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MWOTRC News from 2005

See also: current news; news from 2003-2002; news from 2004

November 2005

Our November program featured Michael Hayde, presenting the history of the Grand Ole Opry. His focus was on the early years of the Opry, when it was housed in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and broadcast on the NBC radio network. It was great – the names, the music, the venue, a Saturday night tradition in 20th century America. Michael is seen in the two photos below, and with his daughter and MWOTRC V.P. Sedge Moss on the right.

Also in November, the Radio & Television Museum in Bowie MD invited Jack French to discuss his book, “Private Eyelashes: Radio’s Lady Detectives.” The book combines fascinating facts with delightful nostalgia, examining crime shows that featured a woman in the lead. Some of the shows were broadcast on vintage radio receivers in the museum. Below, Jack signs one of his books at the event.

September 2005

At the September meeting
our special guest was Jim Silman, who has had a great career in broadcasting. Our own Lee Shephard (below at left) led the program, interviewing Mr. Silman about his experiences and the wonderful milieu in which he worked, including Texas radio, producer at DC’s WTOP radio, directing CBS’s NFL games, and teaching communications at American University.

August 2005

The Howie Wing article series concludes in our latest issue of Radio Recall. And you can now hear a complete episode of Howie Wing using RealAudio on your computer, at this address: http://otrsite.com/ra/preview3.html

No iPod? No problem. You can still enjoy the new phenomenon of Podcasting. Read more...

Club archivist needs your help. If you have photos, news clippings, etc. pertaining to the history of MWOTRC, please contact Michael Hayde so that he can make arrangements to catalog and preserve these items. His contact information is on page 2 of the Radio Recall print edition.

We need your email address! Make sure Mark Anderson has your current email address so you can receive current events through his Gather Round The Radio (GRTR) email newsletter. (Be sure to add Mark's address to your address book if that's required by your spam filter.) His contact info is also on page 2

You can also send your information to the webmaster or editor via the addresses on our contact page.

June 2005

All club memberships expire in June. If you have not already renewed, please send in your check for $20 (seniors and out-of-area only $15). Click here for the mailing address.

Bobby Benson fans take note: Another episode of the Cowboy Kid has been discovered in California. It's entitled “Salute to a Soldier” and is about a retired soldier guarding an abandoned fort near the B-Bar-B when two spies... well, you can find out by ordering a copy from Steve Kelez at www.radio-showcase.com (scroll down to “New Releases”).

Streaming Candy Matson: Remember how Jack French read the Rembrandt part in the live script reading of a “Candy Matson” episode at the Malice Domestic convention in D. C. in April? Now you can listen to it at www.audio-play.com by clicking on the gold star in the lower right of the screen. While the episode plays, the screen displays the playbill with cast bios and photos, and background information about the original radio series.

Never Too Early: Better start making plans now for the 30th annual Friends of Old Time Radio convention, October 20-23, 2005, at the Holiday Inn in Newark, NJ. Jay Hickerson and his committee are planning great things, as usual, with guest stars, panel discussions, script recreations, and vendors. The convention will be taped and archived by Fred and Ellen Berney, of MWOTRC. Tapes of previous years' conventions are available from the Club’s Print Library, run by, you guessed it, Mark and Marsha Bush (see page 2 of any Radio Recall).

May 2005

The MWOTRC meeting on May 13 featured a presentation by Matthew Barton of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. He presented the full CBS news coverage of the FDR funeral procession in Washington, DC on April 14, 1945. This is the broadcast that was instrumental in bringing Arthur Godfrey to national attention. The broadcast was interesting not only for Godfrey's contribution, but also for the way he and the other reporters captured the details, the sounds, and the emotions of the event, emotions still felt by several members of the club who were there that day 60 years ago.

Radio personality Ed Walker visited the Radio History Museum in Bowie MD on May 14. Guided tours, demonstrations, and Joy Boys recordings brought in one of the largest crowds ever to visit the Museum. Read more...

