February 27, 2015 07:00 AM PST
A Salute To Politics (Aired March 16, 1948)
In 1934–36, Berle was heard regularly on The Rudy Vallee Hour, and he got much publicity as a regular on The Gillette Original Community Sing, a Sunday night comedy-variety program broadcast on CBS from September 6, 1936 to August 29, 1937. In 1939, he was the host of Stop Me If You've Heard This One with panelists spontaneously finishing jokes sent in by listeners. Three Ring Time, a comedy-variety show sponsored by Ballantine Ale, was followed by a 1943 program sponsored by Campbell's Soups. The audience participation show Let Yourself Go (1944–1945) could best be described as slapstick radio with studio audience members acting out long suppressed urges (often directed at host Berle). Kiss and Make Up, on CBS in 1946, featured the problems of contestants decided by a jury from the studio audience with Berle as the judge. THIS EPISODE: March 16, 1948. NBC network. Sponsored by: Philip Morris. "A Salute To Politics". President Berle in the White House. Frank Gallop (announcer), Milton Berle, Ray Bloch and His Orchestra. 29:08. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.

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February 27, 2015 03:00 AM PST
Boxcars711 Overnight Western "Wild Bill Hickock" - Dark Horse Candidate (Aired January 30, 1952)
Wild Bill started on the radio in 1951 as a kids western show. It emphasized the tracking down the bad guys and fighting for the law rather than the shootin, poker playin, rough and tumble Civil War vet, who lies about his life to get good publicity aspects of Wild Bill’s life. The show is in the tradition of the Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid. Guy Madison starred as Bill with Andy Devine as his sidekick, Jingles. (Now there’s a name you want to go through Hollywood with.) This Wild Bill Hickock was quick with his fists and a quip, but Jingles (dear god that nickname) got all his glory by using his immense girth to fight the bad guys. Jingles if you couldn’t tell was the comedic element in the series. And what is it with overweight sidekicks in westerns? See Cisco Kid’s partner, the jolly and rotund Pancho. Show Notes From The Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. THIS EPISODE: January 30, 1952. Program #48. Mutual network. "The Dark Horse Candidate". Sponsored by: Kellogg's cereals. Jingles finds himself running for the office of mayor of the town of Jackpot. There's something rotten in the ballot-box! The system cue is added live. Virginia Gregg, Lillian Buyeff, James Nusser, Ken Christy, Guy Madison, Andy Devine, Frederick Shields, David Hire (producer), Richard Aurandt (music), Charles Lyon (announcer), Paul Pierce (director). 25:52. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.

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February 26, 2015 11:00 PM PST
Legal Wills (Aired February 6, 1954)
Most of the scripts very cleverly portrayed every right way--or wrong way--to approach a range of legal matters that might concievably affect any American. After resolving the script one way or the other, the Host, John Fitzgerald, would dissect the legal issues involved in the script, point listeners to the right source of legal information--for the State of Illinois, in any case--and suggest alternate scenarios, as time permitted, to further illustrate the larger issues behind that week's topic. As a local presentation, WMAQ's production of Case Dismissed acquitted itself very well indeed. With few exceptions, the enacted legal issues were realistically depicted, thoroughly explored, and informatively resolved. The exposition for and resolution of these programs was never preachy, overly complicated, nor left unresolved. Each story had an arc that was resolved for that particular combination of legal issues and choices. Show Notes From The Old Time Radio Researcher's Group and The Digital Deli. THIS EPISODE: February 6, 1954. "Legal Wills" - NBC network, WMAQ, Chicago origination. Sustaining. The program is produced in co-operation with the Chicago Bar Association. The legal problems of making a will. Alma Platts, Rita Ascot, Arthur Peterson, John C. Fitzgerald (host, Dean of the Law School, Loyola University), Robert Carmen (writer), Russ Reed, Paul Barnes, Charles Flynn, Betty Ross (producer), Herbert Littow (director), Tom Evans (sound), Harold Witteberry (engineer), Lee Bennett (announcer). 28:31. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.

