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.

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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.

 

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Herb Lytton, The Voice of FATE

Diary Of Fate and Mr. Keen, Tracer of lost Persons

Herb Lytton, The Voice of FATE

Herb Lytton, The Voice of FATE

The Diary of Fate was broadcast over KECA, an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, which began broadcasting the show on September 6, 1947 and aired thirty-eight episodes through May 22, 1948. KECA originated Diary of Fate from its studios. Herb Lytton was the heavy handed host Fate, a somewhat sinister sounding character who delights in emphasizing how he manipulates events to force characters in the show to make life changing choices, usually the wrong ones thereby assuring their ultimate downfall. There are only thirty-eight known titles for Diary of Fate, with only twenty-four of those titles in current circulation. Many well known radio actors performed on the show including Hal Sawyer, Frank Albertson, Gloria Blondell, Jerry David Ellis, Lurene Tuttle, Lawrence Dobkin, Daws Butler, William Johnstone and Lou Krugman.
This episode, The Marvin Thomas Entry, originally aired June 8, 1948.

Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons was one of radio’s longest running shows airing from October 12, 1937 to April 19, 1955, continuing well into the television era. It was produced by Frank and Anne Hummert. The sponsors included Whitehall Pharmacal (as in Anacin, Kolynos Toothpaste, BiSoDol antacid mints, Hill’s cold tablets and Heet liniment), Dentyne, Aerowax, RCA Victor and Chesterfield cigarettes. It aired on the NBC Blue network until 1947, when it switched to CBS. With 1690 nationwide broadcasts, Mr. Keen was the most resilient private detective in a namesake role. The nearest competitors were Nick Carter, Master Detective (726 broadcasts), The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (657) and The Adventures of the Falcon (473). However, only 59 of those 1690 Mr. Keen programs are known to exist. The cliches, stereotypes and simplistic dialogue of the show provided much fodder for Bob and Ray’s memorable parody, Mr. Trace, Keener Than Most Persons, broadcast in numerous variations. It was also satirized by Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis in Mad’s fifth issue as “Kane Keen!”
The character of Mr. Keen was referenced by Alfred Hitchcock in one of his television shows. Mr. Keen is also mentioned in the stage version of Bye Bye Birdie by the character Mr. Harry MacAfee, who was played by Paul Lynde.

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Shorties

Alka Seltzer

This show has a LOT going on. Tonight, we present eight “shows” in our one hour time allotment. Here they are, more or less in order:

Alka Seltzer Time – Originally aired 10/23/53

Believe it Or Not!

Vic and Sade: Christmas Present – Originally aired 11/26/43

Five Minute Mysteries: The Jules buck Murder

NBC News Commentary: The End of World War II

Grand Slam, originally aired 8/23/49

Ellery Queen’s Minute Mystery: The Curious Gangland Killings

and finally, Incredible, but TRUE.

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