“MANY CALLS SCROOGE MADE THAT NIGHT…”
A Draft Log of Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL
on the American Airwaves (1922-2003)
by Craig Wichman © 2010
(From Radio Recall, December 2010)
(Unless noted, all productions are direct presentations of the story, and multiple cast rather than single reader.)
12-22-1922 - WEAF. 7:15-7:45pm. Reader: Charles Mills. Music: Grace McDermott, violinist; Mary Burgum, pianist.
12-24-23 - WEAF. 11:20am-12pm. Reading. W/Music.
12-24-23 - WRC. 9:30-9:55pm. Reading.
12-19-24 – WGY. 8:15pm. Reader: Edward H. Smith. Music: WGY Orchestra.
12-19-24 – WOAW. 11-11:30pm. Reading.
12-22-24 – WOR. 9:30-9:45pm. (?)
12-24-24 – WEAF. 7:30-8:15pm. Reader: Charles Howard Mills. W/Music.
12-24-24 – KDKA. 8pm. Reader: Prof. Wayland M. Parish.
12-24-24 – WCAP. 8:30-8:45pm. Reader: Elizabeth Field.
12-24-24 – WMAQ. 9pm. PLAY NIGHT. Cast: The WMAQ Players.
12-24-24 – WLS. 9:15-10pm.(Drama?) Cast: Wallace Amsbury.
12-25-24 – WGBS. 3-4pm.(Drama?)Cast: The Tri Players.
12-25-24 – KYW. 8pm. Reader: Rev. C. J. Pernin.
12-19-25 – WLW. 7:30pm.
12-23-25 – WLIB. 7pm. Reader: Bill Hay. W/Music.
12-24-25 – KDKA. 8:15-9pm.
12-24-25 – WNYC. 10:10-10:30pm.
12-24-25 – WEAF. 11:30pm. Reader: Charles Howard Mills.
12-24-25 – WFBH. 4-4:15pm.
12-16-26 – WFBL, WGY, WMAK. Syracuse University program including a CAROL by the Boar's Head Dramatic Society. Announcer, Ernest Chappell (?).
12-16-26 / 12-23-26 - WNYC. 5:15-5:35pm. Reading: Harriette Weems.
12-24-26 – WGN. 8pm (?). Reader: Bill Hay.
12-24-26 – WLS. 8-9:10pm. Reader: Anthony Wons. Music: Little Symphony of Chicago.
12-24-26 – WBZ. 7:30pm. Reader: Dr. Delbert M. Staley. W/ Music.
12-24-26(?)- KDKA. 7:30-8pm. Reader: F. P. Mayers.
12-24-26 – WOR. 10:30-11:30pm.
12-24-27 – WOR. - 3-3:30pm. Cast: The Playmakers. (Drama?)
12-24-27 – WRNY. - 7:30-7:45pm.
12-24-27 – 8:15pm. WNYC. Reader: Harriette Weems.
12-24-27 – WEAF. 10-10:30pm.
12-22-28 – WJZ (NBC). 10:15-11pm. GOLDEN LEGEND
12-24-28 - WOR, WMAL (CBS). 10pm-12am.
12-23-29 – WOR. 7-7:30pm. Reader: E. Livingston Barbour.
12-24-29 – WEAF (NBC). 7-7:30pm. SOCONYLAND SKETCHES (Drama?). Cast: Parker Fennelly and Arthur Allen (?).
12-24-29 - WABC (CBS). 11pm-12am. Cast: Narrator, David Ross; Scrooge, Jack Soanes.
12-24-30 - WABC (CBS). Cast: Narrator, David Ross. (Re-performance of ’29?).
12-23-31 - WJZ (NBC). 9-9:30pm. Wr.: Edith Meiser. Cast: Narrator, Leigh Lovell (?); Scrooge, Richard Gordon(?). (In the SHERLOCK HOLMES timeslot, with its stars.)
