Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a self-governing dependency of the British Crown. Its legislative body is the bi-cameral Tynwald, reported to have been founded in AD 979, and arguably the oldest continuous parliament in the world.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I have been taking pretty pills for years. See how well they work?
Lucille Ball was a funny actress, but the types of women she portrayed would be anything but funny, were they in real life.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NEVER post anything on the computer that indicates you are not at home. Just a "Welcome" sign to intruders.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Consistent discipline

Discipline has a tendency to become no discipline if it is not administered consistently. Show leniency to one, and very soon we must show leniency to all or be accused of partiality. Children are very adept at using parental inconsistency against us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Old radio shows - great hobby

I would not call myself an authority on old radio shows because there are several types of them in which I have no interest. But I have listened to a lot of them between our own collection and what I hear on Sirrius radio. A great hobby, really.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Memories of The Lawrence Welk Show

My wife and I were visiting tonight about how both our grandmothers were dedicated watchers of The Lawrence Welk Show, and allowed no interruptions during it.
One of the all-time great Hollywood compliments:

Jimmy Stewart in "You Can't Take It With You," 1938:
"You're so beautiful, it makes me want to gag."

Monday, December 12, 2011

My favorite all-time character actor has to be Barry Fitzgerald. He was just so much fun to watch - and to listen to.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Train station announcements on Jack Benny

What three cities were constantly being announced by the PA in the train station on the Jack Benny show?

Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga

Thursday, December 08, 2011

What an American institution went by the wayside with the demise of the brass cuspidor!

Remember thy Creator

There is divine wisdom in the commandment, "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth." There is so much that can happen physically and mentally as we grow older that make it difficult or even impossible to do the things that we wanted to do and planned to do. Because of the demands of younger adulthood, some of those things are not possible at an earlier age; but much can be done, and ought to be done, because there may not be the opportunity later on.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

An underrated radio show was Rocky Jordan. He owned the Cafe Tambourine in Cairo - probably a take-off from the movie Casablanca. He was not a detective, but he was always solving mysteries anyway. Well done show, and worth listening to.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson

Nigel Bruce's portrayal of of Dr. Watson on the Sherlock Holmes movies did not fit the original stories: the famous side-kick was less of a bumbler than Bruce's character. However, the actor did such a superb job of making the role his own that it is his personna that likely will be burned into Sherlock fans' memories. Just a wonderful job of acting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Richard Diamond just got knocked out by a gun but in The Eddie Burke Case. Is anyone surprised?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We preachers are prone to "quote at" texts - that is, to paraphrase them, or just to get close to the text. I wonder if we are as satisfied to "get close to" the doctrines contained in them.
There was a school sign on the way to work this morning with the Word of the Week: Courage - "the ability to do that which frightens you." That is true some of the time, but sometimes that would be merely a definition of foolishness, if we are wise enough to be frightened by that which is frightful.

Business selfishness needs to have some restrictions

I definitely think that governmental regulations get out of hand oftentimes and needlessly stifle the economy and hinder legitimate business enterprises. However, I also know that businessmen, if not restricted, would be utterly self-serving and would do whatever promoted their own interests, no matter how many other people it hurt. Yes, some regulations are necessary.
One of the books in Jack Benny's library: "Gertrude Eichelberger, Girl Plumber".

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Did you know that it is a settled fact of law that there is a difference in significance between a paper clip and a staple? One is recognized as indicating a temporary situation and the other permanence.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The freedom of any country boils down to the police and the military. They must do their jobs, but they must be strictly controlled so that they do ONLY their jobs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fried okra, done right, is just as good as it gets.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One of the best of the many fine Philip Marlowe radio show episodes was "Anniversary Gift." For some reason, William Conrad played Marlowe in this particular instance. It concerns a man who is trying to conceal the fact that his dying wife had killed a man who was blackmailing them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Life of Riley radio show

The Life of Riley was a long-running radio show in the 1940’s. It was good and well worth listening to, although in my opinion it was not one of the funniest of the radio comedies. However, one character on the show was a hoot! Digby “Digger” O’Dell, “The Friendly Undertaker,” was a friend of Riley. He had the best lines in the show and pulled them off in great style.

Mrs. X on Richard Diamond

I just finished listening to an episode of Richard Diamond (with actor Dick Powell) broadcast 4 Oct 1950. At the first of the show he starts to announce a special guest and then decides not to. His client is a mystery woman, “Mrs. X,” who wants to locate her husband. At the end of the show, she says that she is expecting and that her husband was so moved by it that he was temporarily mentally affected.