April 2005

Jack French won the Agatha Award for 2004 Best Nonfiction with his book "Private Eyelashes: Radio's Lady Detectives." The presentation was April 30, 2005 in Arlington, VA at the seventeenth annual Malice Domestic, the largest mystery convention on the east coast. Read more...

MWOTRC provides a touching family reunion: Thanks to a “Radio Recall” article posted on our web site, careful digging in membership records by Jack French, and a determined Google search by one Rob Harvill in California, three members of the Harvill family will soon get together in North Carolina. Tom Harvill wrote the 2002 article on Will Rogers. His son Rob saw the link and contacted Jack, who made all the right moves in getting the estranged father and son back in touch. Tom’s other son Jamie will join his brother in Tennessee before the two sons drive to North Carolina to spend time with Tom. We are happy that the family is headed for a wonderful experience.

Recent OTR finds: We love stories about how people scour shelves of dusty shops and poke around in dim remainder bins... Here's one called “The Yiddish Radio Project,” two hours of radio shows salvaged from old fragile transcription disks unearthed in New York in 1985. The fellow eventually found 1,200 disks from all over. David Isay produced them and they were broadcast on NPR. It’s great stuff, with commentary, clips, interviews, and the likes of Hal Linden and Eli Wallach taking parts. Once again, curiosity and technology rescue culture.

Historic OTR event: Jerry Haendiges (center), a sound engineer and OTR dealer in Los Angeles listens to a transcription disk with Kathy and Jim Hammel as they become the first three people in over 65 years to hear a recording of radio's "Howie Wing." This series, transcribed by Mutual in 1938, under the sponsorship of Kelloggs, was a popular juvenile adventure story of a youthful pilot. The series later moved to CBS and aired through 1939. Kathy recently discovered three original transcription disks, containing six 15 minute episodes of this previously uncirculated series, when she was in a used record store in Sacramento. Read more about this remarkable find...

February 2005

At our February meeting, Edgar Farr Russell, III received the 2004 Stan Cawelti Award from the 2003 recipient, Rebecca Jones. Read more...

Long-time sound engineer Buddy Belote was our guest speaker in February, shown here with with Washington broadcaster Lee Shephard and MWOTRC president Chuck Langdon. Mr. Belote told of his days at CBS affiliate WTOP Radio. Read more...

January 2005

Live Radio Plays Are Alive and Well: In New York City, from Jan. 19 through March 9, 2005, there will be performances of a staged radio play, “Hardboiled,” at the Belt Theatre. The play recreates the 40’s pulp fiction era of whodunits with private eyes, babes, and wiseguys, in the format of an OTR program, complete with commercials and coming attractions. Sound effects by Grammy winner Gary Anderson and music by acclaimed jazzman Spike Wilner round out the attraction. Tickets are $20. For information, visit www.nytheatre.com or call 212-868-4444.

OTR Book Selected: The Library of Congress has selected Jack French's book, "Private Eyelashes: Radio's Lady Detectives" to be audio recorded in their Talking Books program. The Library of Congress receives copies of every book published in the U.S. and less than 1% are chosen for the Talking Books section. Local actor Nicky Daval has been chosen to record the book, and the finished product will be available in spring 2005. Private Eyelashes has been nominated for an Agatha Award in the category of Best Nonfiction. The Agathas (named for Agatha Christie) are presented annually by Malice Domestic, the largest crime fiction convention on the East Coast.

At the 30th Anniversary SPERDVAC convention in November, a panel of book authors gathered to discuss their recent works (below). Click the picture for a larger view.

Left to right: Frank Thomas (OTR & TV star), Mr. and Mrs. Jim Harmon (author and editor), Frank Bresee (OTR star), Jim Cox (author and MWOTRC member), Jan Merlin (radio, TV, and film star), Laura Leff (President of the Jack Benny Fan Club), Jack French (author and editor), and Hal Stone (OTR star & TV director). Photo by Lloyd Nesbitt.

See also: current news; news from 2003-2002; news from 2004