This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
Click here to return to the index of selected articles.
RANDOM QUOTES FROM OTR SHELF
by Martin Grams, Jr. (Bear Manor Media, 2003)
(From Radio Recall, December 2005)
“Radio: no other medium has been more thoroughly forgotten, by the public, historians, and media scholars alike. Despite its dominance of America’s waking hours ...from 1922...until the early 1950s (and despite the attention that media such as film, television, and the press have received academically) radio remains a dark and fading memory somewhere between vaudeville and I Love Lucy--without the benefit of cable channel reruns.”
by Michele Hilmes, (Univ of MN Press, 1997)
“(In 1932) the average actor’s fee for a local radio show was $5. Fifteen was the most I had ever received and I was currently working on two programs that paid only $3. One of them was sponsored by the Lyons Moving Company and slyly titled Moving Stories of Life. One day Gale Gordon said the words that made my pulse quicken: ‘Network shows pay as much as $ 25.’ If anyone was passing out that much money for just one broadcast, I wanted to get right in line.”
++TUNE IN TOMORROW
by Mary Jane Higby (Cowles, NYC, 1968)
“First they needed a title. Webb suggested The Cop. The (LA) detectives rejected this--not respectful enough for a serious police drama.....
Herb Ellis, perhaps combing for a title similar to Calling All Cars - a pseudo-police term, asked: ‘What do they call it when cops go all out to catch a crook?’ ‘They put out a dragnet,’ Webb answered.
.....Both men instantly realized that, as Webb put it, ‘Dragnet was the perfect name’.”
++MY NAME’S FRIDAY
by Michael J. Hayde (Cumberland House, 2001)
“Radio invited you in. Listening to the radio became America’s national pastime. The nation was regularly transfixed by such crazes as the Mystery Melody, Mr. Hush, Benny and Allen’s mock feud, and Gracie Allen’s ‘lost brother.’ Radio was not just
a time killer; it was a way of life, even though Fred Allen’s crusty New Englander, Titus Moody, once observed, ‘Well, bub, I don’t much hold with furniture what talks’.”
++RAISED ON RADIO
by Gerald Nachman (Pantheon Books, 1998)
“In several other (detective) series, women played a more integral role in the solution of crimes under investigation. Brooksie in Let George Do It...helped him in solving his cases. Margot Lane often acted as a decoy to force the hand of the antagonist and allow The Shadow to apprehend
him. And in at least two series, Mr. and Mrs. North
and The Thin Man, the feminine half of the detective team played a role virtually equal to that of her husband in solving cases.”
++DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL
by J. Fred Macdonald (Nelson-Hall, 1979)
“Dan Golenpaul was the genius behind the success of Information Please, an idea man who shared a wealth of knowledge with radio listeners. When he first conceived the idea of the program, he was very down on his luck. He hunted up the wittiest, most literate men he could find for his ‘experts.’ .... At the time, none of the four he found were known outside the small circle of New York’s literati. But three years after the program
premiered, Fadiman, Adams, Kieran, and Levant were regarded as the smartest people in the country....”