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The Adventurers' Club Radio Program

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The Chicago Adventurers' Club was founded in 1911. It is the second oldest such club in American history
The Chicago Adventurers' Club was founded in 1911. It is the second oldest such club in American history.
Premiere spot ad for Adventurers' Club over KTSA from January 11 1947
Premiere spot ad for Adventurers' Club over KTSA from January 11 1947

Premiere spot ad for Adventurers' Club over KSL from January 11 1947
Premiere spot ad for Adventurers' Club over KSL from January 11 1947

Sheaffer's Pens sponsored the entire WBBM run and offered a premium Adventure Compass for listening 'adventurers'
Sheaffer's Pens sponsored the entire WBBM run and offered a premium Adventure Compass for listening 'adventurers'

A box-top from Skrip Ink and 'five-cents in coin' would get young adventurers their own 5-in-1 Mystery Compass from Sheaffer.
A box-top from Skrip Ink and 'twenty-five-cents in coin' would get young adventurers their own 5-in-1 Mystery Compass from Sheaffer.
From the January 16, 1947 edition of the Cedar Rapids Tribune: 

On the Air

      Drawing on the unique personal histories of its distinguished membership of explorers, scientists and world travelers, the Adventurers' club of Chicago presents a new kind of radio program dramatizing the exploits of men whose journeys to far places have made news down the years.  The program known as "The Adventurers' Club" can be heard every Saturday morning at 10:30.
     The Adventurers' club was formed by a group of kindred spirits who followed the star of adventure all over the world; men who have been far off the beaten path; restless souls who travel to out-of-the-way places, usually seeking to accomplish something worth while for the betterment of mankind--but something that must be accomplished through hazardous undertaking.
     The club's sole purpose was, and is, to afford a meeting place for the men of the world who have this spark.  Neither affluence nor friendship is sufficient to gain a man entrance to its exclusive membership.  Every member has had an"adventure," most of which surpass in actual fact the most lurid situations encountered in melodramatic fiction.
     Founded in 1910 and incorporated in 1921, the club has steadily grown in prestige and distinction ever since.  Its present home is the tenth floor of the Austin building in Chicago.
     The high-ceilinged quarters were designed by architect-adventurer Ralph Harris.  The walls are decked with trophies and curios from far and little-known parts of the world.  A stuffed gorilla snarls at intruders.  Priceless ivory tusks hang from walls, on which one may also see a photographic gallery of the adventurer members.
     There are lighted exhibit cases with shrunken heads, poison arrows, and other tangible evidence that the yarns which have gone into the club's history and tradition are fact, not fiction.
     This is the background which forms the dramatizations for the newest radio series now on Saturday mornings at 10:30.  Its title, of course, "The Adventurers' Club."

The premise of The Adventurers' Club was ideally suited to its timeslot and intended audience--aspiring juvenile adventurers. Heard well outside Chicago, over the CBS Network, the series was produced in the Chicago Studios of WBBM. During the course of its fifty-two programs the fascinating series relates first person accounts of some of modern history's most engaging and captivating adventurers.

Conceived and created by The Adventurers Club of Chicago, several of the adventurers profiled were members of the Chicago Adventurers Club, America's second oldest such club, founded in 1911. Indeed, the Chicago Adventurers Club founder, Major Robert Foran, was the subject of Program No. 40, from October 11, 1947, Robert Foran and Program No. 51, from December 27, 1947, Robert Foran. The club he founded was predated by The Explorers' Club of New York, founded in 1904, and itself predated the Los Angeles Adventurers' Club, founded in 1912.

True-life adventure stories were popular fare over Radio, dating from as early as 1930. Though virtually all such true-life adventure tales were geared for a juvenile audience, it's apparent from local newspaper accounts of both the earlier 1930s programs, as well as those of this 1947 series, The Adventurers' Club, that the series was equally well-received by adults.

