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Grantland Rice Story - Pgm GRS-1

September 25th, 2009

Since it looks like "Grantland Rice Story" and "American Family Robinson" were fairly close in the poll, I'll be running episodes of both series each week in the blog.

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I hope you like "The Grantland Rice Story" because it's going to be a long haul - I have all 52 episodes of the series.  It might remind you a bit of "The Passing Parade", with its simple setup of a narrator guiding us through interesting personal and professional stories of the famous and not-so-famous.

The program was syndicated by Thesaurus, a division of RCA that initially produced music library discs for stations then later expanded into syndicated programming.  "The Grantland Rice Story" was one of eight series released for syndication the first week of May, 1955 by Thesaurus during their 20th anniversary (you can see a "Billboard" magazine article about the release here).  My particular set came from a station in the southwest that started broadcasting the program weekly on September 17, 1955, noting the date of each broadcast inside the album box cover.

Hosted by Jimmy Powers, the show focuses on the life of the "Dean of the Sportswriters", Grantland Rice, and was based on Rice's autobiography, "The Tumult and the Shouting".  Powers reads from the autobiography and, on some shows, major sports and newspaper figures drop by to comment on the story or offer memories of Rice, who knew just about every major sports figure during his long career that extended from the 1920s until his death a few months before this series was recorded.  Powers was a well-known sports writer in his own right, serving as the sports editor of the "Daily News".  He was also the announcer for NBC's Friday night fights all through the 1950s.

Program GRS-1 is titled "Beginning at the Beginning", where Jimmy tells us about the series and reads from sections of Granny Rice's autobiography on his early life and the start of his newspaper career.

The show was transferred from an original RCA Thesaurus 12" vinyl transcription, matrix number F7-MR-5048-1.  The matrix numbers used on the discs, beginning with "F" and "G" indicate the program was recorded and mastered in 1955 and 1956.

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