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Original Ceiling Unlimited header art

The Ceiling Unlimited Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Ceiling Unlimited


Ceiling Unilimited cover art




Lockheed's long-range Altair
Lockheed's long-range Altair

Lockheed and Vega produced the Hudson and Ventura lines, two of Lockheed's most versatile and powerful twin-engined, fixed wing successes
Lockheed and Vega produced the Hudson and Ventura lines, two of Lockheed's most versatile and powerful twin-engined, fixed wing successes.





Security was very serious business at the Lockheed and Vega Plant in Burbank.  Note the heavy use of camouflage netting above the taxiway
Security was very serious business at the Lockheed and Vega Plant in Burbank. Note the heavy use of camouflage netting above the taxiway.

No that's not California countryside.  It's the well-camouflaged Lockheed and Vega aircraft factory in the middle of Burbank, California.  But it's heavily disguised with mock tract homes, fields and expanses of grazing land
No that's not California countryside. It's the well-camouflaged Lockheed and Vega aircraft factory in the middle of Burbank, California. But it's heavily disguised with mock tract homes, fields and expanses of grazing land.

A group of 'Rosie Riveters' takes a lunch break at the Vega plant in Burbank, below an appropriately positioned 'KEEP CLEAR' notice
A group of 'Rosie Riveters' takes a lunch break at the Vega plant in Burbank, below an appropriately positioned 'KEEP CLEAR' notice.


America--Ceiling Unlimited spot ad from October 31st 1943
America--Ceiling Unlimited spot ad from October 31st 1943


Film legend Marlene Dietrich appeared with her daughter Maria in the 14th Episode of the original canon.
Film legend Marlene Dietrich appeared with her daughter Maria in the 14th Episode of the original canon.
Ceiling Unlimited Spot Ad from October 1943
Ceiling Unlimited Spot Ad from October 1943

Background

Orson Welles kept his Mercury Theatre Players very busy between the late 1930s and late 1940s. With the various seasons of Mercury Theatre of The Air, The Campbell Playhouse seasons, Lady Esther Presents and Hello, Americans, the almost unbroken string of Mercury Theatre Players' productions continued in one form or another until the last episode of Hello, Americans.

Between several tours of Central and South America, Orson Welles had begun to develop a project with the Lockheed and Vega Aircraft plant in Burbank, California, U.S.A.. The concept was to produce, write, and direct a proposed thirteen to twenty-six week series of topical Aviation vignettes promoting aircraft production and Aviation History in general, to be sponsored by Lockheed and Vega.

From The 42-11-22 Kingsport Times:

Welles Does It Again In Series On U.S. Aviation

" Before Orson Welles launched his new radio series "Ceiling Unlimited" he made a complete inspection tour of the plant which produces the Lockheed Hudson bombers and P-38 Lightning fighters. He emerged excited and amazed at the process of production, more eager than ever to tell the story of Aviation. Monday, some 400 members of the "Lockheed family" attended the first broadcast of the new series and went away marveling at the Welles production technique. They were as excited about the Welles' system as they had been about the plant organization.
No wonder, for Welles at work is something to see.
The stage is dramatically highlighted by two "spots"--one focused on Welles, who stands on a raised platform at one end of the stage. The other "spot" lights the sound technician with his apparatus. Cast members form an indistinct line toward the back of the stage, and partially behind the back drapes sits the orchestra. Welles faces the sound man and orchestra leader so that he can give them their cues.
The young actor-writer-producer-director wears ear phones so that he can tune in the mikes for the orchestra, the sound man, and his own voice. He has a small pushbox of three buttons, so that at any time he can isolate any of the microphones.
From the time rehearsal is called until the last network sign off, Welles is in constant motion. He directs players in their lines, corrects a false note from the orchestra, rewrites a passage, joshes with the sound man, repeats and repeats work on the script, striving always for perfection. At rehearsals he drinks endless glasses of iced tea or coffee, which a secretary keeps always at hand.
When reading a dramatic passage himself, he doesn't hold with the acting school of subdued gestures. As his resonant voice carries the story through anger, pathos, humor, his face and body run the entire gamut of emotions too.
"He works at that program as conscientiously as if he were building a plane," said the audience as they filed out. "No wonder he always has a good show.""

