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
Network: NBC (Blue), CBS, NBC (Red)
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.
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
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)
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!)
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.)
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)
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.
Star: Will Rogers
Sponsor: Gulf Gasoline
Network: NBC (Blue), CBS
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
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
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