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Original Bright Star header art

The Bright Star Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Bright Star

Wisconsin spot ad for Bright Star from Dean's Country Charm Milk of January 5 1952
Wisconsin spot ad for Bright Star from Dean's Country Charm Milk of January 5 1952


Winnipeg Canada announcement of Bright Star from January 5 1952
Winnipeg Canada announcement of Bright Star from January 5 1952

Thumbnail of two-page Ziv broadside for 1951 syndications offered
Thumbnail of two-page Ziv broadside for 1951 syndications offered.

Thumbnail of two-page Ziv broadside for 1950 syndications offered
Thumbnail of two-page Ziv broadside for 1950 syndications offered.

Ziv's 1951 'Teaser Campaign':

Teaser No. 1 in Bill Doudna's Spotlight column of August 15, 1951

Fred MacMurray has signed a 10-year contract for a series of transcribed shows, "Bright Star," in which he will be featured with Irene Dunne. Each of the pair is expected to gross $300,000 from the deal, says Broadcasting-Telecasting magazine. The comedy drama will have a newspaper background with Miss Dunne as editor publisher and MacMurray as reporter.

Teaser No. 2 in "Looking and Listening" of August 16, 1951

IRENE DUNNE AND Fred MacMurray have been signed to a 10-year contract by Frederic W. Ziv Co. to do a transcribed radio series titled Bright Star. The film favorites are expected to gross $300,000 each from the situation comedy.

Teaser No. 3 in Hedda Hopper's column of August 17, 1951

Irene Dunne's going on the air as the publisher of a small town newspaper, with Fred MacMurray as her star reporter. She'll sing to the accompaniment of Fred's saxophone. The series is called "Bright Star "

Teaser No. 4 in column of On The Air september 4, 1951

Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray have been signed to costar in a transcribed, syndicated radio series called "Bright Star" a situation-comedy show. The program has been sold in some 147 cities. Miss Dunne plays newspaper publisher and MacMurray a reporter in the show which will be taped in Hollywood.

Teaser No. 5 from Gene Handsaker's Hollywood News column of September 17, 1951. [In lead article at right]

Teaser No. 6 From Mark Baron's Broadway column of september 27, 1951

NEW YORK — Fred MacMurray is the most talkative guy I know. This muscular movie star from Kankakee, MI., who once could talk me out of a couple of bucks when he was playing in Howard Dietz's musical shows on Broadway has now turned into the gabbiest guy you ever saw. You can't stop him from talking. And when I knew him on Broadway he would usually pick up a saxaphone so he wouldn't have to give a "yes" or "no" or even a smaller answer.

MacMurray was on Broadway recently but wouldn't talk. He mumbled and he didn't play the saxaphone. But, the other day I called him at his San Francisco ranch when I heard that he had signed to co-star with Irene Dunne in the radio series "Bright Star."

The conversation was very gabby and went something like this:

"Fred?"
"This is Mark Barron."
"How've you been?"
"I hear you've signed a big radio deal. Is that right?"

"Right."

"I heard also you're getting $300,000 for this series. What do you do to earn so much money?"

"Act."

"Yes, 1 know. But what kind of acting do you have to do?"

"Reporter.''

"You mean a newspaper reporter?"

"Yes."

I interrupted and said that no newspaper reporter got that kind of money, and that very few editors got into the $300,000 salary class.

"No, that is why I am an actor," MacMurray said, "and not the newspaperman I am going to play on this show."

There was no answer to that analysis of journalism. "Are you going to play your saxaphone again on this program?" I asked.

"Sometimes, perhaps," he said in a garrulous mood.

For the record, it was about 12 years ago I last saw MacMurray tootling a saxaphone on the stage of the New Amsterdam Theater. But the boy has been cutting plenty of capers since then and with high plaudits. And, as you can see, he still won't talk.

Background

Bright Star Promo

From the September 17, 1951 edition of The Progress, Clearfield, PA:  

Hollywood News
By GENE HANDSAKER

     HOLLYWOOD — Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray have embarked upon new dramatic perils together — the first radio series for either of them.  Irene let me hold her hand a minute to see how nervous transcribing just one hall-hour adventure had made her.  The hand was icy.
     Fred's nervousness shows up more in fluffs.  He stumbled repeatedly over the line, "just that right spot behind the ear."  (He's telling, in the script, how he has just slugged a lion into unconsciousness.)
     "Don't know how I ever got to be an actor," Fred confided later, speaking of mike fright.  As for ad-libbing in front of strange audiences: "I still can't get up in front of anybody."
   Irene and Fred will profit well from her cold hands and his verbal stumbling.  An industry source says each should gross $300,000 from their "Bright Star" comedy series.  She plays a newspaper editor, and MacMurray is her star reporter.
     We went to lunch after this recording session and talked shop—their shop.  MacMurray said he had risen at 4 a. m. on his ranch, driven to San Francisco, and taken an airliner here.  They'd knock off another half-hour program that afternoon and another two the next day.  They plan to record four programs a week on their initial commitment of 52.  There'd be a month's interruption, while Miss Dunne went to Italy for the Venice Film Festival.
     The program is the type known in the trade as open-end, meaning there's room at the start and finish for local commercial announcements.  This leads to numerous taboos.
     "We can't have a line like ''Will you have a cup of coffee?'"  Fred said. "There might be a tea sponsor in some town.  For the same reason we can't say 'Have a cup of tea?' — it might be a coffee sponsor—or mention any brand of automobile."
     Dunne and MacMurray have made two movies together.  "Never A Dull Moment" and "Invitation to Happiness." For some reason, they agreed, there's an impression around that they have co-starred more often.
     As we shook hands in saying goodbye, Miss Dunne's were still chilly.  They probably wouldn't have been when she was younger.  Youth is more sure of itself, she remarked, than maturity.


Background: Another example of Ziv-syndicated programming

Frederick W. Ziv was a syndicated programming genius. Throughout The Golden Age of Radio, Ziv produced some of the most star-studded, popular, transcribed syndication programming to ever air. Innovative programming such as:

  • Easy Aces (1935) with Goodman and Jane Ace
  • One for The Book (1938)
  • Forbidden Diary (1938)
  • Dearest Mother (1938)
  • Lightning Jim (1939)
  • The Career of Alice Blair (1940)
  • Korn Kobblers (1941)
  • Manhunt (1943)
  • The Weird Circle (1943)
  • Sincerely, Kenny Baker (1944)
  • Boston Blackie (1944) initially with Chester Morris
  • Philo Vance (1945) initially with José Ferrer
  • The Cisco Kid (1942)
  • Pleasure Parade (1945)
  • The Barry Wood Show (1946)
  • Favorite Story (1946) with Ronald Colman
  • The Guy Lombardo Show (1948)
  • Meet The Menjous (1949) with Adolph Menjou and Verree Teasdale
  • Bold Venture (1951) with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
  • Freedom U.S.A. (1951) with Tyrone Power
  • I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. (1952)
  • Showtime From Hollywood
  • Mr. District Attorney (1952)

Working with Frederick W. Ziv was a very profitable decision for most of the artists that associated with Ziv. Guy Lombardo made a reported $3,000,000 with Ziv over the years of their association. The Bogarts (Bold Venture) made an estimated $600,000 for their son's trust fund with Ziv. The Menjous earned a reported $750,000 with Ziv. Ronald Colman was also reported to earn $750,000 for Ziv's award-winning Favorite Story. When Ziv announced and began promoting his latest new vehicles for 1951, the list then included Bold Venture, Freedom U.S.A.--a Tyrone Power vehicle, Mr. District Attorney, and the subject of this article, Bright Star, starring Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray. It was soon after leaked that each famous Film actor would be making a reported $300,000 each for their participation in their ten-year contract with Ziv.

But the multi-year option contracts were the key. The Bogarts signed for an estimated $600,000, multi-year contract with Ziv, but opted out after the second year. The Menjous apparently opted out of their contract with Ziv after some 500+, 15-minute recording sessions over a two year period. In the present instance, Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray opted out of their contract after 52 programs recorded over a period of approximately nine months. With the notable exceptions of Guy Lombardo and The Menjous, most of the more 'important' artists that Ziv signed during the waning years of The Golden Age of Radio exercised their options after either one or two years of multi-year contracts. But for Ziv, it was a win-win whether his artists exercised their options or not. He was signing many of the most popular artists in Film, with all the attendant splash, promotional hype, and star-power associated with the elaborate promotions.

All of this is by way of explaining both Frederick W. Ziv's programming -- and marketing and promotion -- genius, as much as to underline the very real big business that syndicated, transcribed Radio had become by the late 1940s. It didn't hurt in the least that Ziv's transcribed syndications were invariably of the highest quality and production values. Remember that Ziv financed his programming out of pocket, in the expectation of generating a growing number of subscribers for his programs. With a combination of excellent business sense, a prior legal background, a proven track record of success and glowing testimonials from the famous artists he'd already promoted, Ziv had every good reason to bet the farm on most of his new productions. Indeed, since it was his own production, he routinely employed Hollywood's finest, most versatile and most reliable talent for supporting roles and production.

Build-Up, Roll-Out, and Premiere

Bright Star, in addition to the obvious, proven talent and popular appeal of Dunne and MacMurray, supported its stars with Elvia Allman, one of Radio's most versatile, popular, and experienced comediennes. The productions also featured such artists as Sheldon Leonard, Betty Lou Gerson, Virginia Gregg, Parley Baer, Will Wright and Howard Culver. The scoring was composed and conducted by Irv Norton and his orchestra. Harry Von Zell announced and narrated the first twenty-six programs and Wendell Niles announced and narrated the last twenty-six programs of the run.

The run-up to the premiere of the first nationwide broadcasts of the production was classic Ziv all the way. Beginning as early as five months prior to the broadcasts of the largest subscribing regional and affiliate stations, Ziv seeded the newspapers and magazines of the era with a progression of teasers and backgrounders on the developing production, Dunne and MacMurray's observations on the experience, details of the number of proposed programs, and of course, 'leaked' details of the contractual agreements. Each announcement was precisely timed with the introduction of two, medium-market broadcasts of the syndication. Thus as the buzz over first-airings combined with fascinating teasers about the lavish production itself and its two well-paid stars, the resulting interest in the new program began to swell to a crescendo around the Christmas season of 1951. As New Year 1952 arrived, half and full-page ads began popping up around the country touting the production and its two famous Film stars. The ads themsevles were both lavish and entertaining, employing such devices as a replica newspaper page in keeping with the small-town newspaper theme of the program.

