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Radio Programs beginning with "M"

"Round and round and round she goes... Where she stops nobody knows..."

From 1938: Major Bowes and Helen Diller, age 21, "The Canadian Cowgirl"

Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour

Host: Major Edward Bowes (Major was his first name, not a military rank,though he signed his checks "Edward Bowes")
Sponsor: Chase and Sanborn Coffee, Chrysler Automobiles
Networks: Local Radio (WHN in New York City), NBC (Red), CBS
Aired: 1924-1946
Type of Show: Variety (talent show)
NB: Frank Sinatra was first heard on this show singing with the Hoboken Four barber shop quartet in 1935.  Succeeded on TV by Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour (CBS).  Ted Mack had been the producer of Bowes' program.

The Man Called X

Star: Herbert Marshall
Sponsors: Lockheed Aviation, Pepsodent Toothpaste, General Motors, Frigidaire Refrigerators, others, Sustaining (none)
Network: CBS, NBC
Aired: 1944-1952
Type of Show: Drama (Espionage)
NB: This adventure program kept up with whatever was in the newspaper.

     Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

The Marriage

Stars: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy
Sponsor: None (sustaining)
Network: NBC
Aired: 1952-1953
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: Renowned stage and screen stars (and married couple) pretty much played themselves in this pleasant early 1950s offering.  It was heard on Sunday afternoons.  I'm not certain but I think this is the only encounter the couple had in a broadcast performance.

...Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (picture from the Dean Martin Fan Center)

The Martin and Lewis Show

Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis
Sponsor: Sustaining (none), Swan Soap, Chesterfield cigarettes, others
Network: NBC
Aired: 1949-1953
Type of Show: Comedy Variety
NB: One of the absolute funniest shows in radio.  Jerry Lewis wasn't funnier Dean Martin, they were both funny (after listening to the radio program, their movies are a big let down!)

  Mrs. Erma Proetz ("Mary Lee Taylor")

The Mary Lee Taylor Program (also called "The Pet Milky Way")

Star: "Mary Lee Taylor"
Sponsor: Pet Evaporated Milk
Networks: CBS, NBC
Aired: 1933-1954
Type of Show: Cooking
NB: If this woman didn't invent the cooking show, she should have!  I listen to recordings of her programs and make some of her recipes which may be almost 70 years old and they still work!  Until World War Two, the show was heard twice weekly.  It moved to Saturday mornings when, because of the war, most women were at work during the week.  Mary Lee Taylor was the pseudonym of Mrs. Erma Proetz, a Pet Milk home economist who dispense her vast knowledge of cooking for over 20 years.  Pet Milk is now a part of Pillsbury.

    Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny at the Warner Brothers Cartoon Studio

The Mel Blanc Show ("Mel Blanc's Fix-It Shop")

Star: Mel Blanc, Joseph Kearns
Sponsor: Colgate Tooth Powder
Network: CBS
Aired: 1946-1947
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: Mel did this while he was doing half a dozen other radio shows and Warner Brothers cartoons!  In the 1960s he would be the voice of Barney Rubble in The FlintstonesAlan Reed, who was Fred Flintstone, and Bea Benaderet, who was Betty Rubble, were also experienced radio actors.

Gene Autry

Melody Ranch

Stars: Gene Autry, Pat Buttram
Sponsor: Wrigley's gum
Network: CBS
Aired: 1940-1943, 1945-1950 (in the Air Force 1943-1945)
Theme Song: "Back in the Saddle Again"
Type of Show: Variety (musical comedy)
NB: Gene Autry's Museum of Western Heritage is located in LA's Griffith Park, adjacent to the Los Angeles Zoo.

The Mercury Theater on the Air (aka "The Campbell Playhouse" with sponsorship)

Stars: various; hosted by Orson Welles
Sponsor: Sustaining (none), Campbell's Soup
Network: CBS
Aired: 1938-1941
Type of Show: Drama Anthology
NB: Best known for its broadcast on October 30, 1938, when Martians attacked the little village of Grover's Mill, New Jersey, outside Princeton, in Orson Welles' adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.  The Mercury Theater returned in the summer of 1946 on CBS under the sponsorship of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.  Some of the plays on this show were from some of CBS's other series (such as Suspense! and the Columbia Workshop).

