in the 1920s. He then became an entrepreneur, opening up a nightclub, The Delmonico. It was there that he began broadcasting a radio show of musical performances. A later incarnation was a program called "Songs By Morton Downey ," in the 40's, on which he belted out such numbers as "I Don't Want To Be Loved By Anyone But You," "Chickery Chick," and "Just Around the Corner." The original Downey was backed by Jimmy Lytell and His Orchestra. He usually brought in guests who were, frankly, very minor celebrities and industry figures. David Ross did the announcing. Happy Birthday, MD Senior. Thanks for the musical memories!
It might be nice to be the son of the man who never met a man he didn't like. Such was the life of Will Rogers, Jr., born today in 1911, son of one of America's most beloved humorous, and himself a writer, publisher, actor and member of the U.S. House of Representative. Most of Rogers, Jr.'s radio work came in a very interesting assignment, one that to many of us would be both an honor and a cause for disquiet: he played his dad. Rogers, Jr. first played the old man in the film The Story of Will Rogers . In 1953, a radio drama spun off from the movie, in which Rogers, Jr. played his dad, a small town newspaper man who was always there to dispense homespun witticisms. With episode titles like "The Town Clock," "That Taylor Boy," and "Lance O'Neill, Troublemaker," the show clearly delivers good, clean fun. We thank Will Rogers, Jr. for his contributions to old time radio !
October 20, 1932: CBS welcomed radio news journalist Robert Trout on this day in 1932. CBS listeners became Trout's avid followers until he made the jump to CBS-TV. Robert Albert Blondheim, also known as Robert Trout, was born in Wake County, North Carolina. He adopted the name Trout when he started his radio career. His debut in broadcasting was in 1931 as an announcer at WJSV in Alexandria, Virginia. In the summer of 1932 CBS bought WJSV and asked Trout as part of the team. Trout "fireside chat" on-air nickname to regular radio broadcasts of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression and World War II. (Trout actually credited the genesis of phrase to Harry Butcher, a CBS vice president in Washington.)