All of the advance promotion peaked with the introduction of the first series of multiple-market broadcasts of the syndicated series throughout the midwest. Various small, medium and large market radio stations timed their initial broadcasts with the peak of Ziv's brilliant promotional campaign so as to gain the most interest and confidence in the production from potential sponsors. The combination obviously worked. Within weeks of the premieres in the midwest, sponsor after sponsor signed on for the productions--both locally and regionally. Canada was no exception, with no less than Johnson's Wax signing up to sponsor the Winnipeg-broadcast run.

The Premiere episode, if the syndication was followed as developed, was an introduction to the recurring players, as well as a frame for the dynamics established between Irene Dunne as Susan Armstrong, Editor and proprietor of the town of Hillsdale's The Morning Star--the town's only newspaper. Her 'star' reporter for the paper is George Harvey, played by Fred MacMurray. Cast in many of the scripts and in much of the promotional copy as a bumbling goof-off, though it makes for an amusing premise, George Harvey is really pretty good at what he does.

The staff is aided by Sammy, the Office Boy. At home, Susan is aided by Patience McLeod, her cook and housekeeper, portrayed by Elvia Allman. As the premiere episode opens, George is approached and threatened by one of the principals [Sheldon Leonard] of the 'Guaranteed Always Flowing Oil Development Company' to stop investigating them . . . or else. The intimidating figure himself is Sheldon Leonard, the great character actor, producer, director and Film executive. George returns to the 'Star' chastened but not cowed.

The premiere episode was tightly scripted, quite cleverly written, full of sparkling dialogue and repartee between Dunne and MacMurray, and showcased Sheldon Leonard in the first of several appearances in the series over its run. Ziv understood all too well that the level of snappy patter between Irene Dunne and her beleaguered reporter, MacMurray, had to be as crisp and well paced as her millions of fans had come to expect of her. In that respect at least, Ziv equipped Irene Dunne quite well indeed. Whatever expectations new listeners might have had leading up the the premiere, it's safe to say that Ziv and his production met them. Irene Dunne very much portrayed the 'Irene Dunne-like' character her fans expected to hear, and Fred MacMurray portrayed--yet again--a hapless, occasionally bumbling, but always charming 'average Joe' that had endeared his own fans to his performances over the years.

Response and reaction to the first broadcasts.

Though the Janesville, Wisconsin broadcasts from WCLO were already into their second 13-week set of syndicated transcriptions at the time of the major Midwest roll-out, it was becoming clear that Bright Star would be a success. New advertising sponsors were popping up with regularity in midwest newspapers, the teasers and promotional articles continued unabated, and the series itself was getting sparkling reviews from no less than Walter Winchell himself. The 1951 WCLO run ended in late September 1952, just about the time that the remaining Midwest broadcasts were entering their last set of 13-weeks of programming. The reviews held up, advertisers and sponsors continued to line up for the series, Ziv had acquired a reported 220+ subscribers by September 1951, and the programs were being well received. But keep in mind that this was the beginning of some of the most competitive years of Television programming for Radio. Radio had already lost many of its most popular entertainers and their vehicles to Television by 1951.

Ziv himself was already lining up spin-off versions of his own programs over Television. Indeed, any new series that could maintain the public's attention over Radio throughout these last, waning years of Radio's media dominance was compelling programming indeed. As it turned out, with the continuation of MacMurray's sparkling career, the decision by Irene Dunne to begin winding down her own career, and the pressures from Television on any well produced Radio programming, combined to end the series at fifty-two highly engaging installments.

The series was finely written and directed, although the credited directors and writers have yet to surface. The underscore by Irv Norton and the sound effects were excellent throughout the run, a marked characteristic of most Ziv vehicles of the 1940s and 1950s. The acting performances were the equal of anything previously heard over radio for its genre, in particular the recurring appearances of the great Elvia Allman as Patience the cook. Also heard were recurring appearances by Howard McNear, Parley Baer, Sheldon Leonard, Betty Lou Gerson, Howard Culver, Frank Graham, Virginia Gregg, and Ralph Moody.

Admittedly somewhat formulaic for its genre, the simple chemistry between Dunne and MacMurray is what truly sold this program throughout its three years of broadcasts in various markets. But that's the same winning formula that put Radio series' like Bold Venture, Meet the Menjous, The Halls of Ivy, and The Thin Man over the top. Sparkling repartee, quick-witted couples with good chemistry, and an at least adequate underlying story arc were more than enough to keep Radio listeners glued to their radios well into the most competitive years of Television.

Indeed, in spite of Television pulling out all the stops during the early 1950s to attract the largest audiences possible, a great deal of what Television was broadcasting was still mediocre at best. America still had good Radio to compare popular Television with, and Television was still coming up short in many instances. But if anyone was an appropriate barometer of the effect of Television it had to have been Frederick W. Ziv. As must be apparent in both our introductory remarks and the broadside ads in the sidebar to the left, while it's true that Ziv was still syndicating as many as thirty popular Radio programs, only a handful of them were new as of 1951. Indeed, Ziv was already turning out--or pitching--a whole host of Television vehicles for his Television Division. Ziv, knowing that Television was the next big thing, deployed his resources accordingly. Given Frederick Ziv's track record by 1951, it's understandable why Ziv's business decisions were a valid barometer for the future of Radio and Television.

We're lucky that many of these 'eleventh hour' Radio programs even made it to air during the 1950s. Indeed, to the extent that any of them could stand up to the extraordinary competition from Television was an even greater testament to how far compelling Radio drama had come since the 1930s. But the writing was, indeed, on the wall. Radio needed advertisers, sponsors and promotion. The print media had been Radio's greatest ally throughout the heyday of the Golden Age of Radio, but newspapers and magazines alike were shrinking their Radio ink in direct proportion to the dramatically increased ink they were devoting to Television. Nor was it simply a 'zero-sum game'. Not only were Radio articles shrinking in direct proportion to Television's increased newsworthiness, but Television was literally throwing everything but the kitchen sink at its audiences. Indeed, it's a wonder that the print media could even keep apace with Television in the 50s, let alone do any justice to Radio notices or listings.

What do remain, thankfully, are the hundreds of highly compelling and entertaining exemplars from those waning years of The Golden Age of Radio and its programming. Bright Star remains one of the brighter stars in the line-up from those last, competitive years of vintage Radio drama. Though only some thirty or so exemplars have been released in wide circulation, given the sheer number of Ziv's subscribers for this fine series, we're certain that the remaining exemplars will eventually be released. Those that are in circulation are well paced, thoroughly enjoyable, and remain a wonderful 'time capsule' of sparkling dialogue between two of the finest situational comedians of the 2oth Century. Irene Dunne had proved her genius in situational comedy for her entire career up to that point, and Fred MacMurray would go on to become one of Film and Television's most accomplished--and successful--situation comedy actors, ever.

Series Derivatives:

The Irene Dunne - Fred MacMurray Show
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Situation Comedies
Network(s): At least 247 independent and network-affiliated stations throughout the United States and Canada; NBC; MBS [WOR] [WCLO]
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 51-10-02 01 Guaranteed, Always Flowing Oil Development Company Swindle
[Janesville, Wisconsin provenance, Station WCLO-MBS]
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 52-01-17 to 53-01-08; NBC; MBS;
Syndication: Frederick W. Ziv Syndication
Sponsors: The Electric Company; Marling Lumber; Dean's Milk; American Optometric Association; Beneficial Finance; Johnson's Wax; Yagla Camera Shops of Janesville
Director(s):
Principal Actors: Fred MacMurray, Irene Dunne, Elvia Allman, Howard McNear, Parley Baer, Sheldon Leonard, Betty Lou Gerson, Howard Culver, Frank Graham, Virginia Gregg, and Ralph Moody, Jackson Beck
Recurring Character(s): The Hillsdale Morning Star Newspaper Editor Susan Armstrong [Irene Dunne]; Morning Star 'Ace' Reporter George Harvey [Fred MacMurray]; Patience the Cook [Elvia Allman]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): Inspired by Philip Barry play, "Bright Star"
Writer(s)
Music Direction: Irv Norton and his orchestra
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Harry Von Zell [01-26], Wendell Niles [27-52]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
52
Episodes in Circulation: 34
Total Episodes in Collection: 31
Provenances:

Billboard Magazine article cites Hollywood premiere for Bright Star on September 24 1951 from August 18 1951
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

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

Bright Star's previously published logging attempts have been all but impossible over the past 37 years. The main source of most of the misinformation about this fine program seems to be the Bright Star 'episodic log' of The Vintage Radio Place. The log is not only inaccurate, but dosen't correctly identify the name of the town the series is set in. This explains the source of the similarly inaccurate, 'certified accurate and complete' Bright Star series posted by the OTRR on archive.org. A great deal of their source information is simply borrowed from The Vintage Radio Place--warts, misspellings and all. The name of the town this series is set in is Hillsdale, not Hillside. Naturally, anyone who actually listens to any of the circulating exemplars of the Bright Star can hear the actual name of the town the series is set in.

There were also three duplicate espisodes in their Version 2 'certified accurate' Bright Star collection at archive.org, which thousands of people had unwittingly downloaded for two years trusting that it was, indeed an accurate set.

With all due respect to the radioGOLDINdex, we take exception to their characterization of Bright Star as having been broadcast nationally over the NBC Network in 1952 and 1953. Not only is there no record whatsoever of such broadcasts, as best as we can determine, the only network to broadcast the series--as a network--was the Mutual Broadcasting System out of their WOR flagship station in the mid-1950s. Indeed, so confident were we of radioGOLDINdex's customary accuracy when it comes to attributing a network source to one of their logged transcription series' that we spent three full days poring over newspaper listings from 1950 through 1952 to find even one oblique mention of an NBC-broadcast run of Bright Star--to no avail. Various NBC affiliates did, indeed, air Bright Star, but not as a network feed.

