Tag Archives: Ronald Colman

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.

Posted in classic radio, comedy, crime drama, drama/dramatic anthology, History/Documentary, News and comment, old-time radio, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in classic radio, comedy, crime drama, History/Documentary, News and comment, old-time radio, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The mighty Quinn: Old-time radio listening, 17 October

Quinn, master humourist. (Photo: NBC)

Someday,” Don Quinn will tell a 1965 panel of American comedy writers, three years before he will die himself, “I hope to write the definitive work on comics, comedians, and humourists . . .”

A comic is a strange and fascinating breed; almost always from the wrong side of the tracks; no education—anything for a laugh . . . A cut above him, the comedian, who’s a little more literate, a little more educated . . . And, above the comedian, is the humourist. They fall pretty well into categories.

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

Mr. Gordon goes to college: Old-time radio listening, 10 October

The Halls of Ivy: Editorial in the Ivy Bull (NBC, 1951)

Gale Gordon, on campus . . . (Photo: NBC)

Already familiar (too much so, to his faculty and his students) as imperious blowhard high school principal Osgood Conklin on Our Miss Brooks, Gale Gordon more or less kicks himself upstairs when he accepts a recurring role, quite on the side, in a show for which he’d originally auditioned as the program’s lead.

It might seem peculiar, considering his entrenchment as Conklin, but Gordon was actually considered for The Halls of Ivy‘s lead, when creator Don Quinn (Fibber McGee & Molly) arranged to cut an audition disc in 1949.

Posted in classic radio, comedy, fantasy, mystery/thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brushing bigotry away: Old-time radio listening, 27 September

The Halls of Ivy: The Leslie Hoff Painting (NBC, 27 September 1950)

James Edwards, as becalmed a radio voice against bigotry as he is on film . . .

Even quiet bigotry requires shattering, and few do so better than this remarkable, literate series, which does so tonight quietly but firmly and without lapsing into preachiness.

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