The first program--airing on November 9, 1942--wasn't cleared by either the War Department or CBS in time for broadcast. The article above refers to the first successfully broadcast episode of November 16, 1942 (which was, in fact the second script of the series).

The first thirteen Orson Welles-hosted epsiodes ran through February 1, 1943, at which time Welles had to leave the series. With Lockheed and CBS scurrying to salvage the existing format, Ronald Colman stepped in to replace Welles in the first of what would eventually become twenty guest-hosted installments of Ceiling Unlimited in the same format as those produced and envisioned by Orson Welles. Among the various stellar hosts were the aforementioned Ronald Colman, plus Marlene Dietrich and her daughter, Maria Manton, Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy, both Frank and Ralph Morgan, Basil Rathbone, Robert Young, Cary Grant, Claire Trevor, Edward G. Robinson, Adolph Menjou and Walter Abel. Needless to say, the convenience of the Burbank location of Lockheed and Vega made it far easier to accomodate the growing list of amazing hosts and performers for the series. Though in all fairness to both Lockheed and Vega and the series originator, Orson Welles, the series as conceived, as inaugurated and as it continued to evolve, was one of the nation's most stirring weekly tributes to Aviation production, history, security, and innovation.

As such it wasn't difficult to persuade performers of the caliber of those cited above to contribute 15-minutes of their time to such a worthy weekly message. The 15-minute series ran as originally conceived through June 28, 1943.

From Time Magazine's Monday, November 30, 1942 article, reviewing two of Orson Welles' patriotic performances over Radio:

Radio: Orson at War

The 1942 version of Orson Welles appeared on the air last week in two new programs.

Over CBS (Sunday, 5-5:30, P.W.T.) the sonorous Welles voice besought North Americans to get to know their South American friends better. His first broadcast (Hello, Americans!) for Nelson Rockefeller's Inter-American Affairs committee was laid (by dramatic license) in Rio de Janeiro, where Welles had recently passed three months making a picture (It's All True, as yet unreleased). With the assistance of Carmen Miranda, an orchestra, a cast, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, enthusiastic Orson took his listeners on a radio Cook's tour of Brazil that was lively, though bumpy in spots.

On Monday (CBS, 7:15-7:30, E.W.T.) Welles was in better form. He had a more Martian subject—aviation (Ceiling Unlimited), for Lockheed Aircraft Corp. His thesis: the absurdity of U.S. isolation. He let some veterans in an Old Soldiers' home argue the point. The plane was ending U.S. isolation, and the old soldiers, assisted by Welles's high-voltage narration, eventually agreed. The air drama had pace, sense, suspense, and a skillful touch.

In his new capacity Orson Welles regards himself as public-relations man for the U.S. For the first time in his life he cannot avoid early deadlines. Army censors insist on seeing the Lockheed scripts two weeks ahead of time. Nelson Rockefeller, on the other hand, trusts Welles so completely that he does not even go over the South American scripts.

Welles' ultimate departure from Ceiling Unlimited didn't escape the notice of Time Magazine in their Radio article from January 25, 1943:

Radio: Who's Running Who?

Orson Welles's aversion to advertising men who tell him how to produce his radio shows was a moving factor in his decision last week to give up the Lockheed-Vega show, Ceiling Unlimited, after the 13th broadcast next month.

The difference between Welles and the advertising agency (Lord & Thomas, now Foote, Cone & Belding) arose when an adman asked Welles's publicity man how the actor should be handled. Welles heard about it and roared: "My God, didn't he even offer you a bribe?" When he met the adman in the studio, Welles enlarged his views. "Why, you incredible little heel," he said, "I understand you have been trying to find out how to run me. Just, please, go away and take all your little boys with you. Lockheed and I will work this out together." The adman broke into tears.

Lockheed and Welles parted amicably. They had also a difference—over the dramatic and commercial content of the shows. But both agreed that this was purely philosophical and friendly.

From the Billboard Magazine article of January 30, 1943:

On a plea that he is overburdened with work, ORSON WELLES, narrator - writer - producer of the weekly Ceiling Unlimited, sponsored by Lockheed and Vega Aircraft Corporations, is being relieved of that assignment following the broadcast of February 1, which completes his 13-week contract. Sponsors indicate the series will be continued, altho as yet no replacement has been announced. ORSON'S release is reported as "amicable and by mutual consent."