The W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company sponsored the WBBM-broadcast series throughout. As part of their promotion of their pens, Skrip Ink, and the series, they offered a '5-in-1 Mystery Compass' as a premium, simply by sending 'twenty-five-cents in coin' and a Skrip Ink box-top--or sales receipt from any Sheaffer product--to:

Sheaffer
Box 1200
Chicago, Illinois

One can well imagine that any premium offered by a company producing well-engineered, popularly priced pens must have created a 'mystery compass' worthy of the rest of their product line. I'm sure, had I heard such an announcement in 1947, I wouldn't have hesitated to beg, borrow or steal a Skrip box-top to send in for the premium. As it is, I was born just after midnight, the morning of the broadcast of Program No. 46, the story of Stanley Graham, so I'm afraid I missed this inkredible offer (ouch!, I know. I couldn't resist).

The Adventurers' Club was stirring fare, overall. The circulating exemplars are reasonably well-preserved for the era. They contain the compass offer, and of course, Ken Nordine's spirited pitch for the premium. The circulating exemplars also salute the Boys Scouts of America, then celebrating their 37th Anniversary, a fitting audience for The Adventurers' Club, to be sure. The productions were well-written, compelling, and highly engaging. Ken Nordine acts as the 'first-person' narrator for each program, providing both exposition, and apparently acting in most of the programs. Sound effects to support the adventure vignettes and docudramas were as good as might be heard in any other contemporary adventure dramas of the era.


It's been our experience that Chicago's vintage radio collectors were actively recording many of the more popular programs from The Golden Age of Radio, especially those originating from Chicago. We're therefore reasonably certain that most of the recordings of this series are still in the possession of Chicagoans and other midwest collectors. We have every expectation that more of these fascinating recordings will surface in due time. In the meantime there are at least fifteen exemplars in circulation. As we include more of these exemplars in our own collection, we'll continue to update those further details that we can tease out of them.

One feature intriguingly apparent in most of the circulating recordings are quite overt script references to compasses in each of the programs. It's equally apparent that this was a none-too-subtle embedded teaser to encourage the purchase of the 5-in-1 Mystery Compass and it's five special functions, at least two of which were a magnifying glass that might do double-duty as an emergency ignition source for a campfire, and the directional compass itself.

This series was wonderfully engaging for juvenile and adult adventurers alike, as well as highly representative of many of the locally produced adventure dramas originating from major regional network stations such as WBBM, Chicago, for CBS, WMAQ, Chicago, for NBC, W-G-N, Chicago for Mutual, and WXYZ, Detroit for ABC. The midwest's contribution to The Golden Age of Radio was well-represented throughout the era. This was one of the more engaging, and instructive examples.

Series Derivatives:

Sheaffer's Adventurers Club
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Adventure Dramas
Network(s): CBS [WBBM]
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 47-01-11 01 Dr. William McGovern
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 47-01-11 to 48-01-03; CBS [WBBM, Chicago]; Fifty-two, 25-minute programs; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. [Central time]
Syndication:
Sponsors: W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company
Director(s):
Principal Actors: Ken Nordine
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s)
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Ken Nordine [Host]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
52
Episodes in Circulation: 8
Total Episodes in Collection: 3
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the RadioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.


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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The Adventurers' Club Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
47-01-11
1
Dr. William McGovern
N
47-01-04 Portland Press Herald - The adventurers Club, a brand new program series to be aired by the Adventurers Club of Chicago, makes its bow over WGAN one week from troday at 2:30 p.m. The program will draw on the unique personal histories of distinguished club members--scientists, explorers, world travelers.

47-01-10 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (10:30 a.m.) A new program dramatizing the exploits of Chicago's famed Adventurers Club makes its premier broadcast. Members include Admiral Byrd, Clyde Beatty and Ronald Amundsen.

