Tag Archives: The Great Gildersleeve

7 December: Infamy revisited—Pearl Harbour

 

The Shaw is sunk at Pearl Harbour . . . (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The Shaw is sunk at Pearl Harbour . . . (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Seventy-four years later, the questions still animate, intrigue, trouble, and inspire, from historians of all stripes to simple students who become fascinated with the era.

The debates will always continue as to whether Pearl Harbour was a genuine sneak attack, or an act of retaliatory desperation following months of maneuvers and blockades. So will the debates as to whether the possibility was known in advance enough of terrible actuality.

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14 November: Shirley Mitchell, RIP—”Awww, Thrawwwk-mawwtinnnnn!”

Shirley Mitchell as Leila Ransom, bewitching and befuddling hapless Harold Peary as Gildersleeve. (Photo: NBC.)

Shirley Mitchell as Leila Ransom, bewitching and befuddling hapless Harold Peary as Gildersleeve. (Photo: NBC.)

Shirley Mitchell was thatclose to giving up on Hollywood entirely when she landed the old-time radio supporting role of a lifetime in the early 1940s.

Aawww, Thrawwwck-mawwtinnnnn!

The Toledo, Ohio native—who died of heart failure on Veteran’s Day, a week after she celebrated her 94th birthday—suddenly found herself a valuable supporting player as Southern widow Leila Ransom, who couldn’t seem to decide whether to marry or mangle The Great Gildersleeve. Indeed, Leila became (in John Dunning’s words) “such a strongly negative character that at one point a California women’s club picketed NBC, urging Gildersleeve with their signs not to marry her.”

Posted in comedy, crime drama, drama/dramatic anthology, fantasy, History/Documentary, old-time radio, quiz show | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

12 September: A dubious re-elopement

Fibber McGee & Molly: 15th Anniversary (Elopement) (NBC, 1939)

Fibber McGee & Molly, on the air. Seen far right: announcer Harlow Wilcox. Seen center on podium: bandleader Billy Mills. (Photo: NBC.)

Fibber McGee & Molly, on the air. Seen far right: announcer Harlow Wilcox. Seen center on podium: bandleader Billy Mills. (Photo: NBC.)

Jim and Marian Jordan have actually been married 21 years today. That the childhood sweethearts were married at all probably testifies to their perseverance more than anything else, considering Marian Driscoll’s parents were far less than enthused about a) their daughter’s dreams of a life in the theater; and, b) her romancing by a farm kid with the same wild-eyed dreams.

Posted in Adventure, classic radio, comedy, crime drama, drama/dramatic anthology, old-time radio | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

If you can’t beat him: Old-time radio listening, 21 June

Town Hall Tonight with Fred Allen: Crisis on the Showboat (NBC, 1939)

Fred Allen's Town Hall Tonight, as Al Hirschfeld sketched it, in a cartoon used for the cover of the republished Treadmill to Oblivion.

Fred Allen’s Town Hall Tonight, as Al Hirschfeld sketched it, in a cartoon used for the cover of the republished Treadmill to Oblivion.

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.

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Whistle three times: Old-time radio listening, 14 January

Today’s a triple-header for fans of The Whistler . . . and a dramatic reimagination for those who maintain interest in one of America’s most notorious murder cases.

THREE WALKS BY NIGHT . . .

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