Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol First Edition from 1843 with illustrations by John Leech.
Dickens' A Christmas Carol was the first of five Christmas-themed Dickens novellas:
A Christmas Carol
The Cricket On The Hearth
The Battle of Life
The Haunted Man
John Leech plate for Mr. Fezziwig's Ball from the first edition of Dickens' A Christmas Carol'
1843 John Leech plate for Marley's Ghost from the first edition of Dickens' A Christmas Carol'
December 21 1934 CBS Radio announcement of two and three-quarter hour Christmas Party to be broadcast from five CBS studios in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Lionel Barrymore's rendition of A Christmas Carol was broadcast from the KHJ Studio in Hollywood
Spot article promoting Lionel Barrymore's third appearance as Scrooge on the Campbells Playhouse from December 24 1939
Winnipeg Free Press article on Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge from December 19 1940
M-G-M first recorded Lionel Barrymore's performance of 'A Christmas Carol' in 1947 as 'M-G-M 16A'--a four-record, eight-side set. This set was the basis for all of the Mutual Broadcasting System repeat broadcasts of Lionel Barrymore's rendition of A Christmas Carol through the 1950s.
Until the advent of vintage radio recordings preserved in the public domain this 1950 M-G-M 10-inch LP (first issued in 1947) was the only practical way to hear Barrymore's A Christmas Carol after his death in 1954.
Spot ad for two-hour CBS Christmas Festival with Lionel Barrymore's 15th performance as Ebenezer Scrooge from December 25 1948
Spot ad for six-hour NBC Christmas Festival with Lionel Barrymore's M-G-M performance as Ebenezer Scrooge from December 25 1948
Note: In the spot ad immediately above: Lionel Barrymore's interpretation of A Christmas Carol was already airing on three major competing networks in the same market--ABC, NBC and CBS. By 1947 the M-G-M recording of Lionel Barrymore's Scrooge had already been cut and was in wide circulation by 1948. CBS's presentation was a new performance. NBC's presentation was from the M-G-M recording.
Use the player above to play the A Christmas Carol movie trailer narrated by Lionel Barrymore for the 1938 M-G-M production of the same name. Indeed, it was Lionel Barrymore who was originally slated for the 1938 production which ultimately starred Reginald Owen.
The first ever American Radio broadcast of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" starring Lionel Barrymore, as 'Old Scrooge' began one of the Golden Age of Radio's longest running annual traditions. The Columbia System in June 1934 announced the signing of Lionel Barrymore to a five-year contract with Columbia to perform in the role of 'Scrooge' in its annual Christmas Day celebration for Columbia System listeners throughout the world.
That first presentation of "A Christmas Carol" also marked Lionel Barrymore'sdebut over Radio. Since that very first "A Christmas Carol" broadcast in 1934, Lionel Barrymore's interpretation of Scrooge has been aired continuously every subsequent Christmas Season to this day. Here at The Digital Deli Online, we've presented one of several recordings of Lionel Barrymore's"A Christmas Carol" every Christmas Season for the past eight years.
That first broadcast of Barrymore's interpretation of Old Scrooge was part of an extraordinary Christmas Party, presented as a Christmas gift from the Columbia System to all of its network listeners. The Christmas Party aired for two and three-quarter hours from 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. PST, adjusted for time zone, across the entire Columbia Network. Columbia System studios in Hollywood, Chicago, and New York participated in the Christmas extravaganza.
Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published by Chapman and Hall as a novella, subtitled, "A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being A Ghost Story of Christmas" on December 19, 1843. As with many of Dickens' other timeless stories, he was informed by the often brutal conditions for children throughout England during the early to mid-1800s, as well as his own upbringing--his own father--and family--having been housed in a debtors' prison for three months in 1824. Young Dickens had been forced to take a job in a 'blacking' factory until his family was released from the prison.
Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" brought together all of his impressions of the working poor of the mid-18th century Industrial Revolution in both England and The U.S., in one of literary history's first popular, secular accounts of the story of Christmas, interpreted through a miserly old taskmaster, Ebenezer Scrooge and his clerk, Bob Crachit and Crachit's family.
In what would eventually become a timeless morality play about the consequences of one's actions in life, Ebenezer Scrooge is forced to confront his ostensible past, present and future, with three 'Ghosts' representing those three respective portions of his own life. Indeed, the story remains timeless to this day. Though debtors' prisons were eventually abolished, the dynamics between industrialists and their workers have changed very little during the ensuing 167 years. Child labor laws were implemented in most of the industrialized nations in the interim, but indeed, to this day, child labor remains a staple of industrial commerce in the murkier and less regulated economies of contemporary nations great and small. Nor, apparently, do American businesses have any moral compunctions about shipping American manufacturing off-shore to those remaining child and civil-rights abusing nations--until they get caught doing it. A Christmas Carol continues, therefore, to represent precisely what it did in 1843.
"A Christmas Carol" Debuts Over British and American Radio.