47-01-10 Wisconsin State Journal - Saturdaytime 10:30 a.m.--Adventureers' Club (WBBM): new program dramatizing exploits of members of Chicago's Adventurers' club; story of Dr. William McGovern, who disguised himself as a coolie to explore forbidden lands of Tibet.
47-01-18
2
Major A.S. "Speed" Chandler
N
47-01-18 Portland Press Herald - How Maj. A.S. (Speed) Chandler, auto racer, stunt man and ex-army flier, risked his life in an unprecedented stunt to earn money for aviation lessons will be revealed on the second broadcast of The Adventurers Club at 2:30 p.m. today over WGAN. The new dramatic series is produced with the cooperation of the Chicago Adventurers Club. Chandler was the first stunt man to climb a rope ladder dropped from a low-flying plane to his speeding car.
47-01-25
3
Lieutenant Leonard Keeler
N
47-01-24 Mason City Globe-Gazette - LIE DETECTOR (Sat. 10:30 am.m) How Lt. Leonard Keeler, Chicago police officer, widely known for his work with the so-called lie detector, elicited testimony resulting in reversal of 2 convictions and thereby established the machine's usefulness is dramatized on "The Adventurer's Club."
47-02-01
4
Sidney Graham
N
47-01-31 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Big Game Hunting (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) "Adventurer's Club" dramatizes a dangerous adventure in the breath-taking career of Sidney Graham, big-game hunter. Today's story concerns the time Graham and his party woke up in the Mexican wilds to find themselves surrounded by the uncivilized Yaqui Indians.
47-02-08
5
Count Byron de Prorok Part 1

