Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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August 2005
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Bob Mitchell on Bob Edwards…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 9:22 am

Talk about the show on

On this morning’s The Bob Edwards Show on XM Satellite Radio, one of his guests is Bob Mitchell, billed as an organist for silent pictures. Of course, OTR folks know him as the organist for many OTR shows, including Howard Culver’s poetry-reading program, A Joy Forever.

It’s an interesting interview; if you have XM, check it out on the online service anytime today, and again in rotation this weekend.

If you’d like to hear Bob Mitchell at the organ, check out this recording; it was provided by our good friend Lois Culver, and was one side of a red promotional 45-rpm record given away around Christmas-time by KFI Los Angeles to promote A Joy Forever. Howard Culver reads The Christmas Story, with Bob Mitchell on the organ.

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Prison Break Premiers Tonight…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:13 am

I’ve been running really behind all summer long, and so I never got this program properly reviewed. But let me briefly say that, even for all its flaws, this is a show I plan on watching, and I cautiously suggest you do the same. Whether or not the writers can keep me interested I can’t predict, but I enjoyed the pilot episode enough that I’m going to give this one a shot. It isn’t perfect, and can be annoying at times, but there’s enough good stuff here to at least give it a try.

Maybe sometime this week I can catch up on reviewing some of the other series that will be premiering later this month…

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Old-Time Radio Stars in the Movies…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television — Charlie Summers @ 4:26 pm

Margot Stevenson as Sue

Our friend Anthony Tollin posted to the Internet OTR Digest yesterday about a film running on Turner Classic Movies (which is everything American Movie Classics used to be before they decide to lobotomize themselves). The George Raft film Invisible Stripes with a young second-tier-credited actor named Humphrey Bogart aired this morning, featuring Margo Stevenson, the woman for whom the character of, “the lovely Margot Lane” was named and who portrayed that role opposite Orson Welles in the 1938 summer season of, “The Shadow.” Miss Stevenson will be an honored guest at this year’s 30th Annual Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention this October.

Frankie Thomas as Tommy

But she is not the only OTR star featured in this film that will be attending this year’s convention; Tommy McNeill, the stockboy who befriends Raft’s character, is portrayed by none other than “Tom Corbett” himself, Frankie Thomas, who will also be attending the convention this year.

Why not join them?

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One word…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:47 pm

NBC is running an advertisement for The Apprentice: Martha Stewart asking for “One Word to describe…MARTHA.”



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You know, clearly great minds think alike…

Filed under: General, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 3:17 pm

Talk about the show on

I’ve been spending a little time over the last month or so composing a letter to be sent to XMPR, commenting on their programming and the like. The idea was to make it a public letter, mailing it to them and posting it here, so the GM of the channel could comment publically, should he choose.

Part of the message dealt with an idea I had for a weekend show culled from the weekdaily, The Bob Edwards Show. My rationale for a show like this is, in part:

Many stations would snap it up (anything to return the voice of Mr. Edwards to their station), providing a secondary revenue stream to XMPR for the programming while promoting on a weekly basis the XM-exclusive week-daily show and the “XM Nation” itself (through standard production and underwriting credits), and keeping Mr. Edwards front-and-center in the public radio spotlight. This re-use of existing interviews will not dilute the exclusivity of The Bob Edwards Show (at least not nearly as much as that ill-advised arrangement with Audible) while helping to increase the subscriber and listener base. I’m confident at least one of your existing partners, PRI or APM, would be thrilled to distribute this repackaged Bob Edwards’ Weekend…and everybody wins, except maybe a few NPR executives.

So this morning, I read an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel which includes an interview with Edwards where he says, in part:

That might change. We’re talking with Public Radio International with possibly coming up with a weekend version (of my XM program). I might be back on public radio stations and that would be wonderful.

Which only goes to show you…great minds think alike, and mine is usually way behind the other great minds.

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Increase in Viral Emails…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 5:39 pm

Ever since Saturday, there’s been a huge uptick in the number of viral emails coming into the server. It seemed oddly to originate exclusively in Australia, but by Sunday night most of the mails coming in were from various US netblocks.