This of course brings into question the entire 1952 - 1953 logs prepared by both the OTRR and the source they merely borrowed them from: The Vintage Radio Place. No such run ever aired as they've logged it. Both are simply a mix-and-match patchwork quilt of overlapping broadcast airings from across the country, pieced together to construct a theoretical log that the OTRR continues to certify it as 'accurate'.

OTRisms:

There was only one script about a society burglar, not two.

There was only one script about George's experiences with a chorus girl, not two.

There were indeed two episodes about Susan Armstrong's cousin Emily. They can be differentiated by the fact that the second of the two has Fred MacMurray, as George Harvey, audibly rueing Emily's previous visit.

As to differentiating between the archive.org-posted duplicates, the radioGOLDINdex states that Harry Von Zell announced the first two, 13-week sets of Bright Star, inferring that Wendell Niles announced and narrated the last two, 13-week sets of the series. We can't support that entirely, since too many of the first twenty-six episodes are missing, by way of confirming those assumptions one way or the other. But what remains clear is that, at the least, the first thirteen weeks of Bright Star were announced and narrated by Harry Von Zell. Therefore it would be impossible to hear Wendell Niles announcing any 'society burglar' or 'chorus girl' episode numbered between one and thirteen. True to form, the OTRR posted two duplicate episodes from the Wendell Niles announced runs within their first thirteen episodes at archive.org.

As to further observations on the Harry Von Zell versus Wendell Niles announcing and narrating roles, we simply offer the following:

  • Network-sustained programming aside, it was customary for transcribed, packaged syndicated programming to contract for blocks of 13-weeks of programming with their talent.
  • It would stand to reason--and logic--that either/both Harry Von Zell and/or Wendell Niles would have signed up for 13-week obligations for their announcing duties.
  • While we have only thirteen weeks--or less--of Harry Von Zell's exemplars to listen to, we have far more of Wendell Niles' exemplars to compare them with.
  • From everything we've heard with our own ears it would appear that Harry Von Zell announced only thirteen weeks of Bright Star, while it would appear that Wendell Niles announced the remaining thirty-nine.
  • As more exemplars surface, we may ultimately amend this conjecture to credit Von Zell and Niles with twenty-six epsodes, apiece. We simply can't make that call one way or the other at present.

In all fairness to all parties, this was afterall a transcribed, syndicated production. You'll note in the logs below, that, for example, Wisconsin and Ohio were on completely different continuity tracks throughout the 1952 runs of Bright Star. Indeed, many of the syndicated programs of the era could often stand alone as individual programs out of sequence with the rest. But as we've discovered with several of Ziv's productions, there is often a subtle underlying series of story arcs and continuity references that Ziv productions include in their series' such that playing them out of order may become apparent over time. We cite examples such as 'cousin Emily's visits', or Patience's continuing attempts to either find a husband or boyfriend. Subtle, indeed, but to anyone following the series week to week, such breaks in continuity appear more obvious.

We invite you to compare our fully provenanced research with the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR and their Bright Star log, which the OTRR claims to be correct according to their 'OTTER log'. We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE to protect our own further due diligence, content and intellectual property. Only days after we published our Bright Star article, the OTRR hurriedly revised their log, their archive.org page and their OTRRpedia page:

  • What they overlooked in attempting to regroup was their "Certified First-Lines Wiki HERE with a screen shot HERE. Nor does it actually contain any 'first lines' at all.
  • As they hurriedly updated the errors we cited when we published our article, they changed their 'Certified Accurate' log to what they refer to as Version 3. HERE'S their Version 2 log that we cited when we published our article, and HERE'S their Version 3 'Change Log.' Apparently "Certified Accurate and Complete'' meant something entirely different in 2007 than in 2009.

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 are 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.

[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 Bright Star Radio Program Log [Janesville Gazette listings from WCLO]

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
51-10-02
1
Guaranteed Always Flowing Oil Development Company Swindle
N
[Listing unavailable]
51-10-09
2
Title Unknown
N
51-10-09 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Tonight at 7:30 p. m.
marks the second in a series of new shows being presented by the Marling Lumber Co. starring Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray in "Bright Star." He's a reporter who hates bosses and she is an editor who hates reporters.
51-10-16
3
Title Unknown
N
51-10-16 Janesville Daily Gazette
Two Hollywood stars who have made box office history, Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne, will bring a new series of comedy adventures to WCLO at 7:30 p. m. every Tuesday. The new series, called the "howlingest half-hour ever on the air, is entitled "Bright Star." Fred will play the role of the ace reporter who hates lady bosses and Irene will be the lady editor who hates reporters, a combination bound to provide excitement and laughs. "Bright Star" is presented by the Marling Lumber Co.
51-10-23
4
Title Unknown
N
51-10-23 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
You'll laugh at the mess Irene Dunne gets into and you'll howl as Fred MacMurray turns on the heat, as each tries to out-scoop the other. For a fun-packed, action filled half-hour that the entire family will enjoy you won't want to miss "Bright Star" over WCLO at 7:30 tonight, presented every Tuesday at this time by the Marling Lumber Co. Supporting these two great stars of screen and radio are such notables as Harry Von Zell, Irv Norton's orchestra and an all star cast.
51-10-30
5
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
51-11-06
6
The Milk Fund Carnival Scandal
N
51-11-06 Janesville Daily Gazette
The Marling Lumber Co. presents another in its series of comedy half hours as it brings listeners Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray in "Bright Star" at 7:30 p. m.
You'll laugh at the mess Dunne gets into, and you'll howl as MacMurray turns on the heat, as each tries to out-scoop the other. Supporting these two great stars of screen and radio are such ' notables as Harry Von Zell, Irv Norton's orchestra and an all-Star cast. "Bright Star" is an action-full, eventful laugh riot of newspaper feud'n, fuss'n and fun.
51-11-13
7
Title Unknown
N
51-11-13 Janesville Daily Gazette
The Marling Lumber Co. again takes pleasure in presenting "Bright Star" with Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray tonight at 7:30 over WCLO AM-FM, Irene, who plays the part of Susan, and Fred as George are all wound up in a story of an old recluse, a woman, who leaves her fortune to her pet cat. She places the cat in Susan's care together with a note which says that the cat has the key to the fortune. Now that the opening idea has been presented the fun really starts and Irene and Fred make the most of it.
51-11-20
8
The Real Huntley Prestwick Sedgewick
N
51-11-20 Janesville Daily Gazette
The Marling Lumber Co. again presents two great stars, in another of their comedy series, "Bright Star," tonight at 7:30 p. m. over WCLO AM-FM.
Tonight's story is another fine comedy about a meek little man who writes true confession stories and inadvertently names a Character Huntley Prestwick Sedgewick. A racketeer decides to pose as the character and sue the writer. Our little friend asks Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne for heir help and then the fun begins as everybody gets all tangled in one of the funniest shows on radio.
51-11-27
9
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
51-12-04
10
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
51-12-11
11
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
51-12-18
12
Title Unknown
N
51-12-18 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
The Marling Lumber Co. takes pleasure in bringing to listeners another comedy in the series of Bright Star programs presented every Tuesday at 7:30 p. m.
Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne, two of the finest stars of the screen and radio, are the principals in this series of comedy adventures. Miss Dunne is he editor who hates reporters and Mr. MacMurray takes the part of a reporter who hates editors. The ingredients make exciting situations plus fun for all.
51-12-25
13
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-01-01
14
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-01-08
15
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-01-15
16
Title Unknown
N
52-01-15 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Those two grand stars of radio and screen, Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray, get together again tonight to bring you a barrel of laughs. They will star in the newspaper story on Bright Star presented every Tuesday at 7:30 p. m. by the Marling Lumber Co. Fred and Irene play the reporter and editor respectively and each dislikes the type of job of the other.
52-01-22
17
Title Unknown
N
52-01-22 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray are together in the funniest, sunniest comedy series on radio today. The Marling Lumber Co. presents these two great stars of Radio, stage and screen in that 'popular series Bright Star, a regular feature over WCLO every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Irene plays the part of a lady editor who hates reporters and Fred takes the part of a reporter who hates lady editors. It all goes to make "Bright Star" the comedy sensation of the year.
52-01-29
18
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-02-05
19
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-02-12
20
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-02-19
21
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-02-26
22
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-03-04
23
Former College Editors Convention
Hotel Room Shortage
N
52-03-04 Janesville Daily Gazette
Sonia, an old flame of George Harvey (Fred MacMurray), arrives in Hillsdale on Sunday for the Former College Editors meetings. She can't get a room, and solicits help from George who is having dinner at the home of Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne).
George asks Susan to nut Sonia up at her house, but Patience, the cook, objects and conspires with office boy Sammy, also Susan's Sunday guest, to nip this old romance in its second bud in tonight's Bright Star adventure heard- at 7:30 over WCLO. The comedy is brought to you by the Marling Lumber
52-03-11
24
Aunt Sophie Plays Matchmaker
N
52-03-11 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
' When Susan Armstrong's (Irene Dunne) Aunt Sophy comes to visit her, things start popping ... including George Harvey's (Fred MacMurray) popping the question to Susan. Sophy's effort to bring George and Susan together by confiding to both how much each Is in love with ,the other makes tonight's Bright Star laugh-provoker. It is heard at 7:30 over WCLO AM-FM brought to you by
Yagla's Radio and Camera Shops of Janesville and Beloit.
52-03-18
25
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-03-25
26
Patience Advertises for A Husband
The Patient's Aid
Patience's Romance
N
52-03-25 Janesville Daily Gazette
Her cook, Patience, scares the daylights out of Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) when she calls in to the Morning Star an ad for a husband. Susan enlists the aid of George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) in an attempt to wine and dine her out .of her loneliness in tonight's Bright Star comedy adventure at 7:30. The comedy is brought to you by The Marling Lumber Co. over WCLQ.
Bright lights don't seem to affect Patience's mood. Things look even blacker when Patience asks Susan for some of her cosmetics to fix herself up for a male visitor. What happens next provides the comedy for tonight's story.
52-04-01
27
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-04-08
28
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-04-15
29
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-04-22
30
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-04-29
31
Susan Dates A Window Washer
A Flower for Susan
N
52-04-29 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne), editor and owner of the Hillsdale Morning Star, is on the receiving end of many sentimental gifts from one signed simply "Amaryllis." So preoccupied is Susan with the mysterious suitor that she assigns reporter George Harvey (Fred Mac Murray) to entertain space buyer C. L. Kaufman from a Manhattan advertising agency, in town to choose a Hillsdale newspaper for his campaigns. When Kaufman turns out to be an attractive girl, Susan is so jealous that she creates a space buyer for herself and the fun begins. The Marling- Lumber Co. is the sponsor for these funfest Bright Star programs every Tuesday
at 7:30.
52-05-06
32
Susan's Famous Box Supper
Box Supper
N
52-05-06 Janesville Daily Gazette
George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) gets an invitation from boss Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) to the Elks' box supper . . . where he can buy her boxed delicacies for roughly $55 at auction in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7 p. m. The show is presented by the Marline Lumber Co.
George's trouble is that he has only $5 and Sammy fails to bring him the other $50 as requested . . . so George can get only a $1 box and the gruesome blonde named Wanda who goes with it; Sammy gets Patience and her offering for $10; and a gross "Bulldozer" named Willy gets Susan's famous box supper for $50 ... which includes Susan for the evening, too.
52-05-13
33
George and the Chorus Girl
The Chorus Girl
N
52-05-13 Janesville Daily Gazette
Reporter George Harvey's (Fred MacMurray) big mouth nearly gets him into show business in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7:30 as presented by the Marling Lumber Co. His date at boss Susan Armstrong's (Irene Dunne) house is spoiled by the presence of her old boy friend, Elwood Bray, and George becomes belligerent. On the defensive, George admits to knowing Sunny Knight, a New York showgirl whom he is challenged to invite to a foursome with Elwood and Susan. George is "saved" when office boy Sammy tells Sunny and manager Max about Sunny's old friend (George) who is so well fixed. The tempo really picks up at this point and provides listeners with thirty minutes of good comedy.
52-05-20
34
The Society Burglar
N
52-05-20 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Reporter George Harvey's (Fred MacMurray) domineering attitude Is too much for editor Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) to tolerate, so she confesses to knowing the local Raffles whose, nocturnal prowlings George has been covering in the Morning Star. Suspicious that she just might be telling the truth, George has Susan shadowed by a girl friend of Sammy's girlfriend. By the time these thirdhanded reports reach George, his own dates with Susan have become her midnight carousing with the society burglar in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7:30. The comedy Is presented by the Marling Lumber Co. The fun really begins when George turns detective himself.
52-05-27
35
Patience Impresses Her Uncle with Haggis
One Word Cablegram
N
52-05-27 Janesville Daily Gazette
Susan Armstrong's (Irene Donne) cook, Patience, (Elvia Allman) takes the limlight as heiress-potential, while George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) and Susan play her cook and butler in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7:30. The Marling Lumber Co. sponsors these comedy stories.
To help Patience impress wealthy uncle, Andrew McLeod, who pays her a flying visit from Scotland, Susan exchanges places with her. This way. Patience thinks, lier uncle will be more inclined to leave her his money than if he knew she were poor. The conspirators engage widow Bonnie Cameron to cook the uncle's favorite dish for dinner. The hilarious results bring listeners a half-hour of fun.
52-06-03
36
Search for Childhood Sweetheart
George Visits An Art Class
N
52-06-03 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Morning Star editor, Susan Armstrong, (Irene Dunne), and her ace reporter, George Harvey (Fred MacMurray), fill an open three columns with a front page appeal for the return of Virgil Toogood's childhood sweetheart, Adelaide, in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 6:30 p.m. The show is presented by the Marling Lumber Co. What they learn after the entire nation takes up the search is that the girl is and was non-existent. Thousands of Adelaides turn up to provide 30 minutes of comedy entertainment over WCLO.
52-06-10
37
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-06-17
38
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-06-24
39
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-07-01
40
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-07-08
41
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-07-15
42
Talking Dog Breaks Murder Case
N
52-07-15 Janesville Daily Gazette
The interview of Editor Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) with a talking dog leads her and reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) to a murder in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 6:30 over WCLO, presented by the Marling Lumber Co. When Professor Ziglowitz phones the Star for publicity on his talking dog, George fluffs him off completely, but Susand whisks George and herself over to the hotel. They enter the room at the words "come in," find only a spaniel and a corpse. The story moves to a hilarious climax from this point in the story. It's another rollicking hit for these two stars.
52-07-22
43
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-07-29
44
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-08-05
45
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-08-12
46
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-08-19
47
Babysitting for A Birthday Present
N
52-08-19 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) takes up baby sitting to buy a present for Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) and winds up with more than he bargained in tonight's Bright Star comedy. The show airs on WCLO at 7:30 p.m., brought to you by the Marling Lumber Co. When George asks Susan for a raise, she refuses, not knowing that he wants the money to buy a watch for her birthday. The mixup of intentions really takes shape at this point and there's no limit to the laughs.
52-08-26
48
George The Matchmaker
N
52-08-26 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) attempts to discourage one of Susan Armstrong's (Irene Dunne) suitors and winds up opposing a villainous wrestler in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7:30. The comedy is presented by the Marling Lumber Co. Tonight's merry mix-up has everybody confused, especially George, that is, until he meets the wrestler and the confusion is over. It's 30 minutes of merriment for everybody.
52-09-02
49
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-09-09
50
Title Unknown
N
[Listing unavailable]
52-09-16
51
Old Flame, Betty Lou Carstairs, Visits
N
52-09-16 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray and Editor Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) trade jobs in "The Switch tonight's Bright Star comedy. The show is over WCLO at 7:30, sponsored by The Marling Lumber Co. In his annual- Christmas correspondence with an old school chum, Betty Lou Carstairs, George exaggerates his position with the Morning Star, and leads her to believe that he is the editor.
He gets a rude awakening when he receives a letter saying she'll be In Hillsdale. for a short while and would like to see him. At this point the comedy really gets involved and provides listeners with 30 minutes of laughs.
52-09-23
52
Cousin Emily Returns To Visit
N
[Listing unavailable]