Y
47-02-07 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Lost in Sahara (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) Lost in the trackless expanse of the Sahara is an experience few explorers have lived to tell; yet this episode in the life of Count Byron de Prorok will be recalled on "Adventurers' Club" Saturday a.m. The series dramatizes true exploits of members of the Adventurers club, men who departed from the beaten path into dangerous and luring roads of exploration and science.
47-02-15
6
Count Byron de Prorok Part 2
Y
47-02-14 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventure (Sat. 10:30 am.m) The true story of Count Byron de Prorok, who solved a 3000-year-old riddle when he found the lost tomb of ancient Queen Tin Hinan in the Sahara, will be continued on "Adventurers' Club." This weeks episode concerns an attack by fierce Taureg desert tribe, who are outraged at the opening of the queen's tomb.
47-02-22
7
Count Byron de Prorok Part 3
Y
47-02-21 Mason City Globe Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) This week's episode completes the dramatizations involving Count de Prorok, world-famous explorer. At the close of the last program, the count and his party were enveloped in a desert sandstorm which threatens to lose them in the vast Sahara.
47-03-01
8
Paul Cyr
N
47-02-28 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) France in 1944, the year the Maquis were organizing secretly for an uprising against the nazis, provides the exciting background for the true story of Paul Cyr, secret agent. Cyr was assigned to a dangerous espionage mission behind the nazi lines.
47-03-08
9
Colonel Rhys Davies
N
47-03-07 Wisconsin State Journal - Adventurers' Club (WBBM): life story of Col. Rhys Davies, former officers of British army, and ex-prospector for gold in Canadian Rockies.
47-03-15
10
John Craig
N
47-03-14 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The true story of John Craig, fearless hunter who followed the off-trail path where excitement and danger beckoned to capture man-eating tigers in the jungles of India, provides another thrilling chapter in "The Adventurers' Club."
47-03-22
11
Dr Fay Cooper Cole
N
47-03-21 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 am.m) The exciting and breath-taking adventures of Dr. Fay Cooper Cole, eminent anthropologist and explorer of head hunters in the South Pacific, will relate his experiences in 30 minutes of hair-raising drama.
47-03-29
12
Donald McGibney
N
47-03-28 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) French Morocco, land of mystery and fierce desert tribesmen, is the background for another thrilling and hazardous enterprize, when "Adventurers' Club" dramatizes the true story of Donald McGibney. McGibney was shot down by enemy guns over the bloody country of the merciless Rif tribesmen.
47-04-05
13
Chick Grimsley
N
47-04-04 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Indian Warfare (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) Experiences of Chick Grimsley, one of the few living veterans of Indian warfare, are dramatized on "The Adventurers' Club." Grimsley met Geronimo and Sitting Bull face-to-face more than 60 years ago, when he was a young cowhand. He scouted for the U.S. army cavalry detachments detailed to round up Apaches, and in one engagement was captured and scalped.
47-04-12
14
Dr Luther Gables
N
47-04-11 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) Life-risking adventures of Dr. Luther Gables in locating radium deposits in the Rocky Mountains, Belgian Congo and the Arctic are dramatized on "Adventurers' Club." Dr. Gables was also one of the geologists engaged in locating uranium ores.
47-04-19
15
Nicol Smith
N
47-04-18 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The thrilling adventures of lecturer-author Nicol Smith as OSS agent in Siam will be dramatized. Smith operated in Siam after its fall to the Japanese, working through a unit of native boys who spied on the enemy, opening up the whole field of intelligence that the Allies had needed desperately for 2 years.
47-04-26
16
Richard Riccardo
N
47-04-25 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 am.m) The derring-do of Richard Riccardo, Chicago restaurant man who 25 years ago led a group of Italian patriots fighting against Mussolini, is dramatized on "Adventurers Club." An exciting jail break is the focal point of the story.
47-05-03
17
Thoren Wassen
N
47-05-02 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The real-life experience of Thoren Wassen in mapping the upper reaches of the Amazon in South America will be featured. Wassen undertook the job despite deadly dangers including a head-hunting tribe.
47-05-10
18
Captain Michael Fielding
N
47-05-09 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers' Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) A True story of primitive justice among the hill tribes of the Khyber Pass in Northern India, will be told. Captain Michael Fielding of the Adventurers' club in Chicago, will dramatize his own real-life adventure.
47-05-17
19
Rear Admiral Edward Evers
N
47-05-16 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The true life experiences of Edward Evers, who enlisted in the U.S. navy in the Spanish-American war and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral in World war I, will be dramatized. When the Spanish fleet was destroyed, it was young Evers who pulled the Spanish Admiral Cervera from the water.