Teaser for the December 22 1930 presentation of A Christmas Carol, adapted by Georgia Backus and Donald Clark, and starring young Donald Hughes as Tiny Tim and Jack Soanes as Scrooge
Dickens' Christmas tale of class imbalance, its consequences, and resultant largess had been first enacted as an adaptation of Dickens' novella, over British Radio shortly after the first Royal Charter (1927) of the British Broadcasting Corporation, as early as 1931. The earliest American productions of A Christmas Carol, as of this writing, appear to have been over the early Columbia chain in both 1929 and 1930. It's widely alleged that the The National Broadcasting Company aired its first rendition of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve of 1931, though we have yet to find a newspaper listing for either NBC-Blue (WJZ) or NBC-Red (WEAF) showing any airing of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, 1931. Here are representative listings for both WJZ and WEAF for Christmas Eve, 1931:
It should be noted that the Daily Messenger listing (above) does cite a broadcast of A Christmas Carol over WHEC, but WHEC was a Columbia affiliate in 1931. We did, however, find a broadcast over NBC-Red (WEAF) in 1930. WEAF's 1930 broadcast of A Christmas Carol starred Arthur Allen as 'Old Scrooge' and aired on December 23, 1930.
The Columbia chain first began airing dramatized versions of A Christmas Carol in 1929. Columbia's 1930 production in particular was adapted by Georgia Backus and featured solid stage performers of the era.
Columbia and Campbells air Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge:
A 20-Year Christmas tradition begins.
From the December 2nd 1934 edition of the Charleston Daily Mail:
Two elaborate three-hour radio shows, star-studded with operatic, movie, theatrical and literary figures, will be presented over the nationwide WABC-Columbia network as Christmas and New Year's gifts to the radio listeners of the country. It is expected that nearly 100 stations will carry the Christmas day and New Year's day marathon revues to loudspeakers in every home.
Lionel Barrymore, distinguished actor of state and screen, will make his microphone debut in a dramatic role in the Christmas day radio package. He will portray the character of "Scrooge" in a condensed version of Charles Dickens' greatest of Yuletide stories--"A Christmas Carol." Barrymore will be heard from Hollywood, as will other motioin picture stars to be announced later. Celebrities in all branches of entertainment and art will entertain from New York and Chicago during the three-hour Christmas party. An array of orchestras will provide the music.
The addition of the three-hour period on New Year's day will constitute radio's greatest combination of concentrated time, talent and coverage ever attempted by a single sponsor. This heralding of 1935 with entertainment galore also will come from New York, Chicago and Hollywood.
The complete talent assemblage and exact times of the broadcasts will be announced later.
By 1934, when the Columbia System and the Nash Motor Company first considered a fully staged dramatic adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Lionel Barrymore would seem to have been the ideal choice to portray Ebenezer Scrooge for American audiences.
No doubt Nash Motor Company hoped that sponsoring Columbia's Christmas and New Year's extravaganzas would be a boon to the sales of their aerodynamically stylish new 1935 Lafayette line:
Nash's stylish new 1935 Lafayette '400' was undoubtedly the driving force behind Nash's sponsorship of Columbia's three-hour Christmas extravaganza over radio.
Barrymore's first appearance as Scrooge in CBS' three-hour Christmas extravaganza on Christmas Day, 1934 was overwhelmingly successful. Lionel Barrymore, the eldest of the 'First Family of The Stage', comprised of his younger sister Ethel Barrymore and younger brother, John Barrymore, performed while predominantly confined to a wheelchair throughout the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. His Radio portrayals of 'Old Scrooge' were no exception.
And from the December 4, 1935 Frederick Post:
New York, Dec. 4--Lionel Barrymore, by information, just now available, is under contract at CBS to make a Christmas broadcast for the next five years, playing the lead of Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
The first appearance by this arrangement is next December 25, when he is to go on behalf of the sponsor of the Friday night series, Hollywood Hotel. Meanwhile this week for that program he will do scenes from the new picture, "Ah, Wilderness." It will be his second participation at the hotel this broadcast season.
The program referred to immediately above, was the Dick Powell-hosted Hollywood Hotel, sponsored by Campbells Soups. That 1936 appearance never really happened, as it turns out. While widely announced in the build-up to Lionel Barrymore's third contractual appearance for CBS, on Christmas Eve of 1936, Lionel Barrymore's second wife, Irene Fenwick, died of complications from influenza. Lionel Barrymore, understandably in mourning, was unable to complete that third contracted appearance. His younger brother, John Barrymore stepped in at the last minute to perform in the role.
The Fresno Bee of December 25th 1936 reports the last minute substitution
of Lionel Barrymore's brother, John, in the role of 'Scrooge,' due to the
death of Lionel Barrymore's wife, Irene Fenwick.
It was one of only two performances of A Christmas Carol in which Lionel Barrymore didn't appear, as scheduled, between 1934 and 1953: the above cited 1936 Hollywood Hotel performance and the 1938 Campbells Playhouse performance, during which Orson Welles substituted for Lionel Barrymore. From the December 23rd 1938 edition of The Winnipeg Tribune:
Orson Wells, star of the Mercury Theatre group, will play Scrooge in place of Lionel Barrymore in the air version of Dickens' immortal A Christmas Carol, Friday, at 8 p.m. on CBS-CKY. The last-minute change was made when it was found Barrymore would be unable to go to New York to appear in the broadcast.