The Bright Star Radio Program Log [Ziv's Midwest Campaign of 1951 and 1952]

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
52-01-17
1
Guaranteed Always Flowing Oil Development Company Swindle
Y
52-01-17 Capital Times
A sparkling new feature will join the lineup of dramatic programs on WIBA and WIBA-FM at 7:30 tonight when "Bright Star'.' makes its first appearance.
This comedy series will costar Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray, topflight movie players.
Miss Dunne will portray a newspaper editor and Fred MacMurray will appear as her star reporter—a man who dislikes all bosses, especially women bosses. Situations in the series
will be based on the continuing rivalry over top news stories.
52-01-24
2
Susan Armstrong for Mayor
Y
52-01-24 Capital Times
7:30 p. m.—Bright Star: newspaper comedy with Irene Dunne as editor, Fred MacMurray as top reporter —WIBA.
52-01-31
3
Arabian Days Festival for Orphanage
Hillside Becomes Mom and Dad
Hillside Becomes MumDad
Y
52-01-31 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m. — Bright Star (WIBA): Fred MacMurray, as star reporter, dreams up civic festival, starts romantic mixup—WIBA.
52-02-07
4
Susan Intercepts George's Syndicate Offer
Miss America Visits
Y
52-02-07 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m. — Bright Star (WIBA): Irene Dunne interferes with Fred MacMurray's offer from a national syndicate.
52-02-14
5
George and the Informer
Y
52-02-14 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m. — Bright Star (WIBA): reporter Fred MacMurray's stories on gang leader cause complication.
52-02-21
6
The Milk Fund Carnival Exposé
Y
52-02-21 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m. — Bright Star (WIBA): wealthy woman leaves fortune to cat, with Irene Dunne as guardian
52-02-28
7
The Real Huntley Prestwick Sedgewick
N
52-02-28 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA): Irene Dunne, Fred MacMurray help part-time writer, falsely sued by racketeer
52-03-06
8
Title Unknown
N
52-03-06 Capital Times
7:30 p. m- — Bright Star. Irene
Dunne and Fred MacMurray
solve complications in baby contest.

52-03-04 Janesville Daily Gazette
Sonia, an old flame of George Harvey (Fred MacMurray), arrives in Hillsdale on Sunday for the
Former College Editors meetings. She can't get a room, and solicits help from George who is having dinner at the home of Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne).
George asks Susan to put Sonia up at her house, but Patience, the cook, objects and conspires with office boy Sammy, also Susan's Sunday guest, to nip this old romance in its second bud in tonight's Bright Star adventure
heard- at 7:30 over WCLO. The
comedy is brought to you by the
Marling Lumber Company.

52-03-06 Portsmouth Times
9:30 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: Fred MacMurray as George Harvey finds himself in a romatic stew when an old flame, Sonia, makes here appearance in Hillsdale. Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne), Harvey's present heart-throb eliminates the competition shrewdly on "Bright Star."

52-03-13
9
Susan Outfoxes the 'Fixers'
Y
52-03-13 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA): Irene Dunne meets a boxer, bets on his fight . . .

52-03-13 Capital Times
A dramatic highlight of tonight's WIBA schedule will be "Bright Star," featuring Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray in an episode of newspaper life in which Miss Dunne, 'as an editor, outwits a gang which tries to "fix"' a boxing match.

Jackson Beck as The Champ

52-03-13 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurry, who portray Susan Armstrong and George Harvey on "Bright Star, get an assist from Susan's Aunt Sophy. In their trek toward the altar Matchmaker Aunt Sophy almost succeeds.

52-03-20
10
Dramatic Lessons
Y
52-03-20 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):
Broken-down actor starts dramatic school; rehearsal becomes involved with safe-cracking.

52-03-20 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: A gypsy girl dancing in the street and talking parrot that knows the secret of a buried treasure lead George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) and Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) on a merry chase with an amazing climax.
52-03-27
11
The Parisian Dress Designer
Y
52-03-27 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):
Parisian dress designer meets worthy rival in Hlllsdale girl .
52-04-03
12
The Boy Scout Camp Fugitive
N
52-04-03 Capital Times
7:30 p.m.—Bright Star: adventure
invades Boy Scout camp—WIBA.

52-04-03 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):
Irene Dunne, Fred MacMurray find fugitive in Boy Scout camp.

