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GOld Time Radio
Click on the menu to the left for a listing of the
extracts already here for you to see.
The Seasons
GOld Time Radio chronicles each of the 21 broadcast seasons, (Running from September through June), from Network Radio’s Golden Age, 1932 to 1953.  
The lengthy and informative profiles of each season are concluded with an exclusive review of their Top 50 Prime Time Programs, as determined by Crossly, Hooper or Nielsen rating services.
Each synopsis presented here links to the complete detailed article.
This Month in the Golden Age
Every Month GOld Time Radio features a calender of events that occured on each day in that calendar month during the Golden Age of Radio... that's 1932 to 1953.
Click on the box to the left to read this month's compilation of momentous, fun and interesting facts.
About
GOld Time Radio

This week's notes from Jim Ramsburg, the Publisher
(The links go to the highlighted GOld Time Radio articles)
  PLAYING FAVORITES
We’ve been asked often to identify our favorites from the 185 posts currently appearing on GOld Time Radio.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Just like the question, “When exactly was Network Radio’s Golden Age”?  (It took over a year to figure that one out and pin it down to 1932 to 1953.)

Two types of posts appear on this site: Those related to the Broadcasting Industry and those focused on its Programs & PeopleBroadcasting Industry posts are basically facts and figures with my interpretation of them.  Programs & People is the more colorful type of post, often accompanied by air-checks or video clips when available.  Both types require generous amounts of research to confirm details and they are all labors of love.

But to narrow ourchoices back to one post for the Broadcasting Industry category, we have to pick one of our biggest and oldest posts,
Alchemists of The Air which is a new, comprehensive look and the elements that combined to create Network Radio and how they related.  A runner-up in this category is The Late Shift, which outlines the elaborate second-feed system created by the networks to accommodate the West Coast before recording and rebroadcast programs was allowed
  The Programs & People category is easier - we chose a post with strong overtones of comedy and a love story with a bittersweet ending:  Easy Aces You may disagree but you have to admit, it's a great story.

FRED ALLEN SAID IT: After leaving radio I was able to live on the money I saved on aspirins.” The comedian/writer was reputed to edit and worry over every routine and phrase his writers handed him each week for his highly rated shows since 1932.  Allen’s  constant obsession for perfection and his regular battles with network censors and sponsors, led to a nervous condition and hypertension that forced doctors to order to the 50 year old comedian to take the year off from Network Radio in 1944. 

He did - only to co-write and star in a 1945 movie,  It’s In The Bag.  The Paramount film also included a group of his fellow stars from NBC Radio, including Jack Benny.  In case you’ve ever wondered how cheap Jack Benny was, GOld Time Radio gives you some idea in a key scene from that film at Mr. Allen Meets Mr. Benny. - (aka The Feud - Round Three).  In addition to this hilarious sequence on video, we’ve also posted new audio clips of the two great comedians trading barbs begun in our posts The Feud - Round One and The Feud - Round Two.  

THIS WEEK IN THE GOLDEN AGE welcomes the new year with 754 events from broadcasting history registered in January In The Golden Age.  Check it out and take our weekly challenge to identify the correct years when the following events in Network Radio's Golden Age took place.   Test your knowledge of the era then check your answers with the huge Gold Time Radio chronology,  January In The Golden Age.

December 31, 194_: 
Movie and Network Radio stars Roy Rogers, 37, and Dale Evans, 36, are married in Davis, Oklahoma.

January 1, 193_:  Don Wilson and Ken Carpenter, better known as the announcers for Jack Benny and Bing Crosby, handle the play by play of NBC’s Rose Bowl broadcast.
January 2, 194_:  Glenn Miller begins his 15 minute Moonlight Serenade aka Chesterfield Time for a three season run on CBS at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. (See
In The Miller Mood.)
January 3, 194_:  New owner Edward Noble takes control of the Blue network, its WJZ/New York City, WENR/Chicago, KGO/San Francisco and announces his intent to purchase KECA/Los Angeles.
January 4, 193_:  Bob Hope, 31, makes his Network Radio debut on Blue’s Intimate Revue sponsored by Bromo Seltzer.  The program is cancelled after 13 weeks.


WE HEARD FROM MANY FRIENDS recently after posting Great Greetings - a quiz based on a collection of 15 salutations that were used so repeatedly over the years that they became woven into the fabric of Network Radio's Golden Age.  The post ws so popular and there are so many more of these phrases from personalities and program announcers that we present a second set in our post, Great Greetings Again.

Once again we give you a set of 15 program openings and a choice of three correct answers to match each of them.  You may think from the first few that it's a simple solve but there are some foolers along the way.   Have fun with 
Great Greetings Again!

HERE'S A CLASSIC CASE of being in the right place at the right time. When Amos & Andy jumped from NBC to CBS in 1939, collaborators Phillips H. Lord, (Gangbusters), and Ed Byron, (Famous Jury Trials), were ready to fill the 15 minute weeknight void on NBC with a new kind of crime fighter who didn’t wear a uniform - or for that matter, he didn’t have a name, either.  He was simply Mr. District Attorney.  


