Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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12/22/2010


A Great Voice Silenced: Fred Foy, Lone Ranger Announcer

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 4:50 pm

From our friend Terry Salomonson comes this sad news:

~ December 22, 2010 ~

Fred Foy died this morning at his home in Woburn, MA, at the age of 89.

Best known for his narration of The Lone Ranger, radio historian Jim Harmon described Foy as “the announcer, perhaps the greatest announcer-narrator in the history of radio drama.” His stentorian delivery of the program’s lead-in thrilled his audience for years and helped the program achieve even greater popularity and status. Most radio historians agree that Foy’s Lone Ranger introduction is the most recognized opening in American radio:

Hi-Yo, Silver! A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-Yo Silver”… The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early Western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again!

Fred Foy is survived by his wife of 63 years, Frances B. Foy; three children including Nancy Foy, VP Feature Casting, 20th Century Fox; Wendy Foy Griffis; and Fritz Foy, SRVP Digital Publishing, Macmillan; sons-in-law actor Joe d’Angerio; Dan Griffis; daughter-in-law Laurie Hriszko Foy; and three grandchildren, Justin Cutietta, Hannah d’Angerio, and Nathaniel Foy.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the USO in honor of Mr. Foy’s military service in WW II.

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12/16/2010


Blake Edwards, a Master of Film Comedy and Farce, Dies at 88

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 9:25 pm

From The NEw York Times: Blake Edwards, a Master of Film Comedy and Farce, Dies at 88

From the article: “In the late 1940s, having switched to writing, he created the ‘Richard Diamond’ radio series, which starred Dick Powell as a lighthearted detective.”

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11/30/2010


First Flier for the 2011 Cincinnati Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 12:40 pm

Received this morning from Bob Burchett the first flier for next May’s Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Details within.

icon for podpress  First Flier for the 2011 Cincinnati Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention: Download

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11/13/2010


Two Television Shows You Haven’t Seen, But Should

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 5:32 pm

While I’m feeling under-the-weather and avoiding client visits to keep from spreading this d*mned cold, I thought I’d review two television programs you probably haven’t seen, and strongly suggest you expend the energy to seek them out. Both are “foreign” programs (that is, produced outside the United States), and both are well worth the trouble it takes to find and watch them. Reviews and photos from first the drama This is Not My Life, then the comedy Men with Brooms after the jump.
(more…)

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10/29/2010


‘Hawaii Five-0′ actor James MacArthur dies

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 10:01 am

From NBC: ‘Hawaii Five-0′ actor James MacArthur dies

Depressing, especially after the recent “reboot” so screwed-up the original mythology. I really, truly, hate the lack of imagination being shown by today’s television and film industry.

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9/14/2010


Obituary: Harold Gould dies at 86; veteran character actor

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 10:24 am

From the Los Angeles Times: Obituary: Harold Gould dies at 86; veteran character actor

Mr. Gould has been a guest of the Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention.

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9/7/2010


I’m Looking for a New Set-Top Media Player…

Filed under: General, Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:09 pm

If anyone has suggestions for a new high-definition media player, I’d really appreciate a post in the comments section. I’ve been using a WDTV player, but after barely two years Western Digital has decided to end-of-life the first-generation player (that means they’ve arbitrarily decided they will not release additional firmware updates). This constitutes a refusal to fix all of the bugs and problems the unit has, and obviously doesn’t bode well for the later versions of the device - I mean, if this company thinks I’m going to spend a hundred or two every two years just to get a more modern bug-riddled device (the current top-of-the-line WDTV Live has pretty severe problems detailed on WD’s “support” forums), they have another think coming.

Indeed, it’s unlikely I’ll ever purchase one of their hard drives either, I am so disgusted with such a short product “retirement…” it might be different if I was expecting additional features, but I’m not; I only want the bugs in the programming fixed so the device finally functions as they promised when I purchased the thing.