52-04-03 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) tries to patch up a puppy love quarrel between Sammy, the office boy, and his girl friend. In the process George becomes involved
with the girl's country cousin and lands in hot water with both the cousin's Texas boy friend and Miss Armstrong (Irene Dunne), George's perpetual heart throb. It's all on tonight's presentation of "Bright Star."
52-04-10
13
Susan Besieged by Childhood Sweetheart
N
52-04-10 Capital Times
7:30 p. ,m.—Bright Star: Irene Dunne as newspaper editor is besieged by childhood sweetheart--WIBA.

52-04-10 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: Susan Armstrong, portrayed by Irene Dunne, drops a bombshell in city council's lap when she opposes the removal of a park and playground on ''Bright Star'' tonight.
52-04-17
14
Title Unknown
N
52-04-17 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) and Fred George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) are confronted with a confusing situation when
Susan's cousin, Emily, arrives for a visit and immediately adds George to her list of "friends."
52-04-24
15
Susan Covers Sports - George Covers Women
N
52-04-24 Capital Times
7:30 p. ,m.—Bright Star: Irene Dunne takes over sports editor's job, Fred MacMurray becomes woman's editor, and both meet an amorous wrestler—WIBA.

52-04-24 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: Publisher Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) gets a rejection slip from a national poetry magazine—and a letdown when her husband (Fred MacMurray) has his verse accepted on "Bright Star."
52-05-01
16
George Covers Hillsdale Fire
Y
52-05-01 Capital Times
7:30 p. ,m.—Bright Star: George Harvey covers fire, loses job, gets it back—WIBA.

52-05-01 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CES: Susan Armstrong (Irene.Dunne), editor of the Hillsdale Morning Star, sends ace reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) out to track down a seeder of sentimental gifts. She becomes quite disturbed when Harvey discovers an attractive girl instead.
52-05-08
17
George Coaches Hillsdale High Football
Y
52-05-08 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):
Fred MacMurray complalns about football coach, gets his job

52-05-08 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) attends the Elks' box supper and has to settle for a $1 box lunch and the gruesome blond who goes with it on "Bright Star." The show co-features Irene Dunne
52-05-15
18
Counterfeiters In The Haunted House

Y
52-05-15 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):
Fred MacMurray , Irene Dunne find
counterfeiters in haunted house"

52-05-15 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.—WPAY-CBS: Reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) boasts of his knowledge of New York theatrical people, and suddenly is confronted with a reallife show girl from the big city on "Bright Star." Harvey's boss, Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) gets the last laugh in the embarrassing situation.
52-05-22
19
Rodeo Star
Y
52-05-22 Capital Times
Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray, stars of Bright Star, get themselves "roped in" during a big rodeo, on WIBA at 7:30 tonight.
Susan (Irene Dunne) gets involved first when a "masher" reporter on the rival paper pretends he is the star of the show. The star of the show is, in reality, a girl, as Susan soon finds out. When Susan uses her newspaper to lambast the star of the rodeo, things begin to pop and MacMurray ends up attaching himself to her.

52-05-22 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m.--WPAY-CBS: The central figures in "Bright Star," Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne, set out to capture a group of prowlers. MacMurray works his way into the group and finds that Gang believes he is one of them.
52-05-29
20
Dr. Hocher's 'Scientific Living'
Y
52-05-29 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m. — WPAY-CBS: A rich uncle from Scotland arrives in Hillsdale to complicate the principals in the comedy series "Bright Star." Efforts to impress the Scottish uncle fail after a local widow serves the Scotch visitor his favorite dish.
52-06-05
21
New Homemaker Page Editor
Y
52-06-05 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA): "homemaker" threatens publisher's romance with reporter.
52-06-12
22
Former College Editors Convention
Y
52-06-12 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA): cook and office boy halt revivals of old romances.
52-06-19
23
Aunt Sophie Plays Matchmaker
Y
52-06-19 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA): Aunt Sophy plays matchmaker
52-06-26
24
The Talking Parrot
Y
52-06-26 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):Fred MacMurray rescues dancing gypsy, buys a treasure-revealing parrot
52-07-03
25
Patience Advertises for A Husband
Y
52-07-03 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA):
Irene Dunne's cook advertises for a husband
52-07-10
26
Sammy and Shirley
Y
--
52-07-17
27
Beaver Park
Y
52-07-17 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m. -- WPAY-CBS: What starts out as a talking dog feature story leads Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) and George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) to a murder in tonight's "Bright Star" presentation.
52-07-24
28
George's Poetry
Y
Pre-empted for Democratic Convention in most markets

52-07-24 The Record-Argus
Between her career and public affairs, Miss Dunne is one of Hollywood's busiest ladies. She'd done 13 TV films, in which she appears at the start for three or (our minutes, in two days. She was getting ready to do 13 more.
She'd just finished 52 "Bright Star" radio Transcriptions with Fred MacMurray.
52-07-31
29
Cousin Emily
Y
52-07-31 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star (WIBA): Susan's cousin flees attentions of criminal, falls for star reporter.

52-07-31 Capital Times
7:30 p.m.— Bright Star: Irene
Dunne's young cousin brings trouble on her surprise visit— WIBA.

52-08-07
30
Susan Dates A Window Washer
Y
52-08-07 Portsmouth Times
10 p.m. — WPAY-CBS: Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) and George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) become involved in an argument over the merits of a certain corporation on tonight's "Bright Star" presentation.

52-08-07 Capital Times
Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray will be co-starred in "Bright Star" at 7:30. Tonight's story will tell of a lovely visitor from New York, a mysterious donor of gifts to the woman publisher of the Hillsdale Star, and a riotous dinner party.

52-04-29 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne), editor and owner of the Hillsdale Morning Star, is on the receiving end of many sentimental gifts from one signed simply "Amaryllis." So preoccupied is Susan with the mysterious suitor that she assigns reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) to entertain space buyer C. L. Kaufman from a Manhattan
advertising agency, in town to choose a Hillsdale newspaper for his campaigns. When Kaufman turns out to be an attractive girl, Susan is so jealous that she creates a space buyer for herself and the fun begins. The Marling- Lumber Co. is the sponsor for these funfest Bright Star programs every Tuesday at 7:30.

52-08-14
31
Susan's Famous Box Supper
Y
52-08-14 Capital Times
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star: Fred MacMurray tries to buy Irene Dunne's delicacies at Elks' box supper.

52-05-06 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) gets an invitation from boss Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) to the Elks' box supper . . . where he can buy her boxed delicacies for roughly $55 at auction in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7 p. m. The show is presented by the Marling Lumber Co.
George's trouble is that he has only $5 and Sammy fails to bring him the other $50 as requested . . . so George can get only a $1 box and the gruesome blonde named Wanda who goes with it; Sammy gets Patience and her offering for $10; and a gross "Bulldozer" named Willy gets Susan's famous box supper for $50 ... which includes Susan for the evening, too.

52-08-21
32
George and The Chorus Girl
Y
52-08-21 Capital Times
Another hilarious episode in the adventures of a reporter and his boss — a woman editor — will be brought to WIBA and WIBA-FM listeners on "Bright Star" at 7:30 tonight.
Fred MacMurray plays the reporter, George Harvey , and Irene Dunne portrays the editor, Susan Armstrong, in each week's half-hour of laughs.
Tonight's script almost lands George in show business when he boasts of knowing a New York showgirl whose act is coming to Hillsdale. Sammy, the office boy, tries to get him off the hook, but manages to pull it higher instead.
52-08-28
33
The Society Burglar
Y
52-08-28 Capital Times
Fred Mac-Murray will tangle
with a "society burglar" in tonight's "Bright "star" comedy episode, to be heard at 7:30 on WIBA and WIBA-FM
MacMurray will portray a reporter, George Harvey, whose domineering attitude leads his boss—Editor Susan Armstrong, played by Irene Dunne — to confess she knows a thief whose prowlings George is reporting.
Third-hand reports on Susan's dates leads George to do some detecting, in which he encounters the burglar and his sidekick at the editor's home.

52-05-20 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) domineering attitude is too much for editor Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunn) to tolerate, so she confesses to knowing the local Raffles whose, nocturnal prowlings George has been covering in the Morning Star. Suspicious that she just might be telling the truth, George has Susan shadowed by a girl friend of Sammy's girl friend. By the time these third-handed reports reach George, his own dates with Susan have become her midnight carousing with the society burglar in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7:30. The comedy is presented by the Marling Lumber Co. The fun really begins when George turns detective himself.
52-09-04
34
Patience Impresses Her Uncle with Haggis
Y
52-09-04 Capital Times
7 p. m. — Bright Star: Susan's cook tries to impress a wealthy uncle

