Tag Archives: Vic & Sade

26 April: A crime

L to r: Bill Idelson (Rush), Art Van Harvey (Vic), Bernadine Flynn (Sade), with, presumably, mastermind Paul Rhymer seated in the background. (Photo: NBC.)

L to r: Bill Idelson (Rush), Art Van Harvey (Vic), Bernadine Flynn (Sade), with, presumably, mastermind Paul Rhymer seated in the background. (Photo: NBC.)

Customarily, the only thing anyone wants when listening to Vic & Sade is more, more, more. Thanks to the abject stupidity of sponsor Procter & Gamble, alas, about three thousand discs would be destroyed after World War II. Those that survive the eventual demise of the great comedy will miss their openings and closings and be in dubious sound quality that doesn’t erode the performances or the writing but makes it arduous for a 21st Century listener.

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Cry Uncle Fletcher: Old-time radio listening, 18 March

Vic & Sade: Miss Keller to Join the Thimble Club (NBC, 1941)

"Is there a disemboweled piano in the neighbourhood?" Clarence Hartzell as discombobulated Uncle Fletcher. (Photo: NBC)

“Is there a disemboweled pianny in the neighbourhood?” Clarence Hartzell as discombobulated Uncle Fletcher. (Photo: NBC)

Even by the quietly eccentric standard to which all Vic & Sade characters seem to have been held, never mind that all were heard of but never heard, Uncle Fletcher—whether through the mouths of Vic, Sade, or Rush; or, through the live presence of Clarence Hartzell, who played him—was in a class by himself. John Dunning (in On the Air) may isolate it best, or at least with the least amount of clumsiness:

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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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Two shades of Lurene: Old-time radio listening, 20 November

The Whistler: Death Sees Double (CBS, 1944)

Radio Life staged this photograph to salute Lurene Tuttle’s jaw-dropping turn as identical twins on The Whistler . . .

Yes, this is the same as the 6 November 1944 episode known first as “The Twins.” Unfortunately, “The Twins” was pre-empted, allowing CBS’s national network to carry a speech by Republican presidential aspirant Thomas E. Dewey, the former New York governor challenging Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the first of Dewey’s two failed White House bids.

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A ghostly princess: Old-time radio listening, 20 October

Quiet, Please: Pavane, the Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Mutual, 1947)

The Princess de Polignac, patron and muse of Ravel, inadvertent inspiration for a classic Quiet, Please . . . and an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. (Photo: Possibly public domain.)

Ravel composed Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) in 1899, while studying at the Conservatoire de Paris, and dedicated it to the Princess de Polignac—known otherwise as Winnaretta Singer, a lesbian in a chaste but (in the context of her time) peculiarly loving marriage to the homosexual Prince Edmond de Polignac, who shared her passion for music . . . and an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune, who used her portion of it to sponsor serious music, other arts, and sciences for the rest of her life, following her husband’s death in 1901.

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