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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The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy


The Lone Ranger
: The Silver Spur, originally broadcast 6/08/1938

While details differ, the basic story of the origin of the Lone Ranger is the same in most versions of the franchise. Six Texas Rangers are ambushed by a band of outlaws led by Barthalamo “Butch” Cavendish. Later, a Native American named Tonto stumbles on the scene and recognizes the lone survivor, as the man who had saved his life some time in the past. He nurses Reid back to health. The two men dig six graves for Reid’s comrades, among them Reid’s brother, Captain Daniel Steven Reid who is the Captain of the Texas Rangers. John Reid fashions a black mask using material from his brother’s vest to conceal his identity, so that Cavendish will think there were no survivors. Even after the Cavendish gang is brought to justice, Reid continues to fight evil under the guise of the Lone Ranger.

Although the Lone Ranger’s last name is given as Reid, his first name is not definitely specified. According to the story told in the radio series, the group of six ambushed Rangers was headed by Reid’s brother, Captain Dan Reid. Some later radio reference books, beginning with Radio’s Golden Age in the 1960s, claimed that the Lone Ranger’s first name was John;[14] however, both the radio and television programs avoided mentioning his first name. Fran Striker’s obituary and a Gold Key Comics retelling of the origin both stated that “Dan” was the Lone Ranger’s first name, not his brother’s.

It appears that the first use of the name “John Reid” was in a scene in the 1981 big-screen film The Legend of the Lone Ranger in which the surviving Reid digs an extra grave for himself. This gave the use of the first name John a degree of official standing, although the name “Luke Hartman” was used in the 2003 TV-movie/unsold series pilot. The name of Captain Reid’s son, the Lone Ranger’s nephew, a later character who became a sort of juvenile sidekick to the Masked Man, is also Dan Reid. (When Trendle and Striker later created The Green Hornet, they made this Dan Reid the father of Britt Reid, alias the Green Hornet, thereby making the Lone Ranger the Green Hornet’s great-uncle.

Hopalong Cassidy: Letter From Beyond the Grave from 1951 or ’52.

“Hoppy” is a fictional cowboy hero created in 1904 by the author Clarence E. Mulford, who wrote a series of popular short stories and twenty-eight novels based on the character. In his early writings, Mulford portrayed the character as rude, dangerous, and rough-talking. Beginning in 1935, the character ‒ as played by movie actor William Boyd in films adapted from Mulford’s books ‒ was transformed into a clean-cut, on-screen hero. A total of sixty-six immensely popular films were released, only a few of which relied on Mulford’s original story lines. Mulford would later revise and republish his earlier works to be more consistent with the character’s new, polished, on-screen persona.
Cassidy was played by William Boyd, James Ellison, Russell Hayden, George Reeves and Rand Brooks. George “Gabby” Hayes originally played Cassidy’s grizzled sidekick, Windy Halliday. After Hayes left the series due to a salary dispute with producer Harry Sherman, he was replaced by the comedian Britt Wood as Speedy McGinnis and finally by the veteran movie comedian Andy Clyde as California Carlson. Clyde, the most durable of the sidekicks, remained with the series until it ended. A few actors of future prominence appeared in Cassidy films, most notably Robert Mitchum, who appeared in seven of the films at the beginning of his career. George Reeves, mentioned earlier became well known for his television portrayal of Superman in the 1950s.

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The Six Shooter and It Pays to be Ignorant

The Six Shooter: THE COWARD
In the second episode of The Six Shooter, former gunman and old friend of Britt Ponset’s, Will Peter, at his wife’s request, promises never to use his weapon again. Unfortunately, Noah Temple is trying to take away the Peter ranch and Will is having trouble keeping his promise. This series began just a year after Gunsmoke though The Six Shooter wasn’t the first popular adult western to air over Radio, a case can be made that it was the first to thoroughly legitimize the genre over the medium. Not only were The Six Shooter scripts (and casts) the equal of any of the first wave of adult westerns, but the series carried the considerable weight of James Stewart in the starring role. The theme song “The Highland Lament” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, became a star in its own right and NBC was flooded with inquiries and requests in the mail on how to obtain the record. The answer from producer Jack Johnstone was always the same: “It’s a special English recording restricted to broadcast use only.” Originally Aired 09/27/1953.

It Pays To Be Ignorant
This series, which ran for nine years starting in 1942 was a spoof on popular “intellectual” series as Quiz Kids and Information Please while the beginning of the program parodied the popular quiz show, Doctor I.Q. With announcers Ken Roberts and Dick Stark, the program was broadcast on Mutual from June 25, 1942 to February 28, 1944, on CBS from February 25, 1944 to September 27, 1950 and finally on NBC from July 4, 1951 to September 26, 1951.
The satirical series featured “a board of experts who are dumber than you are and can prove it.” Tom Howard was the quizmaster who asked questions of dim-bulb panelists Harry McNaughton, Lulu McConnell and George Shelton. The Irish-born Howard and Shelton had previously worked together as a team in vaudeville and comedy film shorts, while McConnell and British comic McNaughton had both appeared in many Broadway musical comedies and revues between 1920 and the late 1930s.
The original radio cast brought the show to television. It was first seen on CBS from June 6 to September 19, 1949. After two years, the series returned on NBC from July 5 to September 27, 1951.
The series was revived by Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions as a weekly syndicated series from September 10, 1973 to September, 1974. In this version, host Joe Flynn queried panelists Jo Anne Worley, Billy Baxter and Match Game regular Charles Nelson Reilly.
A spoof of this spoof was done in the mid-1950s by Jackie Gleason.
Originally broadcast October 6, 1944

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