Calling All Cars and Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police

Calling All Cars, “The Pink Nosed Pig”, Originally Aired April 7th, 1938.

Then Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police episodes from 1/16/1937, “Heading for Hong Kong” and from 1/23/1937, “A Shooting Attempt.”

Play

Burns and Allen, The Bickersons and Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police #2

First Up, Burns and Allen in “All Promises Are Fictitious” – Originally broadcast on April 17, 1940.

Then, A visit with Don Ameche and Frances Langford as the Bickersons and finally:

Episode 2 of Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police: “Speed is Inducted Into The Secret Police,” Originally broadcast on January 9, 1937.

Play

Dimension X, Speed Gibson & Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

First, Dimension X, “Child’s Play”, written by William Tenn and originally broadcast on June 21, 1951

Next, Episode ONE of Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police, “The Octopus Gang Active”, originally broadcast on January 2, 1937

And Finally, Bob Bailey as America’s Fabulous Freelance Insurance Investigator in Your Truly, Johnny Dollar with “The Backfire That Backfired Matter”, originally broadcast August 6, 1959

Play

The Chase & Sanborn Hour

welles37

Starring your host Rudy Vallee, Featuring Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Special guests: Maureen O’Hara and Arthur Treacher. Originally aired December 3, 1939.

From Wikipedia:
The series began in 1929 as The Chase and Sanborn Choral Orchestra, a half-hour musical variety show heard Sundays at 8:30pm on NBC. When Maurice Chevalier became the show’s star, he received a record-breaking salary of $5000 a week. Violinist David Rubinoff (September 13, 1897 – October 6, 1986) became a regular in January 1931, introduced as “Rubinoff and His Violin.”

When Chevalier returned to Paris, Eddie Cantor was chosen as his replacement and the new 60-minute program, The Chase and Sanborn Hour, was launched September 13, 1931, teaming Cantor with Rubinoff and announcer Jimmy Wallington. The show established Cantor as a leading comedian, and his scriptwriter David Freedman as “the Captain of Comedy.” When Jimmy Durante stepped in as a substitute for Cantor, making his first appearance on September 10, 1933, he was so successful that he was offered his own show. Then the world’s highest paid radio star, Cantor continued as The Chase and Sanborn Hour’s headliner until November 25, 1934.

With a new format, The Opera Guild, hosted by Deems Taylor, began December 2, 1934, Sundays at 8pm, on The Chase and Sanborn Hour, and that concert series continued until March 17, 1935. Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour had the slot from March 24, 1935 until September 11, 1936, followed by Do You Want to Be an Actor?, with Haven MacQuarrie, broadcast from January 3, 1937 until May 2, 1937, a series that continued Sundays at 10:30pm as a half-hour show from December 5, 1937 until February 20, 1938.

Meanwhile, Chase and Sanborn found a gold mine with a wooden dummy when Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy began an 11-year run, starting May 9, 1937. Initially this incarnation of the program also featured as regulars master of ceremonies Don Ameche, singers Dorothy Lamour and Nelson Eddy, and for the first few weeks, comedian W.C. Fields, accompanied by a different guest star each week. Perhaps the most infamous of the latter was Mae West, whose appearance on the December 12, 1937 program was highlighted with a sexually suggestive “Adam and Eve” sketch that caused a public outcry and resulted in West being banned from the radio airwaves for many years.

Beginning January 7, 1940, the regular cast, apart from Bergen and McCarthy, were dropped and the show was cut to a half-hour and retitled The Chase and Sanborn Program. Also beginning in 1940, the program went on hiatus for a number of weeks each summer. CBS filled its airtime with a different substitute show each year, including The Bishop and the Gargoyle (1940), What’s My Line? (1941), Star-Spangled Vaudeville (1942), Paul Whiteman Presents (1943), The Gracie Fields Show (1944), The Frances Langford Show [aka The Chase and Sanborn Program] (1945), and Alec Templeton Time (1946-47). In the fall of 1948, Chase and Sanborn announced it would terminate its contract with Edgar Bergen at the end of the year. The remaining Bergen/McCarthy programs eschewed guest stars in favor of regular sketches featuring Don Ameche and Marsha Hunt as The Bickersons. In 1949, Bergen moved to CBS, with a new weekly program (The Charlie McCarthy Show) sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Although the series ended December 26, 1948, it was followed by a compilation show on NBC, The Chase and Sanborn 100th Anniversary Show (November 15, 1964), assembled by writer Carroll Carroll and narrated by Bergen. This became an annual event with The Chase and Sanborn 101st Anniversary Show (November 14, 1965), a Fred Allen tribute, followed by The Chase and Sanborn 102nd Anniversary Show (November 13, 1966), which turned out to be the last of the series.

