Here are a few more celebrities.
With a Feather on My Nose is Billie Burke’s autobiography, written in 1949. Famous for her role as “Glinda, the Good Witch” in MGM’s 1939 production of The Wizard of Oz, Ms. Burke is being interviewed in 1949 by pioneer female broadcaster Ruth Crane Schaefer, seen here at left, on ABC affiliate WMAL.
Ms. Schaefer, left, hosted a program called Modern Woman on WMAL-TV and radio. With her are vocalist Rudy Vallee, an unidentified woman, and WMAL’s Jackson Weaver. Mr. Weaver hosted children’s programs, which included screenings of The Little Rascals comedies, and for thirty-two years co-anchored WMAL’s morning drive time slot with Frank Harden.
Jackson Weaver, Ruth Crane Schaefer, The Lone Ranger, and an RCA 44.
Mr. Weaver was the first to provide “Smokey the Bear” with a voice.
—Ruth Crane Schaefer photos and information are through the
courtesy of Mr. Steven Portnoy, WMAL–ABC Radio,
Mr. Randall Bloomquist, Mr. Chris Berry, and
the Library of American Broadcasting,
University of Maryland, College Park.
The caption reads “Bill Monroe (second from left) performs with an early incarnation of the Bluegrass Boys shortly after joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1939. His band featured Art Wooten on fiddle, Cleo Davis on guitar, and Amos Garen on bass. (Garen had been preceded by John Miller on the jug.) Monroe’s mandolin and vocals dominated the group, and set the standard for all bluegrass music that followed.”
The cast of “Allen’s Alley,” which includes Fred Allen, Minerva Pious as Mrs. Pansy Nussbaum, Alan Reed as Falstaff Openshaw, and Kenny Delmar as Senator Claghorn. Listen to an excerpt.
Olive Major, Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore
William Henry Pratt, a. k. a. Boris Karloff
W. C. Fields
Ms. James in 2006
The cast of I Love a Mystery. Russell Thorson as Jack Packard,
Athena Lord as Jerri Booker, and Jim Boles as Doc Long.
Mr. Boles and Ms. Lord are husband and wife in real life.
—ILAM biographical information was obtained with the
assistance of Mr. Jim Harmon and Mr. Lloyd Nesbitt.
Dick Joy, KNX/CBS Radio Network announcer, 1940s.
Richard “Dick” Joy was regularly heard by millions of Americans tuned to CBS during the Golden Age of Radio and TV—the 1930s through the 1950s. Dick began broadcasting for KNX radio in Los Angeles in the 1930s while he was a student at USC. At 21 he was the youngest staff announcer at the CBS Radio Network. In addition to his local duties at KNX, Dick was the announcer for such network shows as Spike Jones, Danny Kaye, Nat King Cole, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Silver Theater, Vox Pop, and Sam Spade.
Working with producer Barney Miller, Dick created CBS Sunday Desk, which pioneered the use of multiple, short voice bytes in a paced program. Until then, radio news used fewer voice bytes which could vary from one to five minutes or more.
Dick made the transition to CBS Television in the late 40s as a reporter for CBS’ You Are There, and later as announcer for December Bride, Perry Mason, Have Gun—Will Travel, Daktari, Lost in Space, and Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. His “Personal Best” was as the announcer for the legendary Playhouse 90, working with people like Rod Serling and John Frankenheimer every week. In later years, Dick became the News Director for KFAC-AM and FM, the classical music stations for Los Angeles in the 1960s.
Dick Joy at KCMJ, the first Palm Springs radio station.
Ozzie and Harriet Nelson visit Dick Joy, third from left.
Spike Jones, for whom Dick Joy announced. The woman with Mr. Jones is Dorothy Shay, the “Park Avenue Hillbillie.” The photo was most likely taken in 1948 at CBS. Mike Wallace was the announcer on the Spotlight Revue when it originated from Chicago, and Mr. Joy stepped in when the troupe moved to Hollywood.
—Dick Joy, Ozzie and Harriet, Lowell Thomas, and
Spike Jones photos courtesy of Dick and Sis Joy;
Spike Jones information courtesy of Ted Hering.