Les Dawson

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Les Dawson (On the Left) 🙂

Leslie “Les” Dawson was an extremely popular English comedian remembered for his deadpan style, curmudgeonly persona and jokes about his mother-in-law and wife.

His career as an entertainer began as a pianist in a Parisian brothel, that is if you are to believe his very entertaining but factually unreliable autobiography.

Even though he was an accomplished pianist, he found that he got laughs by playing wrong notes and complaining to the audience.

He made his television debut on the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967 and became a prominent comic on British television and radio for the rest of his life.

Before his fame, Les Dawson wrote poetry but kept it secret. It was not expected that someone of his working class background would harbour such literary ambitions. In a BBC TV documentary about his life, he spoke of his love for some canonical figures in English literature, in particular the 19th Century essayist Charles Lamb, whose somewhat florid style influenced Dawson’s own.

 

His love of language influenced many of his comedy routines – for example one otherwise fairly routine joke began with the line “I was vouchsafed this vision by a pockmarked Lascar in the arms of a frump in a Huddersfield bordello…” He was also a master of painting a beautiful word picture and then letting the audience down with a bump: “The other day I was gazing up at the night sky, a purple vault fretted with a myriad points of light twinkling in wondrous formation, while shooting stars streaked across the heavens, and I thought: I really must repair the roof on this toilet.”

Les with Roy Barraclough as Ada & Cissy

Dawson wrote many novels but was always regarded solely as an entertainer in the public imagination, and this saddened him. He told his second wife, Tracey, “Always remind them – I was a writer too”.

Having broken his jaw in a boxing match, Dawson was able to pull grotesque faces by pulling his jaw over his upper lip. This incident is described in the first volume of Dawson’s autobiography A Clown Too Many.

He was married to Margaret from 25 June 1960 until her death on 15 April 1986 from cancer. They had had three children: Julie, Pamela and Stuart. He married Tracy on 6 May 1989, despite worries that his show-business contemporaries and the public would object, as she was 17 years younger. They had a daughter, Charlotte, who was born on 3 October 1992.

Les & Tracy with baby Charlotte

Dawson starred in a radio sketch show Listen to Les, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in the 1970s and 1980s. Television series in which he appeared included Sez Les for Yorkshire Television, The Dawson Watch for the BBC, written by Andy Hamilton and Terry Ravenscroft, The Les Dawson Show, written by Terry Ravenscroft, Dawson’s Weekly, Joker’s Wild (1969–73) and the quiz show Blankety Blank, which he presented for some years. His final TV appearance was on the LWT series Surprise, Surprise hosted by Cilla Black, when he sang a comical rendition of “I Got You Babe” with a woman from the audience who wanted to fulfil a wish to sing with him.

One of his last television appearances came on 23 December 1992, when he appeared as special guest in the TV guest show This Is Your Life – 21 years after previously appearing as the show’s special guest, making him one of the few people to appear on the show twice.

On 10 June 1993, during a check-up at a hospital in Whalley Range, Manchester, Les Dawson died suddenly after suffering a heart attack. Many comedians and other celebrities attended a memorial service for him at Westminster Abbey on 24 February 1994.

Bronze statue of Les Dawson by Graham Ibbeson

On 23 October 2008, 15 years after his death, a bronze statue of Dawson, by sculptor Graham Ibbeson, was unveiled by his widow Tracy and daughter Charlotte. The statue stands in the ornamental gardens next to the pier in St-Anne’s-on-Sea, Lancashire, where Dawson had lived for many years.

Classic Les Dawson Mother-in-Law Jokes

“I can always tell when the mother in law’s coming to stay… the mice throw themselves on the traps.”

“My mother-in-law said ‘one day I will dance on your grave’. I said ‘I hope you do, I will be buried at sea.”

“My mother-in-law has come round to our house at Christmas seven years running. This year we’re having a change. We’re going to let her in.”