Allyson was actually Powell’s wife, and their son, Richard, Jr., was born in December of 1950.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Six Shooter music on Johnny Dollar

I am listening to a Johnny Dollar episode called “The Stope of Death,” about a silver mine in Nevada. As he is preparing to make the trip, you can hear the theme music from “The Six Shooter” playing. I thought that was interesting.

Chain smoking radio actors

There are some classic examples of voices on radio that were destroyed by chain smoking. Ken Christy (Chief Gates on Gildersleeve) and William Gargan (Barry Craig). In fact, Gargan's career came to an end in 1958 when he developed throat cancer, and doctors were forced to remove his larynx. Speaking through an artificial voice box, Gargan became an activist and spokesman for the American Cancer Society, often warning about the dangers of smoking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Richard Diamong - "The Blue Serge Suit"

One of the funniest Richard Diamond radio show episodes is the one entitled "Blue Serge Suit." Jim Backus is a guest star as the sarcastic owner of a men's clothing store. Their dialogue back and forth is hilarious.

Here is a LINK to this episode.


Dick Powell (Diamond)


Backus
We ended up not being too high on Johnny Staccato. Some of the episodes were enjoyable and interesting, but too many of them were trying to make some kind of social statement. Eduardo Ciannelli as Waldo stole the show.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dick Powell and Arkansas

I just listened to an episode of Richard Diamond, “William Carter Loses His Memory,” in which Dick Powell refers at the close to Mountain View, Arkansas, which was the place of his birth.
Pam and I watched a Johnny Staccato episode last week in which Alexander Scourby was a guest star who played the role of a charlatan preacher. That is ironic, given his famous recordings reading the Scriptures.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Primary idiocy

This process of moving the presidential primaries earlier and earlier has got to stop! Just do us all a favor and pass a law that all of the primaries have to be on the same day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How many of you (besides my wife) have seen a Dick Powell movie from his song-and-dance era AND from his hard-boiled era?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Johnny Staccato

We bought a new TV series from the late 1950s: Johnny Staccato, starring John Cassavetes and Eduardo Cianelli. It looks like it was patterned after Peter Gunn. Interesting, but not great.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Richard Strauss writing for the horn section

Richard Strauss stands alone atop the list of composers for the horn. True, on the elegant side of the lecture, Mozart was a wonderful writer. However, in those heroic passages that make hornists drool, it was Strauss. Ein Heldenleben, Don Juan, Der Rosenkavalier, Till Eugenspiegel: those are the passages that horn players stand in line to get to play.

Both political parties have blind spots

Republicans look at the forest; Democrats look at the trees. Both have glaring gaps in their vision. Republicans recognize that the free market creates the most gross wealth, and that a rising boat lifts the most people. The problem is that that rising boat does not lift ALL people, and those that are not lifted are the ones the Democrats worry about. However, in their worrying about the individuals, they minimize the positive effects of the economy as a whole. Two parties with blind spots.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It may have seemed to you today that I was unintelligent; but hopefully it will ease your mind to know that that is not the case. I am just plain stupid.

A top-notch phrase

"Brazen effrontery" is such a good phrase that it is worth manipulating conversations just to work it in.
The memories for addresses of the characters on the Philip Marlowe detective program were amazing. They seemingly knew all the street numbers of all their acquaintances without having to look them up. Very convenient if you have to get your story crammed into 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I recommend one particular episode of the Fred Allen program entitled "King for a Day," with Jack Benny as the guest star. Jack wins the prizes, one of which is to have his pants pressed, which they evidently proceed to do right there on stage. The audience is cracking up.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

William Conrad (Matt Dillon) and Parley Baer (Chester) were a great team on the old Gunsmoke radio program. They played off each other very well. Good chemistry on the air.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I wonder how many old radio shows I do have on CD. Maybe thousands? Great hobby.
1938-1953. I recommend this period for movies. By 1938 the industry had their quality going well enough to be enjoyable. Past 1953 things began to be more gradually more explicit.

Let's outlaw these!