  Garry Moore as host of TV's I've Got a Secret

The Mighty Memory Mobile

Stars: Garry Moore, Bob Maxwell, Ben Grauer, other radio notables of the past
Sponsor: Local sponsors
Network: Syndicated (taped in Baltimore, MD)
Aired: 1975-1976
Type of Show: Documentary (Nostalgia/Popular History)
NB: This was one of the last radio series to feature contemporary performances by some of the greatest names in OTR.  Only a year's worth of programs were made (approximately 46 maybe?) and most , if not all, of these were made available by Metacom/Adventures in Cassettes (which was bought and merged with Radio Spirits in 1998).  Garry Moore (1915-1985) made this program wonderful with his knowledge, experience, and modesty about his accomplishments.

  "Uncle Miltie"

Milton Berle (show names include "Community Sing," "Stop Me If You've Heard This One," "Three-Ring Time," "Let Yourself Go," "Kiss and Make Up," "At Home with the Berles," and "The Milton Berle Show")

Stars: Milton Berle, Charles Laughton, Bob Crosby, Arnold Stang, others
Sponsors: Gillette, Quaker Oats, Ballantine Ale, Campbell Soup, Eversharp Pens, Philip Morris Cigarettes, Texaco
Network: CBS, NBC (Red), Mutual, NBC (Blue), ABC [all of them]
Aired: 1936-1949
Type of Show: Comedy (Variety)
NB: Milton Berle, known as "Uncle Miltie" on TV, is still alive at this writing in October 2001 (93 years old).  He was a veteran vaudeville trouper when he entered radio in the mid-1930s.  Many authorities who know more about radio than I believe he wasn't exactly cut out for radio but he sure proverbally "paid his dues."  During regular commercial TV's first decade he was that medium's most popular star, even if he had to dress like a woman sometimes to achieve that position.  He also made cameo appearances in movies and later TV shows.

This is what it looked like when they were doing "Mr. District Attorney!"

Mr. District Attorney

Star: Raymond Edward Johnson or David Brian
Sponsor: Vitalis, Pepsodent Toothpaste
Network: NBC (Red), ABC
Aired: 1939-1952
Type of Show: Police Drama

Lucille Ball

My Favorite Husband

Stars: Lucille Ball, Richard Denning (as Liz and George Cugat)
Sponsor: General Foods, Sustaining (none)
Network: CBS
Aired: 1948-1951
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: Would appear on TV, with Lucille Ball's real life husband Desi Arnaz, as I Love Lucy.

My Friend, Irma

Stars: Marie Wilson, Alan Reed
Sponsors: Pepsodent, Pearson's Candy, Camel Cigarettes, others.
Network: CBS
Aired: 1947-1954
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: Marie Wilson, a brilliant and beautiful actress, epitomized the dumb blonde (and was probably the first actress to intentionally play one.)  Was also a television program during the same period.

Myrtle Vail (mom) and Donna Damerell (daughter) in the mid 1930s

Myrt & Marge

Stars: Myrtle Vail, Donna Damerell (until 1941), Helen Mack (from 1941)
Sponsors: Wrigley gum, Super Suds
Network: CBS, Syndicated (WOR, New York)
Aired: 1931-1942, 1946 (April-August)
Type of Show: Soap Opera
NB: The original stars of the show were mother and daughter. When Donna Damerell died in childbirth in 1941 the initial thought was to kill the character.  Taking a cue from The Lone Ranger, another actress was hired to take her place.  The show would last another year and return to the air in syndication from WOR after the war.  The series is about two chorus girls who were originally in a Broadway revue called, "Hayfield's Pleasures."

Mystery Playhouse

Stars: various
Sponsors: None (on military radio)
Network: AFRS, AFRTS
Aired: 1944-1984 (?)
Type of Show: Drama Anthology
NB: At least 18 programs were strung together into one mega series to be heard by U.S. servicemembers stationed overseas.  The database I purchased states that most of these shows are presently unknown.  However, since I have some recollection of actually hearing the series (albeit over 22 years ago), I'll try to list some of them: Lights Out, Inner Sanctum, the Mysterious Traveler, Suspense, Arch Oboler's Plays, the Witch's Tale (scariest program I can think of!), the Hermit's Cave, (Molle) Mystery Theater, Mystery in the Air, Nightmare, the Hall of Fantasy, the House of Mystery, Night Watch, and others, as soon as I remember them.

Updated November 23, 2001