47-05-24
20
Charles Albrecht
N
47-05-23 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The locale shifts to Abyssinia for the exciting story of Charles Albrecht, noted animal sculptor and photographer who once led an ill-fated expedition into the wild interior of that African country.
47-05-31
21
Major A.S. "Speed" Chandler
N
47-05-30 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The thrill-packed story of "Speed" Chandler, famous death-defying test pilot and aviation engineer, provides another authentic chapter in "The Adventurers Club" series.
47-06-07
22
Waldo Logan
N
47-06-06 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) "Davey Jones' Locker," that mythical underwater kingdom where sunken treasures lie on the ocean floor, is the exciting locale of another chapter in the "Adventurers Club" series. An incident in the life of Waldo Logan will be dramatized.
47-06-14
23
Mike Fordney
N
47-06-13 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) Lost in the dead, cold stratosphere 10 miles above the earth is an experience few men know--or live to recall--but this authentic episode in the life of Mike Fordney will provide another thrilling chapter of CBS' "Adventurers Club."
47-06-21
24
Captain Irving Johnson
N
47-06-20 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The story of a man locked in a death-struggle with a giant fish 8 fathoms below the surface of the sea comes to life with dramatic reality when KGLO-CBS presents the saga of Captain Irving Johnson. The story is another living chapter taken from the files of the Adventurers Club in Chicago.
47-06-28
25
Walter Buchen
N
47-06-27 Wisconsin State Journal - Saturdaytime Adventurers Club (WBBM): hunting in Canadian forests.
47-07-05
26
Ralph Harris
N
47-07-04 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The story of Ralph Harris dramatizes his experience as commanding officer of a company of raw recruits under fire for the first time at the crucial battle of Amiens, in World war I. Harris is widely knwon now as one of Chicago's outstanding architects.
47-07-12
27
Owen O'Neil
N
47-07-11 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) How a wartime enemy became a life-long friend is stirringly revealed when the program tells the story of Owen O'Neil, who fought in the Boer war against the British. Young O'Neil and his father tricked, captured and later befriended a British officer, who after the British conquered the Boers, became a devoted friend.
47-07-19
28
Dr Hugh Darby
N
47-07-18 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) How a young research student braved barracuda-infested waters in his quest for the life-giving secret of vitamin D is dramatized on the program. The researcher-adventurer is Dr. Hugh Darby, now editor-in-chief of an important dietetics publication. Darby's search resulted in the discovery that sea-weed was a natural source of vitamin D.
47-07-26
29
Robert Childs
N
47-07-25 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) Thrilling adventures of Robert Childs, Chicago insurance broker who commanded a PT-boat in the Pacific during World war II will be dramatized. One of his assignments was to put an Australian spy ashore on the Jap-occupied Island of New Britain. The mission was accomplished despite attacks by Jap aircraft on Child's PT-boat.
47-08-02
30
Paul Havas
N
47-08-01 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The incident concerning Paul Havas, who qualified for membership in the club years ago when he was the object of attack by enraged Indians in the mountainous back-country of southern Bolivia, will be dramatized.
47-08-09
31
Charles Chapman
N
47-08-08 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) Back in 1923 when non-stop flights across the continent were still aviation's dream, one man, Charles Chapman, defied death and darkness to break the biggest news story of the year. It's the dramatic story of the man who scooped the wire services with photographs of President Harding's death nearly a quarter of a century ago.
47-08-16
32
Jerry Joswick
N
47-08-15 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) Volunteering to photograph the burning Pioesti oil fields led Jerry Joswick, Chicago commercial photographer, on an exciting mission while with an army air force combat camera unit in World war II. As an aerial photographer during the war, Joswick encountered many dramatic experiences including trouble with Arab tribes.
47-08-23
33
Norman Gerlach
N
47-08-22 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The ill-fated yacht voyage of Chicago Attorney Norman Gerlach and some friends in the treacherous waters off Mackinac Island in Lake Huron will be dramatized. The yacht was wrecked on the rocks, but all hands were finally rescued by the Coast Guard.
47-08-30
34
Captain Michael Fielding
N
47-08-29 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) A true story of a life and death struggle with fierce Afridi natives in India's Khyber Pass, as experienced by Michael Fielding, former captain in the British army, will be dramatized.
47-09-06
35
Major (Res) Paul Cyr
N