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February 26, 2015 07:09 PM PST
The Green Vase (1968) *The Exact Date Is Unknown.
This series was written by Michael McCabe and was produced in South Africa. It was a replacement for another series McCabe produced, called SF68. That series adapted famous Sci-fi stories to radio, and it seems to have been the place where McCabe honed his craft. The subject matter to Beyond Midnight was more horror oriented, including madness, murder, and supernatural sleuths! What survives today doesn't involve a horror host per se, but a few include framing narration (by someone involved in the plot) while others just start up the story with no announcer or lead-in whatsoever. So it's possible the regular host or announcer was left off (edited out) of the recordings. The host-- if there was one-- may have only been heard by those who listened to this series when it first aired. It's another radio mystery we may never know for sure, but we're lucky to at least have some of the recordings!

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February 26, 2015 02:43 PM PST
The Human Bomb (Aired December 20, 1933)
Calling All Cars was one of the earliest police shows on the air. It ran from November 29, 1933 through September 8, 1939. It’s sponsor was the Rio Grande Oil Company, which is why the show only ran in areas where Rio Grande "cracked" gasoline was sold. The sponsor promoted its "close ties" with police departments in Arizona and Southern California, urging listeners to buy its product for "police car performance". As shows of this nature do, it dealt with tracking killers and robbers, and with a recap of the justice which was enforced. The writer and director was William N. Robson. Calling All Cars episodes were dramatized true crime stories that were not only introduced by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department but were true life crime stories of the LAPD. THIS EPISODE: December 20, 1933. Program #4. CBS Pacific network (Don Lee network) origination, syndicated. "The Human Bomb". Music fill for local commercial insert. A man in the police chief's office is threatening to blow up the Central Police Station. The system cue has been deleted. Gale Gordon (dispatcher, host, narrator). 28:49.

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February 26, 2015 11:02 AM PST
The Certified 600 (Aired September 8, 1953)
21st Precinct was one of the realistic police drama series of the early- to mid-1950's that were aired in the wake of DRAGNET. In 1953 CBS decided to use New York City as the backdrop for their own half-hour police series and focus on the day-to-day operation of a single police precinct. Actual cases were used as the basis for stories. "21st Precinct.., It's just lines on a map of the city of New York. Most of the 173,000 people wedged into the nine-tenths of a square mile between Fifth Avenue and the East River wouldn't know, if you asked them, that they lived or worked in the 21st. Whether they know it or not, the security of their persons, their homes, and their property is the job of the men of the 21st." The Precinct Captain acted as the narrator for the series. THIS EPISODE: September 8, 1953. "The Certified 600" CBS network. Sustaining. The safe of paint store owner, George Heelas, is stolen. Everett Sloane, Stanley Niss (writer, producer, director). 26:51. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.

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February 26, 2015 07:00 AM PST
Deadeye Trades In His Horse (Aired September 17, 1948)
Skelton married Edna Marie Stillwell (b.1906 - d.1982), a joke writer, business manager, and former usher at Kansas City's old Pantage Theater, on June 1, 1931. Skelton was one month away from his 18th birthday, and Edna was 16 (or as old as 25 if the birth date given above is correct.). They divorced in 1943. Stillwell remained an advisor on his career after their marriage ended. It was his ex-wife/manager Edna who negotiated a seven-year Hollywood contract for him in 1951, the same year "The Red Skelton Show" (1951) premiered on NBC. On March 9, 1945 he married Georgia Maurine Davis in Beverly Hills, California. They had two children, Richard Jr., and Valentina Marie Skelton (b.1947). Richard Skelton Jr.'s death on May 10, 1958 from leukemia, just 10 days before his 10th birthday, devastated the Skelton household. Family friend Arthur Marx, Groucho's son, whose unauthorized biography of Skelton came out in 1979, wrote "Red treated his son's room in their Palm Springs house like a little museum. ...He had it cordoned off with a velvet rope so nobody could go in there."

