Tag Archives: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Two portentious anniversaries: Old-time radio listening, 2 May

The Brandenburg Gate after fighting in the Battle of Berlin; Berlin falls at last to the Allies today in 1945 . . . (Photo: Wire services.)

The Brandenburg Gate after fighting in the Battle of Berlin; Berlin falls at last to the Allies today in 1945 . . . (Photo: Wire services.)

As anniversaries go, 2 May will prove a portentious fall for a world at war, and a portentious premiere for a seemingly non-descript master of ceremonies making his first such radio turn, unaware that he’s taken his first step toward becoming a broadcasting institution in his own right.

 

WORLD WAR II

News Bulletin: “Splendid News from Moscow” (BBC, 1945)

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Final farewells and a grisly revelation: Old-time radio listening, 15 April

FDR's funeral train steams along the Hudson River toward his burial at his Hyde Park home. (Photo: National Archives.)

FDR’s funeral train steams along the Hudson River toward his burial at his Hyde Park home. (Photo: National Archives.)

A nation, if not a world choked with grief, says final farewells and offers tributes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

They include, and we begin with, a soon-to-be nationally famous broadcast entertainer whose later reputation for petulance and off-mike tyranny will astonish those who know him on air as the folksy, almost neighbourly type—who turns out to have been far more beholden to FDR than anyone knows at the time.

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The war effort launches: Old-time radio listening, 9 December

Fibber McGee & Molly: Forty Percent Off (NBC, 1941)

The First Couple of 79 Wistful Vista and their sponsor wasted no time getting behind the World War II effort after Pearl Harbour was bombed . . . (Photo: NBC; S.C. Johnson.)

That’s what a post card offers at the Wistful Vista Wholesale Outlet, a natural lure for a sucker like our man McGee (Jim Jordan). But it’s the program beginning which makes this program particularly significant, especially in light of what this show and its performers will come to mean throughout the war.

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