Subscribe to get all the episodes RSS Feed

Frontier Fighters – Jedadiah A Smith. ep6, 1935

Posted by Keith on June 20, 2014

Tales of heroic pioneers and pathfinders in American History. Today we get a glimpse at a frontiersman, Jedadiah A Smith, and the beginning of his exploration in 1823. Following the rivers to indian country in the Yellowstone region, he pits his abilities against the natives there. Armed only with a rifle and a bible, he claims if he had to do without, he could survive, and tame the land with only his bible.

After his band of 15 men were killed, Smith walked for 3 days without food, and found himself facing charges in a California court. At that time California being held by Spanish government. Sent on his way, Smith was left with only his bible, and dealing with corrupt officials. Later in the Oregon territory, Smith faced more battles with indians. Has Smith come to the end of his rope? Instead a treaty is arrived at due to his kindness.

On another expedition, Captain Smith led his band through a dry,droubt ridden land, and through territory held by hostile indians. It would be the end of the line at the hand of the Arapaho’s, with not even a tattered page of his bible left, or a marker for a grave for the frontiersman.

Guess What – Three Guesses. ep0008

Posted by Keith on June 13, 2014

The show that features brain teasers, and ticklers.

Partially completed statements are made, and 3 possible answers are offered for each. Which is the correct answer?

Definitions of 8 words are given, but all the answers for each word begins with the syllable, cat.

Copy down 5 lines of verse, and see if you can find a breed of dog in each line. Stay tuned for all the answers, and see how well you did.

Guess What – Inventions. ep0007

Posted by Keith on June 10, 2014

Listen in and play along. No special skills or materials needed, jus you, a pencil, and a piece of aper.

Listen for the 8 inventions, and guess the person who invented it.

A list of 10 places are given, name the cities where they’re located.

Confound your friends with this feat of mental telepathy, as you do some arithmetic to predict their number they guessed. Stay tuned to learn all the answers for these fun quizes.

Behind The Mike – You’re My Dream. ep19, 410126

Posted by Keith on May 31, 2014

Frank Luther, popular tenor, tells about a letter he recieved from a nursse. How did his voice and program work to help a patient in her care? Listen and learn about the dreamy cure. Frank sings, You Are My Dream, and relives those moments.

Sound Effect of the Week. How was the sound of ice breaking about a ship made on a recent Mr District Attorney made?

When you enter a contest, have you ever wondered how well the entries are tracked? Include a letter, a box top, write a slogan in 50 words or less, a radio expert assures the contests are on the level, and tells how judges rate the contestants. Listen to how finalists are arrived at, and why small town contestants seem to dominate in the winners circles.

Last week an acting audition was conducted. Tonight, we learn the results from the program board. Will there be further auditions, or is it the end of the road for our young hopefuls?

Salute to radio pioneers. The 3X Sisters were an early group who performed on the radio, and did vocal sound affects. Graham McNamee facilitates as the group show off their singingm, and imitations of instruments from the orchestral, to hillbillie, to bagpipes. Other sounds are mixed in as well.

Letters from Listenners. Gilbert Mmartin, announcer for Behind the Mike fields the questions from listeners this week. Are real children used for baby cries, and toddlers? What was the first heavy weight boxing broadcast over the radio? How do mix ups in broadcasting the wrong show happen?

When the planned line up of people couldn’t make it, a repeat of Captain Tim returns. He tells about how secret service men in London stumbled over a spy, while keeping tabs on a General who stopped at a barber shop. Letters are intercepted, decoded, and a spy ring was broken before the war kicked off in earnest. But wait, there’s a further twist to the story.

Behind The Mike – Comedy Broadcasts. ep23, 410223

Posted by Keith on

How do those radio comedians do it? Learn how the writing starts 2 weeks before the program. Shows often have a staff of 2 writers or more. Join a fictional pair of joke writers as they brainstorm gags with the show’s comedian. A few days go by, and a sketch is built that works the jokes into it. The comedian has a final chance to tweak the jokes, and sometimes perform before a test audience and tweak it all over again.

Sound Effect of the Week. What makes the sound of a tobogan sled going downhill?

Look behind the scenes of how a show is promoted by a radio network executive. Start with 3 gorgeous models, who can also sing. The newly formed trio is given numbers written just for them, and coached in voice lessons. Booking in out of town theaters is set up, and double as models in local fashion shows for department stores. Publicity grows as they travel, and today we hear the hopeful group sing, As the Music Plays.

