Tag Archives: The Fitch Bandwagon

2 November: Hit shampoo goes down the drain

Alice Faye and Phil Harris pore over a script. Their breakout success inadvertently helped sink a once-venerated shampoo maker. (Photo: NBC.)

Alice Faye and Phil Harris pore over a script. Their breakout success inadvertently helped sink a once-venerated shampoo maker. (Photo: NBC.)

An Iowa shampoo and soap manufacturer whose signature variety program has shifted little by little toward straight comedy, plus one of Jack Benny’s longtime sidekicks, give NBC its biggest win by a comparatively new program in the 1946-47 radio season. Except that the company’s win helps prove its own loss, kind of.

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A Depression farce: Old-time radio listening, 30 November-1 December

Lux Radio Theater: A Man’s Castle (CBS, 1 December 1941)

Early and elemental Tracy . . . (Photo: Unknown publicity photo)

Spencer Tracy reprises one of his earliest—and most arresting—film roles in a performance that’s just about as arresting even with the requisite radio adaptation and editing.

As millions are jobless in the Great Depression, a squatter’s camper (Tracy) takes in a homeless young lady (Ingrid Bergman, in the Loretta Young film role). He feeds her as she makes him a castle inside a shack and falls in love with him despite his restless nature. There’s just one little hitch: when he discovers she’s pregnant, he wants nothing more than to hop the first freight train out of town.

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