Two things I wish they would outlaw: blue headlights on cars and yellow shoes on football fields. Both look too much like law (rule) enforcement colors.

 photo d-1.jpg

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

There are a number of recurring characters in the Johnny Dollar series, especially when Bob Bailey was the actor and the series ran for 30 minutes. One of these was Alvin Peabody Cartwright, an eccentric old gentleman. He was portrayed by Howard McNear, famous as Floyd the Barber on the Andy Griffith TV show.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It is interesting hearing people use "aren't" incorrectly in attempt to be correct by avoiding "ain't." Such as, "I am supposed to be here, aren't I?"

"I am supposed to be here, are I not?" That obviously is not correct. If they had used "ain't," they would have been gramatically correct: "I am supposed to be here, am I not?"

"Ain't" is informal, but it is not always incorrect. It is a contraction of "am not," and in places where "am not" is correct, "ain't" is also correct.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What a profound quote from Presidential candidate Ron Paul:

“And so, our government continues to spend trillions of dollars in overseas foreign wars while we face unsustainable debt, a looming dollar crisis, and our Constitution seems to lose any meaning. These actions will sink our country if we do not reverse course.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

William Powell is fast becoming one of my favorite actors. He was superb in understated comedies like the Thin Man series, but could also do serious roles. Really enjoyable to watch.
I do not understand how that, with satellites that can see in our back yards and all the other technological advantages governments have, we can have lost Moammar Gadhafi.

Your - pronounce it correctly

"Yore" is a word. It rhymes with "bore." "Your" does not rhyme with "bore."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Have you ever wondered about those "removed" cousins? Here is a handy chart showing the "degrees of consanguinity." Important for legal reasons, I understand.

http://www.ci.sat.tx.us/atty/ethics/ConsanguinityChart.htm

Thursday, August 18, 2011

1980 was HOT!

1980 still champ.
1980 still holds the record for the worst summer in my memory. This year was well on the way to challenging it, but the recent break in the heat and the rain took it out of the running. True, it never got to 114 in 1980, but it just went on and on, well into September.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How many sponsors of radio shows can you name off the tops of your heads?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fibber is #1

In my humble opinion, the #1 spot in radio shows is no contest. It has to be Fibber and Molly. It just has a place all by itself because of several factors.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shlomo Shakespeare

Most people are not aware that William Shakespeare had an older brother, Shlomo, who was also a playwrite, but who never achieved the success of his younger sibling.

One of Shlomo's better efforts was his play "MacSnerd." In one scene from this play, Lady MacSnerd, the queen of Scotland, is confronting the castle mutt after he had committed an indiscretion on the floor of the great hall. In her indignation, she pointed forcefully toward the front door and shouted, "Out, out, dadgummed Spot." Somehow, the scene just did not come off very well, and the play, like all his others, was not a success.

Question: What is the significance of the number 137596?

It was the private investigator's license number of Sam Spade on the radio program.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Proof of guilt

People often forget that the U. S. judicial system does not deal in guilt or innocence. It deals only with proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or the lack of that proof.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Soap in shower stalls

Hostesses, please remember that old men very often are far-sighted and cannot read fine print up close, but it is downright inconvenient to wear glasses in the shower. Thus, when you go into the shower stall and there is no bar of soap, only bottles containing unknown liquids, it is hard to know if you are about to apply shampoo, conditioner, body wash, or some other substance. On the other hand, a plain, old-fashioned bar of soap is hard to mistake.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why is the wife of the Governor not called the Governess?
Who said this:

"Hello, Joe? Al. Got a problem!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hollywood attempts at Southern accents stick out like sore thumbs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A good description of me - from Fibber and Molly: "He has less taste than a night club salad."

Difference between the major parties on health care

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MAJOR PARTIES ON HEALTH CARE:

Democrats' approach: A man comes into the emergency room with a hangnail. The doctor prescribes half a million dollars of tests to determine the cause and puts the patient on three kinds of expensive medicines. Finally extensive surgery is done to repair the subcutaneous structure of the finger. Democrats say that the government should pay for all of this since he should have the same access to health care as any other person.

Republicans' approach: A man lies at the door of the emergency room in a pool of blood from a life-threatening wound. The Republican steps carefully past him and says, "Lie there and die. See if I care. It isn't my fault that you aren't rich enough to afford health care."

