I still remember my first encounter with old time radio. I had just been moved out of my sister’s room into the bedroom that was to become my very own. Since I was afraid to sleep alone, my parents carried in an old Hallicrafter radio to keep me company. The year was 1953 and I was five years old.
I can still remember staring across the bedroom at the big, green hypnotic eye that stared right back at me. The eye was located above a large knob on the front. It was spooky because it glowed in the dark and bathed the room in an eerie green.
After a month or so I finally got used to the green glow and was delighted to discover that whenever I turned the knob to the right or left the green eye would either open wider or partially shut. At the same time the station would change.
Wow! I became fascinated with that old radio before I ever became familiar with a single show. When Mom or Dad tucked me in at night I always asked them to turn on the radio. Read More…
When I was a kid I was fascinated by puppets and ventriloquism.
I recall my dad made a puppet theater for me in our garage. He took the long seat from a porch swing and somehow propped it up so it was secure. This was to hide me.
He then hung a curtain from the ceiling about two feet in front this. It hung about one inch lower than the top of the sofa seat. I then stood “backstage” and worked my marionettes which were seen on the ground, below the curtain.
I probably didn’t explain that very well, but it was pretty cool. I played there day in and day out putting on puppet shows for family and friends. My marionettes were any number of stuffed toys that I attached strings to. Read More…
When you drive west down the famous Sunset Strip from Hollywood, you pass on your left the location where Dino’s Lodge once stood, the famous location used in the 1950′s Television show 77 Sunset Strip.
On the right you will pass the Whisky A-Go-Go, the nightclub that has been famous for 3 generations.
Sunset Strip then snakes through a canyon heavy with traffic and lined with billboards advertising movies and movie stars before it enters the beautiful community of Beverly Hills.
Make a left turn onto Lomitas Avenue and another quick left onto Maple Drive. There, along that beautiful tree lined street you will discover a stately home easily recognized by several generations of radio listeners and TV watchers. Read More…
For the two and a half decades The Jack Benny Show was on radio, Benny and his writers came up with some of the most beloved gags of the era.
And they mined them like gold.
Just a few of the ongoing jokes were:
- Benny’s vault
- Jack the miser
- Jack’s old Maxwell automobile
- Now boarding on Track 9 for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga
- Mel Blanc’s famous Si. Sy. So. Sue.
- Phil Harris’ love affair with the bottle
And of course there were many more.
One of Jack’s favorite bits, and I dare say mine, was the ongoing relationship between Jack and his “next door neighbors,” Ronald Colman and Benita Hume (the real life Mrs. Colman). Read More…
Every long journey ever taken began with a first step. And every old time radio show began with a theme song and unique dialogue designed to instantly identify the show.
That formula was true for all genres. Take westerns for instance. How did the famous old time radio westerns begin?
Do you remember the theme song? The announcers opening words?
You say your memory is pretty good? Okay, let’s see how good it really is!
SHOW NUMBER ONE
Here’s one for you. See if you recognize this theme:
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THEME SONG #1