Thursday, June 30, 2005


(Originally run 1/15/04 on our old site)

Dan Randle

After reading Harold Sullivan's summary of radio programs of yesteryear, a few more programs that I used to listen to pop into mind. I remember that, before I was allowed to listen to the Saturday morning programs, all the household chores had to be completed. I would get up early and work fast to maximize my listening day. I haven't thought much about them in past years and haven't put much thought into them now. A few that come to mind are:

Sky King (who, in real life, became Earl Nightingale of motivational talk fame)
Roy Rogers
Gene Autry
Jack Benny
Bob Hope
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Red Skelton

I have always liked radio programs over TV programs because TV doesn't develop your imagination.

A good case in point: Red Skelton played a character that was hilarious on radio, but just didn't play out on TV. Those of us that remember him as "Junior, the mean widdle kid” might remember that, on one program, he caught the Devil and locked him in the closet. Afterwards, he then turned into a nice kid, and turned the devil loose.

You could picture a rotten little kid doing all the nasty things that he did. However; when Red moved to TV, you saw him as "Junior" dressed in a diaper, sitting in a very, very large chair. What you saw was an old man trying to pull off being a little kid. It just didn't make it! His older characters (Clem Kiddlehopper, for instance) were more believable.

On a different note, Harold's mother was either my 2nd or 3rd grade teacher. She was a great teacher; even though time has made the memories grow dimmer, I still remember her. I wonder how many other people reading our journal remember her?

Tom Pry

I remember “Junior” always called the show’s announcer, the legendary Don Wilson, “Fat Boy!” A typical Junior exchange with Wilson was, one night, when Junior laid that label on Don. Don asked him why he called him that (which was a joke in itself, since Don was built quite substantially). Junior’s reply? “I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em!”

Junior was the personification of the gentlemanly, generous Skelton’s “dark side,” but Dan’s right: Junior played better when you could build him in your mind. My mental visualization of Junior bore almost no resemblance to Red’s.

Remember him .. then? Posted by Hello

If you’d like to read up on Red, incidentally, there are a wealth of sites. I was rather taken by , if for no other reason than the site name.

And this is a good place to mention that our elders were listening to radio and, by our simple presence, we heard some of their stuff, too. My grandmother (and I’ll bet yours, too) had to have her shows. In the morning, it was “Arthur Godfrey and Friends” (he’s the guy who introduced Patsy Cline nationally, via his “Talent Scouts” program), and “Art Linkletter’s House Party,” (worthy of a takeout all by itself, if for no other reason than Linkletter made the most lucrative deal ever made in television, even to this day).

In the afternoon, after granddad had picked up the latest market news from KLRA, and the national news from KARK, possibly (on a good radio day) even picking up some stock reports from KCMO in Kansas City, it was back to grandma … for her “soaps,” so-called “soap operas.” That was an extensive list, which included (but was not necessarily limited to):

Ma Perkins

One Man’s Family

Lorenzo Jones and his wife, Belle (originally comedic, kind of a poor man's "Fibber McGee and Molly," and then someone decided to put Lorenzo into an accident, and give him amnesia. From that point on, it was another tear-jerking cliffhanger).

… And my mind’s just gone blank.

Remember any? Let us know.


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