Oddities in Radio. BA Rolfe of the Lucky Strike program in the 1920′s, tells a story about a rehearsal, and how loudly his band played.

Salute to Whitall’s Anglo Persians. It was a mystical, dramatic program with a flavor of the Arabian Nights. Complete with plenty of middle eastern flavored orchestral music.

Tom Power was a radio host who told true stories about real people. Today he shares one about an admitted jewel thief, and his cellmate’s dramatized day on trial. His conviction isn’t the end of Bill’s story. Time passes, and the illiterate Bill believes it was his prison sentense that led to his mother’s death. He turns his attention to learning to read, and his new found skills have reformed his attitude. Will there be hope of a parole for Bill? Who knows.

Case Dismissed – Responsibilities of Eye Witnesses. ep10, 540403

Posted by Keith on May 26, 2014

A lawyer talks to a civics club about their duty to serve on a jury. He shares a story about Larry, a ball fan who skipped a day from work to see a game. On the way home Larry sees an auto accident, and is determined to steer clear, afraid he might be caught missing work. The wreck turns into a high profile situation, and the wrong man may be blamed. Should Larry step up? There were plenty of other witnesses weren’t there? What if a lawyer tears his testimony apart? Excuse after excuse keeps Larry out of it. Will his testimony matter?

Later, at another ball game Larry pops into a bar to cool off. A fist fight breaks out with a drunken patron that leads to the drunk being killed. Now Larry is left alone and has to explain himself to a passing cop.

With no witnesses, how will the charge of manslaughter go down for Larry? It’s not looking good, and even his lawyer doesn’t see much light at the end of the tunnel for him. Possible witnesses are a long shot, but the lawyer puts all the tools in his arsenal to work to track one down. Will the scales of justice balance? Has Larry learned the importance of doing his civic duty?

Behind The Mike – Character Actors. ep22, 410216

Posted by Keith on May 24, 2014

Allen Drake is a top character actor, and he shows off his versatality. How does he do it with just the change of his voice, accent, and inflection? Listen and be amazed as he takes us on a world tour.

Sound Effect of the Week. Amazingly enough, the sound of Alka Seltzer is made from the actual product. No tricks with this one.

A recount, and dramatization of a well known opera singer is presented. Winning auditions, scholarships, travelling, but breaking into radio seems always out of reach. After an 8 year struggle, Genevive Rowe shows off her singing talent on the show. Hmm… so that’s how an overnight success does it.

Visit the 2nd floor of the NBC network building, where radio personalities mix and mingle. Enjoy the slice of water cooler gossip among the big names in radio.

Salute to a program you used to hear, this week it’s the Ever Ready Hour. A popular story is repeated again, of sailing on a ship at sea. Five months at sea, and in the doldrums, rations run low, and the crew is forced to row their way out in the lifeboats. Making land in the Galapagos, the remaining crew make a meager survival on the sealife there, and hope for a passing ship. Survival is more than food, and soon the crew go stir crazy on the bare rock of an island. How will rescue come?

Behind The Mike – The Lady From Oklahoma. ep21, 410209

Posted by Keith on May 17, 2014

Ida Bailey Allen was the Martha Stewart of her day, and is on hand to tell a story about a lady from Oklahoma. The desperate woman begged Ida to help her lose weight. How can she make herself over to keep her husband pleased? Ida arranges a trip to New York, a special diet, a clothing make over, time with a maseuse, but the test is in what John will say when his wife gets home.

Sound Effect of the Week. The sound of wagon wheels going over a country road is a simple one, and Graham describes how it’s made.

Misconceptions about the 65K amateur radio operators is shared. The hobby is about talking to people around the globe, but the war has put a damper on some of that reach. What other service do amateur radio operators do that the network stations can’t do?

Oddities in Radio. Bloopers of the best of radio nnouncers are recreated. Proving even the experts get tongue tied sometimes.

Salute to one of radios first dramatic programs. A few scenes from Great Moments is shared as we look in Abe Lincoln, talking to his generals. Though a soldier was clearly asleep on his post, the president interviews the man, to hear his story. Will a pardon be in store? Or will it be a short trip to a firing squad?

Letters from Listeners. Gilbert Martin, announcer for Behind the Mike provides the answers today. Are thhe Noble brothers really brothers? How is the sound of an automobile being started and stopped made?