 

A very funny, down to earth, lovely man missed by many.  Listen to Les, the radio show can be heard on the British Comedy Channel each weekday at 18:00 GMT

Happy Listening 🙂

 

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Arnova 7 G2 Gingerbread Tablet – How to Install Android Market and Gmail Apps

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Arnova 7 G2 from Archos

Arnova 7 G2 from Archos

Just like to let you into a little secret and a great bargain to boot. If you are considering a Android pad or tablet and don’t want to spend a fortune, you could do allot worse than consider this sub £100 (160 USD)  7inch tablet. The G7 has a nifty little ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor and runs under Android Gingerbread 2.3. It plays flash, streaming audio and video and has a very receptive display, a real bargain if you ask me! Tune-In Radio works great on this tab!

The real issue I had was that Google Apps and Android Market were missing from the offering (Arnova have installed a basically useless app called AppsLib) and I literally pulled out my hair trying to find a way to install Google Apps and Android Market on this tablet. But now I have cracked it and I have worked out how to install both app suites onto this discount tablet, so I thought I would share the knowledge as during my searches i have seen so many people searching for the same solution 🙂

Install Android Market and Gmail Apps on the Arnova 7 G2

I first upgraded my firmware to the latest version from the official site (this may not be necessary though) link to firmware page

I have zipped the required files here, they have been scanned using Avast and are virus free! [wpdm_file id=1]

If you do not want to register to download the files, just like this page (If you have Facebook) and the download link will apear.

[like-gate]
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FILES
[/like-gate]

Extract the .apk files, transfer the files to your Arnova using the USB cable and then install the apks using file manager in this exact order:

1.Google Services Framework
2.OneTime Initializer
3.Setup Wizard
4.Talk
5.Gmail
6.Vending

After all the apps are installed, first run Gmail and it will ask you for your account details or to create a new account. once you have logged in or created a new account you will then be able to run Android Market 🙂

** Please note I have only tested this on the Arnova 7 G2 and no other Gingerbread OS pads.

Good luck!

 

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The Green Thing

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The Green Thing

Just a little something I was sent by a friend of mine a couple of days ago which is kind of thought provoking and which I thought I would share with you all 🙂

Hope everybody is having a great start to 2012. Happy Listening!

 

 

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right – our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because:

We didn’t have the green thing back then?

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Ken Dodd

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Ken Dodd

Kenneth Arthur Dodd OBE (born Liverpool, 8 November 1927) is a British comedian and singer-songwriter, famous for his frizzy hair or “fluff dom” and buck teeth or “denchers”, his favourite cleaner, the feather duster (or “tickling stick”) and his greeting “How tickled I am!”, as well as his send-off “Lots and Lots of Happiness!”.

He works mainly in the music hall tradition, although, in the past, has occasionally appeared in drama, including as Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on stage in Liverpool in 1971; on television in the cameo role of ‘The Tollmaster’ in the 1987 Doctor Who story Delta and the Bannermen; and as Yorick (in silent flashback) in Kenneth Branagh’s film version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 1996. In total he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. In the 1960s his fame was such that he rivalled The Beatles as a household name.

Dodd’s stand-up comedy style is fast and relies on the rapid delivery of one-liner jokes. He has claimed that his comic influences include other Liverpool comedians like Arthur Askey, Robb Wilton, Tommy Handley and Max Miller.  He intersperses the comedy with occasional songs, both serious and humorous, in an incongruously fine light baritone voice.


Dodd has had many recording hits, charting on nineteen occasions in the UK Top 40, including his first single “Love Is Like a Violin” (1960), produced on Decca Records by Alex Wharton, which charted at number 8 (UK), and his song “Tears” (Columbia), which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965, selling over a million copies. At the time it was the UK’s biggest selling single by a solo artist, and remains one of the UK’s biggest selling singles of all time. Dodd was selected to perform the song on A Jubilee Of Music on BBC One on December 31, 1976, a celebration of the key pop successes of Queen Elizabeth II’s first twenty-five years as UK monarch.

 


Dodd is renowned for the length of his performances, and during the 1960s he earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest ever joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours (7.14 jokes per minute), undertaken at a Liverpool theatre, where audiences were observed to enter the show in shifts. More recently, Ken Dodd appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in 2006 in front of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, where he reprised some of his famous jokes, including those about tax accountants as well as singing his famous song “Happiness”.

