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Archive for the ‘Serials’ Category

Happy Birthday, Paul Frees!

“Paul Frees is EVERYWHERE!”  A cartoonist of my acquaintance adopted that statement as both a personal mantra and a tribute to the man born Solomon Hersh Frees in Chicago on this date in 1920.  For a time during the 50s/60s/70s, it was nigh impossible to sit through a movie or TV episode without hearing Frees’ […]

“He hunts the biggest of all game! Public enemies who try to destroy our America!”

In the annals of radio broadcasting, Detroit, Michigan’s WXYZ was a truly remarkable station. It would introduce one of the medium’s larger-than-life heroes (and a genuine pop culture icon) in The Lone Ranger in 1933. Ten years later, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (described by more than a few as “The Lone Ranger on ice”) […]

Happy Birthday, Wyllis Cooper!

Radio writer and playwright Arch Oboler once had these words of praise for the man he would eventually replace as the mind behind the mayhem that fueled the horror series Lights Out: “Radio drama (as distinguished from theatre plays boiled down to kilocycle size) began at midnight, in the middle thirties, on one of the […]

”The only national program that brings you authentic police case histories…”

Radio’s resident “crime buster” was inarguably director-producer-writer Philips H. Lord, who gravitated to creating crime-themed programs. Perhaps the fate met by his first success over the airwaves, a folksy drama entitled Seth Parker, pushed him in that direction. That series became the victim of a publicity stunt gone awry (involving a schooner that wound up […]

Happy Birthday, Shirley Mitchell!

With the celebration of her ninety-fourth birthday today, actress Shirley Mitchell is the last surviving recurring cast member of I Love Lucy.  Couch potatoes remember Shirley as Lucy Ricardo’s pal Marion Strong, the women’s club colleague whose distinctive laugh prompted Lucy (in the episode “Lucy Tells the Truth”) to offer up the verbal smackdown: “Stop […]

Happy Birthday, Gerald Mohr!

Veteran actor Gerald Mohr was born 99 years ago on this date.  Before his premature death in 1968, at the age of 54, Mohr left behind an amazing legacy of work in movies, TV…and old-time radio.  He had one of the most distinctive voices on radio—and, audiences today can still listen to him emote as […]

Happy Birthday, Al Hodge!

The Ravenna, Ohio native born on this date 101 years ago had no way of knowing he would take on two acting jobs that would make him a hero to millions of kids glued to both radio and early TV screens.  But, that’s exactly what happened to Albert E. “Al” Hodge when he took a […]

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear

  Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion for justice…and you only need to look back eighty years ago on this date in 1933 to find the debut of one of radio’s legendary heroes and a true pop culture icon.  When The Lone Ranger made its first appearance over WXYZ […]