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Archive for the ‘Radio variety’ Category

Happy Birthday, Marian Jordan!

On a cold December night in 1915, young Marian Driscoll—born on this date in Peoria, Illinois in 1898—had no idea that after that evening’s choir practice at St. John’s Catholic Church, a lively jig that she danced during a “social period” would attract the attention of a young man named James Jordan.  Jim became quite […]

Happy Birthday, Lou Merrill!

An item in the September 25, 1939 edition of The Van Nuys News trumpets the motion picture debut of actor Louis Merrill—born in Winnipeg, Canada on this date in 1912.  The blurb is a little hyperbolic; Lou had previously appeared (uncredited) in the 1938 cliffhanger serial Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars. In addition, his voice had been heard as the […]

Happy Birthday, Jerry Lewis!

August 20, 2017 was for many fans of comedy a day to weep…not laugh.  The man born Joseph Levitch (though other sources report his name as Jerome) in Newark, NJ on this date in 1926 had left this world for a better one.  Whether or not you consider yourself a fan, it’s inarguable that Jerry Lewis made incalculably important contributions […]

Happy Birthday, Pat McGeehan!

Patrick Joseph McGeehan—born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on this date in 1907—enjoyed a long and fruitful association with comedian Red Skelton.  He joined Red’s radio program as an announcer in the fall of 1943 and, though he would eventually take a back seat to Rod O’Connor as Red’s foil, McGeehan was still on hand as an assistant announcer…plus he […]

Happy Birthday, Louise Erickson!

Actress Louise Erickson—born in Oakland, California on this date in 1928—becomes a nonagenarian today…and we at Radio Spirits couldn’t be more excited about celebrating the occasion.  In the 1940s, Louise was one of the “go-to” thespians whenever the role of a teenage girl needed to be played on radio…and from 1943 to 1950, she would […]

Happy Birthday, Robert Young!

During his lengthy career in show business, Robert George Young—born on this date in 1907—cultivated a characteristic that’s best described in one word: dependable.  He was a reliable leading man for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during the 1930s and early ‘40s, accepting any role that came his way (even if a good many of the films he graced were B-pictures).  He would later dominate the […]

Happy Birthday, William Johnstone!

Old-time radio fans know that when Orson Welles made the decision to abandon his role as Lamont Cranston (aka The Shadow) and go on to better things (scaring the daylights out of listeners on Halloween, for example), actor William Llewellyn Johnstone was there to take his place as the “wealthy young man-about-town.” Johnstone, born in New […]

Happy Birthday, Dan Duryea!

“He was Dark City’s most enchanting villain,” writes author/Turner Classic Movies personality Eddie Muller in his essential reference Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, “the man audiences loved to hate.”  Muller is talking about actor Dan Duryea, once described by movie critic Paul Gaita as “the go-to for malevolent supporting roles in Westerns and […]