12-24-31 – WABC (CBS). 11pm-12am. Cast: Scrooge: Robert Vivian. Music: Harold Barlow
12-24-31 – (NBC Syndication/Red?Blue? WEAF? (40 min.?) Prd.: George P. Ludlam (Same as the program above? NYC newspaper program listing: WEAF "same as WABC").
12-25-34 CBS. 2:30am-5:15pm. CHRISTMAS PARTY (Variety Special, including Lionel Barrymore’s historic FIRST portrayal of “Ebenezer Scrooge” in Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL - 60min.?).
12-25-35 CBS. 5pm. Sponsor, Campbell's Soup. Cast: Scrooge, Lionel Barrymore.
12-25-1936 CBS. 9-10pm. HOLLYWOOD HOTEL Cast: Scrooge: John Barrymore. (Sub for brother Lionel, whose wife died the day before.)
12-25-37 – CBS. 5pm. Sponsor: Campbell’s Soups. Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-15-38 - NBC. 9-10pm. GOOD NEWS OF 1939. Including a 20 min. CAROL.Cast: Narrator: Lionel Barrymore & Scrooge: Reginald Owen. (Barrymore’s health prevented his starring in MGM’s 1938 film as Scrooge; he’d suggested Owen. So Lionel narrated this production, and bowed out of the broadcast below.)
12-23-38 – CBS. 9-10pm. THE CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE Cast: Narrator & Scrooge: Orson Welles (for Barrymore); Announcer: Earnest Chappell.
12-24-39 – CBS. 8-9pm. THE CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore; Narrator: Orson Welles.
12-20-40 CBS. 9:30-10pm. THE CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE Cast: Scrooge,:Lionel Barrymore. (Perhaps edited rebroadcast of the 1939 production?).
12-25-41 – NBC. 10-10:30pm. THE RUDY VALLEE SHOW (Sponsor: Sealtest) Cast: Host: Rudy Vallee & Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-24-42 - NBC. 10-10:30pm. THE RUDY VALLEE SHOW (Sponsor: Sealtest) Cast: Host: Rudy Vallee; &Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-25-42 – Syndicated. (15m.) TREASURY STAR PARADE - "A MODERN SCROOGE"
Cast: Host: Fredric March; Lionel Barrymore.
12-22-43 – CBS. 9-9:30pm. MAYOR OF THE TOWN Wr.: Jean Holloway (?). Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore; Announcer: Harlow Wilcox (?).
(?) 12-24-43 - Cast: Scrooge: Basil Rathbone; Cynthia Rathbone. (Special broadcast to troops overseas.)
12-23-44 CBS. 7-7:30pm. MAYOR OF THE TOWN. Cast: Scrooge, Lionel Barrymore.
(?) 12-25-44 - CBS. STARS OVER HOLLYWOOD. Cast: Scrooge: Basil Rathbone. (?)
12-22-45 - CBS. 8:30-9pm. MAYOR OF THE TOWN Wr.: Jean Holloway (?). Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore; Announcer: Harlow Wilcox (?).
12-21-46 – CBS. 8:30-9pm. MAYOR OF THE TOWN. Cast: Scrooge, Lionel Barrymore.
12-24-47 - ABC. 8:30-9pm. MAYOR OF THE TOWN. Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-23-47 (?) – (AFRS) GLOBE THEATER. (Repackaging of ’44 [?] MAYOR “Carol.”)
12-25-48 – CBS. 4pm-6pm. CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL Variety Special, including a CAROL (Length?). Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-25-48 – KYDL (NBC.) May have aired the Barrymore 1947 MGM Record (?).
12-24-49 – (Syndicated). FAVORITE STORY. Cast: Scrooge: Ronald Colman.
12-25-49 – MBS. 2:30-3:30pm (?). CAPEHEART CHRISTMAS HOUR Included a CAROL, plus 30 min. of music. Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-22-50 – Syndicated (?). HOLLYWOOD THEATER OF STARS Host, Nar., Prd.: C.P. McGregor (?)(Rebroadcast?).
