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Entries Tagged as 'soap opera'

Backstage Wife - August 8, 1947

May 16th, 2009 · Comments

Well, we come to the last episode in my collection of "Backstage Wife", a fun little fifteen minutes of heartbreak and tears.  It's unfortunate I don't have any more shows in the series, since this one's a real doozy and I wonder how the story turned out for poor Mary.

"Backstage Wife" asks the question, "What is like to be married to a famous star?"  In this episode, dated August 8, 1947, it must be pretty lousy since Larry has decided to leave Mary.  The show may contain what may be the worst written and acted child part I've ever heard in an old time radio show, as Mary and Larry's son tries to figure out what's going on with mom and dad.  No, this isn't Fanny Brice playing "Baby Snooks".  This appears to be a previously lost program in the series.

This show continues a storyline we heard in the following episodes previously on the blog, if you'd like to hear others in this others in the series from this period:

The program was transferred to digital from an original lacquer line check made at an unknown local NBC station, possibly for time shifting or other purposes, and includes the opening system cue.  I've obtained several discs of NBC network shows made at the same station during the summer of 1947.

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Tags: soap opera

Ma Perkins, Pgm 423

March 21st, 2009 · Comments

I'm sure all of you have heard of the long-running soap opera of the classic otr era, "Ma Perkins".  Running on NBC and later CBS between 1933 and 1960, the show followed the trials and tribulations of Ma as she ran a lumber yard in Rushville Center and tried to keep up with her kids, Evy, Fay, and John.  Virginia Payne played Ma Perkins for 27 years, starting in the role at age 23.

transcription label

In this blog entry, we offer a very rare early episode of the series, dated by the radioGOLDINdex to August 1935.  Faye and John have an argument at dinner and Faye announces her intention to seek her fortune in the big city.  The show at this point in the run was sponsored by Oxydol and the long organ intro and outro were probably for the local announcer to insert the commercial.

The show is of special interest to those looking at the changing role of women over the years - Faye is representative of an increasing number young women at the time were looking at having careers and a life outside of being a homemaker.  Ma Perkins herself was thrust into that role, managing her husband's business after his death.

This is also the first metal base disc I've offered up on the blog.  These were used for a period in the early 1930s before instantaneous lacquers became common - the cutting head actually embossed the groove into a thin sheet of bare aluminum.  You can read something about the early days of recording radio broadcasts in two articles by otr experts Elizabeth Mcleod and Michael Biel here and here.

The origins of this disc are obscure.  I think it may have been made for extension-spotting the show in Canada in conjunction with it's broadcast in the US.  According to this site, Proctor and Gamble was one of the biggest advertisers in Canada in the early 30s, buying up time on stations to broadcast "Ma Perkins" and other soaps, much to the annoyance of Canadian officials who wanted more home-grown content on the radio.  This led to restrictions on the use of transcriptions and gave the CBC power to selectively run series live from American radio networks.  So, this disc may have been used to broadcast "Ma Perkins" over one of those privately-owned Canadian stations.

Our show was transferred directly from an original uncoated aluminum transcription made by Mercury Recording Studios, Chicago.

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Tags: soap opera · women's issues · Ma Perkins

Backstage Wife - September 3, 1947

March 15th, 2009 · Comments

Again we drop in on Mary Noble, struggling through life answering the question, "What's it like to be married to a famous Broadway star?"

In this show from September 3, 1947, Mary and her husband Larry go to the apartment of Regina to talk with her about dropping out of a play that Regina is backing.  It seems that Barnwell, the producer of the play, is suing Larry, dragging his name through the mud, and he wishes to bow out of the play to save Regina embarrassment.  This short series of various shows we've heard on the blog over the past couple of months, taken from the storyline revolving around the production of a play, have been a real mess for Larry and Mary that gets worse as things go along.  If acting is this much trouble, perhaps Larry should take up another profession.

The program was sponsored by Energine and original broadcast on NBC.  Our mp3 was transferred directly from a line check acetate recorded at a local NBC station, probably for time-shifting purposes.

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Tags: soap opera · women's issues

Claudia - Audition

February 22nd, 2009 · Comments

This week, we feature a guest post from fellow otr collector Daniel Sears who shares a rare 78 rpm record set with us containing an "audition" for the soap opera "Claudia".  Daniel is the Creative Director for GrumpyFILMS, inc in New York.

Many thanks for the show and blog post - I hope we can hear more from Daniel's collection in coming weeks. - Randy

"They saw...they met...they married each other. Six whole weeks ago."

So goes the intro for this audition episode of "Claudia", the well-known daytime serial sponsored by "your friendly neighbor who bottles Coca-Cola."

This audition program, however, seems to take plot points and parts of scripts that would later be broadcast across several episodes and squishes them together into one 15-minute program.

78 disc set label

In this visit with Claudia and David, we hear the craziness that ensues when David has to get up early for an appointment in Connecticut, and he discovers what Claudia has done to his socks and his breakfast. Later, Claudia goes shopping for a dog with her mother, and in the third segment we see what happens when David comes home and discovers what kind of dog Claudia has bought.