Ah, well…if anyone knows another device that can play back HD videos in various formats, and is backed by a company who supports the product longer than literally mere months after discontinuing the product from sales, please let me know.

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7/23/2010


Daniel Schorr dies at 93

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:13 pm

Veteran journalist Daniel Schorr, whose hard-hitting reporting got him on Nixon’s ‘enemies list’ in the 1970s, dies at 93. More as I find it.

Edit: The New York Times obit.

Edit: For those who missed it, my trip to Politics and Prose to meet Mr. Schorr (includes photos and a short cell-phone video).

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5/29/2010


‘FlashForward’ series finale one of the worst in TV history

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 9:16 pm

From the New York Daily News: ‘FlashForward’ series finale is one of the worst in TV history

From the article by David Hinckley, a great friend to radio as well as television: “That would be the finale of ‘FlashForward,’ which finished its season and its life on ABC Thursday with a collage of events that made less sense than my 12th grade calculus class, Lindsay Lohan’s behavior and 270-pound men in Speedos.”

Just watched it. Brannon Braga. ‘Nuff said.

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‘Easy Rider’ actor Dennis Hopper dies

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 2:19 pm

From CNN: ‘Easy Rider’ actor Dennis Hopper dies

From the article: “Dennis Hopper, the one-time Hollywood enfant terrible who portrayed such indelible characters as ‘Easy Rider’s’ biker Billy, ‘Blue Velvet’s’ huffing villain Frank Booth and ‘Hoosiers'’ forlorn Shooter Flatch, died of prostate cancer Saturday morning at his home in Venice, California, his wife said. He was 74.”

After having recently mourned the death of the TV series 24, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mr. Hopper’s villainous character Victor Drazen was killed by Jack Bauer in the very first season of the series.

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5/26/2010


Art Linkletter, TV Host, Dies at 97

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 4:42 pm

From The New York Times: Art Linkletter, TV Host, Dies at 97

From the article: “Art Linkletter, whose ‘People Are Funny’ and ‘House Party’ shows entertained millions of TV viewers in the 1950s and ’60s with the funny side of ordinary folks and who remained active as a writer and speaker through his ninth decade, died Wednesday. He was 97.”

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5/24/2010


What (or rather who) killed 24

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 6:33 pm
The death of Jack Bauer
Unfortunately, in this case I have no one to blame but myself…here Jack is killed attempting to fight off a helicopter filled with bad guys from 24: The Game.

As many of my friends know, I was a great fan of the television series 24, even putting up with much of the nonsense dished out by the writers over the years. But this year, I have to admit, I am rather glad 24 has ended. So let me give a very brief obituary and lay some considerable blame for the death of a once-proud and now embarrassing television program.

I distinctly remember watching the first episode many years ago…I had heard about the “real-time” conceit, and remember thinking that the show would either be very good, or very stupid. I watched the first episode in real-time (something I haven’t always done), and at the 1:00 am stroke realized I was, quite literally, sitting on the edge of my chair. No other television program has, before or since, done that to me. I looked at my wife, and said something intelligent, like, “Wow.”

That first season kept me spell-bound, even while allowing me to realize how the writers worked. This has been consistent over every season, good or bad…come up with an idea to kick-start the season about six episodes long, then flounder along for the next twelve episodes putting up straw men to knock over until finally coming up with the endgame, which would run four or five episodes. I have complained in this space before that it would have made a lot more sense to actually come up with the plot for the entire season before writing the first word, but that seems to have been consistently too much for the writing staff. (Before you say “It’s impossible to come up with an entire day before writing,” let me briefly mention the series of books available at your local bookstore which do exactly that. I’ve only read one, and that was…an ok read while not spectacular, but these books show it actually is possible for even journeyman writers to devise a plot that unfolds within the course of a twenty-four hour day. So why can’t the ridiculously-paid writing staff of 24?)
(more…)

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5/10/2010


MPAA Successfully Kills TVs Record Button

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 7:42 am

From ZeroPaid: MPAA Successfully Kills TVs Record Button

While this site clearly has a position to push (and the articles are generally filled with typos and grammatical errors), it’s still important to read this, since legitimate outlets don’t seem to be covering it; the FCC is granting a, “limited waiver of the prohibition on disabling audio-visual outputs.” Basically, the long-dead “Broadcast Flag” has reared its ugly head once again.

