Showing posts from June, 2013

Summer Replacment Shows during the Golden Age of Radio

Summer Replacement radio shows allowed big name radio stars to have a break while up and coming stars got a break into show business. As radio's influence grew in the 1930s and 1940s, big name and big money radio ruled the airwaves. Many radio programs centered around a special radio star such as Jack Benny , Fred Allen , Dinah Shore , Red Skeleton , Bob Hope , and George Burns and Gracie Allen . As these stars fame and influence grew, they requested special privileges and most insisted on summer hiatus from their radio gigs. Many radio stars like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were also film stars and were able to leverage time away from their radio programs to make films. Hope and Crosby created the films from the "Road to...(Singapore, Rio, Hong Kong, etc) series while on break from their respective radio shows. However, Some radio stars like married couple Jim and Marian Jordan, who portrayed Fibber McGee and Molly on radio from 1935 until 1959, took a real break and used t

Batman in Old Time Radio

The back-stories of popular Comic Book Heroes complicated enough to make TV and  Radio Soap Opera  Serials look like "Dick and Jane" stories. The comics provided a good deal of material for  mystery  radio  theater   producers and writers to work with during the  Golden Age of Radio . Just give a listen to  Little Orphan Annie ,  Superman ,  Terry and the Pirates , or  Blondie   to see what we mean. These shows are all well done and enjoyable, but they raise the question "What about  Batman ?" While  Superman   enjoyed a great deal of success on the radio,  Batman  remained a side-kick for  Superman , joining the series in Sept 1945 (years before the two heroes would pair in the comic pages) and sometimes taking over the story later in the series (to allow  Superman   star Bud Collyer some vacation time). Some have conjectured that the Batman/Superman tie-in was intended as promotion for a proposed Batman radio program that was under development in 1943,