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American Family Robinson - Pgm 41

October 15th, 2009

Well, last week, we heard a kind of instant romance develop between "Gus the Gorilla", Windy Bill's bodyguard, and Luke Robinson's secretary on the National Industrial Council (American Manufacturers Association) 1930s syndicated series, "American Family Robinson".  This week, in program 41, Mr. Robinson's secretary has talked him into putting Gus to work at the paper so Luke has to find something for him to do.

transcription label

The curious thing about this disc is that it appears to be a program in the series you weren't supposed to hear - the disc's pressing plate on this side has been scratched out in a definite spiderweb pattern.  It's hard to tell if this was done before the series was first distributed or later in the run.  But, based on the contents, one can see why.

Luke goes into a diatribe about "boondoggling" - the government creating useless jobs for the unemployed.  It's one of the more heartless little  talks in the series, considering the high level of unemployment during the Depression and how many people that might have heard the show were either themselves working on a WPA or CCC job or had a relative that did.

I have a friend from the small town of Graham, NC, that recalls his parents and grandparents talking about one of his aunts who was an organist at the local movie theater.  At that time, small theaters couldn't afford the upgrade to sound, so even into the late 1930s, the theater was still showing silent movies - you had to drive thirty miles or more to the big city of Greensboro to see a sound picture.  His aunt received WPA support to accompany films and the theater and give music lessons.

This episode of the series was transferred from an original World Broadcasting red acetate transcription, matrix number S 8686-2.  The file was compiled from two passes of the disc and was run through click reduction software - I had to reconstruct the program, since the disc skipped so much.

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