Ceiling Unlimited becomes America, Ceiling Unlimited

Ceiling Unlimited was almost abandoned by Lockheed and Vega after its June 23, 1943 episode. Its 15-minute timeslot was turned over to James Hilton and his commentaries, also sponsored by Lockheed and Vega, while retaining the title, Ceiling Unlimited. The James Hilton series was an almost immediate stinker. The blame for the misfire was attributed to Lockheed's advertising agency, Foote, Cone & Belding. Both Lockheed and its advertising firm quickly regrouped, reinventing Ceiling Unlimited as America, Ceiling Unlimited, a mixed dramatic sketch and variety series of thirty minutes in duration. When the reinvented series returned in the Fall of 1943, it had undergone a significant overhaul.

  • James Hilton was out
  • The series was renamed America, Ceiling Unlimited
  • The 15-minute format was abandoned, expanding to thirty minutes
  • It was announced as a ''variety/drama format--less comedy.''
  • Joseph Cotten assumed the role of Host/Emcee

October 31st 1943 article on Joseph Cotten highlights his participation in Ceiling Unlimited. Pctured left to right, Wilbur Hatch, singer Nan Wynn, Joseph Cotten, and Thomas Freebairn-Smith
October 31st 1943 article on Joseph Cotten highlights his participation in Ceiling Unlimited. Pctured left to right, Wilbur Hatch, singer Nan Wynn, Joseph Cotten, and Thomas Freebairn-Smith

The new format was an excellent vehicle for both Joseph Cotten and Lockheed and Vega. It attracted an even greater gallery of stars and the expanded 30-minute format allowed for both a continued development of the series' well received patriotic vignettes as well as showcases for much of the stirring patriotic musical performers--and performances--of the era.

Both popular and critical acclaim accompanied the new format for America, Ceiling Unlimited. Cotten, for his part, enjoyed an opportunity to show more versatility apart and separate from his Mercury Theatre ensemble work of the past. With the increased new listenership, CBS took the opportunity to introduce and debut important younger personalities to Radio. Lockheed and Vega were attempting to roll-out their new Constellation airliner amidst all the War production they were engaged in. The chance to keep their brand fresh in the minds of the American public helped them elevate public awareness of Lockheed's considerable production capacity, their quality control record, and their versatility. Associating themselves with a very well engineered, well produced and patriotic variety program simply underscored that reputation in the public eye.

As indicated above, Welles' handoff to Cotten, whether intentional or not, was a natural. Both had experienced the high standards, innovation and scrupulous planning involved in Mercury Theatre productions. Both had a finely honed sense of humor and irony. Both projected the same air of refinement and class. And perhaps most importantly, both had connections deep into Stage, Film, and Radio and were well-liked and well-respected enough to acheive success tapping those connections.

In the end, Cotten's hosting of America, Ceiling Unlimited was a victim of Cotten's own success. Hollywood began calling ever more insistently for Joseph Cotten's talent in the mid-1940s. 'Shadow of A Doubt' (1943) proved to be Joseph Cotten's breakout film. Cotten's brilliant portrayal of a brilliant, though highly disturbed killer was letter perfect. Cotten also teamed yet again with Welles in 1943's Journey Into Fear, Eric Ambler's brilliant film noir thriller--which Cotten also helped pen. So it was, that Joseph Cotten departed the series ostensibly for a six-week vacation, but returned much later to complete the series.

As World War II began to wind down, Lockheed and Vega had realized their strategic public relations goals. The country had been well served by the run as well. It was an appropriate time to wind the production down--for all parties concerned. For most of 1944, America, Ceiling Unlimited remained one of the top three Hooper-rated daytime programs, bested only by NBC Symphony and consistently beating Jack Armstrong, at an estimated cost of only $3,000 per episode.

Lockheed's Ceiling Unlimited franchise remains one of the singularly successful, commercial patriotic productions from the War years that genuinely succeeded by virtually any measure. It was consistently patriotic and inspirational without becoming jingoistic in the process. It was both informative and inspirational while maintaining its entertainment value. That's a pretty difficult portfolio, but Ceiling Unlimited juggled it all--and well.

