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October 2022
S M T W T F S
     
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30 31

Syndication

Sixty years ago today, September 30, 1962, is the date generally accepted as the end of the Golden Age of Radio.  On the same night, the final episodes of “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar” and “Suspense” were broadcast.  “Johnny Dollar” after 13 years and “Suspense” after 20 years.  I couldn’t let that pass without observing it by presenting those two final episodes.  Don’t worry, those shows will appear again on this show.

Episodes
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
September 30, 1962
“The Tip-Off Matter”
2:40

Suspense
September 30, 1962
“Devilstone”
26:52

Direct download: Presenting_the_Transcription_Feature_173_-_JOHNNY_DOLLAR_and_SUSPENSE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

We start off tonight by trying to match wits with that amateur detective who’s also a mystery writer, the eponymous star of “The Adventures of Ellery Queen.”  This episode is another twisty one of multiple murders that requires you to really pay attention.  Then on “The College Quiz Bowl,” the best brains of Washington and Lee University go up against The University of Pittsburgh.  Although the material is from 70 years ago, this episode is packed with lots of questions that even we 21st century listeners should be able to answer and have fun with.  Are you up on types of nuts, adjectives from literature, and the finer points of women’s clothing?

Episodes

The Adventures of Ellery Queen
November 7, 1945
“The Message in Red”
1:41

The College Quiz Bowl
March 21, 1954
“Washington & Lee University vs The University of Pittsburgh”
32:17


Let’s begin tonight with another thrilling story of the masked rider of justice, “The Lone Ranger.”  We always think of the Lone Ranger as a hero, but to the people of the Old West, he was “The Masked Man,” a character a little more morally ambiguous.  Tonight, he and Tonto go up against bureaucracy and marauding outlaws hiding in the hills.  Then on “The Jack Benny Program,” it’s the first show of the new season.  Everyone has been off, and they haven’t seen each other all summer.  Jack has just arrived home from three weeks’ vacation in Hawaii and is anxious to get together with his friends.

Episodes
The Lone Ranger
April 22, 1938
“Murder of Pony Express Rider”
1:47

The Jack Benny Program
September 13, 1953
“Back From Vacation in Hawaii”
32:47

Direct download: Presenting_the_Transcription_Feature_171_-_THE_LONE_RANGER__JACK_BENNY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm EDT

“Information Please” famously gave away copies of the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” to people who sent in questions that stumped the show’s panel. The “Britannica”’s offices were in Chicago. In the summer of 1943, as part of a War Bond drive, the show left New York and broadcast from some “western” cities, starting in Chicago, where, in this episode, the editor of the “Britannica”, Walter Yust, was a panelist.  In consequence, there’s some Chicago-themed questions, in addition to famous forms of egress and people who had their names changed.  Note that Mr. Yust’s name is frequently misspelled as Youst.  I hope having both spellings in this text will aid future internet searches.  Then on “Gunsmoke,” Matt Dillon encounters a solid mystery with a clever solution involving cattle.

Episodes
Information Please
June 28, 1943
“Guest: Walter Yust at the Chicago Civic Opera House”
2:46

Gunsmoke
May 30, 1953
“Fall Semester”
32:09

Direct download: Presenting_the_Transcription_Feature_-_INFORMATION_PLEASE__GUNSMOKE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Tonight, we present two examinations of the world of newspapers and investigative reporting, first comedy, then something a little more dramatic.  The newspaper comic strip “Blondie” was created by Chic Young and started running in 1930.  It is still running, as I record this, almost 92 years later.  It features the domestic mis-adventures of the eponymous Blondie, and her husband Dagwood, Bumstead.  And, in this case, their children, son Alexander and daughter Cookie.  The success of the comic strip launched a series of 28 “Blondie” movies, produced from 1938 to 1950, all starring Penny Singleton as Blondie and Arthur Lake as Dagwood.  The weekly radio series, also starring Singleton and Lake, ran concurrently on various networks and for various sponsors from 1939 to 1950.  This is a typical episode, with Dagwood accidentally getting involved in embarrassing shenanigans.  And I particularly enjoy some of the sound effects. Then real-life politician, writer, and newspaper publisher Will Rogers, Jr. plays a heightened version of himself on “Rogers of the Gazette.”  This episode also features young reporters hunting for scandal, and finding just a bit of crime and peril.