The Wells characterization of the old miser who was converted into a generous friend, will be but one of three for the weekend. Also Friday, WGN will present the Dickens' classics at 10 p.m., and Saturday at 4 p.m. CKY will carry a 60-minute transcribed version of the story.
Lionel Barrymore's rendition of Old Scrooge found a new home over The Rudy Vallee Program for 1941 and 1942.
After the Campbell's Playhouse renditions of A Christmas Carol had run their course, CBS found a new home for Lionel Barrymore's annual presentation of A Christmas Carol on The Rudy Vallee Program, beginning in 1941. Barrymore reprised the role on The Rudy Vallee Program for the Christmas of 1942.
By 1943, Barrymore's annual depictions of 'Scrooge' had found yet another new home on Barrymore's own "Mayor of the Town" program over CBS. Between 1943 and 1948 Barrymore appeared in a special airing of A Christmas Carol in lieu of his weekly Mayor of the Town broadcasts. From the December 12th 1943 edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph:
Lionel Barrymore's portrayal of Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"--now become a Yuletide radio tradition--is presented over the Columbia network this year on the "Mayor of the Town" broadcast of Wednesday, December 22, WHP, 9 to 9:30 p. m.
This year the performance (Barrymore's eighth on the radio) takes on added significance, for it was in the month of December 100 years ago that Dickens' classic was first published in London.
Barrymore's first portrayal of Scrooge in 1934, was so masterful that it was repeated by popular request in 1935. He was ready to do it again in 1936, but his wife died on Christmas Eve and his brother John took the part on the air without a single rehearsal.
Lionel was back again in 1937, but the following year, because of contractual barriers, he was unable to deliver the part. Orson Welles was heard instead.
Lionel resumed the role in 1939 and has portrayed it annually since then. He has become so identified with the character, and the drama as a whole, that he was commissioned by a publisher to write an introduction to the Garden City edition of the Dickens classic.
Lionel Barrymore did, however, appear in a total of seventeen performances of A Christmas Carol between 1934 and 1953. He passed away on November 15, 1954, a month prior to what would have been his 18th appearance in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, and his 14th consecutive appearance in the annual production.
"A Christmas Carol" is one of the best examples of the timelessness of Golden Age Radio. Indeed, it remains one of the most illustrative examples of precisely why the recordings from The Golden Age of Radio will never, ever be 'old-time' anything. The enduring message remains identical to its first broadcast, and every subsequent performance--and rebroadcast--of Barrymore's performances in A Christmas Carol, capturing the identical magic that first enthralled audiences back in 1934.
Much like a beloved grandfather to North American audiences, Lionel Barrymore figuratively set his collective audience on his knee, and dutifully recited "A Christmas Carol" live, year after year after year, for as long as his health permitted. Indeed, the very reason Barrymore's performances continue to touch his listeners so intimately is precisely because the Christmas season of each year is that season when most of us--if we're lucky--tend to suspend disbelief for one forty day period. During that period, for the young, middle-aged, or old, others' gestures do, indeed, ring sincere. And nothing sounds more sincere and heartfelt each passing year than Lionel Barrymore's recitation of 'Old Scrooge.'
Those of you who've read some of our other articles are familiar with contemporary Radio reviewer John Crosby and his 'Grinch-like' observations regarding programming from The Golden Age of Radio. Here's an article we're inclined to re-title, 'The Grinch Meets Scrooge', from the December 24, 1953 edition of The Fresno Bee:
NEW YORK, Dec. 24--Christmas is here again and with it, of course, Scrooge. For a good many years Scrooge was the exclusive possession of Lionel Barrymore who has been bah humbugging away for seventeen long years. This year just about everyone played Scrooge except Sherman Billingsley.
Scrooging this year were several of the brightest jewels of the English stage. Sir Laurence Olivier will play Scrooge on NBC radio Christmas evening (Friday, KNBC, 7:30 p.m.). Alec Guiness will do the part on ABC radio tomorrow. (Not aired locally). Mr. Barrymore did his annual chore last Sunday on CBS radio and Edmund Gwenn, another scrooge regular, did it Saturday on the same network.
The only TV Scrooge I know of will be Noel Leslie who will play it on Kraft Theater tonight (KGO-TV 6:30 PST). That ought to be enough of Dickens' "Christmas Carol" to suit everybody, certainly enough for me. You know what I think. I think there should be one annual official "Christmas Carol" on all the networks and we could call on all these gentlemen to staff it--Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge out of respect for his sheer longevity, Edmund Gwenn as Bob Cratchit, Sir Laurence Olivier as Tiny Tim and maybe Alec Guiness as the First Ghost.
One thing I miss around Christmas is "Peter Pan," which in England is considered as much a part of the holiday as plum pudding. I cannot think why someone doesn't do it on television. In fact, I was sitting around rather dreamily casting it the other day. I've always wanted to see a Peter Pan with Betsy von Furstenberg playing Wendy. The sight of Miss von Furstenberg floating through the air in a filmy nightgown would, I guarantee any network, bring Christmas cheer to young and old alike.