Series Derivatives:

America, Ceiling Unlimited [Variety]
Genre: Ceiling Unlimited: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Propaganda Dramas
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Propaganda Dramas and Variety
Network(s): Ceiling Unlimited: CBS.
America, Ceiling Unlimited: CBS.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Ceiling Unlimited: 42-11-09 [Aud] Flying Fortress
America, Ceiling Unlimited:
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): Ceiling Unlimited: 42-11-16 01 [Unknown]
America, Ceiling Unlimited: 43-08-08 01 [Unknown]
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): Ceiling Unlimited: 42-11-16 to 43-06-28; CBS, Thirty three, 15-minute episodes; Mondays, 6:15 p.m.
America, Ceiling Unlimited: 43-08-08 to 44-04-16; Thirty-seven, 30-minutes; Sundays, 1. p.m.
Syndication: Unknown
Sponsors: Ceiling Unlimited: Lockheed and Vega Aircraft
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Lockheed and Vega Aircraft
Director(s): Ceiling Unlimited: Orson Welles [Producer, Director, Host]
America, Ceiling Unlimited:
Principal Actors: Ceiling Unlimited: Joseph Cotten, Pedro de Cordoba, Agnes Moorehead, Orson Welles, Ronald Colman, Alan Ladd, Marlene Dietrich, Maria Manton, Brian Donlevy, Ralph Morgan, Frank Morgan, James Gleason, Pat O'Malley, Charles Boyer, Basil Rathbone, Edward G. Robinson, Oona Munson, Walter Abel, Claire Trevor, Adolph Menjou, Peter Lorre, Joe E. Brown, Cary Grant, Robert Young, Hans Conreid, Lou Merrill, George Colouris, Joe Kearns
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Joseph Cotten, Nan Wynn, Constance Moore, Agnes Moorehead, Hans Conreid, Pedro De Cordoba, Lou Merrill, Anita Ellis
Recurring Character(s): Ceiling Unlimited: None
America, Ceiling Unlimited: None
Protagonist(s): Ceiling Unlimited: None
America, Ceiling Unlimited: None
Author(s): Ceiling Unlimited: Orson Welles
America, Ceiling Unlimited:
Writer(s) Ceiling Unlimited: Harry Kronman, Orson Welles
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Winston Norman, Mandred Lloyd, Harry Kronman
Music Direction: Ceiling Unlimited: Wilbur Hatch, Lud Gluskin, Anthony Collins
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Wilbur Hatch
Musical Theme(s): Ceiling Unlimited: Lud Gluskin, Daphne Collins
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Lud Gluskin
Announcer(s): Ceiling Unlimited: Patrick McGeehan [the 'voice' of Lockheed and Vega']
America, Ceiling Unlimited: Patrick McGeehan [the 'voice' of Lockheed and Vega']
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
Ceiling Unlimited: 33 [plus an audition].
America, Ceiling Unlimited: 37.
Episodes in Circulation: Ceiling Unlimited: 6
America, Ceiling Unlimited: 4
Total Episodes in Collection: Ceiling Unlimited: 6
America, Ceiling Unlimited: 4
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenance was the log of the RadioGOLDINdex. The least accurate provenance was the OTRR's OTRRpedia and OTTER database.

You're welcome to compare our fully provenanced research with the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR and what they call their Ceiling Unlimited log. We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE to protect our own ongoing due diligence and intellectual property.

OTRisms:

The first recorded Ceiling Unlimited program, Flying Fortress, wasn't an 'audition'. It simply wasn't cleared by the War Department prior to airing. It was neither an audition nor a tryout. It was simply yanked prior to airing. The announcer therefore refers to it as a 'trial recording.'

To illustrate the lengths that some in the otr community will go to 'create' something 'new' to sell to the community, we're obliged to alert you to a circulating episode labelled ''Flight Report'' or ''Flight Report (rebroadcast)." Someone took seventeen minutes from the America, Ceiling Unlimited Episode No. 20, A Letter to An Unborn Son, from December 19, 1943, artfully removing the Christmas medley from the first eight minutes, and leaving what appears to be a musical lead-in to Joseph Cotten's stirring narration of A Letter to An Unborn Son. The intent was, apparently, to 'invent' a rendition of a previously broadcast Ceiling Unlimited program, 'Flight Report', from the Spring of 1943. Truncating it to seventeen minutes was intended to make it appear to be part of the orginal 15-minute canon from Ceiling Unlimited. A ham-fisted attempt to knowledgeable vintage Radio preservationists, but good enough to fool tens of thousands of novice 'otr' collectors. This is what the otr race to the bottom creates to one-up less knowledgeable peers.