Jimmy Dorsey is on hand to tell how a band is put together. He tells how it might be done in general. The leader puts out the word, and finds a player or two who are between jobs. Through word of mouth, he rounds up the instruments that he’s missing. A good arranger is also needed who can write the style the leader is looking for. Rehearsal time, and time to filter out the players who don’t meet expectations. Can he find a place to both play, and be broadcast?

Next it’s time to take the band on the road. One night stands mean travel, and income, but good logistics are required to make hotel connections. The exposure could lead to enough attention to appear on the radio, or get studio time to record. Will the band make the big time, and win bigger gigs?

PS: That Jimmy Dorsey segment really answered a lot of questions for me. I know that a modern group of kids who want to make it big with a band only have to toss together a friend or two who can play a guitar, drums, and a vocalist, then start getting gigs. In the big band era, I always wondered how they managed it with such huge numbers
of instrumentws to cover. A lot more difficult to
get started, keep together, and more to organize once road trips come into play.

Case Dismissed – Liability for Minors. ep9, 540327

Posted by Keith on May 16, 2014

A growing family looks forward to the possibility of moving from their small apartment to a larger home. Victor Hollis and his wife have some trouble though. They have had some hard financial times in the past few years, and an old bill comes back to haunt them. In flashback, we join a 13 year old Victor, who is chomping at the bit to own his first car. Vic’s dad tries to talk sense to him, but he shows his confidence at driving by taking a joy ride in his dad’s delivery truck. Naturally the adventure ends badly and the boy crashes the truck into a parked car. A girl was hurt, but recovered completely in time. It doesn’t stop a law suit from landing in their lap.

A lawyer bailed Vic and his dad out of trouble, as we learn in voiceover. Or did he? More flashbacks to court room scenes clear John Hollis, but as a minor, what can they do to Vic? How will a 13 year old boy be able to pay off a $5k debt? What can be done now that Vic is grown? isn’t there a statute of limitations for this kind of thing?

Vic’s assumptions lead him to ignore his summons, and is soon facing a possible contempt of court charge. Going to a legal referral service, Vic learns how easy it is to get solid legal advice. The points of the case are reviewed. Has Vic dug his hole too deep to get out of? What might it cost him to settle out of court, or for legal fees?

Laying all his cards on the table with his attorney, Vic shares honestly what he can do to reach an agreement. Now it’s in the hands of the plaintiff to agree.

Behind The Mike – Putting A Program Together. ep20, 410202

Posted by Keith on May 10, 2014

Learn how a radio show is put together by using the example of how today’s show was put together.

The writers discuss ideas at home. Topics include the order of the spots, possible talent to feature, which letters should be used, and what show to salute.

What about casting? Should a substitute be used, or an impersonator? How about scheduling of the cast, musical arrangements, engineering of the mike levels?

A dress rehearsal determines running time of the show. Also working out lines to be cut, or re-worded.

The orchestra rehearses just hours before the show. Yet another rehearsal is done to tweak the engineering.

Letters from the Listeners. Usually fairly serious, but today some humorous ones are shared. Have I, or anyone pretending to be me ever been on the radio? What’s the meaning of a song? Who was that cello player I met 18 years ago? Can you name that tune I heard on the radio? Who is that senator who is so contentious with Eddie Cantor on the radio?

Sound Effect of the week. Learn how the simple sound affect of thunder in the distance is made. Sheet metal? Guess again. What about a sharp clap of thundr?

Salute to a program you love. The Royal Vagabonds are featured, and part of their old 15 minute show is presented. Music, jokes, light hearted sketches, black face humor, and general vaudevillian fun.

Letters from Listeners. David Gregory, iof Stage Magazine answers some serious questions including: Are radio stars exempt from the draft? What has become of a few of my favorite stars?

A story of courage of a radio singer. Carlotta had been returning from a gig, and in her tired condition managed to be thrown from her car. Months in the hospital, multiple reconstructive surgeries, and the day came to unveil her as she sings from her hospital bed. Technical glitches ruin her triumph. Is it an omen? Was she through? Struggling through physical strain, Carlotta Dale is still on the road back to health as she sings, May I Never See the Sun Go Down.

Note: There isn’t much written on the Internet about Carlotta Dale. The good neews is that she went on to regain her career, and later retired from music in the 1940′s. She later passed away on Dec 1, 1988.