I’m pretty sure anyone reading this blog has more sense than to click on an attached file they weren’t expecting, but just in case…don’t. Make sure you maintain your anti-viral software (AVG gives theirs away, others are available inexpensively) and update it frequently, and (much as I hate to say it) make sure Microsloth’s “Auto Update” feature is turned ON on home machines (businesses should follow their company’s protocol).

Remember, if you don’t become infected, you can’t send me these bothersome viral emails. ;)

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An Open Response to Richard Eiswerth…

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 2:49 pm

The President, General Manager & CEO (what, this is the best they can do for all of these positions? lord, they are worse off than I thought…) of Cincinnati Public Radio keeps annoying the hell out of me; every time anything is posted to the Internet OTR Digest about the demise of Cincinnati’s WVXU, this public-relations-deprived lightweight emails me…honest to goodness, I can understand why he’s so despised; the guy actually goes out of his way to alienate people he doesn’t even know, so imagine how he rubs those who have to deal with him. This morning, though, it was in response to a comment I made.

I cannot post his comments, of course (it’s terrible netiquette to post publically a private communications without permission), but I can post my response. And just so we’re clear, the server will immediately delete any posted comment from the State of Ohio Network (the entire B-block), so don’t waste your time. This isn’t a debate; you don’t like it, get your own blog.

(*sigh*) And you wonder why I am so distainful of what National Public Radio and its member stations have become…

He, he…clearly I bother you enough to bait you into a response, although
as expected not a terribly intelligent one. Nice to know even though you
haven’t the mettle to subscribe to the list yourself, you still have some
grovelling little lap-dog to forward to you any issues that mention your tiny
little fiefdom. I’m curious…how did a vituperative and surly bureaucrat like
you ever rise to the position of CEO of a public radio network? Oh, yeah…guess
I pretty much answered my own question; never mind. My lord, you’re NPR board
material; lose a few million more brain cells, you may be able to take Kevin
Klose’s job.

Consider yourself firewalled; I’ve wasted way too much time with your petty
nonsense. If you ever grow up, let me know. Otherwise, go screw up some other
public radio station and leave me alone.

Charlie Summers

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Dick Cavett on The Bob Edwards Show…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 8:12 am

Talk about the show on

If you have XM Satellite Radio, you need to hear today’s The Bob Edwards Show with guest Dick Cavett. Within the first few minutes, they discuss a voice they both admire, our friend Fred Foy, who will be a guest at the upcoming Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention in Newark, NJ. If you want the chance to hear, live, the most stirring opening in old-time radio (and trust me, people, hearing Fred talk about that, “fiery horse” and its rider is one of the most amazing experience you will ever have), do not miss the 30th annual convention this year!

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A note from Ted Davenport on the OTR Digest…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:12 pm

Our friend Ted Davenport posted this message to the Internet OTR Digest this morning, and I felt it was important enough to post here as well:

Old-X-Envelope-To: <>
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 20:03:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Radio Memories Network
Status: O

It has come to my attention that a radio podcasting website is operating under the name of RADIO MEMORIES. Their official name is the Radio Memories Network, however their logo states simply “Radio Memories”. As most of you know, I have operated my OTR company for tape sales & rentals under the name of RADIO MEMORIES for the past 10 years. I have spent my money and the past decade making RADIO MEMORIES a recognized and trusted name. “Radio Memories Network” is not affiliated with me, nor did they ask my permission to use the name, RADIO MEMORIES. I just wanted as many people as possible to know that I have no connection with what they have done, are doing, or will be doing in the future.

Ted Davenport
Radio Memories

Of course, no one could possibly confuse Ted’s quality with the amateurish low-bandwidth stuff distributed by this “podcaster.” Other than the program hosted by our friend Jim Widner, the output from this “network” has been…less than interesting, to be kind. Most of the shows that come in here are immediately deleted (I only stay subscribed for Jim’s shows; he should disassociate himself from this nonsense and go out on his own.)