Play

The War of the Worlds

welles37The War of the Worlds is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds.

The first two thirds of the 62-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a sustaining show (it ran without commercial breaks), adding to the program’s realism. Add to this the fact that many listeners tuned in late to the broadcast since they had been listening to Charlie McCarthy on another channel and missed the early disclaimers in the show. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated.

In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage and panic by certain listeners, who had believed the events described in the program were real. The program’s news-bulletin format was described as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast. Despite these complaints—or perhaps in part because of them—the episode secured Welles’ fame as a dramatist.

Play

NBC University Theater: Gulliver’s Travels

nbcNBC University Theater Presented The World’s Great Novels as a radio series, directed by Homer Heck, which presented adaptations of classic novels. Broadcast on WMAQ, Chicago, and NBC from 1944 to 1948, it was initially heard Saturdays at 7pm during the first 1944-45 season and then moved to Fridays at 11:30pm.

The Chicago-based programs were a production of The NBC University of the Air. Through agreements with the University of Louisville, the University of Tulsa and Washington State College, listeners could receive college credit through accredited, radio-assisted literature correspondence courses. A study guide, The Handbook of the World’s Great Novels, was available for 25 cents.

The series began October 28, 1944 with Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, followed by Voltaire’s Candide and Jane Austen’s Emma. Over the next four years, it aired adaptations of such novels as Kidnapped, The Last of the Mohicans, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, Moby-Dick, A Tale of Two Cities and War and Peace. Since this was a half-hour program, many of the novels were serialized in multi-part adaptations of two to six 30-minute episodes.

This episode: Gulliver’s Travels is a story written by a man who searched his fellow men and found nothing but greed and vice and evil. In the years since 1726 when the book appeared, men have read this satire and laughed  through that satire bears a bitter note of recognition as we can see ourselves in the characters that people the pages. Written by Jonathan Swift.

Play

Frontier Gentleman and CBS Radio Workshop

Frontier Gentleman: A Horse for Kendall. Originally broadcast 9/14/1958

Frontier Gentleman was a radio Western series heard on CBS from February 2 to November 16, 1958, initially heard Sunday afternoons at 2:30pm (Eastern Time) through March when it moved to 7pm. FrontierGentlemanThe program opened with a trumpet theme by Jerry Goldsmith and this introduction: “Herewith, an Englishman’s account of life and death in the West. As a reporter for the London Times, he writes his colorful and unusual accounts. But as a man with a gun, he lives and becomes a part of the violent years in the new territories. Now, starring John Dehner, this is the story of J. B. Kendall, Frontier Gentleman…” Frontier Gentleman was different from other radio westerns in that the story centered not around some colorful character out of the old West, but it was about a foreigner. An Englishman who came to America to experience firsthand what it was like to live in the still wild and untamed frontier. As the series went on, we find that Kendall is as good with a gun as he is with a pen.
Before John Dehner began a long and distinguished career on radio and television, he began as an animator for Walt Disney’s studios. John was also a professional pianist, an Army publicist and a radio journalist. On the radio John guested on many of the first rate shows, such as Gunsmoke, Suspense and Escape. After playing the starring role on Frontier Gentleman, John went on to star as Paladin on the radio version of Have Gun, Will Travel. On television, John appeared on The Betty White Show, The Westerner, The Don Knotts Show, and Young Maverick among many others.

This episode: A Horse for Kendall –  Kendall buys himself a horse from Wohaw Simmons, a man who claims that the horse can out race any other horse in Deadwood, including those sold by Fitch Tallman. The race is set, with J.B. doing the riding for Simmons… all three hundred miles of it. Cast: Ralph Moody, Jack Moyles, William Allen, Will Wright and Vic Perrin. Music – Joel Davis. Announcer – Bud Sewall.

