Tag Archives: Antony Ellis

13 March: The man who grew up the western

Meston (seated) with Macdonnell---the western wouldn't be kid stuff anymore. (Photo: CBS.)

Meston (seated) with Macdonnell—the western wouldn’t be kid stuff anymore. (Photo: CBS.)

It may yet surprise old-time radio lovers/collectors of the 21st Century that half the brains behind radio’s arguable most groundbreaking western never won any award recognising his skill.

Colorado-born John Meston didn’t come to Norman Macdonnell to co-create Gunsmoke out of nowhere. Meston and Macdonnell had worked together previously on the respected but often ill-scheduled CBS adventure seriesĀ Escape. Moreover, Meston by then had worked his way up to become CBS’s story editor. He shared with Macdonnell a feeling that there could be more to the radio western than the typical fare isolated in the children’s hours, which sounded too often to have been written and acted that way, too.

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Unexpected mourning on Quality Street: Old-time radio listening, 14 September

Lux Radio Theater: Quality Street (CBS, 1936)

 

DeMille dedicates tonight’s Lux to Thalberg’s memory . . . (Photo: CBS)

There is a pall over tonight’s Lux Radio Theater production of this classic light-to-medium comedy.

It may not become evident until the broadcast’s end, when host DeMille addresses it directly, but Hollywood, and much of the world, is mourning the unexpected and premature death of one of the film industry’s genuine early giants.

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