47-09-05 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The true story of how a daring OSS officer, disguised as a Chinese bride, was able to escape his Japanese pursuers, will be dramatized when the program presents the story of Paul Cyr. As an OSS officer, Cry, Major Reserve U.S. Army, was assigned to blow up the Yellow River bridge at Kalfeng.
47-09-13
36
Dr William Thomas
N
47-09-12 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) Exploits of Dr. William Thomas, once first mate on the ice-breaker "Bowdoin" which carried Donald B. MacMillan's expe ditions to Greenland and Baffin Island, are dramatized. Dr. Thomas saved the life of a girl stricken with appendicitis on a fighing boat far out at sea, during the course of the voyage.
47-09-20
37
Arthur Olsen
N
47-09-19 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) An exciting drama experienced against the strange background of the world's seaports following World war I will be enacted when the series tells the story of Arthur Olsen and his buddy working their way around the world as mess boys aboard an ocean freighter. Olsen is now an executive of a Chicago newspaper.
47-09-27
38
Dean Smith
N
47-09-26 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 9:30 a.m.) The thrilling story of adventurer Dean Smith's flight from the Japs through 500 miles of Burmese jingle will be dramatized. The true-llfe tales are presented in co-operation with Chicago's Adventurers club and recite experiences of members.
47-10-04
39
Virginia Brooks
N
47-10-03 Wisconsin State Journal
Saturdaytime 10:30 a.m.--Adventurers Club (WBBM): Virginia Brooks, 14, big-game hunter.
47-10-11
40
Robert Foran
N
47-10-10 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The story of Robert Foran, big game hunter and guide in Africa, provides thrilling chapter. The adventure of Foran relates a thrilling incident when he was the only hope of a lonely British outpost beseiged by ten thousand African warriors.
47-10-18
41
John Craig
N
47-10-17 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The real-life adventures of John Craig, motion picture producer and lecturer who became involved in the machinations of a smugglers' ring while taking pictures off the coast of southern California and aided authorities in breaking up the racket, will be dramatized.
47-10-25
42
Augustus Curtis
N
47-10-24 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) Exploits of Augustus Curtis, former hunter of anthropoid apes in the Belgian Congo, will be dramatized. Curtis twice narrowly escaped with his life during his African adventures.
47-11-01
43
Frank Chesrow
N
47-10-31 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The jungle honeymoon of Frank Chesrow, Chicago druggist, and his bride, Ruth, in Dutch Guiana where they sought rare medininal herbs, will be dramatized. Chesrow and his bride were attacked by Djuka natives, making a thrilling escape.
47-11-08
44
George Voevodsky
N
47-11-07 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The adventures of George Voevodsky as a World war I cavalry officer in the Russian army will be dramatized. Now an investment broker in Chicago, Voevodsky was awarded the Gold Sword of St. George for leading an attack against the besieging German army.
47-11-15
45
Donald McGibney
N
47-11-14 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The narrow escape of Donald McGibney, an American college professor, from execution by the Turks as a spy while he was visiting there just before Turkey entered World war I on the side of Germany will be dramatized.
47-11-22
46
Stanley Graham
N
47-11-21 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) Unusual difficulties that beset newspaper photographers while covering assignments, sometimes result in smashed cameras and black eyes. One of such incidents took place when Gene Tunney, after being knocked down, got up to beat Jack Dempsey for the 2nd time. In the excitemetn of the long count, photographer Stanley Graham got into a fracas of his own with a terrible-tempered spectator.
47-11-29
47
Bruce Thomas
N
47-11-28 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) One of the most daring Commando raids ever launched against the Nazis will be dramatized when the story of Bruce Thomas, foreign correspondent, is told. The story of Bruce Thomas is another authentic account taken from the files of the exclusive club located in Chicago.
47-12-06
48
Lewis Cotlow
N
47-12-05 Wisconsin State Journal - Saturday 10:30 Adventure Club WBBM WCCO
47-12-13
49
Bob Becker
N
47-12-12 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The true story of Bob Becker's expedition into unexplored Eastern Bolivia provides another thrilling chapter. Becker, a prominent sports authority now, was once lost on a lonely jungle path in the land of vampire bats.
47-12-20
50
Robert Lorenz
N
47-12-19 Mason City Globe-Gazette - Adventurers Club (Sat. 10:30 a.m.) The story of Robert Lorenz recalls another Christmas a few years ago when 2 young men were determined to spend the holiday in the Holy Land of Jerusalem. This is a true story concerning one of the members of the famous Adventurers club in Chicago.
47-12-27
51
Robert Foran
N
47-12-26 Wisconsin State Journal - Saturday 10:30 Adventure Club WBBM WCCO
48-01-03
52
Junius Wood
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48-01-02 Charleston Daily Mail - Saturday 11:30 Adventurers Club, WCHS.






