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Showing posts from March, 2013

Fred Allen and his Friendly Feud with Jack Benny

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It is impossible to chronicle the birth of the Fred Allen-Jack Benny radio feud without going into the life and background of Fred Allen . At the age of fourteen, Fred Allen opened a book that would forever change the course of his life . Working as a stock clerk at the Boston Public Library, he picked up a book on the subject of humor. Not only did this literary work put him on the path of comedy, it also sparked a passion that culminated in a book collection. By the time of his death, Fred Allen’s personal library contained thousands of volumes written on the subject of comedy. Beginning his career in vaudeville, Allen soon learned that his comedic skills greatly outweighed his juggling ability and he decided to use the juggling act as an anchor for his comedy. He also appeared in a few short films, before getting his break on radio. At the age of thirty-eight, Fred Allen landed a job, as host of  The Linit Bath Club Revue . The show premiered on October 23, 1932 on the Co

Journey Into Space Radio Program

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In the mid 1950's the British Light Programme service had the idea that a Science Fiction radio series would be popular. The assignment was handed over to producer Charles Chilton. Chilton didn't have any background in science, or science fiction, but the general thought was that if he could produce a successful western from London (Riders of the Range had six seasons, ending in 1953) he should be able to handle a trip to the moon! Originally scheduled for eight episodes, Journey to the Moon proved to be somewhat tedious listening through the first four episodes, as the "groundwork' was established for a moon launch using the best guesses of the potential technology from a 1953 perspective. Once the mission "got off the ground, following the launch of the spacecraft in episode 5, the popularity soared as well, and the series was extended to 18 episodes (the network re-recorded the original series for overseas distribution in 1958, as Operation Luna. This time

St Patricks Radio Shows: The Wearing of the Grin on the Radio

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Maybe Saint Patrick didn't actually banish the serpents from Ireland (there weren't any snakes on the island to banish!) And as it turns out the Irish don't really drink beer that has been dyed green! None the less Americans take time every March 17th to celebrate the Irish; if not the true facts of their homeland, at least we celebrate their marvelous sense of humor! Radio would never have gone anywhere without a sense of humor! Parades are all well and good, but we think a better way to pass the time while we're waiting for the corned beef to boil is to listen to some   free St Patricks radio shows  to enjoy. Remember when SPAM wasn't the bad stuff that got into your computer? SPAM never was a good thing (it isn't all that great boiled with cabbage and potatoes) but Hormel certainly brought us a load of fun with  George Burns and Gracie Allen  on  St Patrick's Day . Most of the episode is dedicated to Gracie's romance with Artie Shaw, but the