Monday, February 06, 2006

More Radio...

From Stephen Marlowe:

Hi Ed
    I was weaned way back in the late 1930s on Jack Armstrong, fifteen minutes five days a week. It started out being a sort of highschool adventure series, but soon went exotic when the eponymous hero would join his friends Billy and Betty, who were brother and sister, on adventurous missions to exotic places in far corners of the world with their globe-trotting Uncle Jim. To an impressionable would-be writer and pre-teenager the program was irresistable, You could save boxtops of the sponsoring breakfast cereal too and with them and a dime claim what seemed like exotic gifts for which, you searched the postbox every day as soon as you sent away for them. I read a few years ago that not a single radio script of Jack Armstrong remains anywhere, not one. Along with the program itself, they just vanished--as if neither the radio serial itseslf nor the writers who wrote the scripts ever existed. Sic transit gloria mundi...

    I was also hooked on a thrice-weekly half-hour-a-go serial called I Love a Mystery, but that's another story. 

     And it is worth mentioning that one of the best--if not the very best--short story writtren by Irwin Shaw was MAIN CURRENTS OF AMERICAN THOUGHT, whose protagonist was a young writer during the Depression who gave up his youth to support his parents and sister by grinding out radio serials.A very powerful story.


From Elizabeth Foxwell

I regularly broadcast old-time mystery radio shows as part of my weekly radio show "It's a Mystery" (Mondays at 11A ET, These are usually tied to an author's birthday; today's, for example, is part 2 of "Strangers on a Train" with Ray Milland and Ruth Roman (in honor of Patricia Highsmith's recent birthday). And speaking of Bob & Ray, last week I played a snippet of "The Adventures of Sherlock Sage," which was their fairly insane version of Sherlock Holmes. I've also played Stan Freberg's famous send-up of "Dragnet" ("St. George and the Dragonet") and a bit called "Sam Shovel, Private Eye."

Coming up in March..."Sorry, Wrong Number," in honor of Lucille Fletcher's birthday.

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Blogger James Reasoner said...

Irwin Shaw's "Main Currents of American Thought", which Stephen Marlowe mentions above, is probably my favorite short story of all time. I reread it at least once a year.

9:19 PM  
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2:36 AM  
Blogger Stephen D. Rogers said...


If you DO decide to rent some DVDs, you might enjoy "Bob and Ray, Jane, Laraine, and Gilda" (1989?), a special that ran instead of Saturday Night Live once featuring Bob and Ray and the ladies of SNL. And the komodo dragon.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Foxwell said...

The SNL special also features the Bob and Ray Spelling Bee, and Bob and Ray's immortal rendition of "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

5:35 AM  
Blogger Stephen D. Rogers said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Stephen D. Rogers said...

I'd forgotten about the spelling bee. (And in the deleted post, how to spell it.)

7:37 AM  

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