Sunday, November 06, 2005

Dennis Day and More OTR

Since we have XM Satellite Radio in the car, Judy and I like to listen to an OTR show now and then when we're driving. Last night we heard an episode of The Jack Benny Show, on which Dennis Day was a regular. I was reminded that he had his own show, A Day in the Life of Dennis Day, which was another big favorite in my family. We listened to that one nearly every week. My mother was a sucker for that Irish tenor voice, and so I became a fan, too. I looked the show up in John Dunning's On the Air, which I mentioned the other day, and it went off the air in 1951. That means I was only ten when it disappeared.

Ed Gorman recalls on his blog that sitting around and listening to the radio was as much a part of family life as watching TV became, which was certainly true of my family. We listened just about every evening, and I still remember what the radio looked like. It wasn't one of those big fancy sets you see in movies or in magazine ads from those days. It was a fairly small wooden box, painted yellow, but it was magic for me.

I didn't just listen in the evenings, though. In the summers I'd listen in the morning, mostly to The Breakfast Club. In the afternoons I'd listen to the kid shows, but also to the soaps, like Just Plain Bill (which I thought had a great title), Young Widder Brown, Lorenzo Jones, and others. No wonder I have low tastes in literature.

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