Thursday, January 29, 2015

Music on old radio detective programs

The quality of the music played on the old detective radio shows varied greatly. For example, the music, both theme and background, was outstanding on Richard Diamond. On the other hand, it was (in my opinion) pretty irritating on Philo Vance and the Michael Shayne episodes that starred Jeff Chandler. It changed over the course of the Johnny Dollar series, some of it being very good and some of it not so much. Sadly, on Vance and Shayne programs, the music made what were otherwise pretty good programs into somewhat of an endurance contest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

If you have to wear you religion on your sleeve

in order for people to notice it, then it probably is not much of a religion.

Dragnet look-alikes

There were (at least) a couple of programs that imitated Dragnet's "real life cop" approach. These were Precinct 21 LINK and The Line-up LINK. If you enjoy these types of programs, I would recommend that you try these. They were well-done and generally enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lap dog

This is one of the aptest metaphors commonly used. The actual animal has a peculiar and definable personality and performs a very real and significant purpose in the lives of its owner. In an animal it can be a very commendable role, but in humans it is almost universally despised.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Another name for the asylum

The Hershey Institute - you know, with the nuts inside the bars.

(from the Eddie Cantor radio show)

Eddie Cantor vs. The Mad Russian

Here is a LINK to an episode of the Eddie Cantor radio show from 12 June 1947 in which Bert Gordon (The Mad Russian) has a length conversation with Cantor. Hilarious! Incidentally, you will also hear The Sportsmen Quartet, who were perhaps most famous as from their long-running connection with the Jack Benny program.

The Sportsmen

Gordon and Cantor

Bug-eyes Award

Who wins?

Eddie Cantor

Mantan Moreland

Walmart's scorched earth policy

It is beginning to look more and more as if Walmart really does way to drive all other retailers out of business. I really, really do despise that company.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Television's favorite homewrecker

Actress June Vincent gained the nickname "Television's favorite homewrecker" because she played that role in so many shows. In private life, however, she was married for 59 years to Bill Sterling. Ironic.

My wife hates this hairstyle on Basil Rathbone

In The Voice of Terror and Sherlock Holmes in Washington, Basil Rathbone wore his hear with the sideburns brushed forward. No idea why, but it was not very appealing.



Flotsam and jetsam

You hear these terms used together a lot, and you could look up their meaning, but I will save you a little time. Flotsam means floating pieces from a wrecked ship. Jetsam means articles that have been thrown overboard, presumably to lighten the vessel.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I have sixteen grandchildren. My grandfather had exactly twice that many, but he did not seem to spend nearly as much time on grandchildren. He went his way, and we just had to fit into his schedule. It is interesting how the perceived "responsibility" of grandparents has changed. (The fact that he did not drive probably had a lot to do with it.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Abner's real-life father was named Romeo

Norris "Tuffy" Goff played the part of Abner Peabody on the Lum and Abner radio show. His father was Romeo Goff, born in Michigan in the 1870s. One Rootsweb site I found traced their genealogy back to one Edward Goffe, born in 1594 in Suffolk, England.

What did Lum and Abner look like in real life?

File:Lum and Abner with wives 1941.JPG
With their wives.

What characters did Norris Goff play on Lum and Abner?

Per Wikipedia:

In addition to playing the role of the likable but naive, checker-playing Abner (who worked with Lum at the "Jot 'Em down Store" in fictitious Pine Ridge), Goff co-wrote the earliest episodes with Lauck, and played many of the other recurring characters, including postmaster Dick Huddleston (named after a real life friend in Mena), con-man Squire Skimp, Mousy Gray, and in the sentimental annual Christmas show, Doc Miller.

Wonderful world!

Anyone who is familiar with the Lum and Abner radio program knows these words. There was a stretch of programs that centered around a man who called himself Diogenes Smith, and that was his greeting, which soon became the standard of the entire community. Smith turned out to be a counterfeiter, but did seem to be repentant at the end.