Of course, this won’t bother the pirates, who watch movies from grainy camcorder copies…it will only interfere with your ability to time-shift content. And while the scope appears to be narrow at the moment, we all know it will gradually expand.

It’s a shame the regulators of so many things in this country have forsaken the consumers and so heavily shifted to supporting the industries they are obliged to reign in.

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5/3/2010


Helen Wagner, 91, ‘As the World Turns’ Star, Dies

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 8:45 am

From The New York Times: Helen Wagner, 91, ‘As the World Turns’ Star, Dies

Goodbye, Nancy.

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4/7/2010


Eddie Carroll, 1933-2010

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 12:00 am

Dr. Mike Biel informed me this evening, and the website http://www.eddiecarroll.com/ confirms, that Eddie Carroll, Jack Benny impressionist and the voice of Jimney Jiminy Cricket, died this morning (Tuesday, April 6). The only information I currently have is posted to the above website; additional information, as well as links to published obits, will follow as soon as I get them.


Eddie Carroll and Katie Summers
Go figure; after having had dinner with Eddie and Carolyn Carroll the evening before, and interviewing him, she suddenly got shy asking him for an autograph.

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4/2/2010


John Forsythe, ‘Dynasty’ Actor, Is Dead at 92

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 3:59 pm

From The New York Times: John Forsythe, ‘Dynasty’ Actor, Is Dead at 92

Yes, well, some of us are old enough to remember “Bachelor Father…”

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3/24/2010


Actor Robert Culp Dead

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television — Charlie Summers @ 5:49 pm

From the Washington Post’s Post Mortem blog: Actor Robert Culp Dead

From the article: “Actor Robert Culp, 79, best known for his work in television’s ‘I Spy’ in the 1960s and more recently in ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ died this morning after a fall at his Hollywood home, authorities said.”

For the wonderfulness of himself…if I can find it, I’ll run his old-radio debut on the podcast.

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3/18/2010


‘Davy Crockett’ Star Fess Parker Dies at 85

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 4:47 pm

From The New York Times: ‘Davy Crockett’ Star Fess Parker Dies at 85

Fess Parker, the actor best known for playing the American folk hero Davy Crockett, has died at the age of 85, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Edit: A more detailed obit.

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The BBC, and all networks, are misguided

Filed under: General, Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:19 pm

This is just a quick little story; the BBC had a news program (I should say programme) on I wanted to see. I went to the BBC website, which informed me I couldn’t, since they only allow streaming to computers within the UK. Now I could have found a proxy in the UK that would let me pretend to be within the country, but I said “the heck with it,” went to the newsgroups, found a cap of the program, downloaded it, and watched it.

Who wins? No one. I had to perform a mildly improper act just to watch a program I should have been able to see directly from the provider. And other networks are equally narrow-sighted, locking out whoever they wish without seeing that on the Internet, one can always find what one is looking for. I mean, c’mon, how many folks in the UK watch our drama series right after they air here instead of waiting until their country deigns to run the show. Do they think denying access really stops anyone who wants to see the latest episode of House or Heroes?

Look, this is really simple. Media companies can either make it easy for us to watch their programming, or we’ll find another way, one over which they have no control. Putting up roadblocks just encourages us to find a more direct route to the same target.

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3/14/2010


Peter Graves, ‘Mission - Impossible’ Star, Dies at 83

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 11:43 pm

From The New York Times: Peter Graves, ‘Mission - Impossible’ Star, Dies at 83

“Good luck, Jim.”

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