But let's stop wool-gathering. The most elaborate special show will be a full-hour job called "Christmas With the Stars" which will be on KRON at 7 p.m. PST Christmas night and on ABC radio at the same time. It'll emanate from New York, Boston and Hollywood and the performers will include Tyrone Power, Eddie Fisher, Audrey Hepburn, Rosemary Clooney, Victor Borge, Rochester, and the Boston Pops orchestra conducted by Arthur Fiedler, which will play, among other things, "The Look Sharp March." (I can hardly wait for "The Look Sharp March.")
The closest thing we have to a modern Christmas classic is Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera "Amahl And The Night Visitors," which was presented for the fourth time last Sunday. Amahl was done in color for the first time and was NBC's first color show since the F.C.C. authorized the RCA system.
No Christmas would be complete without that famous editorial, "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus" and, if you think you're going to avoid it this year, you're dreaming, son. Lillian Gish will read it on CBS-TV at 2 p.m. (KPIX, "Christmas Festival of Music") Christmas Day. Also, Mrs. Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas who wrote the letter that inspired the editorial appeared yesterday on "The Second Mrs. Burton," a CBS soap opera, to explain what drove her to question the validity of Santa Claus back in 1897.
There will, as usual, be a few rather off-beat tributes to Christmas. On "Today," J. Fred Muggs, the celebrated chimpanzee, will supervise the gifting of gifts to 200 under-privileged children. Last week on the "Rocky Fortune Show," Rocky, who is played by Frank Sinatra, foiled "The Plot To Murder Santa Claus," a real Christmasy story. And naturally, "Dragnet" had to get into the act. Sgt. Joe Friday and his partner were at work chasing the guy who swiped a figure of the Christ Child from a church.
And last Saturday, the Hayden Planetarium, where the Christmas spirit is tempered by scientific curiosity, offered over WCBS-TV five different astronomical explanations for the origin of the star of Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas, all.
Copyright, 1953, for The Tribune
Needless to say, Crosby's observations about Television's expanding 'vast wasteland' were as irreverent as most of his other Radio articles and critiques over the years. But he clearly had a soft spot for Lionel Barrymore's performances of Ebenezer Scrooge through the years. It's quite safe to say Crosby had been brought up on those annual performances. Even more poignantly, the year of Crosby's campaign for even more performances by Lionel Barrymore--1953--marked the last live performance of "A Christmas Carol" by Lionel Barrymore himself.
In 1947, Lionel Barrymore had recorded a twenty-four minute performance of "A Christmas Carol" for M-G-M Records on a 10-inch, 78rpm disc. [ MGM-16: Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"(1947) reissued in 1950 as E-520 and as LION L70124 in 1956 ] That recording began selling like hotcakes during Christmas 1947 and every year after that, right up until Barrymore's death. It was that M-G-M recording that was reprised virtually every year after Barrymore's live performances were silenced. That is, until NBC's Monitor Program reprised one of Lionel Barrymore's 1947-recorded commercial performance for a retrospective of "A Christmas Carol" in 1965. ABC, for its part had aired the M-G-M recorded rendition for most of the ensuing years between Barrymore's passing and the 1965 Monitor rebroadcast.
[See Below]; AFRS Globe Theatre
Anthology of Golden Age Radio "A Christmas Carol" Broadcasts
CBS, NBC, ABC Blue Network [West], MBS, The AFRS, and several other local affiliates and networks while in syndication.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s):
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s):
34-12-25 01 Columbia System Christmas Party
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s):
34-12-25 to Perpetuity;
M-G-M Radio Attractions; CBS; ABC; MBS; NBC; AFRS
Nash Motor Company; Capehart; Campbell Soups;
Orson Welles [Director for Campbell's Playhouse]
Jack Van Nostrand [ Producer for Mayor of the Town]
Lionel Barrymore, Buster Phelps [ 'Tiny Tim' in the 1934 broadcast], Randolph Connolly [ 'Tiny Tim' in the 1935 broadcast], Charles Carroll, Ted Osborne, John Barrymore, Orson Wells, Rudy Vallee, Agnes Moorehead, Conrad Binyon,
Lionel Barrymore as Ebenezer Scrooge
Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Crachit, 'Tiny Tim' Crachit
Varied from production to production.
Bernard Katz [ for Mayor of the Town]
Varied from production to production.
Varied from production to production.
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation:
Total Episodes in Collection:
Notes on Provenances: The most helpful provenances were the log of the radioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.
As best as we've been able to determine there are, at most, seven distinct exemplars of Lionel Barrymore's original renditions of "A Christmas Carol" in circulation, as follows:
39-12-24 Campbells Playhouse: 'A Christmas Carol'
42-12-23 Mayor of The Town: 'A Christmas Carol' [AFRS]
44-12-24 Mayor of The Town: 'A Christmas Carol' [AFRS]
49-12-25 Capehart Christmas Hour: 'A Christmas Carol'
1950 M-G-M E520 Lionel Barrymore 'A Christmas Carol'
53-12-20 Hallmark Hall of Fame: 'A Christmas Carol'
1965 Monitor airing of the M-G-M 'A Christmas Carol' reissued in 1956 as LION L70124 [ Time 22:41 ]
Of the seven exemplars above, two are from the same recorded performance.
