20 November: A twin triumph for Lurene Tuttle

Tuttle as twins, somehow. (Photo: CBS)

Tuttle as twins, somehow. (Photo: CBS)

The Whistler: Death Sees Double (CBS, 1944)

Yes, this is the same as the 6 November 1944 episode known first as “The Twins.” The  original performance was pre-empted, allowing CBS’s national network to carry a speech by Republican presidential aspirant Thomas E. Dewey, the former New York governor challenging Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the first of Dewey’s two failed White House bids.

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4 November: It’s Miller time

Joe Miller's Jests Future collectors of classic network radio will become very familiar with the name Joe Miller. Fred Allen wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last to make Miller fodder for fresh jokes in the network radio era. The eighteenth-century British actor inspired a published collection of jokes that became synonymous on radio with old, time-worn, corny jokes.

The irony is that Miller himself wasn’t exactly a laugh-grabber. He’s said to have told extremely few of the jokes gathered in Joe Miller’s Jests. And the volume wasn’t even published in Miller’s lifetime. Dramatist/anthologist John Mottley (don’t tempt me!) collected the original edition in 1739; what does it tell you that he published it pseudonymously? (As Elijah Jenkins, Esq.)

Posted in classic radio, comedy, drama/dramatic anthology, History/Documentary, old-time radio | 2 Comments

24 September: Two CBS newscasts birth a brainchild

CBS European News and CBS News of the World had a baby during World War II, and its name was World News Today.

Larry LeSeur. (Photo: CBS.)

Larry LeSeur. (Photo: CBS.)

Anchored customarily by George Bryan or Larry Elliott (European News) and Harry Mottle (News of the World), the original two news programs established what World News Today would solidify: smart pacing, smart spacing, perhaps the best such pace and space of any World War II regular newscasts. For a nation relying far more often upon radio for immediate war news, it was a game plan that worked.

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22 September: Der Fuehrer could not have him

Helion's memoir made a sober radio drama.

Helion’s memoir made a sober radio drama.

Vichy France signed its 1940 armistice with Hitler’s Reich with stipulations that included, formally, French armed forces in German-occupied territory to be moved to unoccupied territory and discharged. The provision proved a dupe to the French soldiers, allowing them to allow the Nazis to surround and herd them into camps, where they only thought they were awaiting their discharges.

Good luck with that.

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20 September: Bookish Myrna Loy

While many Hollywood stars and starlets thought nothing of turning to radio work to make ends meet between pictures, Myrna Loy didn’t take the same attitude. Once she achieved her stardom she rarely had to look back, and she tended for the most part to restrict her radio work to adaptations of her films.

But she did make the occasional exception. And tonight she makes arguably the best such exception of the radio side of her career.

 

TUNE IN TONIGHT:
Suspense: The Library Book (Mystery/thriller; CBS, 1945)

Myrna Loy, who knew how to work a radio mystery. (Photo: CBS.)

Myrna Loy, who knew how to work a radio mystery. (Photo: CBS.)

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