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Honest, I Should Have Known Better…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:10 pm

…but no, I see Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar’s episode, “The Flight Six Matter” is on XM Satellite Radio’s AudioClassics channel (programmed by people at MediaBay who have no respect whatsoever for Old-Time Radio), and yep, you guessed it; they hacked up the episodes, alright. So now I need to go back to the reel copies I have instead of screaming at my XM radio…I mean, it isn’t their fault they contracted with oafs with no love for anything but selling Esquire…

But I really need to lock that station out of my new Tao XM2Go (which I will be reviewing in this space soon)…every time I hear their ham-handed editing of excellent programming, I want to scream. Let’s all hope someone with a love for old-time radio begins licensing programming; after all, at the rate the company is going, MediaBay will be folding any time now, and hopefully any company that follows it will have some respect for the programming instead of distain.

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A note to Robert Klein…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:43 am

Talk about the show on

Sorry, gentle reader, this note is for Mr. Klein, the author of “The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue: A Child of the Fifties Looks Back,” who was on The Bob Edwards Show this morning bemoaning children not understanding, “the heft of a book.” Just so you know, sir, as you were speaking those words this morning via tape delay, my seven-year-old daughter was curled on her bed, patiently waiting for me to take her out for breakfast, reading her newest “Judy Bloom” acquisition.

I can’t talk about the rest of society, but my daughter will be able to enjoy your book…once she’s older, I mean.

(To my regular readers - if you have XM Satellite Radio, check out the show this evening at 8:00pm EDT, 5:00 PDT, tomorrow morning at 7:00 am EDT, 4:00 am PDT, or at XM Online anytime throughout today - Mr. Klein is funny, thoughtful, and does such a dead-on impression of the late comic Rodney Dangerfield a tear will come to your eye while you’re laughing your rear off.)

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Am I the only one who’s noticed…

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 8:05 am

Talk about the show on

…that Bob Edwards is no longer mentioning the date at the top of the program? No more, “Welcome to the Bob Edwards Show for Monday, August First…” just a quick “Welcome.” If I were a betting man, I’d think it is to facilitate running the entire program as a “BOB” (”Best of Bob”) later down the road, but I don’t know. Additional conspiracy theories for the “Disappearing Date” would be welcomed. ;)

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Spent a night in the hospital…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 5:30 pm

Last Monday night I spent the night at the Hershey Medical Center. Please understand, this is far from the only night I’ve slept there, but it is the first night I was a patient and not just sleeping on the floor next to my wife. It was an…odd experience; I’m not used to being ill, so I make a really lousy patient, and my current complaint is such that I tend to be a little cranky at the best of times, and sleeping in a hospital is far from the best of times.

But it isn’t Monday or the testing that’s on my mind, but rather Tuesday morning. I was discharged early, so early in fact Cafe Soleil wasn’t yet open (but was getting there). It was a truly bitter-sweet visit, since I knew it would be the last.

Monday evening, when entering the hospital (uncommonly I entered via the “main” lobby next to the er) I saw the brand-spankin-new Starbucks they plopped right in the lobby itself; a place for quiet introspection will become, starting next Monday, yet another annoyingly loud place for crass commerce. Then when passing Cafe Soliel that evening (unable to enjoy anything, what with my firm limits on intake before the tests) I saw that small, sad little handwritten sign, thanking the patrons for their friendships, and noting their last day would be Friday.

Yep, the big guys come in with the bucks, and chase out the indi’s. What’s amusing is that the indi in question used to be a Seattle’s Best, back in the days before Starbucks bought them out and turned them into…well…Starbucks. But back in 1998, that little tiny stand near the vending machines with the pleasant staff and excellent coffee kept me going…while my wife was receiving chemotherapy, and my prematurely-harvested daughter lay in the NICU up on seven, I always knew I could run downstairs and grab a cappuchino (extra shot, thanks) and a smile, and for just a few moments not feel like my entire life was falling apart.

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