The Adventurers' Club Radio Program Biographies




Ken Nordine
(Host)

Radio and Television Actor and Performer; Poet; Author
(1920- )

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Education: University of Chicago

Radiography:
1943 That Men May Live
1944 Ralph Morrison and His Orchestra
1946 The World's Great Novels
1947 The Adventurers' Club
1947 American Novels
1949 Welcome Travelers
1952 Hello, Sucker!
1952 The Meaning Of America
1953 Faces In the Window
1955 Biography In Sound
1979 Jazz Alive
Incredible But True
Ken Nordine circa 1964
Ken Nordine circa 1964

Ken Nordine circa 1978
Ken Nordine circa 1978

Ken Nordine circa 2005
Ken Nordine circa 2005

Ken Nordine was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1920. The son of an architect, Nordine attended Lane Technical College Prep School and the University of Chicago.

During the heyday of The Golden Age of Radio Ken Nordine and his extraordinarily compelling voice was heard on That Men May Live (1943), The World's Great Novels (1946), The Adventurers' Club, American Novels (1947), Welcome Travelers (1949), and several other Chicago-origination programs throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Over the years his voice mellowed like a vintage wine, each year growing more and more compelling, reassuring, and rich, somewhat reminiscent of Nelson Olmsted.

He married his wife of of 64 years, Beryl Vaughan, an actress in both Radio and Film, in 1945. The couple subsequently had three sons. Ken Nordine became even more widely popular in his own right during the height of the 'Beat' era of the 1950s. Nordine had orginated a creative, free-form spoken-word vignette poetry which he evolved over the 1950s and 1960s. His resulting Word Jazz, Son of Word Jazz, Love Words, and My Baby albums, with their jazz underscore by Chico Hamilton provided a highly innovative, soothing, and highly popular genre of modern poetry to a jazz beat.

Nordine also performed readings on the Radio series Faces in the Window (1953) and the Television series Now for Nordine (1954). From the August 9, 1954 issue of Time Magazine:

Ken Nordine is a fortunate fellow who enjoys double rewards for living a double life. Over national TV hookups, as a smooth-talking pitchman for deodorants, detergents and such (Stopette, Pamper Shampoo, Tunis), he earns, he figures, about $80,000 a year. But Nordine has his real fun and finds his real fans on his own show, which pays him practically nothing.

Chapter & Verse. Once a week, over WNBQ in Chicago, tall, hollow-cheeked Ken Nordine recites poetry to a late evening audience. Perched on a stool, with a stepladder full of books beside him, the 34-year-old lowan reads earnestly in a subdued, husky voice, glancing from page to camera like a casual host reading to guests in his library. What distinguishes Nordine's shows from others like it is the flashing telephone by his side. He has adapted the disk jockey's request-format for poetry and made it work. When he finishes a poem, he picks up the telephone, listens to a new request from a viewer, and makes small talk while he leafs through his library to find the poem or passage wanted. Now for Nordine is broadcast after peak viewing hours, yet hundreds of listeners try to phone in every week. Those who fail to get through send in requests by mail. Last week he read, by request: Alexander Pope's "Ode on Solitude," Robert Frost's "Mending Wall," Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I Love Thee?", Carl Sandburg's "Clean Curtains," I Corinthians 13.

Although Now for Nordine is only a few weeks old, Nordine himself is no stranger to experimental television. For more than a year he has been frightening and delighting Chicago audiences with eerie readings of classic horror tales such as Poe's Pit and the Pendulum, Lovecraft's Rats in the Walls. He calls this show Faces in the Window, plays weird music as he reads and scares his listeners with a bagful of simple but effective tricks. For a story where a man is hanged, he had the camera turn slowly back and forth to suggest a corpse swinging on a rope. Trick lights and a turtleneck sweater make his cadaverous face appear to float in air, and sometimes a zoomar lens moves in until only one glittering Nordine eye fills up the television screen.

The Big Money. Nordine keeps his programs simple because he has no time to rehearse. Each week he records commercials for more than a dozen radio and TV sponsors, acts on soap operas, announces local shows, narrates for Chicago's growing TV film industry.

Nordine's own shows are unsponsored, but he has no intention of making them slick enough to sell. Says he: "Television tries to show off too much. I just want to sit down with people and read poetry." On the practical side, he also wants to stay in Chicago and keep on reading commercials. Thanks to tape recording, he can get his slice of the big-money network shows that originate on the East and West coasts.

Fred Astaire once danced to a Ken Nordine piece, My Baby, on a television special. Nordine also narrated a documentary short, Against The Tide, in 1948. He was reportedly also Linda Blair's voice coach for the supernatural classic The Exorcist (1973).

Over the last 30 years of his extraordinary career, Ken Nordine has provided the narration for numerous Film trailers and Television commercials, the most memorable of which were his series of Levis Jeans voice-overs throughout the 70s and 80s.

Indeed, as late as 2005 Ken Nordine released a DVD video, The Eye is Never Filled. As of 2007 Ken Nordine was still hosting his own weekly Radio show and performing live in concert.

Ken Nordine and his wife Beryl currently spend their time evenly between homes in Chicago, Illinois and Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. The couple have nine grandchildren by their three sons and their families.




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