A Collection of Unique Old-Time Radio Episodes
- 2020-07-09 00:04:11
- Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.6.4
Subject: amazing and hard to find
Subject: Jane Endicott archives
Thanks , in this case, for giving Jane Endicott a little more exposure.
Actually, both logged and catalogued (see Goldin or Haendiges) episodes of the series have been here in OTRR Internet Archive collections for a while, but were misnamed and misfiled, then renamed without being re-filed.
So you will find her first episode filed under Singles and Doubles A to C, because it previously had an incorrect file name for a different series that begin with B.
The second episode is now filed under Singles and Doubles with the letter J as "Jane Endicott, Girl Bites Dog." A few years ago it was crossed up with a Walter Winchell program, but that apparently has been sorted out.
As a retired journalist and still somewhat functioning media historian, I enjoyed both episodes and wrote a blog post trying to straighten out those filename problems a half dozen years ago. I wish there were more episodes available because it looks like Jane had an interesting career ahead. If episodes to exist, I would love to hear them and write a little bit more about her.
Subject: A Background to the Collection
Each episode has one or more special qualities that qualify it as "unique." "Mayor of the Town" was a series that allowed the great stage and screen actor Lionel Barrymore to reach a radio audience as mayor of Springdale, a small fictional city. The episode in the collection is the first one ever broadcast. The series was successful and ran for a number of years.
"It's Murder" features a rare lady detective who also writes a column for the local newspaper of a small town in Maine.
"Jane Endicott, Reporter" is another program about a young woman who gets a job as a newspaper columnist, in this instance on the Morris "Press-Chronicle." It is a rebroadcast of the very first episode in the series which was aired over the CBS network on January 5, 1942 and is entitled "No Place for a Lady." In the "Historical Dictionary of American Radio Soap Operas" (pp.111-12), Jim Cox notes that the program was so obscure that "most radio historians have missed the series altogether."
The "Our Miss Brooks" audition recording is the first of two of a series that went on to become very popular, running from July 17, 1948 until July 7, 1957. Shirley Booth plays the role of English teacher Connie Brooks, and this episode is very funny. Booth, who later won an Oscar for best actress for her performance in the motion picture "Come Back, Little Sheba" in 1952, was effective in the role of Connie, but Eve Arden made it her own when the series was launched in 1948.
The episode of "My Wildest Dream". a radio quiz show, is the audition recording and was the only one ever produced for a series that didn't make it. It is unique in that respect.
The "Phyl Coe Mysteries" recording is the first one in the series and originally aired on January 29, 1936. Like "It's Murder" and the better known "Candy Matson," it features a lady detective and is entitled "The Case of the Dead Magician." "Phyl Coe Mysteries" was one of at least two series produced under the general title of "Philco Mysteries On the Air."
The episode of "Armchair Traveler" was originally broadcast in 1934 and is described by the announcer as "another Philco syndicated program." The entire episode, except for a couple of Philco commercials, consists of a musical tour of South America, and every station mentioned from which the music has been recorded is short wave.
The episode of "Two On a Clue" is the second of the series and was originally aired over CBS on October 3, 1944 and is entitled "The Case of the Silent Witness." Here we have a husband-wife detective team, Jeff and Debbis Spencer.
The "With Book and Pipe" episode was first aired in 1945 on radio station WPEN and is based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Graveyard Rats." The protagonist is pursued in an underground tunnel by a gruesome, horribly emaciated and disfigured zombie-like corpse, which is definitely frightening to hear. I think this is the only surviving episode of the series which, if that is correct, certainly qualifies it as rare.
The undated episode of "Moving Stories of Life" entitled "Allura's Carnival" is one of only three that survive and is relatively new to circulation, the other two having been available for many years. It is about a gypsy troupe that tours small farming towns in Europe and reminds me of the opening pages of Thomas Hardy's great novel "The Mayor of Casterbridge" in that both have a distinctly rural and 19th-century flavor.
The episode of "The Breakfast Club" was aired on radio station WLS-FM Chicago on September 17, 1968 and begins with the statement that it is "brought to you from the Clouds Room atop the Hotel Allerton on Chicago's Magnificent Mile." In it we learn that Don McNeil will be retiring and the show will end its long run on January 1, 1969. The last episode was in fact aired on December 27, 1968.
For the old-time radio enthusiast an evaluation of the set of programs will eventually be based upon how enjoyable they are to hear. I think most listeners will find them worthwhile, and some may be like discovering buried treasure. For example, the "Our Miss Brooks" audition recording is hilarious in a few places, and the ":Moving Stories of Life" episode is sad and sweet and has a surprise ending. The most delightful episode, to me, is the one of "Armchair Traveler." Short wave fans will love it for its historical richness. The perfectly charming host with a vast knowledge of South American radio stations of the era takes us on a visit to Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela in which we hear music such as a tango (or bolero) and what he describes as "this tantalizing selection, La Vita."
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