Of the remaining four, the Campbells Playhouse is one hour in duration. The Capehart MBS recording is 30-minutes in length. The original Capehart Christmas Hour also contained thirty minutes of best loved Christmas melodies, for a total one-hour presentation.
The two AFRS exemplars in circulation are a Globe Theatre rendition of Mayor of The Town, and a non-Globe Theatre rendition of Mayor of The Town. Also note that the 1950 recording is the first reissue of 'A Christmas Carol', originally M-G-M 16A, a set of four, two-sided, 10", 78rpm, LPs recorded by M-G-M in 1947. The precise duration of that recording is 24:01. Also note that the LP recording remains in wide circulation as a relabelled, retitled, or renamed:
Hallmark Hall of Fame recording [Listen to the actual recording below]
Hallmark Playhouse recording
M-G-M Theater of The Air
54-12-25 or 54-12-24 "Last performance of Lionel Barrymore" recording
Any other circulating program renamed or retitled with a Christmas date prior to November 1954 of precisely twenty-four minutes and one second in duration.
Lionel Barrymore passed away on November 15, 1954. His 1953 recording of 'A Christmas Carol' was his last, ever.
What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. We have no 'credentials' whatsoever--in any way, shape, or form--in the 'otr community'--none. But here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here's the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No posturing about our 'credentials.' No misrepresentations. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.
We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.
We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:
We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.
All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.
The A Christmas Carol Radio Programs Log
Columbia System 'Christmas Party'
34-12-24 Oakland Tribune
11:30 a.m. -- KFRC--Columbia System net: Two and three-quarter hour Christmas Party. Lionel Barrymore as 'Old Scrooge' in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
'A Christmas Carol'
35-12-24 The Thomson Review
4 p m., Dramatization of Charles
Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" with
Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge, WBBM.
35-12-24 Circleville Herald
Dickens' immortal Christmas Carol, with Lionel Barrymore playing Scrooge, will be Broadcast over the CBS-WABC network at 5 p. m. EST.
Hollywood Hotel: 'A Christmas Carol'
[Not by Lionel Barrymore. Performed by John Barrymore]
36-12-24 Circleville Herald
STAR OF STAGE,
SCREEN TO PLAY
Lionel Barrymore Has Part
In Powell's Friday
One of the most pleasing Christmas program to take the airways Friday will be Lionel Barrymore in his annual role of Scrooge in a dramatization of Dickens' immortal "Christmas Carol." Barrymore will appear in the Dick Powell program from Hollywood at 9 p. m. over CBS.
36-12-24 The Syracuse Herald
Christmas Day programs:
For the third year In succession, Lionel Barrymore will play the role of "Scrooge" in a dramatization of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol,' which will be featured in the Hollywood Hotel program over CBS-WFBL at 9 p.m.
36-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p. m. Hollywood Hotel
(WBBM): Lionel Barrymore as
Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol."
'A Christmas Carol'
37-12-24 Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
4:00 P. M.Lionel Barrymore. "A Christmas Carol." CBS. WBBM.
37-12-24 Kingston Daily Freeman
WABC-CBS5. Lionel Barrymcre in "Scrooge"
37-12-24 Appleton Post-Crescent
4:00 p m. Lionel Barrymore in
Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol," WBBM, WCCO. WTAQ.
Campbells Playhouse: 'A Christmas Carol'
[Not by Lionel Barrymore. Performed by Orson Welles]
38-12-23 New York Times
9:00--10:00 P. M.-Drama Dickens's "Christmas Carol"; Orson Welles and Mercury Theatre Players-WABC.
38-12-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Playhouse (WBBM): "A Christmas Carol" with Orson Welles as "Scrooge."
39-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p. m. Welles Playhouse (WBBM); Lionel Barrymore in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
39-12-24 Nebraska State Journal
Lionel Barrymore will be
starred in Dickens' immortal
"Christmas Carol" on the Playhouse
aired over KFAB and KOIL
at 9 p. m. today. This marks the
fifth consecutive year the program
has been presented by CBS Orson
Welles will direct the play.
39-12-24 Charleston Daily Mail
Under direction of Orson Welles. "Playhouse" brings one of the drama's"
noblest names to Columbia's Christmas caravan in one of the greatest stories by one of the twworld's greatest writersLionel Barrymore as "Scrooge" in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" over WCHS-CBS at 8 p. m. Sunday.
Campbells Playhouse: 'A Christmas Carol'
40-12-15 Nebraska State Journal
Barrymore On KFAB.
Two programs have arranged
special Christmas broadcasts this
week. Friday night at 8:30 p. m.,
the Playhouse again brings Lionel
Barrymore to the air in the role
of Scrooge in Dickens' famous
40-12-15 Wisconsin State Journal
The real "must" in drama, is Lionel Barrymore in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." This has become a radio tradition. There is a possibility that Lionel will not be physically fit, but even if he should broadcast from a wheelchair, you'll hear an incomparable Scrooge. He may not try to do it again.