52-05-27 Janesville Daily Gazette
Bright Star
Susan Armstrong's (Irene Dunne) cook, Patience, (Elvia Allman) takes the limlight as heiress-potential, while George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) and Susan play her cook and butler in tonight's Bright Star comedy at 7:30. The Marling Lumber Co. sponsors these comedy Stories.
To help Patience impress wealthy uncle, Andrew McLeod, who pays her a flying visit from Scotland, Susan exchanges places with her. This way, Patience thinks, her uncle will be more inclined to leave her his money
than if he knew she were poor.
The conspirators engage widow Bonnie Cameron to cook the uncle's favorite dish for dinner. The hilarious results bring listeners a half-hour of fun.
52-09-11
35
Search for Childhood Sweetheart
Y
52-09-11 Capital Times
7:30 p. m.— Bright Star: search for childhood sweetheart
52-09-18
36
George Visits An Art Class
Y
52-09-18 Capital Times
7:30 p. m.— Bright Star: Fred MacMurray's visit to art class arouses Irene Dunne's jealousy.
52-09-25
37
George Dabbles in Politics
N
52-09-25 Capital Times
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star: Fred MacMurray gets in and out of politics— WIBA.
52-10-02
38
Title Unknown
N
--
52-10-09
39
Uncle Bascom and The Elephant Gun
N
52-10-09 Capital Times
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star:
Uncle Bascom arrives with his elephant gun — WIBA.
52-10-16
40
George and The Matinee Idol
N
52-10-16 Capital Times
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star:
matinee idol enters George's life —WIBA.
52-10-23
41
The Confidence Gang
N
52-10-23 Capital Times
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star:
office
boy involves Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray with confidence gang.—WIBA
52-10-30
42
Talking Dog Breaks Murder Case
N
52-10-30 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star WIBA):
interview with talking dog leads to discovery of murder
52-11-06
43
Title Unknown
N
--
52-11-13
44
George Save Irene's 500 dollars . . . maybe
N
52-11-13 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star WIBA):
Fred MacMurray saves Irene Dunne's $500—maybe
52-11-20
45
Title Unknown
N
--
52-11-27
46
Pilney Baxter, Child Prodigy
N
52-11-27 Capital Times
A child prodigy will pose a probem for Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray in tonight' "Bright Star" episode, to be heard on WIBA and WIBA-FM 7:30. Miss Dunne will portray Susan Armstrong, publisher of a daily newspaper and MacMurray will play George Harvey, her reporter.
The prodigy is Pilney Baxter, an obnoxious youngster who, visits Susan and manages to insult everybody in sight.
After a near-tragedy, the publisher finds a way to change Pilney's outlook and her friends ideas about Pilney.
52-12-04
47
Babysitting for A Birthday Present
N
52-12-04 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m. — Bright Star WIBA): reporter turns baby-sitter to raise money for birthday present
52-12-11
48
George The Matchmaker
N
52-12-11 Capital Times
George Harvey, erstwhile reporter for lovely Susan Armstrong's newspaper, runs into trouble again when he tries to clear up a romantic problem for one of his boss' old beaus on "Bright Star" tonight at 7:30 p.m. on WIBA. The serial stars Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne.
52-12-18
49
The Murder Suspect
N
52-12-18 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.—Bright Star (WIBA): Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray think they've found a murder suspect
52-12-25
50
Betty Lou Carstairs Visits
Y
--
53-01-01
51
Title Unknown
N
Pre-empted for Rose Bowl between Wisconsin Badgers and Southern California Trojans
53-01-08
52
The Return of Cousin Emily
Y
--






The Bright Star Radio Program Biographies




Frederick Martin MacMurray
(George Harvey)

(1908-1991)

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

Radiography:
1936 The Magic Key
1937 Lux Radio Theatre
1937 Hollywood Hotel
1939 The Chase and Sanborn Hour
1940 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Mail Call
1942 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1943 Command Performance
1944 The Kate Smith Hour
1944 Four For the Fifth
1945 G.I. Journal
1946 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1947 Family Theater
1949 Star Spots
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 Four Star Playhouse
1949 Hallmark Playhouse
1951 Suspense
1952 Bright Star
1953 The Martin and Lewis Show
1954 The Bob Hope Show
1956 Recollections At Thirty
1975 Threads Of Glory
Remember
Showtime
Fred MacMurray publicity photo for 13 Hours By Air (1936)
Fred MacMurray publicity photo for 13 Hours By Air (1936)

Fred MacMurray with Carole Lombard in True Confession (1937)
Fred MacMurray with Carole Lombard in True Confession (1937)

Somewhat overshadowed by Robin Hood that year, Men With Wings (1938) is reported to have been the first full Technicolor film to reach the big screen
Somewhat overshadowed by Robin Hood that year, Men With Wings (1938) is reported to have been the first full Technicolor film to reach the big screen

Fred MacMurray with Errol Flynn and Ralph Bellamy in Dive Bomber (1941)
Fred MacMurray with Errol Flynn and Ralph Bellamy in Dive Bomber (1941)

MacMurray married lovely June Haver a year after the death of his first wife Lillian Lamont (1953)
MacMurray married lovely June Haver a year after the death of his first wife Lillian Lamont (1953)

Fred MacMurray dances with wife June Haver circa 1972
Fred MacMurray dances with wife June Haver circa 1972
From the November 6, 1991 Edition of the Syracuse Herald Journal:

Actor Fred MacMurray dies of pneumonia at 83

Screen career of loveable father figure spanned 50 years.

Los Angeles Daily News

     LOS ANGELES - Actor Fred MacMurray, who played an insurance agent co-opted into murder in the film noir classic "Double Indemnity," a spineless officer in "The Caine Mutiny" and a congenial father on TV's "My Three Sons," has died in a Santa Monica hospital.
     MacMurray, 83, died Tuesday of pneumonia at St. John's Hospital and Health Center, where he had been hospitalized for cancer, hospital spokesman Gary Miereanu said.  MacMurray's wife, actress June Haver, and daughter, Kate, were at the actor's bedside when he died, officials said.
     MacMurray, whose show business career spanned 50 years, was known to movie and television fans in the 1960s as a lovable father figure, a role he played in a series of Walt Disney films, including "The Shaggy Dog," "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Son of Flubber."  But he perfected the role as aerospace engineer Steve Douglas, the widowed breadwinner on the popular 1960-72 television series "My Three Sons."  "He brought laughter to filmgoers of all ages throughout the country," Walt Disney Co. chairman Michael Eisner said in a statement issued by the studio.  "At Disney, he will always be remembered as a fine actor and a true gentleman."
     Born in Kankakee, Ill., and educated in Wisconsin, MacMurray got his start in show business in 1928, singing and playing saxophone in The Royal Purples, a Chicago band.  MacMurray is believed to have come to Hollywood in 1929 to chauffeur his vacationing mother and aunt.
     Paramount signed MacMurray to a contract on the basis of his song-and-dance experience in 1934, as the sound era was just beginning.  His first starring role came in the 1935 movie, "The Grand Old Girl."
     MacMurray's versatility and handsomeness landed him roles that ranged from comedies to action films to dramas.  He reportedly parlayed his acting income with real estate deals and other investments.  His most critically acclaimed dramatic performances came in Billy Wilder's 1944 film "Double Indemnity" with Barbara Stanwyck; opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1954's "The Caine Mutiny"; and as an exploitative executive who is toppled in Wilder's 1960 movie "The Apartment."

Fred MacMurray was no newcomer to radio by the time he and Irene Dunne starred in their own Radio program, Bright Star (1952), subtitled The Irene Dunne - Fred MacMurray Show. As is so often the case with Film and Television stars and their obituaries, their Radio careers often predated or parallelled their Film careers--but are rarely mentioned in their obituaries. In the case of Fred MacMurray, he was performing on Radio as early as he was performing in Film. Beginning with The Magic Key (1936) and the earliest Lux Radio Theatre (1937) broadcasts, Fred MacMurray was a frequent performer over Radio for over twenty years.

The overwhelming majority of MacMurray's appearances over Radio were while reprising some of the films in which he'd starred or co-starred, such as his earliest broadcast on The Magic Key, reprising a scene from Thirteen Hours By Air with Joan Bennett. MacMurray subsequently reprised performances from Champagne Waltz (1937), The Gilded Lily (1937) in which he sang "When Is A Kiss Not A Kiss", emceed Hollywood Hotel (1937), and appeared as a guest star or performer in many of the era's most prestigious drama anthologies.

Frederick Ziv approached MacMurray and Irene Dunne about a possible syndicated situation comedy, reprising their chemistry in 1950's Never A Dull Moment. With an offer of a reported $300,000 to each star, the pair agreed to undertake the series. Bright Star ran in syndication over a period of four years and was one of Ziv's most successful syndications of the era.

MacMurray continued to appear in a few more of Radio's most popular programs, but as The Golden Age of Television replaced Radio, MacMurray was soon appearing in a succession of prestigious, playhouse-type drama anthologies of the era, until 1962. For it was in 1962 that Television reinvented Fred MacMurray for two generations of Television's earliest audiences. MacMurray's starring role as Steve Douglas in My Three Sons redefined the role of father--and more importantly, single-father--for over twelve highly successful first-run years. We emphasize first-run, since My Three Sons has appeared--and reappeared--in re-run syndication almost continuously since the series' cancellation in 1972.

Unquestionably one of the entertainment world's most underrated and underpromoted stars, that situation was, in all likelihood, a career characteristic of MacMurray's own making.

As illustrated in the sidebar of the accompanying Bright Star article above, Fred MacMurray wasn't one for self-promotion, to say the least. Though reportedly loquacious to a fault regarding topics that genuinely interested him, his own persona and career apparently weren't in that category.

Indeed, truth be told, once Fred MacMurray's own highly successful Real Estate investment business had taken off, any economic incentive for advancing his acting career became effectively moot.

All told, Fred MacMurray's Film career spanned fifty years, his Radio career some forty years, and his Television career some thirty years. Indeed, Fred MacMurray was one of the handful of famous actors that enjoyed the final ten years of his career appearing--and reappearing--as simply himself, in a series of some fifty appearances over Television and in Film between 1955 and 1987 alone.

Was Fred MacMurray somehow forgotten? Hardly. Underrated? Almost certainly. Beloved? Unquestionably. Easily one of the 20th Century's most well-liked and admired performers, Fred MacMurray's legacy in Film, Radio and Television, stands as one of the century's most prolific and uniformly popular Acting careers. As much admired for his personal life and accomplishments as for his extraordinary entertainment career, it's a foregone conclusion that Fred MacMurray--and his body of work--won't soon leave the public stage.

We're all the better for it.




Irene Marie Dunne
(Susan Armstrong)

Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actress
(1898-1990)

Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1937 Lux Radio Theatre
1939 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1941 Cavalcade Of America
1943 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1943 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1944 Command Performance
1946 Academy Award
1947 Family Theater
1948 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1948 The Triumphant Hour
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 Opportunity U.S.A.
1949 Fibber McGee and Molly
1950 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood
1952 Bright Star
1953 General Electric Theater
1954 Heart Fund
1957 Recollections At Thirty
Playhouse 25
This Is Worth Fighting For
Irene Dunne publicity photo circa 1927
Irene Dunne publicity photo circa 1927

The Irene Dunne paper doll from the Milwaukee Journal's Movie Star Paper Doll series circa 1928
The Irene Dunne paper doll from the Milwaukee Journal's Movie Star Paper Doll series circa 1928

Irene Dunne glamour photo circa 1929
Irene Dunne glamour photo circa 1929

Irene Dunne publicity photo circa 1931
Irene Dunne publicity photo circa 1931

Irene Dunne starred with Richard Dix in the Wesley Ruggles-directed Cimarron from 1931
Irene Dunne starred with Richard Dix in the Wesley Ruggles-directed Cimarron from 1931. The film was the first from which Irene Dunne was nominated for an Academy Award.

