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Showing posts from January, 2012

John Nesbitts Passing Parade

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A listener writes in looking to find an episode of John Nesbitt's Passing Parade which he heard around 1950 on the radio - probably a filler on a Sunday concert program. It concerned a counterfeiter in Spain who briefly lifted the Depression in Spain.  He bought a bank and forged an order to print a new issue of Spanish currency by the British printer who always printed it. With new money he made loans to the locals which revived the economy.  He retired the new issue currency as he received deposits of legal currency.  As prosperity flowed out from his community a sharp eyed banker in another city noticed that some currency in circulation had never been authorized and was thus illegal.  An investigation found him out, closed his bank, declared the money counterfeit, and plunged Spain back into Depression.  The banker was subsequently consulted on finance in his jail cell for his brilliance in finance. The story has stuck in my mind these 60+ years and has great rele

Boston Blackie Old Time Radio Show

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Detective drama  (1945-1950) Enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend. Chester Morris plays  Boston Blackie , "a modern Robin Hood, a little on the gangster side, wise to all the tricks but always reversing to do a lot of good. Boston Blackie  is especially apt at slipping the rug out from under them and making the police look like foolish lollygags. Smart Boston always solves the  mysteries  before his arch nemesis, harebrained Police Inspector Faraday. Master sleuther and smooth talker, Boston can always slip in some time between crime scenes for his gal Mary Wesley (played by Lesley Woods). For more hard hitting detective action, don't forget to call on some of the most popular detectives:  Phillip Marlowe ,  Richard Diamond ,  Let George Do It ,  The Saint , and   The Falcon .

Old Time Radio Comedy: Duffy's Tavern

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A rendition of  When Irish Eyes are Smiling  plays in the background and Archie answers the phone with the  show’s trademark signature, “Hello, Duffy’s Tavern, where the elite meet to eat.” The program always opened with a call from the owner of  Duffy’s Tavern . Never seen, the boss would check up on his manager, Archie via phone. Although Archie never had direct supervision, Duffy knew he had to keep tabs on Archie.  Duffy’s Tavern  premiered March 1, 1941 on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) network. Created by Ed Gardner (no relation to Ava Gardner ), the show centered on Archie and his relationships with the local bar customers. Gardner, a veteran radio director had prior success with  Ripley’s Believe it or Not!   and the  Rudy Vallee Hour . Ironically, Gardner professed that he never touched alcohol. Nevertheless, his imaginary bar enjoyed success for just over a decade.  By 1942, the show moved to the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network, where it remained unt

Life Of Riley, Big Hearted, Blue Collar Oaf

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--> A counter part to the Smart-Aleck Kid, a staple character in Family Sit-coms, is the Big-Hearted Blue Collar Oaf. Both are interesting characters to build a show around. The SAK is typified by the long time comic page regular, Dennis the Menace, and immortalized on Radio by such favorites as Henry Aldrich , My Son Jeep, and Leroy from The Great Gildersleeve . The modern incarnation of the SAK is Bart Simpson. Fox TV's The Simpsons is unique in that it features the adventures and misadventures of both a SAK and a BHBCO. Fox made a minor splash on Sunday nights beginning in the late 1980s with a pair of BHBCOs, Both Homer Simpson and Al Bundy from Married With Children . Married pays backhanded homage the original BHBCO, Chester A. Riley from Radio's Life Of Riley . While Married With Children often pushed the boundaries of bad taste, Life of Riley was wholesome family fun. Riley was originally intended as a radio vehicle for Groucho Marx (the Riley