Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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5/27/2008


Your Radio Almanac - May 31, 1944

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 5:54 pm

I got an early Christmas present from Jerry Haendiges, of The Vintage Radio Place. He sent some programs, suggesting I “broadcast” some here…thing is, many of the programs he sent I’d never heard, and some I’ve never heard of, even as long as I’ve been in the hobby. So over the next several months I’m going to run some of the shows he sent in low-bandwidth MP3 format - even at 32kbps mono, these shows are some of the best-sounding shows you’ll hear. But remember for even better sound, these shows (and a few bazillion others) may be purchased from Jerry in either audio CD format, or ultra-high-quality MP3 format.

Here’s a show with almost as many names as there are surviving episodes - while generally referenced as Your Radio Almanac or Orson Welles’ Almanac, Welles himself calls it the Mercury Wonder Show. John Dunning, in his tome On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, reports that Welles was fascinated with the variety show concept throughout much of the early 1940’s. The show you will hear is from the second incarnation of the Almanac format, from May 31, 1944, sponsored by Mobil Gas and Mobil Oil, with guest star Marjorie Reynolds. This episode originates at the 6th Ferrying Group, Ferrying Division, of the Air Transport Command at Long Beach, California and features an almost painfully funny satire of the contemporarily-running episode of Suspense starring Mr. Welles, “Donovan’s Brain.”

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Your Radio Almanac - May 31, 1944 [32:26m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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5/25/2008


Say Goodnight, Dick…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:52 pm

From The New York Times (requires registration): Dick Martin, Who Rode ‘Laugh-In’ to Fame, Dies at 86

At the end of each episode of Laugh-In, Dan Rowan would say, “Say goodnight, Dick,” to which Mr. Martin would respond, “Goodnight, Dick.” It was this routine that has a generation convinced that when George Burnes said to Gracie, “Say goodnight, Gracie,” she replied, “Goodnight, Gracie.” Of course, she never did, instead simply responding with a sweet, “Goodnight…”

Anyway, Dick Martin was a funny, funny man, and the world got just a little less interesting with his passing.

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5/22/2008


Voice-Over Talent…

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 3:44 pm

Catching up on the last few weeks, I was listening to Bob Edwards interview Lainie Cooke; while she was over-intellectualizing voice-over work (with all of her “varied” spots sounding pretty much the same, frankly), I suddenly started laughing. I swear to you, I heard the voice of the late Jackson Beck in my head, growling “Aw, just read the damned copy, and try not to screw up the words.”

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5/21/2008


Books…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 6:11 am

If anything can be said to be “good” about spending a lot of time in waiting rooms, it’s that one can at least catch up on some reading. I have a stack of things to read, many purchased because I heard about them or their author on The Bob Edwards Show, but normally I don’t have a lot of time to indulge in pleasure-reading. Sitting in a waiting room, however, changes that equation, giving one time to do little else.

So I’ve been catching up a lot. Some of the books have been mind-blowing reads (Mike Wallace’s Between You and Me: A Memoir, a look at interviews conducted over an amazing career written in a highly-accessible and mildly self-depreciating style - only problem with this book is I couldn’t watch the included DVD in a waiting room, so I still haven’t seen it), while others have been bitter disappointments (Andrew Smith’s Moondust: In Search of the Men who Fell to Earth; it’s bad enough the guy interviewed the men who went on the most amazing journey in man’s history and still managed the hubris to make it all about his own uninteresting thoughts, but I kept tripping over simple factual errors in the narrative, errors that would have taken but a few moments of research to correct, calling the accuracy of the book’s quotations into question), but all of them have wiled away time otherwise wasted.

Now that Annie’s home, I won’t have quite as much time to indulge myself in reading. But at least I’ll be able to catch up on my email…

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5/14/2008


All Goes According to Plan…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 8:22 pm

For those who have asked (he, he…and for those who haven’t), Annie’s doing fine after her surgery. Tumor’s gone, and she has the finest of tubes sticking out of her leg into which they will be, bright and early tomorrow morning, sticking in radioactive seeds to with luck kill off any residual cells. She’s a little loopy this evening (”better living through chemistry!”), but came through the surgery with no complications whatsoever.

Thanks, Bill. Again.

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5/13/2008


Nick Harris, Detective - The Female Ogre

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:42 am

An episode of this series, discussed on the Internet OTR Digest, titled “The Female Ogre” from April 7, 1940. For amazingly complete information on the series, see the Digest…on a personal note, I was a little surprised at the…roughness of the production. While not a terrible series, it did seem a little…er…slapdash around the edges.

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Nick Harris, Detective - The Female Ogre [13:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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5/10/2008


An Added Level of Difficulty

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 4:53 am

As if things weren’t interesting enough around here, now I’m sick, with a “childhood illness” called Fifth Disease. While it sounds really impressive (”the whole way up to five?”), it’s basically a flu-like thing caused by a parvovirus. I’m a little surprised I got it, since that implies I’ve never had it before (remember, I’m from the generation where measles, mumps, and chicken pox were considered a normal part of childhood, not deadly diseases to be avoided by delivering partial immunity and pharmaceutical company profits), but it couldn’t have come at a worse time, what with Annie’s upcoming surgery and all.

It has slowed me down pretty well (the migrating joint pain is really uncomfortable, particularly in the evenings, and last night it hit my hands so hard I couldn’t type), so expect me to take a bit more time handling questions or problems. This of course comes on top of the expected slowdown with Annie’s upcoming stay in hospital (I cannot tell you how embarrassing it is to need help getting out of bed from someone who actually has a serious illness), so accept my apologies ahead of time, and thanks for your understanding.

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5/6/2008


Empire Builders - James J. Hill

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 5:14 pm

As recently discussed on the Internet OTR Digest, here is one of the nine surviving episodes of Empire Builders, sponsored by the Great Northern Railroad and according to Elizabeth McLeod’s Documenting Early Radio page, discovered in the mid-1980s in their corporate archives. This episode, “James J. Hill,” aired February 2, 1931.

Our thanks to both Ken Stockinger and Jim Widner for providing the copies of these historical programs for the podcast!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Empire Builders - James J. Hill [29:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Bob and…er…Bob

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 9:52 am

After listening to Bob Edwards interview Bob Elliott this morning on The Bob Edwards Show on XM Satellite Radio, I was going to post an article talking about the great team of Bob and Ray. But I realized I don’t have to; for those who love Old-Time Radio, Bob and Ray are no strangers, and for those who want to learn more, Bob Edwards has already written a fine article which can serve as an introduction for those few poor enough to never have laughed at this pair.

To hear the interview, hit XM OnLine and sign up for a free sample account and tune to XM channel 133, any time until tomorrow morning at 8:00am eastern, and all weekend long every fifth hour.

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