12-24-50 – MBS. 4-4:30pm. Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-22-51 - CBS. 12:30-1pm. STARS OVER HOLLYWOOD. Cast: Scrooge: Edmund Gwenn.
12-23-51 - MBS. 4-4:30pm. Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
1951 – BBC / WQXR. 4:30-5pm. Cast: Scrooge: Alec Guiness.
12-20-52 - CBS. 12:30-1pm. STARS OVER HOLLYWOOD. Cast: Scrooge: Edmund Gwenn.
12-21-52 – CBS. 9-9:30pm. HALLMARK PLAYHOUSE. Cast: Scrooge: Lionel Barrymore.
12-19-53 - CBS. 12:30-1pm. STARS OVER HOLLYWOOD. Cast: Scrooge: Edmund Gwenn.
12-20-53 – CBS. 9-9:30pm. HALLMARK HALL OF FAME: Lastof Lionel Barrymore’s 17 (or 18, depending upon 1940) portrayals of Scrooge.
12-24-53 – BBC(?) / NBC. THEATRE ROYAL . Cast: Narrator & Scrooge: Laurence Olivier.
12-19-54 – CBS. 6:30-7pm. HALLMARK HALL OF FAME Cast: Scrooge, Lionel Barrymore. (Barrymore died in November; rebroadcast of 1953.)
NOTE: From approx. 1955 – 1964, ABC aired Barrymore’s 1947 MGM Records CAROL (?).
12-24-55 - MBS/WOR. 7:30-8pm. Cast: Scrooge, Lionel Barrymore.
12-24-55 – WINS. 8-8:30pm. Cast: Scrooge, Basil Rathbone.
12-25-1955 – WABC. 12-12:30pm. Cast: Alec Guiness.
12-25-65 - NBC. 10:05pm (?) MONITOR. Cast: Scrooge, Lionel Barrymore. (1947 Record.)
(?) 1960’s/’70’s (?) - THE STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN. Cast: John Carradine. (?).
12-24-75 – CBS. (60m. w/spots) CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER. Prd., Himan Brown. Cast: Scrooge: E.G. Marshall.
1990 – NPR. Cast: Jonathan Winters, Mimi Kennedy.
12-24-95 (9p.) / 12-25-95 (10pm.) - WBAI. QUICKSILVER RADIO THEATER Wr., Prd., “Scrooge”: Craig Wichman; Dir.: Jay Stern.
1996 – Syndicated. FOCUS ON THE FAMILY RADIO THEATRE Cast: Host, David Suchet; Narrator, Timothy Bateson; Scrooge, Tenniel Evans.
12-12-2003 – WYRS. 7-8pm (approx.). QUICKSILVER RADIO THEATER Wr., Dir., Prd., “Scrooge”: Craig Wichman. Music: Kyler Brown.
For more about the radio CAROLs, see the Autumn 2010 “Nostalgia Digest,” and join us for the 12/3/2010 “Radio Once More” webcast.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Craig Wichman is an actor, writer, etc., living in New York City. He is the founder of Quicksilver Radio Theater, a veteran FOTR performer, the creator of the short film “A Christmas Carol – In Eight Minutes,” and will soon be seen in the feature film “The Adventures of Paul & Marian.”
SOURCES: Conversations with OTR veterans and experts; miscellaneous catalogs and magazines; books including “The Life and Times of Ebenezer Scrooge,” “The Christmas Carol Trivia Book,” “Damned in Paradise,” “The Barrymores,” and “On the Air”; plus online resources including the Old Time Radio Digest, the Digital Deli, the Olde Tyme Radio Network, and the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. Corrections and additions to this information, and questions about acquiring recordings of several of these broadcasts, are welcome at QuicksilverRT@aol.com