Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later
- 31 December: Here’s to the New Year
- 24 December: ‘Tis the night before Christmas
- 20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains
- 12 December: Eden rocked
- 9 December: The aftermath, continued . . .
- 8 December: Immediate aftermath
- 7 December: The date still lives in infamy
- 5 December: The mean widdle man-kid
- 21 November: Freed fall
We’re building a history here . . .
Tag Archives: Texaco Star Theater
We’ll let the man’s own recollection, shortly before his death, speak for itself here:
Anyone taking an objective look at Milton Berle’s career before television has to ask how he was able to forge any kind of radio life at all. Over some fourteen years’ effort, he’ll have only two top fifty seasonal ratings’ finishes to show for it. He’ll be known as either radio’s best-known failure (as John Dunning would phrase it) or “Tuesday’s Poor Relative” by Jim Ramsburg (in Network Radio Ratings, 1932-1953), the latter a nod to Berle’s most frequent night of trying and falling too far short.
Town Hall Tonight with Fred Allen: Crisis on the Showboat (NBC, 1939)
The last-surviving installment of Fred Allen’s seminal Town Hall Tonight will just so happen to be the next-to-last show of the 1938-39 radio season. And a good thing, sort of, because Allen is about to be divested of the title that has enabled him to a comfortable presentation of his realistic hybrid between the better of vintage vaudeville and his own forward-looking satire.
As proves so with just about all radio entertainers, Fred Allen yields to the impact of Pearl Harbour on his first show following the atrocity. The classic Texaco Star Theater introduction—the clanging bells and siren, punctuated by the cartoonish car horn, telegraphing a brief fanfare and announcer Jimmy Wallington’s hail (“It’s Texaco time with Fred Allen!”)—is muted for once.