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Episode 26: Frank Sinatra

Radio was an important part of many Hollywood careers, But formed the backbone of Frank Sinatra’s success, especially in the beginning. Long before Sinatra made a film, his voice could be heard on the radio, crooning love songs to bobbysoxers. He got hist start at 19, on the Major Bowse Amateur Hour, and soon became […]


Episode 25: Richard Widmark

Unlike most actors I’ve featured on HOTR, Richard Widmark did not turn to radio as a means of promoting his film career. He started on radio, working as supporting player, then lead in daytime serials and mystery programs, from the late 1930s to the mid-40s. His first radio appearance was in 1938’s Aunt Jenny’s Real […]


Episode 24: Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich appeared frequently on radio in the 1930s, mostly in Lux Radio Theater adaptations of her films. During the war years, she actively raised funds during bond drives and entertained the troops in person and via radio. She appeared in post-war years on variety shows, and in 1953, she briefly had her own series, A […]


Episode 23: Breakfast in Hollywood

Breakfast in Hollywood aired on the Blue Network from 1941 to 1948. The show originated daily from Tom Brenneman’s restaurant in Hollywood and featured Brenneman walking through the restaurant, chatting up the mostly female, and frequently tourist patrons. In 1946, Harold Schuster made film by the same name, using the show (and Brenneman) as a backdrop […]


Episode 22: Greer Garson

MGM star, and serial Academy Award nominee (she won once) Greer Garson spent her radio career performing in adaptations of her own films for Lux Radio Theater. She was also active in on-air wartime fundraising, and performed on variety shows with Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy and Jimmy Durante. This episode of HOTR, which was […]


Episode 21: Rita Hayworth

The words Rita Hayworth and radio star don’t seem to quite fit together. Celebrated primarily for her beauty and glamour, Rita Hayworth electrified the motion picture screen. But did she have the personality for a medium without pictures, or even the inclination to perform there? Apparently the answer was yes. Between 1942 and 1947, she […]


Episode 20: Judy Garland, part 3

In the post-war years, Judy Garland appeared on many of the leading radio variety shows, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and The Big Show. She also contributed her time and talnet to charitable and political causes. In this episode, however, we hear one of Judy’s several dramatic performances. From December 1946, it’s an episode of Suspense called […]


Episode 19: Judy Garland, part 2

Judy Garland was among the most active film performers on radio during World War II. The war happened to coincide with the height of Garland’s early film success, but she was also an enthusiastic participant in the war effort. On this episode, you’ll hear Judy play Esther Blodgett, twelve years before her crowning achievement as […]


Episode 18: Judy Garland, part 1

Long before she made her first MGM film, Judy Garland was known to radio audiences. Shortly after signing with the studio in 1935 (at age 13) Judy began appearing on radio shows sponsored by the studio, and eventually landed regular roles on other variety shows including Jack Oakie’s College, and the Popsodent Show. Her first national […]


Episode 17: Command Performance

Command Performance was Hollywood’s gift to the men and women serving overseas during World War II. Produced by the US War Department with 100 percent donated labor and facilites, the show featured appearances by performers as requested by servicemen. Each show featured a star MC, musical acts, comedy, and variety. Today’s episode was produced June […]


Episode 16: Lux part 5, Shane

In this final episode of my Lux Radio Theater series, I bring the saga to a close, with a show dated February 22, 1955. Starring Alan Ladd and Van Heflin in their film roles, Shane offers an excellent example of how the Lux program maintained its quality, even at the end of its 20-year run. This recording […]


Episode 15, Lux part 4, Body and Soul

In the fourth in our series of Lux Radio Theater programs, we mov beyond the Cecil B. DeMille years, to the William Keighley era. DeMille left his position as host after nine years, following a dispute with theAmerican Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA). After months of on-air auditions Keighley was named permanent host in November […]


Episode 14, Lux part 3, This Land is Mine

In part 3 of our Lux Radio Theater series, we take a look at Lux during World War II. Like most other radio series of the time, Lux included its share of war stories and other patriotic plays, but never abandoned the series’ focus on the glamorous, and more carefree side of Hollywood. War-themed plays […]


Episode 13, Lux part 2, Dark Victory

Today we hear Lux episode 245, Dark Victory. It aired on January 8, 1940. The film version, starring Bette Davis and George Brent, had been released in April 1939, smack dab in the middle of Hollywood’s greatest film year. Lux had presented another version of Dark Victory in April 1938, with Barbara Stanwyck and Melvyn […]


Episode 12, Lux part 1, The Legionaire & the Lady

With this episode, I begin a five-part series focusing on the history of Lux RadioTheater, the most successful, longest-running radio drama series in history. We begin with the first Lux Radio Theater broadcast to originate from Hollywood. In The Legionnaire and the Lady, MarleneDietrich recreates her role in the 1930 film, Morocco. She stars with Clark Gable, […]


Episode 11, Academy Award

This week, I’m featuring two episodes of Academy Award Theater. First is Paul Muni in The Story of Louis Pasteur. He won an Oscar for his performance in the 1936 film. Ginger Rogers took home the 1940 Academy Award for her performance in Kitty Foyle, our second episode.


Episode 10, The Big Show

NBC’s 1950-52 variety series, The Big Show was a last ditch effort to stave off the coming domination of television. The series starred Broadway actress and raconteur Tallulah Bankhead as mistress of ceremonies. It was a lavish, star-studded production. Each episode ran an unusual 90 minutes, and cost the network $100,000 apiece to produce. Radio stars, including Fred […]


Episode 9, Rogue’s Gallery/Richard Diamond Private Detective

Dick Powell began his film career as a juvenile leading man and crooner in musical comedies of the early 1930s. Bored by musicals, Powell remade his image in the 1940s as a hard-boiled film noir hero. His first major noir role was as Philip Marlowe in the 1944 film, Murder, My Sweet. In 1945, Powell began […]


Episode 8, Screen Directors’ Playhouse

Cary Grant takes Joseph Cotten’s role in this Screen Directors’ Playhouse production of Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt. The 1950 radio adaptation also features Grant’s third wife, actress Betsy Drake. There are at least three other radio adaptation of Shadow, some featuring a member of the original cast.


Episode 7, I Was A Communist For The FBI

Leading man Dana Andrews stars in the syndicated series that chronicles the stylized adventures of FBI undercover man Matt Cvetic. Cvetic worked for the FBI as a Communist Party mole in the 40s, before being fired for erratic behavior. He sold his story to The Saturday Evening Post, and then to Hollywood. Radio actor Frank Lovejoy starred in the film version, which became a cult classic. Taking advantage of the red hysteria of the early 50s, the IWACFTF radio series debuted in 1952 with...


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