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Bobby Benson Star Jimmy Halop Led the Dead End Kids

Bobby Benson was one of those rare network shows that had two distinct radio series, with over a decade separating both runs. The original show was aired on CBS from 1932 to 1936. Thirteen years after its demise, it was resurrected with a new cast on Mutual in 1949 and it continued on the air until 1955. Despite the fact that both versions were of relatively short tenure, and were aimed almost exclusively at a juvenile audience, the Bobby Benson show did accomplish at least two ... (read more)

Betsy King, the Youngest Disc Jockey on Radio

Radio's newest program type to run the gamut and come through a success is the kid disc jockey. The latest is Betsy King, daughter of Gene King, program director of WCOP, Boston. Betsy handles a much longer session than most of the disc jockeys who have to sit on phone books to cue up discs. She handles the program as though it were two half-hours from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. She calls her hour Let's Have Fun, and she does. Because she feels that Sundays must have prayers, she ends each ... (read more)

Roy Rogers Always Comes Home to Sky Haven Ranch

An ad for Roy Rogers' Double R brand toys from 1958 If he weren't the top Western star in the land, Roy Rogers could easily become a professional advisor to the world's parents. Roy gets between 80,000 and 90,000 letters each month from all over the globe, about half of which are written by parents asking Roy to write their children telling them to eat their cereal, drink their milk, go to bed on time or take medicine the doctor ordered. Since Roy is the ideal of all children, they follow his ... (read more)

Hedy Lamarr Saved Radio Show That Found Homes for Orphans

Movie poster for Nobody's Children (1944) I can tell you now the poignant story of how a complete half hour radio program was kept on the air for 13 weeks through one rather famous listener's impulsive and sentimental gesture. The story begins on a Sunday in July a year and a half ago, with the first broadcast over the Mutual network of a half hour program called Nobody's Children. Its studio setting was unique, for it broadcast from the reception room of the Children's Home Society of ... (read more)

Sandy Becker, Young Announcer with an Old Voice

WNEW ad promoting radio star Sandy Becker Radio listeners are getting accustomed to learning that their favorite air personalities don't look like their voices sound. But Carolinians can't quite hide their amazement when they see Sandy Becker, WBT announcer. Sandy tips Father Time's scales at 22 but to hear his voice you'd expect the years to hang heavy on his shoulders. It is a booming, full voice that sounds as though its owner had spent years training it to perfection. It's a voice filled ... (read more)

Jolly Joe Kelly Flooded with Letters from Pet Pals

WLS kids host Jolly Joe Kelly in 1935 "Tie a little string around your finger, so you'll remember me." Thus Jolly Joe Kelly to his Pet Pals each morning at 7:30 a.m. CST. And throughout the country, Joe's Palsie Walsies do remember him. From Tennessee to Ontario and from West Virginia to North Dakota, untold thousands of children start their days with Jolly Joe. That they love him goes without question. They write him wagonloads of mail. Through Joe's program, they exchange pets of all kinds ... (read more)

Some of the Unsung Heroes of Radio

Martha Wentworth's characters from 101 Dalmatians (1961) and The Sword and the Stone (1963) A salute to the unsung heroes of radio: the men and women whose voices were much more famous than their names. Those who specialized in dialects and impersonating children, ancients and even animals! Radio was a most magical medium -- one could never really be sure to whom any particular voice belonged. The crying baby was usually some shapely young actress, the little boy just might be some plump ... (read more)