 

Ken's distinctive bucked teeth

Early life…. Dodd was born on 8 November 1927 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, the son of a coal merchant, Arthur Dodd and wife Sarah. He went to the Knotty Ash School, and sang in the local church choir of St Johns Church, Knotty Ash. At the age of seven, he was dared by his school friends to ride his bike with his eyes shut. He accepted the dare, crashed, and received facial injuries which resulted in his distinctive buck teeth.

He then attended Holt High School, a Grammar School in Childwall, but left at age fourteen to work for his father. Around this time he became interested in show business after seeing an advert in a comic: “Fool Your Teachers, Amaze Your Friends—Send 6d in Stamps and Become a Ventriloquist!” and sending off for the book. Not long after, his father bought him a ventriloquist’s dummy and Ken called it Charlie Brown. He started entertaining at the local orphanage, then at various other local community functions.

He got his big break at age twenty-six when, in September 1954, he made his professional show-business debut at the now-demolished Nottingham Empire. A nervous young man, he sat in a local Milk Bar for most of the afternoon, going over and over his lines before going to the theatre. He later said, “Well at least they didn’t boo me off”. He continued to perform, eventually topping the bill at Blackpool in 1958.

The famous 'tickling sticks'

Honours….. In December 2004, Dodd was in Nottingham to be presented with a framed playbill after a sell out performance at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham to celebrate his fifty years in show business. Dodd’s first professional performance was on stage at the Empire Theatre, Nottingham in 1954.

In a 2005 poll of comedians and comedy insiders to find ‘The Comedian’s Comedian’, Dodd was voted amongst the ‘Top 50 Comedy Acts Ever’, ranked as number 36. He was made an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University in 1997. A statue depicting Dodd with his feather duster was unveiled in Lime Street Station, Liverpool on 11 June 2009.

Dodd was made an honorary fellow of The University of Chester on 4 November 2009, having been awarded Doctor of Letters at a graduation ceremony in Chester Cathedral. His doctorate was presented by Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster. He was awarded a Doctorate of Letters at Liverpool Hope University on 25 January 2010 during the University’s Foundation Day celebrations.

 

Still going strong at 85 years young!

Personal life…. Dodd has had two long-time fiancées, but has never married. A stalker, Ruth Tagg, who harassed Dodd and his girlfriend Anne Jones (who is also a current support act, named ‘Sybie’ Jones), sending threatening letters and a dead rat, attempted to burn down his house by pushing burning rags through the letterbox, in October 2001. Tagg pleaded guilty to harassment and arson at Preston Crown Court.

He underwent a hernia operation in late 2007, forcing him to cancel several performances, but was back on stage within a month. Dodd presented the History of Liverpool Comedians at St George’s Hall on 1 and 2 April 2008.

Dodd is still touring and appeared in the Glasgow Pavilion in April 2009, playing to a sell-out crowd for over four hours. September 2010 saw Dodd perform at the Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare (Somerset, UK), where he performed to a full house in a show that started at 7pm and finished well after midnight.

He also played at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, on Saturday November 20, 2010. Similar to the Glasgow Pavilion in April 2009, the show started at 7 pm and finished in the early hours of Sunday 21 November.

You can hear the ‘Ken Dodd Star Parade’ and the ‘Ken Dodd Show’ on the British Comedy Channel….. Happy Listening 🙂

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The Campbell Playhouse

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Campbell Playhouse Promo

The Campbell Playhouse (1938–40) was a CBS radio drama series directed by and starring Orson Welles. Produced by John Houseman, it was a sponsored continuation of the Mercury Theatre on the Air. The series offered 60-minute adaptations of classic plays and novels, plus some adaptations of popular motion pictures. As a direct result of the front-page headlines Orson Welles generated with his 1938 Halloween production War of the Worlds, Campbell’s Soup signed on as his sponsor.

The Mercury Theatre of the Air made its last broadcast December 4, 1938, and The Campbell Playhouse began December 9, 1938. The series made its debut with Welles’ adaptation of Rebecca, with guest stars Margaret Sullavan and Mildred Natwick. Bernard Herrmann composed and conducted the imaginative score, and later used much of it for the film Jane Eyre.