8:30-9:00 WBBM (Dec 20) Lionel Barrymore in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
40-12-21 Appleton Post-Crescent
Appleton Girls 'club at its Christmas party last night at the home of Mrs. A. A. Wettengel, 605 N. Oneida street, listened to the radio broadcast of "The Christmas Carol" by Lionel Barrymore and to recordings of Christimas carols and hymns.
Rudy Vallee Sealtest Show: 'A Christmas Carol'
41-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
King George VI's Christmas message, Lionel Barrymore's portrayal of Scrooge, and a special program, "A Battle Cry for Victory," will be among radio's gifts to its listeners Thursday.
King George's talk will be broadcast at 8 a. m. by WIBA, and the Council for Democracies' "Battle Cry" will be on the same station at 12 p.m. Barrymore will star in "A Christmas Carol" during the Rudy Vallee broadcast at 9 p. m. through WIBA.
Rudy Vallee Sealtest Show: 'A Christmas Carol'
42-12-23 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Barrymore as Santa the spirit of Yuletide is the allpervading element in "The Mayor of the Town" with Lionel Barrymore assuming the mantle of a Santa during the Christmas program over KGLO-CBS Wednesday from 8:30 to 9 p. m.
Mr. Barrymore, problem solver and good friend, brightens the holiday for children and adults alike as he goes through the town spreading philosophy and happiness. The star and the script afford a compatible coupling for radio eavesdroppers.
42-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p. m.Rudy Vallee (WIBA): presents Lionel Barrymore in "A Christmas Carol."
Mayor of the Town: 'A Christmas Carol'
Billboard Magazine article citing Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol from November 27 1943
43-12-22 Mason City Globe-Gazette
LIONEL BARRYMORE'S portrayal of Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" now becomes a Yuletide radio tradition--is presented over KGLO-CBS this year on the "Mayor of the Town" broadcast Wednesday at 8 p.m.
This year the performance (Barrymore's 8th on the radio) takes on added significance, for it was in the month of December 100 years ago that Dickens' classic was first published in London.
Barrymore's first portrayal of Scrooge in, 1934, was so masterful that it was repeated by popular request in 1935.
He was ready to do it again in 1936 but his wife died on Christmas eve and his brother John took the part on the air without a single rehearsal.
Lionel was.back again in 1937, but the
following year, because of contractual barriers, he was unable to deliver the part. Orson Welles was heard instead. Lionel resumed the role in 1939, and has portrayed it annually since then.
Mayor of the Town: 'A Christmas Carol'
44-12-17 Wisconsin State Journal
First of all, be sure to hear Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge in Dickens' Christmas Carol Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6 p. m. over CBS . . . . WBBM.
44-12-24 Charleston Gazette
The reading Dickens' "Christmas Carol" by Lionel Barrymore at 7 p. m. over WCHS.
44-12-23 Zanesville Signal
On Saturday evening at 7, Lionel
Barrymore, in place of his regular
Mayor Series on CBS, is to appear
for his ninth microphoning as
Mayor of the Town: 'A Christmas Carol'
45-12-22 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. Lionel Barrymore
(WBBM): in "Christmas Carol." Lionel Barrymore, for the 10th time since 1934, plays his traditional role of Scrooge, central character of Dickens' "Christmas Carol" on WBBM at 7:30 tonight.
45-12-22 Mason City Globe-Gazette
LIONEL BARRYMORE'S portrayal of Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" -- is presented over KGLO-CBS this year on the "Mayor of the Town" broadcast Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.
Mayor of the Town: 'A Christmas Carol'
46-12-21 Mason City Globe-Gazette
"Christmas Carol" (7:30 p. m.) Lionel Barrymore offers his eleventh portrayal of Scrooge, miserly misanthrope of Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol." Agnes Moorehead plays Mrs. Bob Cratchit.
46-12-21 The Daily Mail
New York, Dee. 21 (AP).As the
Christmas season approaches, more
and more the network presentations
are concentrating on the seasonal.
For instance,' two features
that have become fixtures, Lionel
Barrymo're as Scrooge in Dickens*
"A Christmas Carol", and Kate Smith's "The Small One" are listed for the weekend.
The Barrymore portrayal, his eleventh, will be in place of his Mayor of the Town on CBS at 8:30 tonight
Mayor of the Town: 'A Christmas Carol'
'47-12-24 Nevada State Journal
MAYOR OF THE TOWN at 7:30 p. m. brings Lionel Barrymore to the microphone in his most famous radio drama as he presents the beloved Dicken's story "A CHRISTMAS CAROL."
47-12-21 Salt Lake Tribune
Barrymore Pens Foreword for Book
"CHRISTMAS! Bah! Humbug!"
This is the manner in which Lionel Barrymore works himself up for his annual immortal holiday presentation
of Charles Dickens' doubly immortal "A Christmas Carol."
