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Radio Programs beginning with "A"

"Hey, Abbott!"

  Bud Abbott and Lou Costello (I love this picture!)

The Abbott and Costello Show

Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello
Sponsors: Sal Hepatica, Camel Cigarettes, Sustaining (no sponsor)
Network: NBC (Red), ABC
Aired: 1940-1949 (during their last year on radio they also had a Saturday morning children's show)
Type of Show: Comedy/Variety

Academy Award Theater

Stars: Hugh Brundage (announcer), various movie stars
Sponsor: Squibb Toothpaste
Network: CBS
Aired: 1946 (March-December)
Type of Show: Anthology (movies)
NB: This is the first show on this list which is a movie anthology series.  A movie is abridged to be played on the radio with many, most, or none of the original actors. Academy Award Theater featured films which either won or were nominated for Oscars®.  The Blue Network also had an Academy Award Theater for a few months in 1944 (April-August).

Adventures in Odyssey

Stars: Not mentioned in the credits, though the voice of Dave Madden (from TV's "Laugh-In" of the late 1960s) is recognizable.
Sponsor: Focus on the Family
Network: None (syndicated)
Aired: Since the mid 1980s
Type of Show: Juvenile Soap Opera
NB: Radio drama is still alive, at least on some Christian stations!  This daily program is heard across the United States and around the world.  I used to listen to this program when I was driving home from work when I lived on the island of Guam!  Although listed as a "juvenile" show the quality is exceptional.  Unlike "Unshackled!" (another Christian radio drama) this program is not performed in a live studio (actually, "U!" is done in a rescue mission) but in a similar manner to the way they record voices in a cartoon.

  Archie (©Archie Comic Publications, Inc.)

The Adventures of Archie Andrews

Stars: Jack Grimes, Charles Mullen, Bob Hastings, others
Sponsors: Swift Premium meats, Kraft Foods, Sustaining (no sponsors)
Network: Blue, Mutual, NBC
Aired: 1943-1953 (at "kid convenient times")
Type of Show: Juvenile Situation Comedy (based on popular teen comic book)
NB: Always a wholesome family favorite, the programs heard today are just as relevant as they were over 50 years ago.  Bob Hastings (one of at least three Archies in the show's ten year run) played Lt. Carpenter in the 1960s Universal TV series on ABC, McHale's Navy.

          Phil Harper as Harry Nile, with co-star Larry Albert sharing the spotlight.

The Adventures of Harry Nile(link requires RealPlayer)

Stars: Phil Harper, Larry Albert, Pat French
Sponsors: Either local sponsors or sustained.
Network: Syndicated (Transmedia)
Aired: Since the mid 1980s (still on the air)
Type of Show: Drama (Private Detective)
NB: This is a very entertaining program to listen to.  I first heard about the show in one of those gift catalogs we all receive around October to send Christmas gifts.  Then I saw some tapes and CDs of Harry Nile at a local discount store for 99 cents.  I bought them.  Later, I discovered that the shows air on KFMB in San Diego (which, being a 50,000 AM radio station can be received pretty well in Riverside, is easily heard).  The only complaint that I have about this program is that it takes place in Los Angeles during the 1940s and taped in Seattle.  The problem is that places which existed during that time and now didn't have the same function in the two periods.  Case in point: The Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia was used after the middle of February 1942 as a holding area for Americans of Japanese ancestry to be shipped to such relocation camps as Manzanar, Heart Mountain, Gila River, and Tule Lake.  Yet I have a program in which Harry Nile is in Arcadia in April 1942 and the horses are running.  In another, there is a group of military personnel riotting at a taxi dance club in Downtown Los Angeles during the previous year.  There were riots at such places AFTER the war started (which for Americans was on December 7, 1941).  That's not so much the problem.  What is a problem is that these were race riots, which isn't mentioned on the program I have on CD.  During the time before television hit Los Angeles big after KTLA got its commercial licence in January 1947, the center of popular culture in Los Angeles was in what was "politely" referred to as the "Negro District" south of Downtown on Central Avenue.  White folks were often customers at such places.  (It didn't work the other way around though; you wouldn't see black people at Chasen's or the Brown Derby unless they were really big stars!)  I would love to hear someone telling about this part of Los Angeles history.

  Ricky, Harriet, David, and Ozzie Nelson

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

Stars: Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Hilliard (Mrs. Ozzie Nelson), their sons (portrayed by actors Henry Blair [Ricky] and Tommy Bernard [David] until March 1949)
Sponsors: International Silver, Heinz food products, Warner-Lambert, General Electric
Networks: CBS, NBC, ABC
Aired: 1944-1954
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: Very successful on TV (ABC) following its radio run.  The radio show debuted on the Nelsons' ninth wedding anniversary: October 8, 1944.

