Who’s What and What’s Where

The Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters

Newsletter

edited by Sue Clark Chadwick

 

 

April 2003

 

Vice President CHUCKSwingin’ Years” CECIL emceed the March 21 luncheon, substituting for our cruising President, GIL STRATTON. Norm Crosby, The Master of Malaprop, was the guest of honor. Crosby, a veteran of four decades of show business, is one of the most prolific comedians in the business. He has hosted television shows, had his own series, headlined the nation’s top resorts and casino rooms, is legendary on the banquet circuit and heads the list for hosting benefits. Entertainment Chair JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN read congratulatory letters from Mrs. GENE AUTRY, Phyllis Diller and Joe Mantegna, who were unable to attend. During lunch, clips from many of Norm’s shows and night club acts were shown, leaving the audience laughing before the tribute started. Making up the illustrious and talented dais singing the praises of Crosby were: Irwin M. Schaeffer, longtime president of the Friars Club; actor, comedian Joe Viterelli; Jayne Meadows, TV, film and stage actress; the incomparable Sid Caesar; four former PPB Honorees, DICK MARTIN, actor, comedian, writer; NANETTE FABRAY, award-winning actress-singer; Connie Stevens, actress-singer; MONTY HALL of “Let’s Make a Deal” fame; Max Alexander, motion picture, TV and stage comedian; our in-house humorist, writer, producer, director HAL KANTER and SHECKY GREENE, nightclub performer and film comedian. To give the credits of all of these talented people would take the entire Newsletter. The laughter and applause was so rampant it was sometimes difficult to hear the speakers. But each speaker spoke with real admiration for Crosby. Crosby’s response was as sincere as it was funny. If you missed it, we’re sorry, as space and words cannot possibly describe this luncheon of laughter.

 

ART GILMORE, Chairman of the Board and Founding President, had so many interesting words about the Diamond Circle Honoree, that we quote ART. “Here’s a man who once read a book on radio announcing. He had a go at that for seven years while attending collegehe announced, wrote, directedhe couldn’t make up his mind! Maybe he missed a chapter of the book, or it was too confusing. At any rate, he went to collegestudied electrical engineering at Virginia Tech. More education followed at Northwestern Universitythen to College of William and Mary for his degree. The United States Air Corps made him a first lieutenant to direct training films. Two years later he became a civilian again, and CBS thought, great!so they hired him as a stage manager and sundry operations at TV City. Now, watch this man go! Assistant Director of Design and Production Operations. Director, Special Projects; General Manager of TV City. Then, as, a VP of Operations (CBS, of course). Are you out there guessing? VP (again) of West Coast Operations and Engineering, CBS, Inc. Finally, EXECUTIVE VEE PEE of the whole she-bang at CBS TV City and Studio City. Currently2002an Emmy and Lifetime Achievement Award, National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences. Are we happy to have him as the newest member of the Diamond Circle Fraternity of PPBMr. CHARLESCappyCAPPLEMAN!”

 

RAY BRIEM and LINA ROMAY, Nostalgia Night Co-Chairs’ guest, March 6, was radio and TV personality Wink Martindale. Wink, whose name is synonymous with “host,” has guided nineteen television game shows. Only the late Bill Cullen hosted more shows than Wink. Martindale told his captive audience about his many years in broadcasting, which encompass more than the hit game shows for which he is best known. Before TV, there was radio. Before game shows there was a Gold Record, and, along with “host,” there have been numerous producer credits as well. Born in Jackson, Tennessee, Wink says he thinks he was born with a desire to be a radio announcer. “I always had that great desire to sit behind a microphone. My first mike was two paper cups attached by a kite string.” At seventeen, Wink was hired by a local radio station. He was expected to do everything, read commercials, the news, play-by-play high school football games and play records. And, if the floor needed sweeping, he did that, too. He hosted a popular morning show while attaining a bachelor of science degree from Memphis State University. The leap to Los Angeles followed where he hosted both radio and TV shows on KHJ. After years as a DeeJay hosting music programs, he made the leap to game shows. Then came years of producing, hosting and winning many awards. Since 1966, Wink has hosted a daily syndicated radio show, “Music of Your Life,” heard on almost 200 stations. Wink talked about all of these shows with stories of the people he has known and worked with. He has just published his autobiography, Winking at Life.

