Those wonderful old radio shows

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For the Times

In the 1940s I was in grammar school. When I got home in the afternoons, I would lie down in front of our big console radio to listen to those great old shows while I did my homework. I think my favorite was “The Shadow” - “What evil lurks in the heart of man? The Shadow knows.” There was Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons and of course the man of steel, Superman. Sgt. Preston of the Northwest Mounted Police always got his man and made us long to see snow one day.   

On Saturday night, the whole family listened to The Grand Old Opry, and Mama and Grannie liked their daytime shows: “Ma Perkins,” “Queen for a Day,” “Truth or Consequences,” and “Arthur Godfrey.” On Sunday night there was “The Jack Benny Show” with Rochester. Did you know Rochester was in “Gone With the Wind”? He was the black butler who met Scarlett at the door when she got to Tara and told her that her mother was dead.

Cowboys were a favorite of mine. Who can forget that stirring music that introduced “The Lone Ranger” show with Tonto? The movie they made about the Lone Ranger and Tonto with Johnny Depp was pitiful. Then there were the adventures of Tom Mix and, of course, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Smiley Burnett (Frog Millhouse) had a show that was a favorite with the kids.   

 There were shows you would not listen to alone. Do you remember that squeaking door on “Inner Sanctum”? It always gave me the heebie-jeebies (that’s Southern for chills down your spine). The voice of the “Mysterious Traveler” was spooky, and that lonesome train whistle didn’t make you feel any better.

Other shows I liked were Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy, “The Red Skelton Show,” “Lux Radio Theater,” “Amos and Andy,” and of course the “Bob Hope Show.”

I have found several companies that sell CD’s of the old radio shows. So most of the time when you see me tooling around town in my pickup truck (have to have it for my scooter), you can bet I’m listening to some 1940s radio show and am just as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.

Contact Gwynn Peacock Kidd at Gwynn0720@comcast.net.



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