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Ed Wynn Old Time Radio

Ed Wynn signed on radio as first vaudeville talent, 02-19-1922

Ed Wynn Early Publicity PortraitToday in 1922, Ed Wynn became the first big-name vaudeville talent star to sign on as a radio talent. Previously, top talent never considered radio a respectable medium. The single broadcast in 1922 was over WJZ in Newark, and Ed Wynn traumatized by mic fright; he refused to consider broadcasting again until 10 years later when Texaco offered him a large sum of money in 1932. In the new Depression era, vaudeville and musical theatre was in a horrible state and Ed Wynn agreed and began broadcasting his “Texaco Firechief” shows.

Although the early 1920’s Ed Wynn recordings are not believed to still be existence, here’s a early 1930’s Ed Wynn broadcast sure to entertain:

[audio:Ed-Wynn-1932-07-26-Ive-Got-Rhythm.mp3]

Sponsored by Texaco: Ed Wynn is introduced as, “The Perfect Fool.” The band’s first tune is, “I’ve Got Rhythm,” they also play “Lady Be Good.” The Fire Chief jokes about the stock market and the Depression and answers his mail.

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Debut Episode Old Time Radio Yours Truly Johnny Dollar

Yours Truly Johnny Dollar Debut episode, 2-18-1949

Old RadioIn 1949 today, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar debuted on CBS. Featured is the first episode, titled “Mind in the Shadows.” Charles Russell plays the starring role as the insurance investigator with the action-packed expense account. Please enjoy the debut episode:

[audio:Yours-Truly-Johnny-Dollar-490218-Mind-In-The-Shadows.mp3]

The series continued on for fourteen years with the title role later being taken on by Edmond O’Brien, John Lund, Bob Bailey, Bob Readick, and Mandel Kramer when it ended in 1962.