Old Time Radio

Follow these links for blog entries about Old Time Radio.

Mexican Police Band Performs Concert to Entire U.S. on Radio

The WJAZ broadcast control room in 1922 The Zenith-Edgewater Beach Hotel broadcasting station in Chicago on the evening of Sunday September 30 gave to its listening audience throughout the United States a rare treat which was fully appreciated, as evidenced by the thousands of letters pouring into the station. The official Mexican police band of 87 pieces, sent to this country by President Álvaro Obregón, appeared in full uniform and rendered a concert of continuous playing, lasting ... (read more)

The Mythical Town of East Tincup, Colorado

Postcard from East Tincup theme park in Golden, Colorado Pete Smythe was a local Denver radio personality in the 1950s that many of us still remember fondly. His program originated from a mythical store called Pete Smythe's General Store from the mythical town of East Tincup, Colorado. He had a musical opening that was very familiar at the time, but something that I can't now remember. It was all about opening up the store and "now we're ready for business," etc. He had an old player ... (read more)

The Night Arthur Godfrey Fired a Singer On Live Radio

Julius La Rosa's 1956 vinyl album with Joe Reisman and His Orchestra The last memory I have of Julius La Rosa was seeing him at the Italian Festival on Hertel Avenue about five or six years ago. He was about 70 years old then. He looked good and sounded great as he entertained the friendly crowd. Nowadays his singing engagements are limited mainly to Italian festivals and some nightclub gigs. In between his singing he gave a little monologue, and naturally the Arthur Godfrey thing came ... (read more)

New Diner Named After the Great Gildersleeve

Harold Peary and Jane Darwell in the movie The Great Gildersleeve (1942) A new concept restaurant is coming to a familiar spot in Pueblo, with a 1940s-theme diner expected to be opened in late June in the former South Fork Restaurant location at 3510 N. Elizabeth. Gildersleeve's Old-Fashioned Diner will be operated by Sonja and Perry Fields with assistance from Kristine and Michael Fields (their son). The idea for the restaurant sprang from Michael Fields' interest in old time radio ... (read more)

What It's Like to Be in One Man's Family

One Man's Family cast member Page Gilman The radio show One Man's Family seems as old as Methuselah, as time-honored as radio, itself, customary as a Sunday night supper. The show has been coming over the ether weekly for 11 years. Eight of those venerable mileposts have had the same sponsor, who still has seven years to go. The program was first produced by NBC on the west coast as a sustaining in 1932. Two years later it went nationwide, has long since become a radio legend, earned its ... (read more)

Interview with Bobby Benson Radio Cowboy Ivan Cury

Ivan Cury wanted to be an actor from the word "go." He was born and raised on Manhattan's Upper West Side of parents who immigrated to America. "My dad came from Russia, my mother from either Poland or Austria, depending on which army occupied the land." At the age of 4, he tried to get a box office cashier to let him into a theater. Six more years went by before he had a chance to try out for a show, but during those years he studied music, dancing, acting -- anything he could to prepare ... (read more)

Dusting Off an Antique Radio from Grandma's Attic

1934 Philco model 84 four-tube radio Anyone old enough to recall the days before television remembers that radios, large or small and usually with gleaming wooden cabinets, were the nerve centers of the country's living rooms. Around them huddled America's families, with only each other to look at, listening intently to Jack Benny's jokes and Benny Goodman's notes, President Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats and Edward R. Murrow's London reports. After decades of dusty silence in ... (read more)

Four Radio Shows Hired Les Tremayne to Replace Don Ameche

Les Tremayne, star of The First Nighter radio show For the first six years of my radio career, I was very particular about keeping a daily record of every show I worked -- the date, time, name of show or episode, each character I played (and sometimes there were up to 10 in a single show!), and, later on, pertinent observations and specific comments pertaining to these or made by others, which I felt important enough to record. My career accelerated to such an extend (up to 45 shows a ... (read more)

The Life of Radio Soap Actress Tess Sheehan

Tess Sheehan performing on Wendy Warren and the News Tess Sheehan has become accustomed to it but when she first turned to radio, she was very much intrigued by the idea of acting in an air-conditioned studio every day. Sheehan, who plays Aunt Dorrie in CBS's Wendy Warren and the News and Nora in NBC's When a Girl Marries, has played to audiences in extremes of heat and cold, in freight sheds and tents, and under American, Canadian, and European skies. Dramatic training, at the time ... (read more)

The Earliest Radio Shows of the 1920s

The Goldbergs creator Gertrude Berg during its radio years By the middle 1920s, it became obvious that radio manufacturers could no longer support free radio time. Fortunately, advertisers were discovering that radio was one of the most effective means of advertising available. So, it didn't take long after that for radio to become big business. Its popularity continued to grow -- until the biggest programs were heard by more than 40 million people. And advertisers were paying up to ... (read more)