  Raymond Chandler (who, like T.S. Eliot, gave up his U.S. citiizenship to become a British subject.  However, Chandler regained his U.S. citizenship a short time before he died)

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Star: Gerald Mohr
Sponsors: various
Network: CBS
Aired: 1947-1951
Type of Show: Detective Drama (PI)
NB: Based on stories by Raymond Chandler

  Dashiell Hammett

The Adventures of Sam Spade

Stars: Howard Duff (until 9/50), Steve Dunne (after 9/50), Lurene Tuttle, others
Sponsors: Sustaining (no sponsor), Wildroot Creme Oil hair tonic
Network: ABC, CBS, NBC
Aired: 1947-1951
Type of Show: Detective Drama (PI)
NB: Went off the air when the character's creator, Dashiell Hammett, went to prison.

The Adventures of Superman

Stars: Bud Collyer (until 1949; his identity remained a secret while the show was on the air!), Michael Fitzmaurice (after Bud Collyer), Jackson Beck
Sponsors: Kellogg's Pep, Brach's candy, Sustaining (no sponsor)
Networks: NBC (Red), Mutual, ABC
Aired: 1942-1951
Type of Show: Superhero Soap Opera
NB: DC Comics operates the website linked above, which features original radio shows using the RealPlayer.

Ezra Stone appeared at a 1993 Old-Time Radio convention in New Jersey, approximately one year before he died in his car on a deserted road in Pennsylvania.  (This was the best picture I could find of him.)

The Aldrich Family

Stars: Ezra Stone (except during his WWII military service and after 1951), Jackie Kelk (except during his WWII military service and after 1951), Jackie Kelk, Clyde Fillmore (or House Jameson), Lea Penman, Betty Field (or Jone Allison), Ed Begley (or Howard Smith).  Ezra Stone was replaced in World War Two by Dickie Jones and Norman Tokar; Bobby Ellis took over Henry's part after 1951.
Sponsor: Jell-O, Grape Nuts, Sustaining (no sponsor)
Networks: NBC (Red), CBS
Aired: 1939-1953
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: One of the many shows in which children never got older!  Its final season (September 1952 through April 1953) was over a year after the last program with Ezra Stone and Jackie Kelk aired (6/28/51).  It featured an entirely different cast.  Ezra Stone would gain quiet fame for his work as a director for situation comedies on television for many years.  He died in a one vehicle car accident in 1994.

.....Freeman Godsen and Charles Correll in the early 1930s

Amos 'n' Andy

Stars: Freeman Godsen, Charles Correll, others
Sponsors: Pepsodent toothpaste, Campbell's Soup, Rinso, Rexall, various
Networks: NBC (Red), CBS
Aired: 1928-1955
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: Despite all the negative feelings some people have for this program today (Godsen and Correll were white actors portraying blacks), this was one of the few outlets for black actors in OTR to perform in an arena accessible to the largest audience.  Ironically, one of the few regularly working Chinese actresses in radio, Barbara Jean Wong, appeared on this show as the little girl, Arbadella!  Began as "Sam and Henry," probably the very first situation comedy, on Chicago radio station WGN in 1926 and went for a season.  "Amos 'n' Andy" began as a local program on Chicago station WMAQ (then a CBS affiliate) in March 1928.  It went national in August 1929.

Arch Oboler's Plays

Host: Arch Oboler
Sponsor: Sustaining (none)
Network: NBC
Aired: 1939-1940
Type of Show: Drama Anthology
NB: It's virtually the same show as Lights Out! except that this came before Arch took over the show in 1942.  Arch Oboler was one of the best writers in the business.

Askit Basket

Host: Jim McWilliams (through 10/40), Ed East (from 10/40)
Sponsor: Colgate Toothpaste and Shaving Cream, Palmolive Soap
Network: CBS
Aired: 1938-1941
Type of Show: Game Show
NB: This is my favorite game show of the Golden Age of Radio.  The premise was simple.  There was a quiz.  If the contestant didn't know the answer, the constestant would have to do a stunt which was sent in by the home audience.  Some people would do anything for a six month supply of soap, toothpaste, and shaving cream!  Ed East was probably best known with Ralph Dumke as Sisters of the Skilletor the Quality Twins.

The Avenger

Star: Steve Monk
Sponsors: Sustaining (none)
Network: Syndicated
Aired: 1945-1946
Type of Show: Superhero Drama (ripoff of The Shadow!)
NB:  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Although the characters are blatant copies, the program has enoughtoriginality to hold through.  First heard as a local program on WHN Radio in New York City (1941-1942).

Updated November 23, 2001