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February 26, 2015 03:00 AM PST
Boxcars711 Overnight Western "Cisco Kid" - The Man Trapped In The Cave (Aired July 29, 1952)
The Cisco Kid refers to a character found in numerous film, radio, television and comic book series based on the fictional Western character created by O. Henry in his 1907 short story "The Caballero's Way", published in the collection Heart of the West. In movies and television, the Kid was depicted as a heroic Mexican caballero, even though he was originally a cruel outlaw. The Cisco Kid came to radio October 2, 1942, with Jackson Beck in the title role and Louis Sorin as Pancho. With Vicki Vola and Bryna Raeburn in supporting roles and Michael Rye announcing, this series continued on Mutual until 1945. It was followed by another Mutual series in 1946, starring Jack Mather and Harry Lang, who continued to head the cast in the syndicated radio series of more than 600 episodes from 1947 to 1956. The radio episodes ended with one or the other of them making a corny joke about the adventure they had just completed. They would laugh, saying, "'oh, Pancho!" "'oh, Cisco!", before galloping off, while laughing.

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February 25, 2015 10:18 PM PST
The Soul Of The Great Bell (Aired September 1, 1944)
Author's Playhouse was an anthology radio drama series, created by Wynn Wright, that aired on the NBC Blue Network from March 5, 1941 until October 1941. It then moved to the NBC Red Network where it was heard until June 4, 1945. Philip Morris was the sponsor in 1942-43. Premiering with "Elementals" by Stephen Vincent Benét, the series featured adaptations of stories by famous authors, such as “Mr. Mergenthwirker’s Lobbies” by Nelson Bond, "The Snow Goose" by Paul Gallico, "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs, "The Piano" by William Saroyan and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber. Cast members included Curley Bradley, John Hodiak, Marvin Miller, Nelson Olmsted, Fern Persons, Olan Soule and Les Tremayne. Orchestra conductors for the program were Joseph Gallicchio, Rex Maupin and Roy Shield. Directors included Norman Felton, Homer Heck and Fred Weihe. The series was a precursor to several NBC radio programs of the late 1940s and early 1950s: The World's Great Novels, NBC Presents: Short Story and The NBC University Theater. THIS EPISODE: September 1, 1944. NBC network. "The Soul Of The Great Bell". Sustaining. A famous tale of old China. A bellmaster is ordered by the Emperor to cast a huge bell, and his first two attempts fail. Lafcadio Herne (author). 28:41. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.

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February 25, 2015 07:00 PM PST
Smashing The Drug Ring (2 Parts Complete) Aired May 15, 1940
After his father was killed by a gangster's bullet, young Dan Garrett joined the New York Police Department, but soon tired of the slow pace and red tape of police work. With the help of his friend and mentor, pharmacist and drug-store proprietor Dr. Franz, Dan acquired a costume of bullet-proof chain-mail-like cellulose material, and began a second life, fighting crime as The Blue Beetle. His calling card was a small beetle-shaped marker that he left in conspicuous places to alert criminals to his presence, using their fear of his crime fighting reputation as a weapon against them. For this purpose he also used a "Beetle Signal" flashlight. The Blue Beetle's reputation was not his only weapon -- he carried a revolver in a blue holster on his belt, and was sometimes shown wearing a multi-pouched belt after the style set by Batman. TODAY'S SHOW: May 15, 1940. Program #1. Fox Features syndication. "Smashing Dope Ring". Commercials added locally. Trying to arrest a dope peddler selling marijuana cigarettes, Dan Garrett is machine-gunned and is near death. Dr. Franz slips him some secret 2X formula and he recovers instantly. He also gains abnormal strength and superhuman vitality. Frank Lovejoy, Paul Ford. 25:18. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.

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