Daphne du Maurier wrote Rebecca

The radio drama was the first adaptation of the 1938 novel by Daphne Du Maurier; the author was interviewed live from London at the conclusion of the broadcast. The same creative staff stayed on, but the show had a different flavor under sponsorship. This was partially due to a guest star policy which relegated the Mercury Players to supporting roles. There was a growing schism between Welles, still reaping the rewards of his Halloween night notoriety, and Houseman, who became more like an employee than a partner.

Campbell Playhouse, 9th December 1938 – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Campbell_Playhouse_38_12_09_Rebecca

The primary writer, as during the end of the unsponsored run, was Howard Koch. Productions included The Citadel (with Geraldine Fitzgerald), A Christmas Carol (broadcast once with Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge, and once with Orson Welles himself in the role), a non-musical version of Show Boat (with Margaret Sullavan as Magnolia, Orson Welles played Cap’n Andy, Helen Morgan as Julie, and author Edna Ferber herself as Parthy).

Campbell Playhouse, 15th October 1939 – Escape

391015_Escape

A Farewell to Arms (with Katharine Hepburn), Mutiny on the Bounty, Arrowsmith (with Helen Hayes), Les Misérables (with Walter Huston), Our Town, Ah, Wilderness, Dodsworth, Lost Horizon (with Ronald Colman), Dinner at Eight (with Hedda Hopper and Lucille Ball), Liliom (with Orson Welles in the title role and Helen Hayes as Julie), and Huckleberry Finn (with Jackie Cooper).

Orson Welles left the series in 1940

When Welles left the series in 1940, Houseman stayed to write scripts for the final season, which was initially produced by Diana Bourbon, one of the few women directors in network radio. Houseman wrote a script every other week, alternating with veteran radio writer Wyllis Cooper (he and Campbell announcer Ernest Chappell would go on to create Quiet, Please) . Later in the season, scripts by others were used, including one each by Norman Corwin and Ellery Queen. Reduced to a half hour, the series’ focus shifted away from heavy play and novel adaptations to lighter, more popular fare, still with casts drawn from the ranks of film actors. Listenership increased—ratings were actually higher than the Welles-hosted seasons—but the series was expensive and the sponsor canceled it in June 1941.

Look out for episodes of the Campbell Playhouse on the Drama & Western Channel from the ROK Classic Radio Old Time Radio Network!

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Have Gun–Will Travel

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Have Gun - Will Travel

The Have Gun — Will Travel radio show broadcast 106 episodes on CBS between November 23, 1958, and November 22, 1960. It was one of the last radio dramas featuring continuing characters and the only significant American radio adaptation of a television series.

John Dehner (a regular on the radio series version of Gunsmoke) played Paladin, and Ben Wright usually (but not always) played Hey Boy.

Virginia Gregg played the role of Miss Wong, Hey Boy’s girlfriend, before the television series began featuring the character of Hey Girl. Unlike the small-screen version, in this medium, there was usually a tag scene back at the Carlton at both the beginning and the end of the episode.

Have Gun –  Will Travel – Lady Kane, The Silver Queen (59/05/17)

Have_Gun_Will_Travel_590517_Lady_Kane_The_Silver_Queen

Initially, the episodes were adaptations of the television program as broadcast earlier the same week, but eventually, original stories were produced, including a finale (“Goodbye, Paladin”) in which Paladin left San Francisco, apparently forever, to claim an inheritance back East.  The radio version of the show was written by producer/writer Roy Winsor.

Have Gun – Will Travel – Bitter Vengeance (59/11/29)

HaveGunWillTravel591129054BitterVengeance

Stories revolved around gun-for-hire with principles, Paladin (his real name was never revealed). Though Paladin, played on the radio by John Dehner, preferred to try to work out problems without violence if possible, he worked for people who he felt were wronged and could pay.  Occasionally, if he felt people who couldn’t pay were in a really hard situation with bad guys, he worked for free. If, during the course of his work, he discovered his employer turned out to be shady, Paladin would turn on his employer.

Listen out for episodes of this fantastic show on the Drama and Western Channel from the ROK Classic Radio Old Time Radio Network.

Happy Listening 🙂

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Dad’s Army co-creator David Croft dies at home aged 89

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David Croft

David Croft, co-writer and producer of classic comedies including ‘Allo ‘Allo and Hi-de-Hi has died at the age of 89, his family has announced.

He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Portugal. His family called him a “truly great man” in a statement.