CBS Radio Workshop: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Originally broadcast 11/02/1956

The CBS Radio Workshop was an experimental dramatic radio anthology series that aired on CBS from January 27, 1956, until September 22, 1957. Subtitled “radio’s distinguished series to man’s imagination,” it was a revival of the earlier Columbia Experimental Laboratory (1931), Columbia Experimental Dramatic Laboratory (1932) and Columbia Workshop broadcasts by CBS from 1936 to 1943, and used some of the same writers and directors employed on the earlier series’. The CBS Radio Workshop was one of American network radio’s last attempts to hold onto, and perhaps recapture, some of the demographics they had lost to television in the post-World War Two era.
The premiere broadcast was a two-part adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, introduced and narrated by Huxley himself.

This episode: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was the aptly titled CBS Radio Workshop production that provided an unprecedented examination of The White House and its history. An Election Year, 1956 was the year Dwight Eisenhower successfully defended his first term, winning a second four-year term with a 57% majority. The Workshop’s 40th program, and one of its best, is filled with fascinating trivia specific to the White House itself. The program also serves as a stirring anthem to the symbolism of the resident of our Chief Executive and all it represents to both America and The World.

Play

Lux Radio Theater: After the Thin Man

Returning from investigating the “Thin Man” case, Nick Charles again hopes to retire, but finds himself drawn into another mystery when his wife’s cousin is approved of murdering her no good husband. Originally broadcast: June 17, 1940

afterthethinmanLux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS (1935-54) and NBC (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. It became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.

Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934, on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922–24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show’s fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors.

Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.

Lux Radio Theater strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie’s stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.

 

Play

Mercury Theatre on the Air: Dracula

The Mercury Theatre on the Air: Dracula by Bram Stoker, originally broadcast July 11,1938

Orson WellesThe beginnings of The Mercury Theatre on the Air actually go back to the formation of The Mercury Theatre itself. Having successfully produced Marc Blitzstein’s  The Cradle Will Rock for the Federal Theatre Project in June of 1937, John Houseman and the 21-year-old “boy wonder” of the theatre, Orson Welles, decided to form their own theatrical production company. In August of that same year The Mercury Theatre was born, starting off with total monetary assets of $100. Their first production, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, adapted by Mr. Welles (and set in fascist Italy), opened in New York on November 11 and created as much controversy as the young producers had hoped; The Mercury Theatre  was off and running. After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air.

By this time Orson Welles was already a radio veteran, having made frequent appearances on The March of Time as early as 1935 and, in fact, at the time of The Mercury Theatre’s formation, was engaged in a seven-part dramatization of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, which was airing on Friday evenings between July and September of 1937 over the Mutual Broadcasting System. Although not officially The Mercury (the series had been airing for a few weeks before The Mercury even came into existence), several actors who were to become fixtures of The Mercury Theatre of the Air such as Martin Gabel, Alice Frost, Ray Collins, Virginia Welles (Mrs. Orson Welles), Agnes Moorehead and Everett Sloane, appeared in the program, which Mr. Welles produced, directed, scripted, and starred in.
After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The stories presented were also out of the ordinary. Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror tale, Dracula, opened the series, followed by, among others, Treasure Island, A Tale of Two Cities, The 39 Steps, Abraham Lincoln, and The Count of Monte Cristo. While ratings were not high, CBS executives knew they had a worthwhile prestige program on their roster, and Welles was invited to add the show to the regular CBS lineup beginning in September of 1938. By the time the second series of 13 Mercury Theatre shows ended on December 4, Orson Welles was as big a celebrity as radio had produced, all because of an updated version for the airwaves of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, adapted by Howard Koch (who was now scripting most of the shows) and John Houseman, but credited by the general public entirely to its director, producer, and star, Orson Welles. The music was composed or arranged by Bernard Herrmann. According to the Bernard Herrmann Papers at the University of California-Santa Barbra listing all his compositions, the only Mercury show for which he composed new music was Dracula.

Cast: Orson Welles as Dr. John Seward and Count Dracula, Elizabeth Fuller as Lucy Westenra, George Coulouris as Jonathan Harker, Agnes Moorehead as Mina Harker, Martin Gabel as Dr. Van Helsing, Ray Collins as the Russian Captain and Karl Swenson as the Mate.

Play