The Great Gildersleeve, with different music pasted-over

Discussion in 'Radio' started by Espee, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Espee

    Espee Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    southern California
    One of the first OTR shows I had heavy exposure to, was The Great Gildersleeve on KFI, Sunday evenings in the mid-1970s. I made cassettes of many of them, but I haven't heard those in decades. Perhaps they were syndicated by Charles Michaelson?
    They seemed to have replaced the original music, narration (set-ups of the situations) and of course the commercials, with a different narrator and a quite annoying "lite" musical theme. Unfortunately, that theme still plays in my head.
    I've wondered if the reworking was done for Armed Forces Radio, or just the intended syndication audience. I suppose it was meant to freshen-up those 1940s shows for the "modern" audience.
     
  2. Wally_Hood

    Wally_Hood One Too Many

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    Location:
    Screwy, bally hooey Hollywood
    I used to listen to the radio shows on the KNX Drama Hour, which also had comedy, and noticed that the Jack Benny programs always had the exact same ending when they came back from the last commercial: "We're a little late, so goodnight, folks." Probably the company that packaged the various shows edited the programs either for time considerations or, as you pointed out, to make them more market-able.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Those Gildersleeve broadcasts were distributed beginning around 1975 by a company called Nostalgia Broadcasting Corporation out of Florida -- they couldn't or didn't want to clear the rights for the original music, so they cut out all the themes and bridges and replaced them with material from a stock-music production library. Some of those same music cues showed up, in, of all places, some of the animated interstitials on "Sesame Street" around the same time, so they must've been from a fairly common production library.

    Nostalgia Broadcasting distributed quite a number of popular series in the mid-seventies. They had a package of Aldrich Family and Duffy's Tavern episodes, all of which came from the 1948-50 period, and while they didn't replace the original bridge music for either of these series, they did use "generic" opening and closing sequences edited to remove sponsor tags. They also distributed a "You Bet Your Life" package with episodes from 1958-59, and did the same thing with these. Our local public radio station carried all of these series in a rotation continuing into 1977 or so.

    A while back, a pile of Nostalgia Broadcasting Corporation tapes came up for auction on eBay -- the shows were distributed on seven-inch full-track reels.

    I don't believe Charles Michaelson was directly involved in Nostalgia Broadcasting, but he probably sublet some of the distribution rights to them. When the "Gildersleeve" episodes were run as part of the "Golden Age Of Radio Theatre" package in the early '80s, they had the original music intact, and those episodes *were* leased direct from Michaelson.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  4. Espee

    Espee Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    southern California
    I did have the "rights to the music" idea in mind as a possible issue.
    I think it was for about a year that KFI had run "Fibber McGee and Molly" and "The Lone Ranger." Then they shifted to "The Great Gildersleeve" and "The Green Hornet."
    At some point, they started leading into that hour with "X Minus One" from NBC-- but that was only once a month. And half the time, I forgot to tune in early.
    Right now I'm going through a disk of Fibber McGee which I ordered specifically because I expect it will have some programs which were in this run which was heard on KFI.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Rebroadcasting rights for OTR are a very complicated process. When Michaelson started in the early sixties with a "Shadow" package, he had to figure out who every actor and musician was in order to negotiate residuals, and he couldn't distribute certain episodes because he couldn't clear all the rights involved. Eventually he negotiated a blanket agreement with AFTRA, in which payments would be made to a general fund in lieu of having to track down every single person involved in the programs, many of whom had since died. That arrangement is still in force today.

    By the time he got out of the business, he controlled broadcast rights for nearly all the "OTR reruns" packages that were being aired in the seventies and eightes. Some independents were outside his operation -- Arch Oboler, for one, packaged and distributed his own programs for a long time before signing with a company called Metacom, which was eventually merged into Radio Spirits -- but in general, Michaelson controlled the rerun trade. He sold his rights to Radio Spirits in the late '90s, which still controls those rights today.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  6. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

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    Location:
    USA NEW JERSEY
    I loved "Gildy"... Ah yeeeeeeesss...
     
  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    One of the head writers for Gildersleeve was John Whedon, who later went on to work on The Andy Griffith Show on television. If you've ever noticed the strong similarities between Summerfield and Mayberry, there's your link. Both towns even had a "Floyd the Barber."

    John Whedon, of course, was the grandfather of current-day favorite Joss Whedon. A direct line connects Gildersleeve with Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Believe it or not.
     
  8. Espee

    Espee Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    southern California
    When looking through newspaper radio logs for the Bob & Ray 15-minute CBS series (mid-1959 to mid-1960) I saw a five-minute slot for Andy Griffith. I figure he told his folksy-funny stories...
    Someone suggested to me the five-minute show was made by merely editing his records. Really?
     

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