Croft’s military sitcoms It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and Dad’s Army, written with Jimmy Perry, were hits in the 1970s.

 

He is also credited with Are You Being Served and its 1990s spin-off Grace and Favour.

Actor Melvyn Hayes, one of the stars of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, called Croft a “genius” and said it was “a privilege to work with” him.

“There were no swear words in his shows. His programmes were the kind of thing you could sit in front of the TV and watch with your grandmother and grandchildren,” he told the BBC.

Welsh actress Ruth Madoc, who played Gladys Pugh in

Ruth Madoc as Gladys Pugh in Hi-de-Hi

, also paid tribute to the writer.

“ He just knew what tickled people, what made people smile”

Ian Lavender, Private Pike in Dad’s Army stated:

“He taught us so much, that was the great thing about him,” she told the BBC News Channel.

“He’d let you look in the camera lens and he’d teach you about that shot.

“He was a very, very clever man and not only did he do television but he slipped so easily into producing, writing and directing theatre, too.”

Jon Plowman, former head of comedy at the corporation, said Croft “invented a whole genre of comedy that was all his own”.

“The world is a less funny place for his going,” he added.

Croft, who was awarded an OBE in 1978 for services to television, worked alongside Jeremy Lloyd on both the department store sitcom and wartime farce ‘Allo ‘Allo, which was set in Nazi-occupied France. Comedians and writers have taken to Twitter to post tributes. David Walliams wrote: “Such sad news,” while Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell added: “His best monument is that his shows are still repeated.”

Original cast of Allo Allo

All of Croft’s hits were produced for the BBC, the last being Oh, Doctor Beeching in 1993 – after which he retired from the corporation.

A decade later, Croft was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the British Comedy Awards.

Croft was born as David John Sharland to stage actress Annie Croft and Reginald Sharland, a successful Hollywood radio actor.

He enlisted in the army during World War II, which was to provide some of his later comic inspiration for Dad’s Army and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.
Dad’s Army Wartime sitcom Dad’s Army was one of Croft’s most enduring creations

Dad's Army

Dad’s Army was the first of his series to come to TV screens, in 1968, and marked the start of his fruitful and long-lived comic partnership with Jimmy Perry.

The BBC initially had misgivings about the concept – which followed the fortunes of a Home Guard platoon, the last line of defence should the Germans have invaded Britain during World War II.

But the affection with which the characters were treated soon endeared the show to audiences and corporate bosses alike.

The series went on to gain the creative partnership a trio of awards from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain in 1969-71.

More than 40 years after it was first screened, the sitcom is still being shown.

Ian Lavender, who played the hapless Private Pike in the series said Croft was “a great comic writer”.

“He just knew what tickled people, what made people smile,” he told BBC News.

“I have never come across anyone in the Home Guard who said Dad’s Army was a disgrace.

“They say they all had a Mainwaring in their platoon. We were laughing with them, not at them.”

Another Croft Classic - You Rang My Lord

 

Among Croft’s other achievements, he wrote scripts for numerous well-loved pantomimes and produced television shows in Hollywood and Australia.

The statement posted on his official website by his family added: “He was a truly great man, who will be missed by all who had the great fortune of knowing and loving him.”

It added that he would have been “proud that you had all been watching”, a nod to the tagline that appeared at the end of Croft’s TV sitcoms.

 

The Genius that was David Croft

Are You Being Served

Dad’s Army

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

Allo Allo

Hi de Hi

You rang, m’lord?

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Gracie Allen

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Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen

Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen (July 26, 1895 – August 27, 1964), known as Gracie Allen, was an American comedian who became internationally famous as the zany partner and comic foil of husband George Burns.

Gracie Allen was born in San Francisco, California, to George Allen and Molly Darragh, who were of Irish Catholic extraction. She made her first appearance on stage at age three and was given her first chance On Air by Eddie Cantor. She was educated at the Star of the Sea Convent School and during that time became a talented dancer. She soon began performing Irish folk dances with her three sisters, who were billed as “The Four Colleens.” In 1909 Allen joined her sister, Bessie, as a vaudeville performer. At a performance in 1922 Allen met George Burns and the two formed a comedy act. The two were married on January 7, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Burns & Allen

The Burns and Allen act began with Allen as the straight man, setting up Burns to deliver the punchlines — and get the laughs. In his book Gracie: A Love Story Burns later explained that he noticed Allen’s straight lines were getting more laughs than his punchlines, so he cannily flipped the act over —- he made himself the straight man and let her get the laughs. Audiences immediately fell in love with Allen’s character, who combined the traits of stupidity, zaniness, and total innocence.