 

On April 3, PPB Historian JANET WALDO took us into the life of “Corlis Archer” along with her many other radio and TV characters. The ever bubbly JANET reminisced, with great love, about her early childhood with her parents and siblings on a ranch in Washington state. JANET was discovered and brought to Hollywood by Bing Crosby, and was given a contract at Paramount Pictures. From then on, it was really exciting for a very young girl from Washington. The breaks kept coming, and soon she was cast as Corlis Archer, a role that lasted for many years on radio and on TV. JANET played clips from her many radio shows, and video clips from her many TV appearances, including the famous one from “I Love Lucy,” with Richard Crenna, and two from “The Ozzie and Harriett Show,” one as a teenager and one as an adult. JANET talked about roles on “Favorite Stories” written by Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence.whose credits include Inherit the Wind, Auntie Mame and so many others. JANET also talked about her courtship and marriage to Robert E. Lee. Daughter Lucy, who has a Ph. D., was present, but son Jonathan Lee was absent, as he was recovering from surgery. JANET left an enthusiastic audience hungry for more, and, if you missed it, you were the loser. Space is too limited for all the details, but JANET has done voice-overs, animation, theatre, television, radio77 shows in all, and thirteen guest appearances in top shows. Great career and great lady.

 

The May 1 guest will be former MGM star and legendary actress Ann Rutherford. She’ll probably have wonderful stories of the days when MGM was the most glamorous studio in the world. Don’t miss it. That’s Thursday, May 1, at our Clubroom on the lower level of Washington Mutual at Sunset and Vine. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and close promptly at 7:30 p.m.

 

GREAT NEWSThe PPB website went up on the Internet, March 27, according to past president JOHN HARLAN, Chairman of the Website Committee. The site is intended to attract new members, facilitate E-mail communication with friends in broadcasting, provide information about PPB news and upcoming events and inform researchers of radio and television history about our archives and our affiliation with the Thousand Oaks Library and the American Radio Archives.

 

Please visit the website and give your E-mail address to the membership department using the “contact us” page on the site. (Your E-mail address will never be given out to the public. If anyone wants to contact you, he or she can click on the small envelope next to your name, and the site will E-mail you, and you can decide whether you want to answer.) Also, please check the membership list for the accuracy of information posted about you. You can E-mail membership if you would like to change the information.

 

Thanks to JOHN HARLAN and our strong committee, BARBARA FULLER, TONY DiMILO, PIERCE GRANT, MARGOT EWING, MARTY HALPERIN, GIL STRATTON and JIMMY WELDON, who attended many meetings and E-mailed back and forth. And special thanks to Bianca Pino and Bob Bowker, who worked many hours with us. Their company is called iNet Web Solutions. Our web address is www.PPBwebsite.org.

 

A note from CHER McQUEEN saying she loved the new website, and to tell us about her new companies, The Keilani, for interior design, and Ladysmythe Handcrafts, for crochet and other craftworks.

 

JEANNE DeVIVIER and LUCKY BROWN recovered enough from recent illness and injury to take their grandson, Miles, on a three-day Carnival Cruise. Not much rest, said JEANNE, as the ship carries 2400. but at least, they got away.

 

TRAVEL was the excuse for several of our members missing the March luncheonWINIFRED TREIMER was cruising the coast of New Zealand on that date. WINNIE was on the Crystal Symphony sailing around Australia and New Zealand on an exotic voyage of kiwis and kangaroos for 27 days. WINNIE moved to Kingsley Manor in January, so doesn't have to worry about her house while she's gone. LOUISE ARTHUR was in Rome, Italy with her daughter, Donna, who was walking 26 miles in seven hours for the American Diabetes Research fund raiser. This is an international marathon, and LOUISE says thousands were expected. LOUISE spent time at the museums during the week they were in Rome. LOUISE's sister, Helen Arthur Leatherwood, a former dancer who now lives in Camarillo, won $60,000 on The Big Spin, which aired March 8, on Channel 9. FRANKIE THOMAS sent a postcard (of himself being kissed by a brunette this time) from Williamsburg where he was attending Tom Corbett, Space Cadet Festival. "Our May Nostalgia Night guest, Ann Rutherford, was there,” FRANKIE said, adding that “it’s amazing that my old show still attracts fans.”

 

Good news for radio fansED ROTHHAAR writes that his weekly radio show, “I Remember Radio,” which had been cancelled by KVCR-FM in December, 2000, after 22 years on the air, returned to the air Saturday, April 5, 2:00 to 2:30 p.m., KVCR-FM (91.9). ED’s companion show, “I Remember TV,” which airs Sundays, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. and repeats on Wednesdays, 11:00 p.m. to midnight, has continued uninterrupted on KVCR-TV, and is now in its sixteenth year. Nice picture of ED in the KVCR Partners magazine.

 

NORMAN CORWIN and a group of his fellow World War II writers, their works and some of their actors are highlighted in a new book on radio by Howard Blue titled Words at War, published by Scarecrow Press.

 

And speaking of radio, the month of February was a busy one for BOBB LYNES and “30 Minutes to Curtain,” with two old-time radio re-creations performed live on stage at the Presbyterian Church in Santa Paula. They did a “Date with Judy,” starring Barbara (Sunday) Watkins, and “December Bride,” starring Judith Anton. Now in its 30th year, “30 Minutes” played to a sold-out Pasadena Library audience with a re-creation of “Sorry, Wrong Number.” BOBB also gave a brief talk about radio detectives during the Golden Era.

