Tag Archives: Bob Hope

6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later

Morgan Beatty. (Photo: NBC.)

Morgan Beatty. (Photo: NBC.)

Whether these were old-time radio’s finest hours should be left to those who are there to hear it—surely there remain many among us who were—and to those who will hear, remarkably enough, 73 years to the day later.

It would be remarkable, too, if I could present every last hour of broadcast on this day to that century that came, but the time and space constraints make it impossible at minimum. The entire broadcast days of NBC—6 and 7 June, 1944 (at least, from 0200 hours in NBC’s case)—will survive, miraculously, for the 21st Century listener. So will CBS’s complete coverage of the invasion.

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8 November: The big broadcast to be . . .

The last Big Broadcast film hands Bob Hope a key to real radio stardom at last . . . (Photo: Paramount Pictures.)

The last Big Broadcast film hands Bob Hope a key to real radio stardom at last . . . (Photo: Paramount Pictures.)

Film put a shot of high octane fuel Bob Hope’s radio career, and just in time, too, considering his first two very lame seasons aboard CBS and NBC Blue prior to 1938. Ironically, it was a radio sub-theme that cleared the fuel line and kicked the motor over.

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Beer barrels and literary panels: Old-time radio listening, 9 January

There’s no such thing as too much Fred Allen . . .

Texaco Star Theater with Fred Allen: Hit By a Beer Barrel (CBS, 1944)—Guest Ed Gardner is little help when a brewery truck backs up to the sidewalk near the infamous Duffy’s Tavern, a barrel conks Fred (Allen) on the head, knocking him cold outside the dive, and it all ends up in small claims court with Fred accused of hijacking; meanwhile, Fred and Portland (Hoffa) ponders the latest point assignments and livestock exhibitions, and the Alley irregulars (Jack Smart, John Doe, Minerva Pious, Charles Cantor—who also plays his Duffy’s Tavern role of Finnegan), Alan Reed) address New York’s worst snowstorm (until the next one, of course). Announcer: Jimmy Wallington. Music: Al Goodman Orchestra; Hi, Lo, Jack and the Dame. Writers: Fred Allen, possibly Bob Schiller.

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Two days in November: Old-time radio listening, 7-8 November

Sylvia Picker, as Alan Ladd’s airy secretary on Box 13 . . . (Unknown publicity photo)

Two days in November. The perfect palliative for electoral hangovers, considering that, the way we got blitzed with political ads this time around, oh brother did we need a drink—even before we went out to vote, if we did . . .

Comedy

7 November

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Death of a notion; or, we’re (fifty years) late, so good night, folks: Old-time radio listening, 30 September

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar: The Tip-Off Matter (CBS, 1962)

Suspense: Devilstone (CBS, 1962)

Mandel Kramer, the final Johnny Dollar, launching old-time radio’s final first-run broadcast hour . . . (Photo: CBS)

Perhaps it depends upon whom you read and how you interpret what they say. By the time tonight’s offerings finish their first-run performances, at 7 p.m. Eastern time 30 September 1962, the absolute last in both these series and in regularly-scheduled network radio as once a nation (and much of a world) knew it, will it feel as though network radio died of swift natural causes, a long and often painful illness, protracted suicide, murder . . . or, all of the above?

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