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant mug for publicity photo for The Awful Truth (1937)

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant mug for publicity photo for The Awful Truth (1937)

Irene Dunne as most of us remember her circa 1952
Irene Dunne as most of us remember her circa 1952

A favorite daughter of Madison, Illinois, her career is memorialized with this State of Illinois historic marker sited on the main street of Madison
A favorite daughter of Madison, Illinois, her career is memorialized with this State of Illinois historic marker sited on the main street of Madison.

From the September 6, 1990 edition of The Gleaner:

Irene Dunne dies at 88

LOS ANGELES, Sept 5, Reuter:

     IRENE Dunne, the husky-voiced heroine of more than 50 films in the 1930s and 1940s, died of kidney failure on Tuesday after being bedridden for the past month, her business manager said.  Dunne was 88.
     One of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses at the height of her career, Dunne was nominated five times for an Oscar but never won the award.
     She had been in ill health for a year and died peacefully at her home in the exclusive Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, her business manager, John Larkin, said.
     Dunne's daughter, Mary Griffin Gage, was with her when she died, Larkin said.  "She had been in declining health for a year, but mentally she was as sharp as a tack," he said.
     Actress Loretta Young visited her 20 minutes before she died, Larkin added.
     An actress who never lost her sense of dignity and breeding, Dunne was equally at home in dramas, romantic films, melodramatic tearjerkers, musicals and farce.
     She showed her fine sense of comedy timing in films such as "My Favourite Wife" and "The Awful Truth."
     "Gary Grant, my co-star in The Awful Truth,' paid me one of the loveliest compliments of my life when he said I had the best timing of anyone he ever worked with," Dunne once said.
     "Comedy always came extremely easy to me because it was never as satisfactory as my more serious roles."
     She began her film career in "Leathernecking" in 1930, and walked away from a still lucrative film career with "It Grows on Trees" in 1952.
     She was nominated for Oscars for "Cimarron." in 1931, "Theodora Goes Wild," in 1936, "The Awful Truth," the following year, "Love Affair" in 1939, and "I Remember Mama" in 1948.
     Her other films included "Show Boat", "Magnificent Obsession," "The White Cliffs of Dover," "Anna and the King of Siam," and "The Mudlark."
     Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Dunne trained as an opera singer and narrowly failed an audition at the New York Metropolitan Opera before she found consolation with a career in musical comedy.
     She was encouraged in her singing and acting career by her husband, Dr Francis Griffin who died in 1965.  She was an astute businesswoman.
     Dunne said she was discovered in a lift by producer Florenc Ziegfeld.  "He was amazed I did not get out on his floor where every young actress was trying to see him and sent his secretary to 'find that girl in the blue hat with all the flowers.'"

Irene Dunne remained one of America's genuine sweethearts for virtually her entire career. Classically trained for the Operatic Stage, her abortive audition for the Metropolitan Opera resulted in a seredipitous offer of a role in what would come to be a succession of musical comedies on the Stage and in Film.

Irene Dunne's first Stage role, as a last minute substitution, was in the 1919 production ironically named Irene. Appearing as the impromptu understudy to Edith Day, their character in common was Irene O'Dare. Irene ran for 675 performances between 1919 and 1921.

Irene Dunne appeared in a total of five successful Stage plays between 1919 and 1928. In addition to nine invaluable years of experience, her early Stage career also brought her husband of thirty-seven years, New York dentist, Dr. Francis Dennis Griffin, who she married in July of 1928. Dr. Griffin soon became her personal manager as well as her life partner.

But it was legendary showman Flo Ziegfeld that is credited with 'discovering' Irene Dunne for Hollywood. He'd cast her in his 1929 Showboat production at the Ziegfeld Theatre, but continued to promote her to Hollywood studios while she was under contract to him.

Hollywood took notice and Irene Dunne soon debuted in Film in 1930's Leathernecking. But it was her appearance in Cimarron (1931) with Richard Dix, that garnered her first of five Oscar nominations over her career. She also appeared in the hilarious, star-studded mystery short, The Slippery Pearls (1931) as herself--a promotional appeal for support of the National Variety Artists tuberculosis sanatarium of the era.




Elvia Allman [Tourtellotte]
(Patience the Cook)
(1904-1992)

Birthplace: Enochville, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Education: University of Chicago

Radiography:
1931 On With the Show
1933 California Cocktails
1934 Crazy Quilt
1934 Komedy Kapers
1934 The Laff Parade
1934 The Blue Monday Jamboree
1936 Lux Radio Theatre
1937 Komedy Kingdom
1937 John Barrymore Theatre
1937 Cinnamon Bear
1937 The Jell-O Program
1938 Hollywood Mardi Gras Mummers
1938 The Pepsodent Show
1940 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Command Performance
1942 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1942 The Jack Benny Program
1942 The Abbott and Costello Show
1943 Fibber McGee and Molly
1943 Mail Call
1944 THe Bakers Of America Show For the Armed Forces
1944 Radio Almanac
1944 G.I. Journal
1944 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 The Eddie Bracken Show
1945 Birds Eye Open House
1946 The Life Of Riley
1946 The Alan Young Show
1946 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1947 The Lucky Strike Program
1947 The Mel Blanc Show
1947 The Bill Goodwin Show
1947 Guest Star
1947 The Victor Borge Show
1947 The Jack Paar Program
1948 The Eddie Cantor Pabst Blue Ribbon Show
1948 Blondie
1948 The Railroad Hour
1949 Sealtest Variety Theatre
1949 Young Love
1949 My Favorite Husband
1949 The Amos 'n' Andy Show
1950 The Henn House
1950 The Adventures Of Maisie
1951 The Baby Snooks Show
1951 Bright Star
1951 Mr and Mrs Blandings
1952 Broadway Is My Beat
1953 The Edgar Bergen Show
1954 The New Beulah Show
1954 The Six Shooter
1954 Meet Mr McNutley
1954 That's Rich
1956 Recollections At Thirty
1962 Heartbeat Theatre
1973 Hollywood Radio Theatre
1979 Sears Radio Theatre
Elvia Allman circa 1942
Elvia Allman circa 1942

Elvia Allman got her start at KHJ, Hollywood over both CBS and Don Lee-Mutual throughout the 1930s
Elvia Allman got her start at KHJ, Hollywood over both CBS and Don Lee-Mutual throughout the 1930s

Elvia Allman promotional spot from November 6 1933
Elvia Allman promotional spot from November 6 1933

razy Quilt promo for S. & L. Co. from March 20 1935
Crazy Quilt spot ad for S. & L. Co. from March 20 1935

Elvia Allman as jane Adams appears with Gracie Allen in The Burns and Allen Program (1952)
Elvia Allman as Jane Adams appears with Gracie Allen in The Burns and Allen Program (1952)

Elvia Allman as jane Adams appears with George Burns in The Burns and Allen Program (1952)
Elvia Allman as Jane Adams appears with George Burns in The Burns and Allen Program (1952)

Elvia Allman appears as Henrietta Swanson in the Andy Griffith Show with Francis Bavier (1961)
Elvia Allman appears as Henrietta Swanson in the Andy Griffith Show with Francis Bavier (1961)

Elvia Allman as Henrietta Swanson in the Andy Griffith Show (1961)
Elvia Allman as Henrietta Swanson in the Andy Griffith Show (1961)


Elvia Allman as Julia Slovak in Perry Mason (1961)
Elvia Allman as Julia Slovak in Perry Mason (1961)

Elvia Allman as Mrs. Forbes in Perry Mason (1961)
Elvia Allman as Mrs. Forbes in Perry Mason (1961)

[Note: The thing you can't help noticing in virtually all of Elvia Allman's Television appearances are the reactions of her peers in each performance. It's as if they're trying not to stare at her as she's peforming, but they can't help their own reactions to her characters. They've almost certainly observed her rehearsals and outtakes, but it's as if they simply can't get enough of her. The only reason most people don't notice the reaction of her on-screen peers is that they usually can't take their eyes off of Elvia Allman's actual performance.]


Elvia Allman as Mrs. Luftwaffe in Bewitched (1966)
Elvia Allman as Mrs. Luftwaffe in Bewitched (1966)

Elvia Allman appears just a wee bit dubious as Mrs. Emily Graham in My Favorite Martian (1964)
Elvia Allman appears just a wee bit dubious as Mrs. Emily Graham in My Favorite Martian (1964)


Elvia Allman as Princess Millicent von Schlepp in The Addams Family (1965)
Elvia Allman as Princess Millicent von Schlepp in The Addams Family (1965)

Elvia Allman as the imperious Princess Millicent von Schlepp from The Addams Family (1965)
Elvia Allman as the imperious Princess Millicent von Schlepp from The Addams Family (1965)


Radio's Queen of Mirth, Elvia Allman was born in North Carolina but raised and educated in Texas. The local newspapers recorded her high school graduation exercise of June 1, 1921 from The Academy of Mary Immaculate--a graduating class of ten young ladies.

Upon reaching her majority, she emigrated to Southern California and began her radio career in 1926 at KHJ. Hired as a program arranger and children's story reader, she later became a singer for the station as well. She was also noted early on as a gifted dialectician and diseuse--a woman who is a skilled and professional reciter.

It was in 1930, while working as a studio singer, that she met her first husband, Wesley B. Tourtellotte, a studio musician. Though they divorced within two years, Elvia Allman and Tourtellotte criss-crossed the nation for three more years performing in the long-running California Cocktails (1933) program, Crazy Quilt (1934), Laff Parade (1934), and Komedy Kapers (1934)--and making quite a name for herself as a multi-talented singer, comedienne, and diseuse in the process. She'd also made a successful alliance with talented Lindsay MacHarrie.

MacHarrie and Allman had worked together at KHJ for almost five years. Lindsay MacHarrie rose to the position of Dramatic Director at KHJ while Elvia was coming up on her own at the station. Elvia Allman's rising star didn't go unnoticed. Indeed, while working at KHJ, MacHarrie was also the Production Manager for TransCo, a company which recorded and marketed programming on electrical transcription discs for syndication to independent Radio affiliates as a turnkey production.

