Cavalcade of America’s Final Episode aired 3-31-1953

Today in 1953, Cavalcade of America was heard for the final time on network radio. It had been the longest-running show of its kind (dating back to 1935).

Cavalcade of America presented dramatized events in American history over 18 years.

Please enjoy the last network broadcast of this series titled, “A Time To Grow”:

[audio:Cavalcade-Of-America-530331-781-A-Time-to-Grow.mp3]

Sponsored by DuPont: Robert Livingstone helps young America make the Louisiana Purchase while his friend Pierre du Pont de Nemours lends invaluable assistance.

Academy Award Theater debuts starring Bette Davis, 3-30-46

Today in 1946, Academy Award Theater was heard for the first time. The first dramatized story was titled, Jezebel and starred actresses, Bette Davis and Ann Revere.

Sponsored by Squibb, this is the first show of the series: an adaptation of the story of the ultimate Southern “bitch.” Jean Hersholt, president of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, speaks.

Please enjoy this debut episode:

[audio:Academy-Award-Theater-460330-Jezebel.mp3]

Mary Noble Backstage Wife moves from Mutual to NBC 3-30-1936

Today in 1936, the soap-opera serial Mary Noble, Backstage Wife made a move across the dial and switched networks (from the Mutual Broadcasting System to NBC.) The soap opera continued to air for the next 23 years.

Please enjoy this sample episode of the radio serial — in this episode #3916, Rupert Barlow is being blackmailed by Claudia Vincent after she shot at him twice!

[audio:Mary-Noble-Backstage-Wife-Ep3916.mp3]

Truth or Consequence Debuted 3-23-1940

Ralph EdwardsOn this day in 1940, the radio quiz and gag show Truth or Consequence debuted starring Ralph Edwards which lasted almost a decade.

Please enjoy this late-fourties episode starring Miss Hush of 1947. In the first consequence, a woman take the solo lead with a fifty voice male choir! Sponsored by Duz, Drene shampoo ($25,000 contest).

[audio:Truth-Or-Consequences-47-10-18-New-Miss-Hush-Of-1947.mp3]

(Harlow Wilcox was also the famed announcer of the popular old time radio series, Fibber McGee and Molly.)

First Commercial Broadcast “Voice of Firestone” aired on 3-22-1928

Firestone Rubber PlantToday in radio history, the first commercial broadcast The Voice of Firestone was aired. Sponsored by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company on the NBC network. ABC aired the show on the same day and time starting 1954 after a dispute over the time slot when NBC wanted to change the time. The television and radio show were simulcast and when NBC wouldn’t back down Firestone took the show to ABC until it went off the air in 1955. Show had one of the longest runs in the history of radio being on the air for twenty-seven years.

This is one of the few remaining recordings of the musical series from 1953:

[audio:Voice-Of_Firestone-53-11-30-25th-Anniv-Program.mp3]

In this NBC network/NBC-TV net simulcast the program celebrating the completion of the program’s twenty-fifth year on the air. The first selection is, “Strike Up The Band” by George Gershwin. The first half hour was heard on radio and television, the second half hour was heard on television only.

Radio Comedian Fred Allen dies at age 61, 3-17-1956

Fred AllenA frequent star of the old time radio shows the “Colgate Comedy Hour” and host of the “Fred Allen Radio Show,” today in 1956, comedian Fred Allen died at age 61.

Here is one of his late broadcasts a June 6, 1952 broadcast of “Frankenstein”:

[audio:Fred-Allen-52-06-09-Frankenstein.mp3]

Jack Benny v Fred Allen Feud “Battle of the Century” 3-14-1937

Jack Benny and Fred AllenBilled as the “Battle of the Century”, comedians Jack Benny and Fred Allen began long running faux feud. This is the opening of the on-air brawl, the broadcast of the Jack Benny program from March 14, 1937:

[audio:Jack-Benny-370314-824-From-The-Hot.mp3]

On the Red Network (KFI, Los Angeles) and sponsored by Jell-O, this program originates from The Grand Ballroom of The Hotel Pierre, New York City. “Bing” Shlepperman (Sam Hearn) offers to substitute for Kenny Baker, who’s back in California and Mary sings! Jack sings the Jell-O commercial, but is interrupted by guest Fred Allen. Jack and Fred start an argument and wind up reminiscing about their days in Vaudeville and then sing a duet.

“The Silver Eagle” program last broadcast 3-10-1955

Today in 1955, The Silver Eagle broadcast its final episode on the radio. Please enjoy a 1954 broadcast of this rare recordings:

Jim Ameche stars as Jim West of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police. The Silver Eagle series was broadcast on ABC sponsored by General Mills from 1951 – 1955.

“Junior Miss” starring Shirley Temple broadcast on CBS 3-4-1942

Shirley TempleToday in 1942, “Junior Miss” starring Shirley Temple was broadcast on the CBS Radio Network for the first time. The broadcast appears to be no longer in existence, but please enjoy the following few remaining rare recordings of “Junior Miss”:

[audio:Junior-Miss-The-Rainy-Day.mp3]