Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later
- 31 December: Here’s to the New Year
- 24 December: ‘Tis the night before Christmas
- 20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains
- 12 December: Eden rocked
- 9 December: The aftermath, continued . . .
- 8 December: Immediate aftermath
- 7 December: The date still lives in infamy
- 5 December: The mean widdle man-kid
- 21 November: Freed fall
We’re building a history here . . .
Category Archives: Western
Whom better to revel about circuses and wedding anniversaries on the same night six years apart than the First Couple of Wistful Vista?
Didn’t think so . . .
TUNE IN TONIGHT
As if Wistful Vista isn’t already its own kind of circus of the soul, the real thing hitting town brings out the clowns and jugglers in several of the local denizens, including and especially the High-Flying Sucker of 79 (Jim Jordan) who’s just dying to see the show’s hula dancers and bumps into an old buddy.
What I called a “seeming resurgence” of vinyl records last year seems to be swelling considerably this year. So it’s still appropriate to review one of the most interesting pop culture explorations in old-time radio history, scripted in part by one of the medium’s best crime drama leads.
TUNE IN TONIGHT:
Biologist Vincent Arbolgast (Howard McNear) and teratologist Titus McFadridge (Lou Houston) stand firmly on the side of vintage 78 rpm shellac records and the more primitive recording technology of the earliest 20th Century, not to mention the popular performers of that period, such as Margaret Young.
Only The Whistler could get away with setting you up to know who did it right out of the chute, simply because it rarely got better than that for taking you through the labyrinths the bad guy or girl traveled before committing the crime in question . . . most of the time. Sometimes, of course, people as well as things aren’t quite as they seem at first.
On the other hand, tonight the bad girl learns the hard way about tangled web weaving . . .
It takes Elmer Fudd not just to step into a World War II breach on Fibber McGee & Molly seventy years ago tonight, but to instigate one of old-time radio’s most memorable in-show rivalries. All because two key cast members were leaving to go to war.
Gale Gordon as Mayor La Trivia has proven invaluable in replacing spun-off Harold Peary’s Gildersleeve as the pompous among Fibber McGee’s deflationists, though La Trivia, almost invariably, would end an encounter in a choked-blustery fuddle. And Bill Thompson, arguably the cast’s most valuable player, has held down three characters of near-equal value, if not near-equal popularity: the tall-tale-dragger Old Timer, the locquacious and half-indecipherable Nick Depopolous, and the smarmy Horatio K. Boomer.
Fred Allen didn’t deserve to die on St. Patrick’s Day. This hardy satirist of Irish stock and hardscrabble New England youth—forced twice off the air thanks to the hypertension that would eventually sign his death warrant, provoking the heart attack that kills him at 61—also proved wrong in his eulogy for those who practised his singular art, in the closing passages of Treadmill to Oblivion (Boston: Atlantic Little, Brown, 1954):