In the early 1930s, like many stars of their era, Burns and Allen graduated to radio. The show was originally a continuation of their original “flirtation act” (as their vaudeville and short film routines had been). Burns realized that they were simply too old for that material (“Our jokes were too young for us”, he later remarked) and changed the show’s format in the fall of 1941 into the situation comedy vehicle for which they are best remembered: a working show business married couple negotiating ordinary problems caused by Gracie’s “illogical logic,” usually with the help of neighbors Harry and Blanche Morton, and their announcer, Bill Goodwin.

Jack Benny - Good friend and frequent guest star on the Burns & Allen Show

Around 1948 Burns and Allen became part of the CBS talent raid. Their good friend (and frequent guest star) Jack Benny had decided to jump from NBC over to CBS. William S. Paley, the mastermind of CBS, had recently made it openly clear that he believed talent and not the network made the difference, which was not the case at NBC. Benny convinced Burns and Allen (among others) to join him in the move to CBS. The Burns and Allen radio show became part of the CBS lineup and a year later they also brought their show to television. They continued to use the formula which had kept them longtime radio stars, playing themselves only now as television stars, still living next door to Harry and Blanche Morton. They concluded each show with a brief dialogue performance in the style of their classic vaudeville and earlier radio routines.

Allen retired in 1958, and Burns tried to soldier on without her. The show was re-named The George Burns Show with the cast intact except for Allen. The locale of the show was changed from the Burns home to George Burns’ office, with Blanche Morton working as Burns’ secretary so she could help Allen keep an eye on him. Allen’s absence was only too obvious and impossible to overcome. The renamed show barely lasted a year.

Gracie Allen and George Burns—Together Again

Gracie Allen fought a long battle with heart disease, ultimately dying of a heart attack in Hollywood in 1964. She was interred in a crypt at the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Burns was interred at her side when he died 32 years later. (“Gracie Allen and George Burns—Together Again,” reads the engraving on the marker.

 

Burns & Allen – Gracie treats George like a King (15th May, 1947)
470515_Gracie_treats_George_like_a_King

Burns & Allen – Francis Langford – Vacation Plans (29th May, 1947)
470529_Francis_Langford__Vacation_Plans

Listen to Gracie Allen in the Burns & Allen Show on the American Comedy Channel from the ROK Classic Radio Old Time Radio Network!

Happy Listening 🙂

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Horatio Hornblower on the Drama & Western Channel

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Poster from the film version starring Gregory Peck

The production Horatio Hornblower was broadcast by Radio Luxumbourg.  Horatio Hornblower was a 30 minute historical adventure & action radio series which first aired in 1952 and was produced by Harry Towers and starred Michael Redgrave.


Horatio Hornblower – Horatio Captures A Ship (1953-01-02)

Horatio Hornblower 1953-01-02 Horatio Captures A Ship

Redgrave played the part of  Hornblower, a captain in the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era. The radio series was based on twelve Horatio Hornblower novels written by C.S. Forester. These novels were, and still are, well liked due to their realistic tone and historical accuracy in telling the tales of Naval life in the late 1700s through the mid 1800s. C.S. Forester was well known for his novels about military and naval life, including such fine titles as The African Queen, The General. The Gun and the The Barbary Pirates.

Hornblower is iconic in the Age of Sail traditional naval fiction, and any writer in the genre must deal with comparisons to Forester. There are many parallels between Hornblower and

Author Cecil Scott Forester

real naval officers of the period, especially Thomas Cochrane and Horatio Nelson. The name “Horatio” was inspired by the character in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and chosen also because of its association with contemporary figures such as Nelson.


Horatio Hornblower – Rejoining The Fleet (1953-01-09)

Horatio Hornblower 1953-01-09 Rejoining The Fleet

Even though the series was transcribed in England for the BBC, they were not interested in broadcasting Hornblower so it was aired in the U.S. on CBS, then again on ABC in 1954 and Mutual in 1957.