He stalks to the stage door snarling into his-collar, adamant to Christmas, bells, carols and greetings. By the time he reaches the microphone he is that heartless villain Scrooge according to his own confession. But when the ordeal is over and Tiny Tim has worked his miracle, he dashes out, a friend to man and child, scattering Christmas largess in coins, and gifts and songturned Santa Claus in fact.
THAT is why he asked to write a foreword to the beautiful deluxe edition of "A Christmas Carol" issued this season by the John C. Winston Co. of Philadelphia.
The famous tale of regeneration of a man's heart has never been so glorified. Print designs and initialing and binding are the finest. When it comes to illustrations Everett Shinn has surpassed himself. Mostly full page and in delightful muted color, the artist has brought Dickens' characters to life in a manner which would have thrilled their inventor.
'GOD BLESS us, every one!' was the plea of Tiny Tim at the story's end.
And "what little of the miserly Scrooge remains in me," says Barrymore, "is wrung out of me by the handshakes of those about me on the stage. I breathe more easily, my step is lighter and my heart is lifted." Tiny Tim has won out for another year.
47-12-21 Amarlillo News Globe
Almost as much a Christmas Tradition as Santa Glaus is Lionel Barrymore. in his reading of Dickens' Christmas Carol. The famous actor recounts the story of Old Scrooge over both KGNC and KFDA at 10 ;30 o'clock Christmas Eve.
47-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
Lionel Barrymore will again be heard in the Christmas classic, Dickens" 'Christmas Carol," recounting the story of Old Scrooge on Christmas eve at 7 over WLS.
47-12-24 Racine Journal Times
Christmas without Santa Ctaus, holly wreaths, and beloved Lionel Barrymore taking the part of Scrooge in Dickens' Christmas Carol would be a sorry Yuletide indeed. This year WRJN presents the Christmas Carol on Christmas Day at 6:30 p. m.
Christmas Festival: 'A Christmas Carol'
48-12-10 Star Publications
When Lionel Barrymore plays old Scrooge in "Christmas Carol" on the CBS show this Christmas it will mark his thirteenth annual performance of the play. He has only missed playing the role twice !n 15 yearsthe first time in 1936 after his wife's tragic death on Christmas eve, and the second in 1938 when he read the introduction but surrendered his accustomed role to Orson Welles.
48-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
3 p.m.--Two-hour Christmas festival, with Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," Gene Autry, Danny Kaye, John Nesbitt telling "The Juggler of Notre Dame," Burns and Allen, Sweeney and March, Hedda Hopper, Andrews sisters, Lise Roy and Jacques Normand, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Walter Gross, Mitchell Boys' choir--WBBM
49-12-25 The Democrat and Leader
1:30 p.m. MBS--Capehart Christmas Hour--Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" starring Lionel Barrymore
'A Christmas Carol'
50-12-24 Cedar Rapids Gazette
Lionel Barrymore will be Charles Dickens' Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" at 3 over Mutual. Mr. Barrymore in this role has been a standard part of radio for the last 16 years!
50-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p.m. "A Christmas Carol" (WISC): with Lionel Barrymore.
'A Christmas Carol'
51-12-12 The Oneonta Star
Lionel Barrymore, whose portrayals of Charles Dickens "Scrooge" have been radio "musts" for the past 17 years is to be heard again in this famous role when "A Christmas
Carol" is presented over the coast-to-coast Mutual network Sunday, December 23, over WDOS.
This program, one of- many exceptional features highlighting the MBS Christmas log is to be broadcast from 4 to 4:30 p. m.
The 105-year-old Dickens storysimple and direct in its appealhas become the classic Christmas... tale, particularly for Americans. Mr. Barrymore's annual interpretations of the "Scrooge" part similarly have become radio classics. For "A Christmas Carol" essentially presents the basic message of the Yule holidaya time for benevolence," charity and good fellowship.
An all-star cast will be heard from Hollywood in support of Mr. Barrymore's characterization.
51-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m. "A Christmas Carol" WISC: with Lionel. Barrymore.
51-12-23 Long Beach Independent
1:00 p.m.--KNX--A Christmas Carol
Hallmark Playhouse: 'A Christmas Carol'
52-12-21 Oakland Tribune
ON RADIO TONIGHT
your host on Hallmark Playhouse stars in "A Christmas Carol" CBS STATION KCBS 6:00 P.M.
Hallmark Hall of Fame: 'A Christmas Carol'
[Lionel Barrymore's last live performance of A Christmas Carol]
53-12-25 Tipton Daily Journal
Listen to the Broadcast...
"A Christmas Carol"
By Charles Dickens
With Lionel Barrymore As Ebenezer Scrooge The Christmas Carol has becorfie known to millions of radio listeners each Christmas time.
Christmas Morning . . . Friday, December 25th 9:45 to 10:15 Over KGDE
53-12-20 Long Beach Press-Telegram
as " Scrooge'''
For 19 years at Christmastime, Lionel Barrymore has portrayed his inimitable Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Tonight, once more, your host on the radio Hallmark Hall of Fame will re-create his most memorable role.