 

Members DAVE MEYER and BARRET H. WETHERBY called to say the phone number for Bill Stevens, courtesy of MARTY HALPERIN, was incorrect, as they had been trying to reach Stevens with information about KHJ. WETHERBY worked at KHJ on Melrose in the early '50s, and was Head Stage Manager for many years. He was also involved in the move to 1313 Vine Street, and back to the old digs. MEYER didn't say what news he had for Stevens. The correct phone number for Stevens is (626) 798-5329.

 

Save the Date—Chairman of the Board and Founding President ART GILMORE will be feted Sunday, June 1 at the Cherished Friends Brunch given by RFB-D-LA. ART has been reading for the blind for over thirty years! ART will receive the Spirit of Education Award. The release from RFB-D-LA recounted a few of ART’s accomplishments as a narrator, announcer and actor, including credits for “The Red Skelton Show,” “Amos and Andy,” “Truth or Consequences,” “Dragnet,” “Captain Didion” and others; and recording of childrens records, including The Little Engine That Could. The release said that the event would be at a private Downtown clubso private that they wouldn’t reveal the name. Tickets are $100 a person, and reservations can be made by calling Mareen Cox at (323) 664-5525. Congratulations, ART.

 

MARY DORR recently returned from a book promotion tour to Chile and Argentina for her latest book, It Could Happen, with brief sightseeing in Patagonia and the Straits of Magellan. MARY says Spanish has been one of the main languages in which the books of MARY DORR and her late husband, Gordon Gordon, have been printed. As promised, DORR sent winners of the Excellence in Media (Angel Awards).

 

For televisionSpecial: “Ronald Reagan: A Legacy Remembered”; Comedy: “Everybody Loves Raymond”; Adventure: “National Geographic Explorer”; Family Series: “Providence”; Drama: “Touched by an Angel”; Crime Series “Law and Order” tied with “The District.”

 

ELAYNE BLYTHE, Founder/President of the Film Advisory Board, Inc. sent along a copy of their monthly newsletter with interesting articles about current movies.

 

PPB Board member CHUCK PANAMA and wife, Gerry, celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary, March 7, quietly with a few friends. “Forty-nine is no big deal,” PANAMA quipped, “we’ll let her rip on the 50th with our three kids, seven grandkids and a host of friends.”

 

MILT LARSON is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Magic Castle. Among the first members were RALPH EDWARDS, Chairman of the Board Emeritus, for whom MILT worked on “Truth or Consequences,” SUE CHADWICK and the late Dresser Dalhstead. U.K. member SHEILA TRACY in town to receive the Golden Bandstand Award at the Big Band Academy Reunion. While here, she visited many friends, including BEA WAIN and MARTY and Betty HALPERIN before flying to San Francisco to board a cruise ship to give a series of Big Band lectures while sailing to Barbados. Grace and ART GILMORE to Seattle in late June for the meetings of the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound. ALICE BACKES has been invited again this year, and accepted along with RAY ERLENBORN. RAY, who has moved to the Motion Picture Home, donated all of his sound effects to the Puget Sound group. TOM HATTEN’s old movies, Saturday afternoons, take our minds off war for a few hours.

 

President GIL STRATTON was a traveling man Tuesday, April 1. He and wife, Dee, were returning from a cruise and flew from Lisbon, Portugal to London, England to Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles in 25 hours. PPB member ROBERT S. LEVINSON is producing the 57th annual Edgar Allen Poe Awards of the Mystery Writers of America, May 1, in New York. The novelist is represented with a short story in a new anthology out in April from Warner Books, Flesh & Blood: Guilty as Sin. Reinstated PPB Charter member J. JAY SMITH received word that a 60-second radio commercial, “Journal of Courage,” he did for Compass Bank in Florida, won a Gold Midas Award, was included in the Communication Arts magazine annual, and was a finalist in the Radio Mercury Awards. “Funny,” writes JAY, “I did voice-overs for many Chrysler “300” spots for almost four years, (it was the biggest deal I ever had) then a radio spot (hard sell) wins the Gold Midas Award.

 

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Membership Chairman MARGOT EWING reports:

 

New Members

 

DAVID H. KORNBLUM

WILL LEWIS

HAL SLOANE

 

We will remember with admiration

 

EDWIN HAAKER

JOE MAGGIO

BILL CARRUTHERS

 

Please send your news and that of your PPB friends to:

 

SUE CLARK CHADWICK

1841 Outpost Drive

Hollywood, CA 90068-3721

 

Fax (323) 851-2401

 

Or use the “contact us” page on this web site and send the items directly to Sue.

 

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May 8, 2003