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Standard procedure when I was in grade school was to fold up all papers that were returned to me after they were graded, stick them in my hip pocket, and take them home to Mama.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Not guilty

It is significant that our American judicial system only pronounces a man "not guilty" if he is not convicted of a crime. There is no positive statement of his righteousness, only a negative statement regarding his guilt. But in the court of heaven the verdict must be "righteous" if we are to see God's face in peace.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Halls of Ivy radio show

On the Halls of Ivy radio show, Benita Colman (Mrs. Ronald Colman) was to him as Costello was to Abbott - but in a very intellectual manner. It was a very well-written and entertaining program, but you had to have just a little acquaintance with academic topics to appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More about the deficit

Both major political parties are WRONG and grossly negligent in the current deficit reduction squabble. In the first place, we should not be talking about deficit reduction, but DEBT reduction, which means we would have to run substantial surpluses for a long time.

Democrats don't care about the deficit; they only care about having enough to spend on their programs. Republicans don't care about the deficit; they only care about keeping taxes low for business.

The truth is that we are going to have to maximize revenue and minimize costs for a LONG time to pay the debts that we have incurred. And we are morally obligated to pay our debts - but no one seems to be in the least concerned that we do.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Speak loudly

It is interesting to listen to the speech of someone who lives with a person who is hard of hearing. Generally at a high volume.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Generally speaking, to learn about famous people is to learn about sleeze in one form or another. There are exceptions, but not enough to notice.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Toyota

Toyota. We Americans tend to pronounce it TOY-OTA, but I am guessing that with the Japanese it is TO-YO-TA.

Jack Benny and the Colmans

Two of the all-time funniest Jack Benny episodes were the one where he goes to eat at the Macombo (sp?) with the Ronald Colmans, and when he is sick and the veterinarian comes to see him. In both cases Frank Nelson is the "opponent," and their exchanges were hilarious.
I don't know who did the band arrangements for the later Sinatra songs, but they were outstanding. Good examples are "New York, New York," and "I've Got You Under My Skin." Frank's voice had taken on a deeper, rougher tone, and it fitted the gutsy, belting arrangments just right.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Interesting Gunsmoke comparison from a message board

"It is a very tough call between Dragnet and Gunsmoke, but I guess the incredible sound effects and the high quality writing, along with the talented cast of regular and guest supporting actors give Gunsmoke a decided edge in my own humble opinion. William Conrad had such a wonderful voice for radio and he also was a better actor in every respect than James Arness. Conrad's only drawbacks to playing Marshal Matt Dillon in the television version of Gunsmoke were his height and especially weight. Many people probably don't even know that he was a fighter pilot in World War II. He made the role of Matt Dillon his own on radio and I don't think Arness could ever have held a candle to him. I have watched the t.v. series many times for years before ever hearing the radio version and I definitely think the radio version is far superior in every respect."

Friday, June 03, 2011

Parley Baer

Parley Baer (Chester on the radio Gunsmoke and the mayor on Andy Griffith) was evidently a regular on the Tales of the Texas Rangers radio show playing the sheriff. Since the scene changed each week, he was a different sheriff each week, but he and Joel McCrea (Ranger Jase Pearson) were a standard team on the show.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Betty Lou Gerson, who was the voice of Cruella DeVille, was a very active radio actress, usually playing a glamorous female opposite a detective.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I love to listen to the sounds of a scuffle on the old radio shows. I am sure the sound effects men had a great time doing that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The expression "spats and Homburg" is very common in old radio shows. I am curious why that particular style of hat was supposed to go with spats.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If you feel your mental capabilities diminishing, don't be surprised. Keep in mind that electronic devices are made to keep you from having to think or to remember.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The inimitable Treacher

If you have never seen an Arthur Treacher movie, you have missed a real treat. He perfected the aristocratic British sneer, in a comical way.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Many of the 5-part Johnny Dollar stories that we love so much were expanded versions of episodes that had already been broadcast on the program in previous years.
Magazine Rattlers 2nd in the state track meet.
I really enjoy those great old Dangerous Assignment radio shows. Brian Donleavy just fit the part.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

As one of my old co-workers used to say, "I work just like I get paid: once every two weeks, and very little at that."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tom Conway

I have enjoyed Tom Conway's acting, both on radio shows and old movies. He was of British extraction, but his accent always seemed to me not to be overly British. Almost like blue-blood Boston.
If, in protecting our freedoms, we lose our freedoms, what have we gained? If, in order to protect our country, we have to give up our bills of rights, what have we gained. Liberty has its risks.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Benita Hume on The Halls of Ivy

Benita Hume (Mrs. Ronald Colman) was the one who really made The Halls of Ivy into the thoroughly enjoyable radio show it was.