Please consult your television and radio listings for
exact time and stations.
'A Christmas Carol'
[Aired via a 1953 recording of Barrymore's last performance of A Christmas Carol]
54-12-24 Evening Independent
"A Christmas Carol"
Starring the late Lionel Barrymore as Ebenezer Scrooge. The moral of A Christmas Carol is one of the great lessons of Christmas, and of life itself. It's not what a man is, but what he can become that's important
FRIDAY 8:30 P. M.
45-12-24 Chronicle Telegram
Radio's other fine annual Christmas presentation was the late Lionel Barrymore's enactment of the role of Scrooge in Charles Dickens' immortal Yuletide fantasy, A Christmas Carol.
To many listeners, especially the younger ones, the film and stage star had become so identified with the Dickens character that Barrymore was Scrooge and Scrooge was Barrymore.
Barrymore's reading of Scrooge was his Christmas present to the American people and it is our recollection that he failed but once to perform the role, and that when he was ill. His brother John understudied him m the part.
54-12-19 Salinas Journal
It would hardly be Christmas if we didn't hear Lionel Barrymore's classic portrayal of Ebeneezer
Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
Despite Barrymore's death last month, his voice will be heard on records Sunday from 5:30 to 6 pm on CBS stations in his most famous role.
This will be the 19th broadcast of the Barrymore performance, and the recording of his last reading of the role in December, 1953
"A Christmas Carol" Radio Programs Log [Supplemental Recordings]
Lionel Barrymore [Lionel Herbert Blythe]
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor; Composer; Director; Author; Fine Artist
(1878-1954) Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
1934 CBS Christmas Party
1935 Shell Chateau
1936 Guest Night At the Green Room (Audition)
1936 Lux Radio Theatre
1937 Good News Of...
1939 Federal Theatre Special Broadcast
1939 Campbell Playhouse
1941 Souther California Symphony Orchestra
1941 Kraft Music Hall
1941 Rudy Vallee Sealtest Show
1941 We Hold These Truths
1941 Shirley Temple Tiime
1942 Cavalcade Of America
1942 Lux Radio Theatre
1942 Mayor Of the Town
1943 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1943 Mail Call
1943 The Amos 'n' Andy Show
1943 Christmas Eve At the Front
1944 Radio Almanac
1944 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 One Night Stand
1945 Command Performance
1945 Guest Critic Series
1945 Victory Chest Program
1945 Hallmark Charlotte Greenwood Show
1946 Request Performance
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 Stars In the Afternoon
1946 Concert Hall
1947 March Of Dimes Campaign
1947 Victor Borge Show
1947 Family Theatre
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 America Calling
1948 Wrigley Christmas Party
1948 Sealtest Variety Theater
1949 At Home With Lionel Barrymore
1949 Opportunity U.S.A.
1949 A Christmas Carol (Capehart)
1950 The Story Of Doctor Kildare
1951 The Big Show
1951 Hear It Now
1952 Stars In the Air
1954 Guest Star
1954 Edgar Bergen Show
1955 Biography In Sound
1957 Recollections At Thirty
MGM Theatre Of the Air
Treasury Star Parade
Lionel Barrymore circa 1921
From the December 17, 1953 edition of the Cedar Rapids Tribune:
Lionel Barrymore in 17th Performance as Dickens' Scrooge
Lionel Barrymore will offer his 17th radio performance as Ebenezer Scrooge over WMT's "Hallmark Radio Hall of Fame" on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.rn. Barrymore will do the full story of Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol."
The role of Scrooge has become a Christmas tradition for Lionel, and only once was he unable to go through with a scheduled performance for radio audiences.
That was on Christmas 1936. His wife had died the evening before. His brother, the late John. Barrymore, volunteered to take his place as Scrooge, without rehearsal.
On other Sundays, this outstanding radio "series presents dramas based on the lives of well known and lesser-known but unusual heroes of the American past. Mr. Barrymore is the regular host and narrator for "Hallmark Radio Hall of Fame."
Lionel, of course, is a distinguished member of America's most illustrious theatrical family. He made his first professional appearance at the age of 15 with his celebrated grandmother, Mrs. John Drew, on Christmas Day, 1893.
Brother of the great John and Ethel, "Mr. B." as Lionel is affectionately called by fellow artists, was born in Philadelphia April 28, 1878, the son of Maurice Barrymore and Georgia Drew.
Shortly after his acting debut, Lionel left to study art in Paris, but returned after a year to join his brother John in a Broadway production of "Peter Ibbetson."
Barrymore's movie career began in 1909 when he gave a number of rich ,memorable performances for the old Biograph company. He joined the star roster of MGM in 1926.
When sound came to the screen, Barrymore turned to directing. He is credited with a number of technical innovations, among them the distinction of being the first director to use a moving microphone on a sound stage. He still continued his acting too, and joined the ranks of Academy Award winners for his work in "A Free Soul" opposite Norma Shearer.
In addition to his artistry in his profession, Lionel Barrymore is talented in other fields. His etchings rank him among the foremost artists of the day, and his compositions have earned for him sincere praise from the music world.