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From the Bookshelf of the World - Pgm 74

February 19th, 2010

Sometimes you run into a disc that doesn't look very promising, but can hold a bit of a surprise.

"From the Bookshelf of the World" doesn't sound like it would be an interesting Armed Forces Radio Service series.  But, this one features a lost performance by actor Boris Karloff.

transcription label

Program 74 in the series is "On Borrowed Time", based on a play by Paul Osborn, and stars Karloff as Mr. Brink and character actor Parker Fennelly as Gramps.  The story, if you're not familiar with it, concerns a little boy, an apple tree, and Death.

The disc is undated in the matrix, but I think it may be from the Mutual series, "Great Scenes from Great Plays".  A Karloff fan site lists his appearance in "On Borrowed Time" in that series on October 29, 1948.  However, the site credits Karloff with the role of Gramps, so I think it may be in error.

"On Borrowed Time" was made into a film in 1939 with Lionel Barrymore and Cedric Hardwicke.  Osborn worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood with movies like "The Yearling", "South Pacific", and "East of Eden" in his list of credits.

The show was transferred from an original undated AFRS vinyl transcription.

Update, 2.20.10 - A listener has posted the original newspaper ad for the show.  You can find it at this forum (scroll down the page to see the ad).  Also corrected the spelling of Parker Fennelly's name in this post.

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