Dr. Hall's memories

One of the nicest effects on old radio shows was when Dr. Hall (Halls of Ivy) would get lost in his remembrances of the past and his wife would have to jolt him back to the present.

Charlie Chan movies

As a Welcome Home present for my wife when she returned home after two weeks service in the NG (New Grandchild), I got here a set of 36 of those great old Charlie Chan movies. Wonderful stuff!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Detectives' fees on old radio shows

It is interesting the variation in private detective's fees on old radio shows. In LA, Philip Marlowe charged $25/day. In New York, Richard Diamond charged $100/day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sunshine - finally!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Did Marshall Dillon ever kiss Miss Kittie on television?

Cut back on emails!

The Man of the Decade is business will be the one who sets up the system to counterract the avalanche of emails. We are GROSSLY overcommunicating. We are so enamored of our tech ability that we are awash in needless information. The cost to business of employees digging through mountains of non-essential communications must be staggering!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We will never balance the budget, and certainly never eliminate the debt, merely by cutting spending. We are also going to have to maximize revenue (keep taxes at a relatively high level). After all, it isn't our money. We already owe it to other people.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Given names are often handed down in a family. For instance, there are four generations of men with Logan as a first name in our family. Just imagine how easy it would be to begin and perpetuate "blue blood" in a family merely by giving a child the first name of "Sir" and handing it down from generation to generation. Simple.
You may not realize it, but it is settled precedent that there is a legal difference between a paper clip and a staple. A paper clip is considered to indicate a temporary attachment, while a staple is assumed to indicate a permanent attachment.

Howard McNear on Nero Wolfe

I am listening to an episode of the Nero Wolfe (detective) radio show, and Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber) is a guest actor. McNear was one of the busiest actors on radio.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A note about The Great Escape

Great Escape. I found on a blog this appreciative note of one of my favorite scenes in that movie: I have just seen "The Great Escape" once again (well, for the 1.000th time...and so far in...mmm...4 languages?? But this is the first time I have ever seen it in English, its original soundtrack. And thus, I have truly enjoyed the wonders of the script.)My favourite character is no doubt Flight Lt. Blythe, played wonderfully by Donald Pleasence. A lovely English birdwatcher that appreciates the little joys of life, such as a cup of tea. He is the one in charge of the paperwork for the would-be fugitives, and loses his sight as the movie reaches the end.Together with James Garner (playing Flight Lt. Hendley) he creates my favourite scene of the movie...the entire quote goes: (he´s preparing some tea and offers a cup to his American fellow who refuses arguing that he has only had it when ill)"Afraid this tea's pathetic. Must have used these wretched leaves about twenty times. It's not that I mind so much. Tea without milk is so uncivilized." *Apparently Donald Pleasence was a prisioner of war himself during WWII.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A key phrase for detectives

One thing you could be sure of on old detective movies and radio shows: if the detective said "Just routine, ma'am," then it definitely was not routine.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Advertising on old radio shows

It was a fairly common practice on radio shows to weave the advertisement into the script. Fibber McGee and Molly was perhaps the most famous example. However, it did seem a little strange to hear episodes of The Falcon, a tough detective, for which Miracle Whip salad dressing was the sponsor for a time. It was a little bizarre to hear a detective and policemen sitting around talking about how good Miracle Whip made their salads taste, as if that were one of their normal topics of conversation.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Qualities for a husband

Where starvation, destitution and violence are commonplace, the qualities that women most desire in a husband are that they are protectors and providers. Sparkling personalities and good looks are then of little importance.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Brian Donlevy - real soldier

Brian Donlevy was the star of the Dangerous Assignment radio show. "No mere Hollywood adventurer, Brian Donlevy's entire Wisconsin Company C, 127th Infantry Regiment, of the 32nd Army Division was awared the Croix de guerre by France for their efforts between 1914 and 1918."