 

Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, CBE (20 March 1908 – 21 March 1985) was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.

Redgrave twice (1958 and 1963) won Best Actor trophies in the Evening Standard Awards and twice received the Variety Club of Great Britain ‘Actor of the Year’ Award.
He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1952 and was knighted in 1959. He was also appointed Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog, Denmark in 1955. The Redgrave Theatre in Farnham, Surrey, 1974–1998, was named in his honour.

Michael Redgrave played Horatio Hornblower

Listen to the Adventures of Horation Hornblower on the Drama & Western Channel from the ROK Classic Radio Old Time Radio Network!

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The Crime & Suspense Channel

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Being one of the most prolific categories during The Golden Age of Radio, the airwaves were stuffed full with detective, police and suspense stories – shows about licensed (and unlicensed) “private eyes”, insurance investigators, police detectives, amateur sleuths from little known characters such as Philo Vance to giant detective legends such as Sherlock Holmes.

The Crime & Suspense Channel from the ROK Classic Radio OTR Network brings you 24/7 exciting capers, adventures and frights spanning nearly 80 years of radio history. So crank up your radio, find your magnifying glass, don your sleuth’s hat because it’s time to enter the radio underworld of crime, dastardly deeds and spine tingling suspense.

The Crime & Suspense Channel is now scheduled so you now can always catch your favourite crime show! Crime & Suspense Channel – Program Guide

Here are a few classics not to miss on the Crime & Suspense Channel!

Host of Murder at Midnight Raymond Morgan

Murder at Midnight was an old-time radio show featuring macabre tales of suspense, often with a supernatural twist. It was produced in New York and was syndicated beginning in 1946. The show’s writers included Robert Newman, Joseph Ruscoll, Max Ehrlich and William Norwood, and it was directed by Anton M. Leder. The host was Raymond Morgan, who delivered the memorable lines of introduction over Charles Paul’s effective organ theme: “Midnight, the witching hour when the night is darkest, our fears the strongest, and our strength at its lowest ebb. Midnight, when the graves gape open and death strikes.”

A total of 50 episodes were produced. Ten shows were syndicated and rerun on Mutual in 1950.

 

  Murder at Midnight – The Man Who Was Death
Murder at Midnight – The Man_Who_Was_Death

The Dragnet radio show was a police action series that ran for 382 episodes over 7 1/2 years from

Jack Webb in an advert for the shows sponsor Fatima

June 3, 1949 to February 26, 1957 on the NBC radio network! It was the first police series that detailed every single step involved in police work. The street cops would often discover a crime, then the detectives would investigate and gather evidence. The questioning of witnesses and suspects was typically included. The show even went so far as to show the mundane tasks involved in police work like filling out paperwork.

For the first time, the audience got a feel for what a real cops job was like, not the glorified hollywood version. And yet, the stories were intense and definitely held the interest of the audience. The show’s creator, director and main star, Jack Webb, insisted on realism and accuracy in portraying the cops and detectives in the series. Episodes were based on real cases from the Los Angeles Police Department’s files. Dragnet also broke some (at the time) taboos by occasionally depicting sexual crimes and episodes where children were murdered.

Dragnet (1949-08-11) Episode 10 – Homicide

Dragnet_49-08-11_ep010_Homicide

Anthony Ross as Detective Danny Clover in Broadway Is My Beat


Broadway Is My Beat
, a radio crime drama, ran on CBS beginning with the July 7, 1949 episode, the series was broadcast from Hollywood with producer Elliott Lewis directing a new cast in scripts by Morton S. Fine and David Friedkin. The opening theme of “I’ll Take Manhattan” introduced Detective Danny Clover, a hardened New York City cop who worked homicide “from Times Square to Columbus Circle — the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world.”