Episodes

Blondie
November 3, 1948
“Blondie and The Tattletale” aka “Alexander’s Scandal Sheet”
2:50

Rogers of the Gazette
December 30, 1953
“Investigative Reporters”
29:04


“The Adventures of Father Brown” was broadcast on the Mutual Network during June and July of 1945, so only a few episodes were ever produced.  It starred Karl Swenson as the titular priest and part-time detective. The show was based on the Father Brown mysteries, written by G.K. Chesterton starting in 1910 and continuing until 1936, some 50 short stories.  Chesterton was a British, Catholic writer and part-time lay theologian.  He loved mysteries, and he used his character of Father Brown to show that a man of faith could also be a man of logic.  After matching wits with the good padre, put your feet up and laugh with Groucho on “You Bet Your Life.”  Tonight, his guests include has a UPS delivery man and a former silent film actress, not to mention a neon sign manufacturer and an amateur handwriting analysist.

Episodes

The Adventures of Father Brown
“The Three Tools of Death”
July 22, 1945
3:05

You Bet Your Life
“The Secret Word is ‘Chair’”
May 26, 1954
32:48


We start off tonight with another episode of “Gunsmoke.”  Here, a mysterious couple shoot four other strangers in town, sending Marshall Dillon and Chester after them all around the West.   Then, on “The Kraft Music Hall,” Bing Crosby is joined by actor Keenan Wynn for lots of World War II-era laughs and songs.

Episodes

Gunsmoke
March 21, 1953
“Pussy Cats"
1:34

The Kraft Music Hall
July 13, 1944
Guest:  Keenan Wynn
31:39

Direct download: Presenting_the_Transcription_Feature_-_GUNSMOKE__THE_KRAFT_MUSIC_HALL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

 
 
 

"Once Upon a Time"

UK Airing: January 25, 1968

US Airing: September 14, 1968

 
 

"Fallout"

UK Airing: February 1, 1968

US Airing September 21, 1968

A previous Number 2 returns to the Village and is given permission to crack the Prisoner using Degree Absolute. When it fails, it appears that the Prisoner is put on trial, but it is actually his recent tormentors who are which ultimately leads to escape.

Pulling back the curtain, the production of this final episode is as disjointed as the two TV episodes themselves. The audio for "Once Upon a Time", recorded over a year ago, was lost and so John and writer Jim Beard attempt to discuss the key points of an episode that Jim in particular, is not fond of in the least. They also talk about McGoohan's thumbing his nose (or perhaps biting his thumb?) at ITV when they cut short the series with a finale that makes absolutely no sense.

Comment on this podcast by writing us at thechronicrift@gmail.com or by leaving your thoughts right here on the page.


“My Man Godfrey” is a classic screwball comedy from 1936.  Filmed and set during the Great Depression, it stars William Powell as Godfrey, a “forgotten man”:  one of the millions of unemployed and down-and-out at the time.  Carol Lombard co-stars as the daughter of wealthy family who soon employ Godfrey as their butler.  Both Powell and Lombard reprised their roles for this episode of “The Lux Radio Theater.”

The Lux Radio Theater
May 9, 1938
“My Man Godfrey”
2:48

Direct download: Presenting_the_Transcription_Feature_-_MY_MAN_GODFREY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

We begin this evening with “The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe.”  This is a particularly clever and twisty plot involving a high-stakes card game.  Then on “The Jack Benny Program,” Jack is a little concerned that his contract for next season hasn’t been renewed yet.  Is he going to be replaced by his competition?

Episodes

The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe
January 12, 1951
“The Killer Cards”
1:38

The Jack Benny Program
April 11, 1954
“Jack Hasn’t Received His New Contract”
31:36

Direct download: Presenting_the_Transcription_Feature_-_NERO_WOLFE__JACK_BENNY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

Tonight, we start off with a couple episodes of “The Goldbergs.”  Not the TV series set in the 1980s, but the long-running radio series from the 1930s and 40s.  The show tells the story of the daily life of the Goldbergs, a Jewish family living in New York and, later, Connecticut. The program was created by and starred Gertrude Berg.  When the program moved to television in the 1950s, she was the first recipient of the Emmy Award for “Lead Comedy Actress.”  “The Goldbergs” was a daily, 15-minute dramedy.  The family was explicitly Jewish and explicitly trying to assimilate -- a true media rarity at the time.  Like the best of the Golden Age of Radio, the episodes produced during World War II are a real window into home front America.  “The Goldbergs” in particular concentrated on themes of everyone working together.  How good a writer was Gertrude Berg? Listen to Molly’s speech to another mother at the end of the first episode.  In 2013, that episode was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for works that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States."  Then on “Information Please,” are you up on famous chapter titles, political defeats, and the origins of idiomatic phrases?  Get ready to stump the experts.