GREAT OLD RADIO SITE

GREAT OLD RADIO SITE: Just press the first letter of the show. Lots of information. http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/DigitalDeliToo/dd2-jukebox-D.html

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Irish policemen

And, of course, all policemen on old radio shows had pronounced Irish accents. Amazing how consistent this stereotype was.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Right behind you

One of the standard gags on radio shows was for someone to be at the point of being shot, and he says to the other fellow, "What about that guy right behind you?" Upon which the guy with the gun says, "You don't think I would fall for that, do you?" But, of course, there really was someone behind him.
It is interesting how you will hear music on one radio show that is also found on another one. For instance, I am now listening to The Falcon, and have heard themes that were used on Tales of the Texas Rangers and also Johnny Dollar.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

My wife is my greatest natural asset. Perhaps 80% of being a good head of a household is to marry a good woman and then have the sense to get out of the way and let her make you a hero.
We are all most grateful for our military protecting America. But it is only right, since America feeds and supplies the military.

We are grateful when our fighting men give their lives for America. However, little is said of the men and women who worked themselves to an early grave in sheer drudgery to provide the food and supplies that the military used.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oppression through technology

It is interesting that technology has played a great part in increasing the freedoms in many countries due to the increased availability of information. However, I trust we can also see its potential for oppression due to the fact that the poor generally do not have access to technology, and in poverty-stricken countries that will make them all that much easier to control. Already in this country the elderly – who do no understand computers – are virtually helpless in many areas of life.

Friday, March 04, 2011

But I must say, in my humble and much-maligned opinion, that the best radio show of all time was Fibber and Molly. Just hard to beat.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Smoking hurt actors' voices

It is painful to listen to the extent to which smoking damaged the voices of actors such as Herbert Marshall, William Gargan and Ken Christy (Chief Gates on The Great Gildersleeve). You can pretty well spot a chain smoker's voice right off.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Cecil B. DeMille said that Jeannette MacDonald could hold a high C for 55 seconds.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old detective movies

OLD DETECTIVE MOVIES

If you have not discovered the various series of detectives movies made in the period of roughly 1935-1955, you are missing a piece of excellent entertainment – which is quite inexpensive these days, relatively speaking. If you don’t want your kids watching modern day TV, these are a great alternative.

Boston Blackie
The Falcon
The Saint
Mr. Moto
Charlie Chan
Philo Vance
Bulldog Drummond
Torchy Blaine
Mr. Wong
The Thin Man
Michael Shayne
And others less notable, but still very entertaining.
And of course, the epitome of them all – the incomparable Sherlock Holmes series with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

Many of these were later radio shows, and in a few cases also early television series, and there were other great detective radio shows that were never made into movies.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Computers have given people the illusion that they do not have to plan ahead - about anything.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Radio shows without sponsors

One interesting thing that you will occasionally find in old radio shows are those that were run without sponsors - public service announcements where the commercials would have been. These were shows that had not been sold (yet) to sponsors, but that the networks thought were air-worthy, so they took a chance.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Speak Southern, and get ahead

I have noticed that people from the rural South will often use an exaggerated accent when dealing with people from the North. There probably is a good reason for this. Yankees often assume that people with an exaggerated Southern accent are less intelligent than they really are; and when someone things you are less intelligent than you are, you immediately have an advantge over that person.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boston Blackie and Dangerous Assignment on TV

The wife and I have have a few old television series that were also old radio series. Cases in point are Boston Blackie and Dangerous Assignment. It is interesting how often the episodes that were heard on radio later on were used almost vertabim on TV.

Friday, February 11, 2011

One part of Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar gets played ad nauseum at graduations, so that most people think of it only as a hide-bound, somewhat boring, piece of music. If you listen to the entire piece, however, you will discover that is an interesting number and deserves a better fate than it has had.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If any of you want to get started as Old Radio Show fans, just let us know. They are great fun.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rule #1 of the Radio Private Investigator's Union: You must get knocked out at least once per program.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gerald Mohr was a busy man on radio. He appeared on all sorts of programs, as well as being the star of Philip Marlowe.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The actor in "The Fat Man" radio detective show was J. Scott Smart, who was described as having a "subterranean voice."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

We are so accustomed to acting in an electronic medium that today we perhaps do not fully appreciate the skill that goes into acting in which only one element of protrayal. Silent films required motion to get the idea across - and thus in the earliest day of talkies the actors seemed to be over-acting because they had not yet shed the motions necessary to in the silent films. We laugh at silent films, but seldom appreciate the skill that was needed to act in that manner. In like manner on old radio shows, the motions and facial expressions could not be seen, so all that had to be conveyed by voice and sound effects. It took different skills, and in our very narrow modern view of things, we depreciate those skills.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Convenient rhyming

Isn't it convenient for poets that certain words rhyme:
heart and apart
charms and arms
etc, etc