Danny Clover narrated the tales of the Great White Way to the accompaniment of music by Wilbur Hatch and Alexander Courage, and the recreation of Manhattan’s aural tapestry required the talents of three sound effects technicians (David Light, Ralph Cummings, Ross Murray). Bill Anders was the show’s announcer, as was Joe Walters. The supporting cast included regulars Charles Calvert (as Sgt. Gino Tartaglia) and Jack Kruschen (as Sgt. Muggavan), with episodic roles filled by such radio actors as Irene Tedrow, Barney Phillips, Lamont Johnson, Herb Ellis, Hy Averback, Edgar Barrier, Betty Lou Gerson, Harry Bartell, Sheldon Leonard, Martha Wentworth, Lawrence Dobkin and Mary Jane Croft.

Broadway is My Beat – The Tommy Mannon Case (1949.11.12)
Broadway_Is_my_Beat_The_Tommy_Mannon_Case
Don’t forget to listen to the other great channels on the ROK Classic Radio Old Time Radio Network!
Happy Listening 🙂
Team Pumpkin

 

The Crime & Suspense Channels Shows include:-

* Abbott Mysteries
* Adventures of Bill Lance, The
* Adventures of Christopher Wells, The
* Adventures of Christopher London, The
* Adventures of Father Brown, The
* Affairs of Anne Scotland, The
* Affairs of Peter Salem, The
* Alias Jimmy Valentine
* Amazing Mr Smith, The
* Avenger, The
* Barrie Craig
* Big Guy
* Blackstone, The Magic Detective
* Blue Beetle
* Boston Blackie
* Bulldog Drummond
* Candy Matson
* Case Book of Gregory Hood
* Casey, Crime Photographer
* Charlie Chan
* Charlie Wild, Private Detective
* Chick Carter, Boy Detective
* Crime & Peter Chambers
* Crime Files of Flamond
* Danger With Granger
* Danger, Dr Danfield
* David Harding, Counterspy
* Dick Tracy
* Ellery Queen
* Falcon, The
* Fat Man, The
* Frank Race
* Green Hornet, The
* Hannibal Cobb
* Harry Lime (The Third Man)
* Hearthstone of the Death Squad
* Helen Holden, Govermental Girl
* Hercule Poirot
* Inspector Thorne of Homicide
* It’s A Crime, Mr. Collins
* Jeff Regan, Investigator
* Johnny Dollar
* Johnny Fletcher
* Johnny Madero, Pier 23
* Johnny Nighthawk
* Leonidas Witheral
* Let George Do It
* Maigret
* Marcel
* Mark Sabre of Homicide
* Martin Kane. Private Detective
* Matthew Slade, Private Eye
* Michael Shayne, Private Detective
* Mike Malloy, Private Eye
* Mr. and Mrs. North
* Mr. Chameleon
* Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons
* Mr. Malone
* Mr. Moto
* Nero Wolfe
* Nick Carter, Master Detective
* Pat Novak For Hire
* Paul Temple
* Perry Mason
* Pete Kelly
* Peter Chambers
* Philip Marlowe
* Philo Vance
* Raffles
* Rex Saunders
* Richard Diamond
* Rocky Fortune
* Rocky Jordan
* Roger Kilgore, Public Defender
* Rogue’s Gallery
* Saint, The
* Sam Spade
* Sgt. Preston
* Shadow, The
* Sherlock Holmes
* That Hammer Guy
* Thin Man, The
* Whisperer, The
* 21st Precinct
* Are these our Children?
* Big Story
* Big Town
* Bishop and The Gargoyle, The
* Black Hood, The
* Black Museum, The
* Box 13
* Broadway is my Beat
* Call The Police
* Calling All Cars
* Calling All Detectives
* Confession
* Crime Club
* Crime Doctor
* Crime Does Not Pay
* Crime Fighters
* Deadline Mystery
* Defense Attorney
* Dragnet
* Eno Crime Club
* FBI in Peace and War
* Federal Agent
* Five Mysteries Program, The
* For the Defense
* Front Page, The
* Gangbusters
* Highway Patrol
* Hollywood Mystery Time
* Hot Copy
* I Deal in Crime
* I Love A Mystery
* Indictment
* Lineup, The
* Mr. District Attorney
* Murder by Experts
* Nightbeat
* Obsession
* Official Detective
* Police Blotter
* Police HQ
* Queen’s Men
* Squad Room
* Tales of the Texas Rangers
* This Is Your FBI
* Treasury Agent
* True Detective Mysteries
* Under Arrest

 

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