Episodes

The Goldbergs
July 9, 1942
Episode 1297 aka “Sammy Goes Into the Army”

The Goldbergs
Circa 1942
Episode 1338
4:26

Information Please
June 21, 1943
“Guests: Dr. C. Mildred Thompson and Christopher Morley”
30:58


We start off tonight with everyone’s favorite medical drama, “The Story of Dr. Kildare.”  Here Drs. Kildare and Gillespie help an aging Western movie star with psychological difficulties.  Then we drop by 79 Wistful Vista for a visit with “Fibber McGee and Molly.”  Tonight, Fibber is very busy with big business as he takes huge orders for the mysterious AJB Company.

Episodes

The Story of Dr. Kildare
February 23, 1951
“Buck Houston, Cowboy Star”
1:39

Fibber McGee and Molly
January 4, 1944
“AJB Company Western Branch Representative” aka “Representative for AJB Company”
29:05


We start off with a tale well-calculated to keep you in … “Suspense.”  In this twisty episode, tough guy actor Edward G. Robinson stars as both himself and as a humble little nothing of a man who has big ideas.  Robinson made his mark playing gangsters in movies like “Little Caesar” and “Key Largo,” not to mention the corrupt overseer Dathan in “The Ten Commandments.”  This episode is so clever and audacious.  Until the very end, the listener wonders what they are going to do with this.  How are they going to pull it off?  It’s a classic.  Then we return to “The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.”  Usually, it’s Phil who gets caught up in the ridiculous shenanigans.  This time it’s Alice, and she has some fantastic lines.  This episode directly follows the previous week’s wherein the character of Frankie Remley was forced to change his name to the actor’s actual name of Eliot Lewis.

Episodes

Suspense
October 17, 1946
“The Man Who Thought He Was Edward G. Robinson”
3:16

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show
October 12 1952
“The Stolen U.S. Mail”
32:50


The school bell is ringing, so let’s check in with a handful of very bright youngsters on “The Quiz Kids.”  I hope you know your baseball scoring rules, animals associated with each of the 48 (!) states, and that favorite topic of 8th graders everywhere: opera.  Then on “The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show,” the couple returns from vacation to find that Phil’s pal Frankie Remley has turned the Harris’ house into a hotel – and that’s not all he’s changed. 

 

Episodes

The Quiz Kids
August 15 1948
“If Dewey Is Elected, What Will He Wear Into the White House?”
2:06

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show
October 5, 1952
“Hotel Harris” aka “Remley is Elliot”
33:25


We start off tonight with another “X Minus One” adaptation of a classic science fiction short story.  This time it’s Tom Godwin’s “The Cold Equations,” a controversial tale that’s still a subject of discussion.  Then on “The Great Gildersleeve,” Mr. Peavy finally gets a day off while Gildy minds the drug store.  What could possibly go wrong?

 

Episodes

X Minus One

August 25, 1955

“Cold Equations” 

2:02

The Great Gildersleeve

February 7, 1951

“Day Off for Peavy – 30th Anniversary”

26:18


We start off tonight with another episode of that wonderful quiz show, “Information Please.”  This is an Armed Forces recording, which means that the original was recorded and then all the ads were taken out and replaced with short classical music breaks.  Are you up on the publication dates of certain famous literary works, the details of perfume production, and the strange behaviors of animals?  Then on “The Adventures of Ellery Queen,” Ellery finds himself investigating a twisty tale of diamond snuggling and murder.

 

Episodes

Information Please

October 2, 1944

“Guests:  Christopher Morley and Esme Davis”

2:26

The Adventures of Ellery Queen

September 7, 1947

“Number Thirty One”

33:14


“Mr. and Mrs. North” featured a married couple of sleuths.  They began their career in short stories written by Richard Lockridge in the 1930s, but soon progressed to novels, a movie, a Broadway play, an Edgar-Award-wining radio show, and eventually television in the 1950s.  They have affection for each other, and Mrs. North plays just as much a part in the stories as does her husband.  Then, with the success of the “The Jack Benny Program,” it was only natural there be spin-offs.  Singer Dennis Day got his own show in 1946.  “A Day in the Life of Dennis Day” features the Irish tenor not as Benny’s employee, but rather a drug store employee in a fictional small town.  But he’s still rather naïve, and you can bet he still sings.

Episodes

Mr. and Mrs. North

January 4, 1951

“Die Hard”  

1:57

 

A Day in the Life of Dennis Day

December 17, 1947

“Dennis Helps Mrs. Anderson Become President of the Ladies Club”

28:29


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