What Was The Last Radio Program You Heard?

Discussion in 'Radio' started by LizzieMaine, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Big fan of "Duffy's" here. The repartee between Ed "Archie" Gardner and Eddie "The Waiter" Green is some of the laugh-out-loud funniest stuff that radio ever produced. No matter what Archie's trying to sell, Eddie's having none of it.
     
  2. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

    Messages:
    505
    Another episode of The Line-up, the one with the peddler of marijuana. Laconic but relentless detective Lt. Guthrie works the case.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    For those who missed the live broadcast this past Sunday, an aircheck of our latest "Strand On The Air" broadcast is now available HERE.

    The gamut is well and truly run in this edition -- comedy, "new-grass" music, old-time harmony, show tunes, indie rock, The Kids, and me singing a song made famous by Joe Penner. All this and my mother too!

    190707.jpg

     
  4. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Midwest America
    Hey, your mom did a great job! Bravo, Patty!
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    She wants her own show now. I've created a monster!
     
    ChiTownScion likes this.
  6. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,136
    Location:
    Germany
    I started listening, right now. Never heared an entire american evening stage show, before.
     
    LizzieMaine likes this.
  7. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,753
    Location:
    Midwest America
    Terrific idea! Kind of like, "Allen's Alley," only you could call it, "Patty's Porch." The local folks drop by to share their opinions and observations, and she does the same- interspersed with a few songs.

    Too bad that Kenny Delmar isn't with us anymore: I'd love to see his mid coast Maine equivalent of Senator Beauregard Claghorn --- and when he gets too pompous, Patty would be right there to take him down a notch or two.
     
    LizzieMaine likes this.
  8. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    In the Maine Woods
    LIstened to this while sewing up a jacket I've been working on. Fun stuff, and takes the tedium out of doing a back stitch.
     
    LizzieMaine likes this.
  9. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    Jack Benny, courtesy This Day in Jack Benny podcast. The host, John Henderson, does a great job setting up the references in the show, playing snippets of a song or advertising jingle used in the script, giving the background to contemporary personalities, sporting events, and so on.

    Hold That Line, Oct. 27, 1940, with football sketch, Flash Benny coaching Flatfoot College vs. Meatball University

    The Hot Dog Man, January 6, 1946, built around New Year's celebrations, Alabama trouncing Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl, and Mr. Kitzel selling hot dogs at the game.

    After 60 plus years, the humor generally transcends its era, and is still laugh out loud funny.
     
    3fingers likes this.
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Taking it easy on a Saturday night with the August 31, 1935 broadcast of "Shell Chateau." This was an hour-long variety showcase that ran for several years with various hosts thru the mid-thirties, with such personalities as Wallace Beery, Smith Ballew, and Joe Cook taking turns -- but the name indelibly identified with the program was its first star, one Asa Yoelson.

    Al Jolson was an early partaker when the "personality radio" fad brought stars of Broadway and the screen stampeding to the microphone in the early thirties, but it took him a very a long time to find a format that worked -- not until his late-forties turn on "The Kraft Music Hall" did he really click on radio. In the meantime, there were lots and lots of short runs, experiments, and false starts. Shell had big things in mind when they signed Jolson in mid-1935, but, alas, this is one of those false starts.

    It's not for lack of trying, and to be fair, the individual components of the program are often quite good. The problem is that they're poorly routined. Take this particular broadcast for example. Jolson opens with a fine musical number -- eschewing the weak attempts at a comedy monologue that make other "Chateau" broadcasts painful listening. All well and good. But the momentum dies as soon as he brings out his first guest -- a female golf pro who just doesn't seem all that interested in talking. And Jolson, whatever his other gifts, is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a quality interviewer. It's not easy to make a scripted interview sound good, and Jolie doesn't. Using this spot in the lead slot is bad programming -- this is a spot you use to lead into the station break when your audience is all settled in. Placed here, it's an invitation to go dial-spinning.

    Having thus brought the program to a dragging halt, Jolson next brings out his featured guest, George Jessel. Now, Jessel is an acquired taste that many will never acquire, but he can be enjoyable if his material's right. The problem here is that his voice and persona are so much like those of Jolson himself that there's no contrast. Again, poor routining. (We can hope for better results next week, when that least Jolson-like of all performers, Joe Penner, will be the comedy guest.)

    There's an excellent bit next featuring vocalist Maxine Lewis, a bellower of the Martha Raye school whose beat-you-over-the-head energy brings the program to life, and the studio audience likes her a lot. She'd have been a much better choice for the spot used for the golfer, but too late to do anything about it now.

    All thirties variety hours featured a straight dramatic sketch, and here the offering is choice -- Boris Karloff in a scene from "The Green Goddess." This is a play strongly identified with George Arliss, and Karloff's ripe performance here makes you completely forget that Mr. Arliss ever emoted. Karloff was a fine radio actor in later years for Arch Oboler and other directors, and he's still pretty stagy here -- but his personality bursts thru the microphone and really grabs you.

    Scattered among the guest stars, of course, Brother Jolson lets loose with songs in his distinctive style. You don't get too many soft ballads from Jolie -- even when he sings "Cheek to Cheek" he seems like he's down on one knee on the runway at the Winter Garden, but what the hell. He's the World's Greatest Entertainer, and he's singing live on the air in 1935. That's what Shell was paying for, and all the rest of the variety accoutrements are just a stage wait for the real star of the show. The accompaniment by Victor Young's orchestra is fine here, and they get a nice spot on their own featuring a medley from "Every Night At Eight" that's quite elegant. There's also a throwaway love duet by a pseudonymous pair called "Jack Stanton and Peggy Gardner" that doesn't do much for anyone but gives Jolie a chance to rest his tonsils for a few minutes.

    The commercials are deleted from this particular broadcast, which is always a loss -- it's always interesting to hear what the Boys were trying to do, and the Shell pitches were usually done in a very low-key, soft-sell manner, with the announcer, Burton Bennett, cut into the broadcast from a different studio. I'd give a very great deal to know what Jolson did to keep the audience pumped up during these breaks.

    Quite a few of the Shell Chateau shows survive -- the Jolson editions have been floating around in he OTR world since the sixties, but nobody seems to know where the original discs are. What circulates are generally muddy, dubby copies that give the show a dim and gloomy feeling that it doesn't deserve. My copies are about as good as they get until the transcriptions resurface, and I do wish they would. Iffy production values aside, Jolson was the real deal, and his work on this series deserves to be heard to its best advantage. It's too bad the program itself wasn't better constructed.
     
    3fingers likes this.
  11. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    The Casebook of Gregory Hood, with Jackson Beck in the title role. From October of 1949, it's "The Carnival of Death."

    The Phil Harris - Alice Faye Show, from May, 1947, "Second Honeymoon in New York." Walter Tetley as Julius Abruzzio turned up in the Big Apple the same time as Phil and Alice in order to sass Phil.
     
    3fingers likes this.
  12. MissMittens

    MissMittens One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,600
    Location:
    Philadelphia USA
    A friend gave me a copy of "Star Wars", from NPR and it surprisingly works as a radio drama
     
    Bushman likes this.
  13. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

    Messages:
    505
    Another Phil Harris - Alice Faye broadcast, Leaving for Chicago, from May 4, 1947

    Jack, Mary, Rochester, Phil, Dennis, and Don from March 2, 1947, in which the president of sponsor American Tobacco doesn't like the fact that Jack fired the Sportsmen Quartet, and there's a scramble to round up a new foursome.
     

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