Their new hero's 13 week job was followed by another as the 13 week summer replacement for Bob Hope on NBC, then a 26 week run on the Blue Network.  When that assignment ended. Bristol-Myers picked up the melodrama and eventually put it into its NBC home on Wednesday nights where it enjoyed a decade among Network Radio’s top rated programs including three seasons in the Annual Top Ten.  Mr. District Attorney is an interesting ​GOld Time Radio story of good timing and loaded with over a dozen audio clips that display its solid writing, acting and production. 

​IF YOU'RE LOOKING for a program, a personality or anything related to broadcasting history during Network Radio's Golden Age, use the Search box found at the top of all of s of GOld Time Radio's pages.  It provides a quick scan of our 184 posts to locate the item you want found.  


A TRIP TO MINNEAPOLIS several months ago provided the opportunity to visit the newly remodeled Pavek Museum in suburban St. Louis Park.  The 12,000 sq. ft. Pavek houses the country's largest collection of radio and television equipment - a treat for the broadcasting historian and GOld Time Radio fan alike. The museum first opened in October, 1988, the culmination of efforts by collector Joe Pavek, regional broadcaster Paul Hedberg and Medtronic co-founder, Earl Bakken.  It has grown in size and stature ever since.  With its fascinating audio and video displays the Pavek Museum is worth a visit as its website promises at www.pavekmuseum.org    

HERE'S A QUESTION for our friends and experts in broadcast sales and advertising:  How would you effectively sell bird seed on radio?   No joke.  This was the actual chore given a Chicago ad agency by American Bird Products, Inc. in the late 1920’s - and it led to one of the most successful, cost effective and longest running radio-based marketing programs ever devised.   

Most successful?  Longest running?  Those are big claims - especially for a radio program you probably didn’t even know existed.  Well, meet 
The American Radio Warblers and their feathered imitators, The Hartz Master Radio Canaries and Kaempfer’s Canary Chorus.  They’re the subjects of GOld Time Radio’s post, The American Radio Warblers.  Along the way you’ll hear a Mike Wallace you've never heard, long before his 60 Minutes fame when he was a free lance Chicago radio actor and announcer.  This forgotten chapter of Network Radio’s Golden Age is presented in text and sound now at The American Radio Warblers.


MENTION THE NAME KAY KYSER to many broadcast historinans and the automatic, (and correct), response will be The College of Musical Knowledge and that will be that.  But the story of the soft-spoken North Carolinian who completely changed character on stage or before NBC microphones on one of Wednesday night's highest rated programs goes much deeper.  And his successes run much further than leading America's most popular orchestra during Network Radio's Golden Age.  His remarkable story is told in text, audio and film clips in GOld Time Radio's post, Kay Kyser- The Ol Professor of Swing. ​

CARLTON E. MORSE IS KNOWN FOR TWO SERIES during Network Radio's Golden Age: One Man's Family and I Love A Mystery.  Both were commercial successes.  But there was a third series, a sustaining, 13-week revival of I Love A Mystery in a half-hour format on ABC in 1948 - presented under a new name, I Love Adventure.  It's the subject of GOld Time Radio's post in text and air checks, I Love A Sequel.  

You'll hear the same opening theme and find the same lead actor, Michael Raffetto as Jack Packard.  Barton Yarborough is along in five chapters as Doc Long and actor Tom Collins assumed to role of Reggie Yorke for serveral episodes.  Several episodes?   It's just one of many quirks you'll discover about this little-known, hybrid melodrama at I Love A Sequel.

THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938 was just another in a string of the annual revues produced by motion picture studios for the ever-growing Network Radio audience.  The 1938 edition was designed to be W.C. Fields' comeback film in which he played tycoon brothers racing their massive cruise ships across the Atlantic.  (See W.C. Fields.)  Martha Raye, Ben Blue and Bob Hope added to the comedy while Paramount pulled out all the stops for musical numbers by Kirsten Flagstad, Dorothy Lamour, Tito Guizar and Shep Fields' orchestra in a live action-animation novelty.

Tucked away in a small scene without fanfare, Bob Hope & Shirley Ross sang and spoke the tender, bittersweet, 
Thanks For The Memory. GOld Time Radio's post, About A Song, tells in text, audio and video how the song almost wasn't written or performed by Hope & Ross.  Yet, Thanks For The Memory won an Academy Award and became Bob Hope's theme song for over half a century.  About A Song is a great story about a great song.

GOLD TIME RADIO IS NOW IN ITS EIGHTH YEAR of researching and reporting some of the lesser known facts about the people and programs of Network Radio’s Golden Age. It began with the publication of my book Network Radio Ratings, 1932-1953, which defined the era in a time frame determined by ratings and revenue, and provided the first complete prime time audience ratings for all 21 years. The premise of the book and this site are summarized in my reading of the book's forward.  

Thanks to you, GOld Time Radio registered over 115,000 Visitors and 250,000 Page Hits during 2018.  Both are new records.  Please tell your friends about our free site dedicated to Network Radio's Golden Age and remember, we always welcome your questions or comments at: 
tojimramsburg@gmail.com