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Radio Programs beginning with "W"

"Whatever became of Billy Jack Long?"

The Walter O'Keefe Show

Star: Walter O'Keefe
Sponsors: Life Savers, Fougera, Nestle, Camel Cigarettes, Ipana Toothpaste
Network: NBC (Blue), CBS, NBC (Red)
Aired: 1929-1937
Type of Show: Variety
NB: Tuba players should know who Walter O'Keefe was: He was the first person to sing, "When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba Down in Cuba!" in the 1933 Broadway musical, The Third Little Show, with Beatrice Lillie and Ernest Truex.  O'Keefe did a lot on radio.  The last program he did was a personality show on Los Angeles station KHJ in 1962.  This series was O'Keefe's most successful.

Walter Winchell

Star: Walter Winchell
Sponsors: Jergen's Lotion, Kaiser Automobiles (that was a winner!), Hudnut (?), Gruen Watches, American Razor, others
Network: CBS, NBC (Blue), ABC, Mutual
Aired: 1931-1957
Type of Show: Gossip
NB: Everyone listened to Winchell and believed in him.  If he had bad feelings about a foreign entertainer in the United States, there was a good chance he or she would soon be deported!  Winchell was not loved by many folks and, even in retrospect, the only reason why he is on this list is to show how our recent ancestors could believe a man.  His life was miserable.  His son, who resented his father, committed suicide in Walter Winchell's waning years.  Only then it was too late.  People around my age (or slightly older) remember Winchell as the narrator for ABC-TV's The Untouchables (a Quinn Martin Production!)

Whatever Became of...

Star: Richard Lamparski
Sponsor: Sustaining (none)
Network: Pacifica (I think this is the only show from this network on the list, the Los Angeles affiliate is KPFK)
Aired: 1965-1971
Type of Show: Nostalgia
NB: This was the program which asked the question, "Whatever became of ______? (insert a famous person's name in the blank.)"  Some of the people were radio personalities who are mentioned as stars on this list.  The radio program led Lamparski to write successful series of books, which ceased publication in the mid 1980s.  These were very popular during my high school years (1971-1975).  My question now is, "Whatever became of Richard Lamparski?"

   Stan Freberg has hosted the show since Art Fleming died.

When Radio Was!

Star: Art Fleming or Stan Freberg
Sponsor: Radio Spirits (actually, they produce the show!)
Network: Syndicated
Aired: Since mid1980s (still on the air)
Type of Show: Anthology of old radio programs
NB: Carl Amari (b. 1960; he's three years younger than the LoyalTubist!) began Radio Spirits as a teenager.  It is now one of the largest producers and merchants of OTR programs and other related products.  In 1998 it absorbed Radio Yesteryear/Radiola Records and Metacom/Adventures in Cassettes.

"Wherever you travel in eleven western states from Canada to Mexico, look for the Orange and Black Signal signs."   (Signal is one of the companies mentioned in my "Things Which No Longer Exist" page.)

The Whistler

Star: Bill Forman
Sponsors: Sustaining (no sponsor), Signal gasoline, Household Finance, Lever Brothers
Network: CBS (some years it was heard on the West Coast only, in some others there were separate East and West Coast shows)
Aired: 1942-1955
Type of Show: Anthology (drama)
NB: When I was stationed in Germany with the Army in 1979-82, this was the most popular radio drama.  It aired on Wednesday nights at 10:30 on AFN-Europe/AFN Berlin (AFN=American Forces Network).  The haunting theme music, written by Wilbur Hatch (of I Love Lucy fame), was whistled by a woman, who came to the studio on her way home from her day job at Lockheed during World War Two.

  Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Will Rogers

Star: Will Rogers
Sponsor: Gulf Gasoline
Network: NBC (Blue), CBS
Aired: 1933-1935
Type of Show: Political Commentary (humorously done!)
NB: When I first heard this show, it wasn't what I expected it to be.  Since my family roots are from Oklahoma, I already know something about the man; his home town wasn't far from where my dad was born in northeastern Oklahoma.  Will Rogers was an all around entertainer, so his radio program centered around the idea of making fun of life.  He was killed in Alaska while riding in an airplane flown by one-eyed pilot, Wiley Post in 1935.

The Witch's Tale

Star: Alonzo Deen Cole
Sponsor: Kruschen Salts
Network: Local (WOR, KECA), Mutual, Syndicated
Aired: 1931-1938
Type of Show: Gothic Drama
NB: Stories told by the old witch Nancy, aided by her wise, old black cat, Satan.  Maybe it's the true satanic influence in this series but it is the spookiest program of its type of any era. Do not listen to these programs alone at any time of the day!

Last updated Novemeber 23, 2001