Looking at the radioGOLDINdex, my guess would be that parts of this script would later be used in programs broadcast on 9/30/47 ("Waking Up Early"), 10/13/47 ("Claudia Ruins Breakfast"), and 10/14/47 ("Claudia Buys David a Big Dog"). However, I was not able to find postings of these episodes online to confirm that.

The broadcast episodes of "Claudia" featured Kathryn Bard and Paul Crabtree, with Joe King announcing. Comparing this recording with snippets found online, it sounds like Ms. Bard is the only one also found on here. No cast list is announced, so does anyone have any guesses as to who the other actors are? Maybe the actor playing David didn't make the final cast because of the couple of goofs he makes...

This file was transfered directly from a pair of vinyl 78 rpm discs with great maroon/brown marbeled vinyl. The surface noise gets a little thick in spots, but I hope you'll enjoy this rare program.

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Tags: memorabilia · soap opera · women's issues · Guest posts

Backstage Wife, August 13, 1947

February 1st, 2009 · Comments

"What is it like to be married to a famous star?"

That's the question the long-running classic soap opera, "Backstage Wife", tried to answer, following the trials and tribulations of Mary Noble and her actor husband, Larry.

In this episode, we're continuing a story line heard on the blog in January in this post.

Mary is living alone in their house in the country.   Husband Larry has gone back to New York, shocked that he found playwright Eric Jackson making a move on Mary.  Eric's scheme to produce his play at the summer playhouse is falling apart.  Meanwhile, Larry pays a visit to Regina, an atrractive woman that he hopes will back a new play he wants to star in.  I have a funny feeling that Backstage Wife Mary won't be happy about that, especially since his business meetings with Regina at a nightclub have made the gossip columns.

The show is sponsored by Energine Cleaning Fluid - "Keep it clean with Energine!"

Unfortunately, this show is a bit difficult to listen to.  Sorry for the surface noise on this one - the years hadn't been kind to this one of a kind lacquer, but it appears to be a lost episode of the series.  The mp3 was directly transferred from an original aircheck acetate transcription recorded from the NBC line by an unknown local affiliate.

I have a couple of more episodes from this period in the run of the show that I'll be posting in future weeks.

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Tags: soap opera · women's issues

Backstage Wife - July 3, 1947

January 2nd, 2009 · Comments

Now that we're in a great mood and ready to face the day with a smile, let's have some heartbreak and tears, courtesy of the long-running soap opera, "Backstage Wife", the program that attempts to answer the question, "What is it like to be married to a famous star?"

In the program of July 3, 1947, originally broadcast on NBC, playwright Eric Jackson, who has a hankering for Mary, is signing a deal to produce a play at a summer playhouse so he can be close to Mary.  What will Mary's husband Larry make of this?  The show is sponsored by Haley's M-O and Energine.

The program was transferred to digital directly from an original acetate line check made by an unknown local NBC affiliate; it includes the opening system cue.

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Tags: drama · soap opera · women's issues

Joyce Jordan MD – July 3, 1947

October 30th, 2008 · Comments

Can a woman doctor be a woman … and a doctor … at the same time?

That’s the question asked by "Joyce Jordan, MD", a daily soap that ran on NBC in the 1940s. In this post, a previously lost episode of the series, originally broadcast July 3, 1947.

As we join our story in progress with this July 3, 1947 episode, sponsored by Dreft and their snappy little jingle, there are several problems in store for our lead character. An old enemy is headed for New York to work for a newspaper to take her revenge on Joyce. Joyce’s foster son is on the brink of running away from home. But, the most immediate problem is that the mother of Joyce’s boyfriend, Dawson, is plotting to keep them apart and marry the poor boy to some nurse that is Joyce’s arch-enemy at the hospital. Dawson has been recuperating from some kind of accident that has him paralyzed and Joyce hopes to help him walk again. But, Dawson’s mother has arranged to take him away from the hospital. What will Joyce do to help Dawson?

Our fifteen minutes of heartbreak, tears, and grouchy female doctor sidekick that sound like they have a three pack a day smoking habit was transferred from an original Audiodisc acetate; the show was recorded by an unknown local station from their NBC network line.

Sorry – there’s no picture of the label on this one since it’s an acetate with just some grease pencil notations of the name of the show and the date.

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Tags: soap opera · women's issues · rand's favorites

Laura Lawton – Sept. 3, 1947

October 30th, 2008 · Comments

What does it mean to be married to one of the richest and most attractive men in the world?

Well, we probably won’t be asking Melinda Gates about that, but we might get some insight from "Laura Lawton", a soap opera broadcast on NBC in the 1940s. The series looks at "the conflict between love and riches in a world everyone dreams of – but where so few dreams come true".

Sounds like a reality tv show on MTV, doesn’t it?

From September 3rd, 1947, we offer this episode, brought to you by Bab-O Cleanser, where Gail deals with her sister-in-law, who is putting a plan in motion that may mean Gail’s downfall. And, yes, all the scheming and high drama going on with these people does sound much like a modern day reality tv show. They should all be voted off the island.

The show was transferred from an original Audiodisc acetate recorded from the NBC network line by an unknown local station, probably for time-shifting purposes during Daylight Savings Time or a similar purpose. (There's no label to post a picture of this time around.)

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Tags: soap opera · women's issues · medical related