KFRC's The Blue Monday Jamboree had been airing over first CBS from KHJ and then Don Lee-Mutual throughout the 1920s over KFRC and KHJ. Elvia Allman developed several of her most memorable early characters during the Blue Monday Jamboree years, among them: Auntie MacCasser, Octavia Smith-Whiffen, and home economist Pansy Pennypincher. MacHarrie remembered Elvia Allman's captivating and versatile contributions to Blue Monday Jamboree and when it came time to develop a comedy -- variety format, for syndication he tapped Elvia Allman to fill a variety of needs in the format--singer, dialectician, straight-man and comedienne. Their first outing together was with Komedy Kapers (1933), which TransCo licensed or sold to Bruce Eells and Associates for 1934 syndication as Comedy Capers. Elvia Allman appeared in at least thirteen of the Komedy Kapers installments.

Elvia Allman's first major, coast-to-coast exposure was over Bob Hope's The Pepsodent Show. In September of 1938 she introduced Hope's nationwide audience to her character, Cobina, the man-chasing, man-crazy debutante. Much as with Barbara Jo Allen's ''Vera Vague'' and Minerva Pious' ''Mrs. Nussbaum'', Elvia Allman's ''Cobina Gusher'' was so successful in her own right that Allman reprised the role in both Film and Animation.

Indeed, her debut in Animation came five years earlier than her Film debut. By the mid-1930s, a favorite of both the Leon Schlesinger -- Warner Bros. animated features as well as those of The Disney Studios, Elvia Allman voiced numerous, well-remembered characters from the early animated classics, including the voice of Clarabelle Cow in several of the Walt Disney animated features between 1930 and 1942.

Elvia Allman married popular sports promoter, C.C. 'Cash & Carry' Pyle in January of 1937. He'd become famous--or infamous--for the Bunion Derby (1929), a trans-continental marathon comprised of athletes from virtually every possible discipline--and reputation. He was also responsible for successfully recruiting ''The Galloping Ghost'' himself, Red Grange, to professional football. Within two years Pyle would be dead of an unexpected heart attack at the age of 56. Elvia Allman was at his side when he passed.

A tall, strikingly attractive young woman in her own right, it wasn't long before she began appearing in feature films. There was clearly a method in the apparent madness of a woman as naturally attractive and statuesque as Elvia Allman downplaying her classic figure and beauty. As with many of the most successful comediennes throughout modern entertainment history, she discovered that the secret to longevity was continually playing to the irony of such an inherently attractive woman portraying oddball, neurotic, outlandish, or eccentric female characters of one stereotype or another.

Viewed by her contemporaries much as the generation of the 1980s viewed Carol Burnett, Elvia Allman was taking on a dimension of her own with the extraordinary success of her Radio work. She'd been heard coast-to-coast over both CBS and NBC at one time or another, as early as 1933. Her work with Bob Hope on his Pepsodent Show made her a natural addition to Hope's film Road To Singapore (1940), the first of the sextet of 'Road' films starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. Though appearing uncredited, it's clear that her appearance at all in the film was a tip of the hat from Hope to Allman in recognition of her contribution to The Pepsodent Show--and her talent. Bob Hope was long known for both his loyalty to, and promotion of, his hardest-working ensemble players. Elvia Allman was no exception.

Never truly a 'star', as Carol Burnett eventually became, Allman's consistent contributions to all manner of character roles over the next fifty years of an incredibly prolific Film and Television career simply underscored her reputation and lustre.

It's also worthwhile remembering that even with her increased success in Television, Animation and Film, Elvia Allman compiled an estimated 4,000 appearances in Radio over a fifty-year career that spanned the entire Golden Age of Radio, including its Revival years in the 70s and 80s. Among her most memorable roles throughout the era were her numerous characters cited above, as well as Cora Dithers on both the Radio and Television versions of Blondie, and literally hundreds of other archtypal, matronly shrews.

Viewed as much as an ensemble player on virtually every program she contributed to during the era, she ultimately became one of Radio's most recognizable voices from the era. But the best was yet to come.

It was Elvia Allman's Television audiences that identified most closely with her various characters over the years. As recognizable as her voice had already become, the tall, statuesque queen of mirth lent that same towering height to even more over the top performances via the more visual medium of Television. The highly practiced, matronly authority figures from her greatest Radio triumphs were ideally suited to all manner of situation comedies throughout the Golden Age of Television.

Once again leveraging her tried and true formula of self-deprecation and self-parody, she now lent an even more ironic dimension to her portrayals. With her long graceful neck, her patrician nose, her high cheekbones and perfect jaw, combined with her relatively towering height, she was a natural to portray everything from snoopy neighbors to snooty blue-bloods--and every objectionable, overbearing and irritating matron or spinster in between. And she most certainly did.

A simple review of the names alone of her 100+ characters in Television during her career speaks volumes about the types of characters she portrayed. Indeed, given her own considerable comedic writing talent over the years, one finds it easy to imagine her devising the vast majority of those characters' names herself. Allman became a familiar face to television viewers throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s with numerous guest appearances on the most successful situation comedies of the era.

With frequent appearances on Abbott and Costello, I Married Joan, I Love Lucy, December Bride, The People's Choice, The Bob Cummings Show, and Bachelor Father, America was soon demanding she appear in numerous other similar roles on Television. And the smarter producers and networks of the industry complied.

Known for her brilliant comedic timing from her Radio work, her most memorable Television characterizations continued on through seven appearances on The Jack Benny Program, several guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hazel, The Addams Family, and then recurring roles in both Petticoat Junction (as Selma Plout) and The Beverly Hillbillies (as Elverna Bradshaw).

As Ms. Allman approached her 70s, her more active Television and Film careers began to wane--by choice, reportedly. But her Radio work continued, in voicing Elliott Lewis' wonderful Radio Revival programs Hollywood Radio Theatre and Sears Radio Theatre.

Indeed, once Hollywood sat up and took notice, yet again, of Elvia Allman, she was tapped for another fifteen Television appearances during the 1980s.

And in one of the Entertainment Industry's wonderfully seredipitous ironies, 1990 brought her entire, sixty year career full circle with her voicework as Clarabelle Cow for the animated feature film The Prince and The Pauper.

Within two years she would pass away from complications of pneumonia at the age of 87. She'd lost her third husband, Jerome Bayler in 1978.

One of the Entertainment Industry's most identifiable voices, faces and figures, Elvia Allman's body of work over some sixy-five years in one entertaining capacity or another spanned the very beginnings of The Golden Age of Radio, encompassed the Golden Age of Film, outlived the Golden Age of Television, and appropriately enough, memorialized that entire expanse of talent with her last credited performance.

A sublime and fitting end to one very extraordinary woman's career. A classically attractive woman who, wisely, found that her very genius in downplaying her own attractiveness and figure were the secret to her resounding success in every entertainment venue she pursued. She was brilliant, charming, exceptionally well grounded, and clearly one of the Entertainment World's most respected performers.

All we can say to that is "Here, here!"




Frederick W. Ziv
(Creator/Syndicator)

(1905-2001)
Birthplace: Cincinnati, OH
Education: University of Michigan

Radiography:

Easy Aces (1935)
One for The Book (1938)
Forbidden Diary (1938)
Dearest Mother (1938)
Lightning Jim (1939)
The Career of Alice Blair (1940)
Korn Kobblers (1941)
Manhunt (1943)
The Weird Circle (1943)
Sincerely,Kenny Baker (1944)
Boston Blackie (1944)
Philo Vance (1945)
The Cisco Kid (1942)
Pleasure Parade (1945)
The Barry Wood Show (1946)
Favorite Story (1946)
Guy Lombardo Show (1948)
Meet The Menjous (1949)
Bold Venture (1951)
Freedom U.S.A. (1951)
I Was A Communist for The FBI (1952)
Showtime From Hollywood
Mr. District Attorney (1952)
Meet Corliss Archer (1956)

Frederick W. Ziv. ca. 1957
Frederick W. Ziv. ca. 1957
Frederick W. Ziv (right), receiving award, ca. 1981
Frederick W. Ziv (right), receiving award, ca. 1981


Ziv Radio Productions logo, ca. 1948

Ziv Television Production Company logo, ca. 1956, arguably one of the most ubiquitous logos from The Golden Age of Television
Ziv Television Production Company logo, ca. 1956, arguably one of the most ubiquitous logos from The Golden Age of Television.

Frederick W. Ziv, the son of immigrant parents, attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a degree in Law. Upon returning to his native Cincinnati, Ziv actually never practiced Law. Rather, he opened his own advertising agency after spending a few months at 10 dollars an hour learning the ropes from other advertising agencies.

Throughout the Golden Age of Radio, Cincinnati had become a remarkably busy regional hub for Radio production. Crosley Electronics' clear-channel station WLW, broadcast a powerful radio beacon that could be heard over much of the Midwest. Thus, WLW's influence, leveraged on its reach, became a major source of alternative radio programming to local stations.

Also quite fortuitously, Cincinnati was also home to Procter and Gamble, the most influential advertiser in the radio industry at a time when most radio programming was produced by sponsors. Procter and Gamble in particular, had become directly responsible for developing many of radio's most lasting genres--the melodramatic serial opera (e.g., soap opera), especially.

Ziv produced several programs for WLW, during which time he met John L. Sinn, a writer who would eventually become Ziv's right-hand man. So it was that in 1937, Ziv and Sinn launched the Frederick W. Ziv Company as a programming syndicator. Frederick Ziv had recognized early on, that local and regional advertisers could not--and cannot--compete with national-brand sponsors. The Brand-name sponsors gain a significant tax position by expensing all of their investments in Radio sponsorship, but the local radio stations and smaller network affiliates could never recoup that kind of investment on their own.

Enter Frederick Ziv and his made-to-order solution. In a programming environment dominated by live broadcasts, Ziv produced pre-recorded programs; "transcriptions" recorded onto acetate discs and thus bypassing the networks by selling his programming directly to local advertisers on a market-by-market basis.

Programming was priced according to the size of each market, which gave local sponsors a chance to break into radio with affordable quality programming that could be scheduled in any available slot on a station's schedule.

Indeed, Ziv produced a wide range of programming for radio: sports, music, talk shows, soap operas, anthology dramas, and action-adventure series such as Boston Blackie, Philo Vance, and The Cisco Kid. Thus it was that by 1948, Frederic Ziv had become the largest packager/syndicator of radio programming--the primary source of programming outside the networks.




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