300 episodes

Breaking Walls: The Podcast on the History of American Network Radio.

Breaking Walls James Scully

    • History
    • 4.8, 57 Ratings

Breaking Walls: The Podcast on the History of American Network Radio.

    The Radio Life And Tragic Death Of Jeff Chandler

    The Radio Life And Tragic Death Of Jeff Chandler

    This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954).

    Jeff Chandler was born Ira Grossel in Brooklyn, New York on December 15th, 1918. Raised by his mother, Ira went to Erasmus High School. There he acted in school plays with classmate Susan Hayward.He later took courses at the Feagin School of Dramatic Art in New York and was briefly in radio before getting a job with a troupe on Long Island as an actor and stage manager.

    He worked for various stock companies over the next two years, including a performance in The Trojan Horse opposite Gordon and Sheila MacRae, to whom he became good friends.

    Chandler served in the Pacific and finished World War II war as a Lieutenant. In December of 1945 after being discharged, he moved to Los Angeles.

    Although he struggled to find work in film, by May of 1946 he was appearing on radio, becoming one of Hollywood's reliable character men. The next autumn he was cast as the lead in The New Adventures of Michael Shayne, a syndicated program written by Larry Marcus and produced by Bill Rousseau and Don W. Sharpe. It was the first program sold through the Broadcaster’s Guild. The series was ready for release at the beginning of March, 1948. Michael Shayne led Jeff Chandler to the radio role of a lifetime opposite Eve Arden.

    • 18 min
    Alan Reed Tells a Hilarious Story About Strong-Arming His Way To An Early Acting Role

    Alan Reed Tells a Hilarious Story About Strong-Arming His Way To An Early Acting Role

    Alan Reed, TV's Fred Flintstone, was also a prolific radio and film character actor. On February 17th, 1975, Mr. Reed sat down with Chuck Schaden for an interview about his life and career (full interview here - http://www.speakingofradio.com/interviews/reed-alan/).

    During the course of the interview, Reed told a hysterical story about how he got an early gangster role on radio even though he looked too young for the part.

    • 2 min
    The Story Behind Bill Spier's Exit From Suspense

    The Story Behind Bill Spier's Exit From Suspense

    After the November 20th, 1947 episode of Suspense, Roma Wines wrapped up its sponsorship of the series. For the next five weeks CBS broadcast Suspense on Friday evenings. Beginning on January 3rd, 1948 the program changed directions.

    William Spier’s last date with the production was January 24th, with the episode “Eve,” starring June Havoc. They were married the next day.

    When the couple finished honeymooning, Spier looked for his next project. He found it on the American Broadcasting Company.

    • 7 min
    The Adventures of Sam Spade: The Missing Newshawk Caper—07/18/1948

    The Adventures of Sam Spade: The Missing Newshawk Caper—07/18/1948

    On the July 18th, 1948 episode of Sam Spade, entitled "The Missing Newshawk Caper," Lurene Tuttle returned to the series as secretary Effie Perine after taking the previous three episodes off.

    In New York, this episode ran at 8PM on WCBS opposite The Robert Shaw Chorale on NBC, Alexander's Meditation Board on WOR/MBS, and Stop the Music on WJZ/ABC.

    In Los Angeles, it ran at 9PM on KNX/CBS opposite The Symphony Hour on KFI/NBC, news on KHJ/MBS, and Unexpected on KECA/ABC.

    • 29 min
    Columbia Presents Corwin: Home for the Fourth—07/04/1944

    Columbia Presents Corwin: Home for the Fourth—07/04/1944

    At 9PM on Independence Day in 1944 CBS presented an episode of Columbia Presents Corwin called "Home For The Fourth." Written and directed by Norman Corwin and starring Dane Clark. It's a story that could have been about your family or mine, and how World War II affected them.

    July 4th, 1944 was less than a month after the Normandy Invasions on D Day. On that Independence Day the millionth allied soldier landed on Normandy and one-thousand one-hundred allied guns fired a Fourth of July salute at German enemy lines.

    In the Pacific theater, US Navy Task Force 58 bombards and bombs Iwo Jima, Haha Jima, and Chichi Jima, forcing the Japanese air force to leave the islands.

    In this program, a soldier is given a forty-eight-hour Fourth of July home pass. While the family argues the meaning of World War II and the subsequent international pacts, they learn the true meaning of what they're arguing over. It's is incredibly well-written, timeless, and moving.

    The cast featured Dane Clark as Ed, Wally Maher as Bill, Betsy Kelly as Rita, Paul McVey as Pa, and Regina Wallace as Ma. Bernard Herrmann composed and conducted the music.

    • 28 min
    CBS President Frank Stanton on the CBS Differences Before and After World War II

    CBS President Frank Stanton on the CBS Differences Before and After World War II

    In 1977 for CBS' 50th anniversary, Frank Stanton, President of CBS, sat down with interviewers to talk about his life at the broadcasting network. It was here that he explained how CBS programming changed when CBS Head William Paley returned from serving in World War II.

    • 47 sec

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

zombie creep 61 ,

The best

Great behind us

BenVarkentine ,

Good stuff...

...for fans of old-time radio.

Delta-Whiskey ,

Giving the apogee of Western Culture it's due

Perhaps a tiny step into hyperbole but not by much, this is fine and important work. It is also a seemingly perfect balance between history and entertainment in the way it moves from interviews to the actual show recordings to historical information.

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