Tag Archives: Alice Faye

18 September: A razor sharp season premiere

Alice Faye, Anne Whitfield, Phil Harris, and Jeanine Roos at the mike. (Photo: NBC.)

Alice Faye, Anne Whitfield, Phil Harris, and Jeanine Roos at the mike. (Photo: NBC.)

“The writing,” John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, “was razor sharp; the scripts by Ray Singer and Dick Chevillat were so raucous that four-to-five minute cuts were often necessary to allow for audience laughter. The principle of contagious laughter was maximised in the overhead placement of audience microphones, making it one of the loudest shows on the air. Some of the brilliance went out of the scripts when Singer and Chevillat departed . . .”

Posted in classic radio, comedy, old-time radio | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

26 February: Zing went the strings of her heartburn

Alice Faye and Phil Harris. (Photo: NBC.)

Alice Faye and Phil Harris. (Photo: NBC.)

Ever after Alice Faye walked off the 20th Century Fox lot never to return, over a perceived deliberate slight from studio chieftain Darryl F. Zanuck—whom she believes undermined her in favour of Linda Darnell—Faye and her husband Phil Harris could never resist an occasional zinger at Zanuck on their own hit radio show.

But at least once the congenial couple—who throve on radio because it enabled to spend their weeks raising their children quietly in Palm Springs while doing the show work on the weekends—dedicated an entire episode to a Zanuck zing. Sort of.

Posted in classic radio, comedy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2 November: Hit shampoo goes down the drain

Alice Faye and Phil Harris pore over a script. Their breakout success inadvertently helped sink a once-venerated shampoo maker. (Photo: NBC.)

Alice Faye and Phil Harris pore over a script. Their breakout success inadvertently helped sink a once-venerated shampoo maker. (Photo: NBC.)

An Iowa shampoo and soap manufacturer whose signature variety program has shifted little by little toward straight comedy, plus one of Jack Benny’s longtime sidekicks, give NBC its biggest win by a comparatively new program in the 1946-47 radio season. Except that the company’s win helps prove its own loss, kind of.

Posted in comedy, crime drama, mystery/thriller, quiz show, World War II | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A crime against a crime-solver: Old-time radio listening, 19 December

Candy Matson, Yukon 2-8209: Jack Frost (NBC, 1949)

Shown here in later days as a television character actress, Natalie Masters made a sultry but sober Candy Matson . . . (Photo: CBS.)

Old-time radio’s first female sleuth to feature in a series of her own has everything it takes to become a hit, except that its network inexplicably does enough in its own power to thwart it.

Natalie Masters is hardly an old-time radio stranger; with her husband, Monty, she has already appeared in a comedy, Mad Masters, whose wounding flaw may well have been a weak enough array of supporting characters undermining the promising, engaging characters the Masters fashioned themselves to be.

Posted in classic radio, comedy, crime drama, old-time radio | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Depression farce: Old-time radio listening, 30 November-1 December

Lux Radio Theater: A Man’s Castle (CBS, 1 December 1941)

Early and elemental Tracy . . . (Photo: Unknown publicity photo)

Spencer Tracy reprises one of his earliest—and most arresting—film roles in a performance that’s just about as arresting even with the requisite radio adaptation and editing.

As millions are jobless in the Great Depression, a squatter’s camper (Tracy) takes in a homeless young lady (Ingrid Bergman, in the Loretta Young film role). He feeds her as she makes him a castle inside a shack and falls in love with him despite his restless nature. There’s just one little hitch: when he discovers she’s pregnant, he wants nothing more than to hop the first freight train out of town.

Posted in classic radio, comedy, crime drama, drama/dramatic anthology, fantasy, mystery/thriller, old-time radio, Western | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment