In the episode of A Date with Judy, Judy wants a new dress that her date, Oogie, hasn't seen her in to wear to the upcoming school dance. She tries every plead and manipulation she can think of to convince her father that she desperately needs a particular dress she has seen in the window of a department store. Frankly, it was refreshing to listen to a story about a teen whose biggest problem in life was to wheedle a new dress out of a parent!
Of course, when radio drama is mentioned, most people instantly think of The Lone Ranger or of George Burns and Gracie Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly and perhaps, the Great Gildersleeve. (Speaking of which, does anyone know where to buy all of the episodes of The Great Gildersleeve?) Anyone familiar with radio dramas recognizes The Great Gildersleeve Chuckle. If you don't, it's time you listened to an episode so you know what you are missing!
|Leroy and "Gildy"|
The Great Gildersleeve was the first spin-off of a radio show. Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve was a nemesis of Fibber McGee on the popular Fibber McGee and Molly show. In his own show, he is rearing his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie and Leroy. For a synopsis of the show and some interesting trivia, click here.
Harold Peary, the voice of "Gildy" also went on to play the part on several Great Gildersleeve movies which can be pre-viewed here.
While doing a quick research of old radio dramas, the first and probably most famous drama ever produced was Orson Welles, The War of the Worlds. You can listen here.
A movie was made about the terror that ensued throughout America from listeners of the broadcast. You can read the Wikipedia article here.
Although radio dramas are pretty much extinct on American radio, they still thrive in other part of the world, Great Britain, for instance. The BBC currently has two ongoing radio soap operas, The Archers and Silver Street. Radio New Zealand has an award-winning soap opera, You Me Now, that is currently popular.
For anyone interested in re-visiting old-time radio dramas, here is a list and links to some of the best-loved ones.
|Name of Show||Start||Finish||Link||Synopsis|
|Abbott & Costello||1942||1949||Archives||Comic routines|
|Amos and Andy||1928||1960||Archives||Amos & Andy own Fresh Air Taxi Co, named because their cab has no roof! Friend and huckster, Kingfish's exploits add flavor to the show.|
|Burns and Allen||1936||1950||Archives||Sitcom format that includes songs from the Sportsman Quartet aka "The Swantet".|
|Ellery Queen||1939||1948||Archives||Mysteries based on the Ellery Queen books.|
|Fibber McGee & Molly||1935||1959||Archives||Based on Fibber and his wife, Molly's comedy including several running gags including fibber McGee's Closet.|
|The Lone Ranger||1933||1954||Archives||A masked Texas Ranger gallops around righting wrongs.|
|The Whistler||1942||1955||Archives||"I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night…"|