On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio

By John Dunning | Go to book overview

P

PACIFIC STORY, documentary.

BROADCAST HISTORY: July 11, 1943-Jan. 26, 1947, NBC. 30m, Sundays at 11:30. NARRATOR: Gayne Whitman. GUESTS: Authorities on Pacific affairs--Henry Luce, Pearl S. Buck, etc. CREATORS: Jennings Pierce, director of public service programs at NBC West, and Inez Richardson of Stanford University. PRODUCER- WRITER: Arnold Marquis. CONSULTANT: Owen Lattimore, emissary to China in the Roosevelt administration.

The premise of the show was that with Europe in ruins, the Pacific might emerge as the center of political and social change in the world, and people should know something about it.

THE PACKARD HOUR, musical variety.

BROADCAST HISTORY: Sept. 18, 1934-March 19, 1935, Blue Network. 30m, Tuesdays at 8:30. Packard Motor Car Company. The Packard Show, a showcase for baritone Lawrence Tibbett. ANNOUNCER: John B. Kennedy. ORCHESTRA: Wilfred Pelletier.

Oct. 1, 1935-March 17, 1936, CBS. 30m, Tuesdays at 8:30. A continuation of the Tibbett series. ORCHESTRA: Don Voorhees.

Sept. 8, 1936-July 20, 1937, NBC. 60m, Tuesdays at 9:30. The Packard Hour. CAST: Fred Astaire with song and dance; Charlie Butterworth, comedian. Cliff Arquette, joining in progress as Grandpa Sneed. VOCALISTS: Trudy Wood and Jimmy Blair; later Francia White; also, Conrad Thibault and Jane Rhodes. ORCHESTRA: Johnny Green.

Sept. 7, 1937-March 1, 1938, NBC. 60m, Tuesdays at 9:30. Now sponsored by Packard as Mardi Gras. CAST: Lanny Ross, singing star, costarring Walter O'Keefe. Rhodes, Butterworth, and Arquette returned, with singer Ruby Mercer and soprano Florence George of the Chicago City Opera.

ANNOUNCER: Don Wilson. ORCHESTRA: Raymond Paige.

Although The Packard Hour was heard in several formats and timeslots, the 1936-37 series with Fred Astaire drew most of the critical attention. Astaire had no sooner signed a contract with Packard ("ask the man who owns one") when he began to fret. How does one dance on radio? He missed his own premiere, letting guests Jack Benny and Ginger Rogers carry the show. Astaire arrived for the second week. He pulled young soprano Trudy Wood out of the chorus for an on-air duet, and she went on to become the headliner when Astaire, costar Charlie Butterworth, and the rest of the company broke for the summer June 1. Rumors spread along Radio Row that Astaire and Butterworth were incompatible: Butterworth was reportedly annoyed with Astaire's habit of stepping on his laughs. For whatever reason, Astaire never returned, and when the show opened in the fall it was with Lanny Ross in the spotlight, and with a new name, Mardi Gras.

PADUCAH PLANTATION, country music, humor, and philosophy.

-530-

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On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Credits ix
  • Introduction xi
  • How to Use This Book xv
  • A 1
  • B 53
  • C 130
  • D 189
  • E 215
  • F 239
  • G 276
  • H 307
  • I 336
  • J 352
  • K 381
  • L 387
  • M 420
  • N 478
  • O 511
  • P 530
  • Q 557
  • R 564
  • S 596
  • T 651
  • U 688
  • V 692
  • W 708
  • N 729
  • Y 731
  • Z 744
  • Bibliography 747
  • Index 759
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