Tag Archives: Jim Jordan

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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12 September: Love, marriage, McGees

The Jordans, early in their Fibber McGee & Molly years. (Photo: NBC.)

The Jordans, early in their Fibber McGee & Molly years. (Photo: NBC.)

Jim and Marian Jordan are actually married 21 years when tonight’s broadcast is delivered. The marriage of these childhood sweethearts probably testifies most to their perseverance, since her parents were far less than thrilled about their daughter’s dreams of life in the theater and her romancing by a farm kid who shared those wild-eyed dreams. To say they came up the hard way is perhaps the understatement of the hour.

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24 January: Fibber without Molly? T’ain’t no laughing matter, McGee

At any period during the show’s long, distinguished, and beloved life, Fibber McGee & Molly could give the impression that without Marian Jordan’s presence as honey-natured Molly—at least after the show got its first makeover and her character was smoothed just so—the show would have fallen apart, the world of Wistful Vista would have collapsed like the proverbial house of cards without her affectionate sensibility.

But according to Clair Schulz, in Fibber McGee & Molly On the Air, 1935-1959, the precise opposite turns out to have been the case:

 

The Jordans. (Photo: NBC.)

The Jordans. (Photo: NBC.)

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9 November: The extended lives of Fibber and Molly

 

Jim & Marian Jordan, the irrepressible McGees . . . (Photo: NBC.)

Jim & Marian Jordan, the irrepressible McGees . . . (Photo: NBC.)

They were as homey in person as they sounded.

Harold Peary, their former cast member, about Jim and Marian Jordan, a.k.a. Fibber McGee & Molly.

Fibber McGee & Molly‘s “lasting charm, however,” Gerald Nachman has written of them (in Raised on Radio), “was in the unspoken but enduring affection Fibber and Molly seemed to feel toward each other despite his stubborn fulminations and her skeptical Irish nature . . . Molly forgave McGee his every illusion and self-delusion, waiting for ‘Himself’ to calm down and admit what a jerk he’d been. Surpassing all the other husband-and-wife comedy teams, perhaps including even George Burns and Gracie Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly were radio’s most identifiably loving couple.”

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15 April: A presidential farewell and an exposition of horror

FDR's radio friendliness is repaid abundantly upon his death and interment. (Photo: The National Archives.)

FDR’s radio friendliness is repaid abundantly upon his death and interment. (Photo: The National Archives.)

Until Franklin D. Roosevelt, network broadcasting has yet to address the death of a sitting President of the United States. As Edward R. Murrow would say of the United States a decade later, radio comes into its full inheritance at a tender age as it is, but World War II and the death of FDR have combined to tax that inheritance powerfully. It’s to radio’s credit that it has responded to both as powerfully, as effectively, and as memorably as few might have expected when network radio began taking its full shape a decade earlier.

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