Any attempt to simply conflate Ceiling Unlimited and America, Ceiling Unlimited is just silly. They're entirely different formats. We've therefore assigned separate episode numbers to each series, as it should be. Ceiling Unlimited was a straight patriotic docudrama, while America, Ceiling Unlimited was a combination sketch drama and variety program. The only elements common to both programs were their sponsor and the phrase, Ceiling Unlimited.

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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.







Ceiling Unlimited Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
42-11-09
--
Flying Fortress
Y
[Episode uncleared prior to airing]

Panama City News Herald - CBS--6:15 new Orson Welles series, Ceiling Unlimited; Waterloo Daily Courier - 6:15--WMT Ceiling Unlimited
42-11-16
1
Title Unknown
N
Premiere Episode
Waterloo Daily Courier - 6:15--WMT Ceiling Unlimited
42-11-23
2
The Navigator
N
San Antonio Light
Navigator on 'Ceiling Unlimited' The navigator, the chap responsible for taking a plane to a given point at a given time and to its base, provides drama for the third "Ceiling Unlimited" program Monday. (KTSA 6:15-6:30 p.m.) Says the producer narrator author, "Everyone knows the skill and courage it takes to become a pilot, but few realizle the concentration, knowledge, quick wit and steady nerves required of the navigator." Wisconsin State Journal - 6:15 p.m.--Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM) tells of "The Navigator."
42-11-30
3
Our Coastal Command
N
Lowell Sun - 7:15 WBBM--Ceiling Unlimited with Orson Welles: Our Coastal Command.
42-12-07
4
Ballad of Bataan
N
Lowell Sun - 7:15 WBBM--Ceiling Unlimited with Orson Welles
42-12-14
5
Women At War
Y
Lowell Sun - 7:15 WBBM--Ceiling Unlimited with Orson Welles

42-12-14 Lima News
Women at war, the part they play in civilian and military defense, will be the subject of documented dramatization when Orson Welles broadcasts "Ceiling Unlimited" over WABC Dec. 14, 7:15 p.m.
42-12-21
6
The Gremlins
Y
Lima News - Orson Welles will devote his Christmas "Ceiling Unlimited" program to aviation's contribution to American forklore, "The Gremlins, Dec. 21, WABC, 7:15 p.m.
42-12-28
7
Voyages
Y
Waterloo Daily Courier - 6:15--WMT Ceiling Unlimited
43-01-04
8
The Airline Pilot
N
Lowell Sun - 7:15 WBBM--Ceiling Unlimited with Orson Welles: The Airline Pilot.
43-01-11
9
Finger in the Wind
N
San Antonio Light - Ceiling Unlimited. (KTSA 6:15 p.m.)
43-01-18
10
Letter to Mother
N
San Antonio Light - Ceiling Unlimited. (KTSA 6:15 p.m.)
43-01-25
11
Flyer Come Home
N
Port Arthur News - 7:15 Ceiling Unlimited, Orson Welles--cbs

[
aka With Your Wings, Mrs James and the Pot of Tea]
43-02-01
12
The Future Of Aviation
Y
[Orson Welles' last broadcast]

Lowell Sun - CEILING UNLIMITED: "Future of Aviation," with Orson Welles; WBBM, 7:15 to 7:30.
43-02-08
13
Dive Bomber
N
43-02-04 Cedar Rapids Tribune - Ronald Colman Is First Guest In "Ceiling Unlimited" Series Ronald Colman, movie star who served with the British Army during the World war, is the first guest on the new "Ceiling Unlimited" series over Columbia Network Monday, Feb. 8. Its time on WMT is 6:15 to 6:30 p.m. Orson Wells formerly headed the program which now presents top-flight guests in dramatizations of aviation stories. Harry Cronman wrote the Feb. 8 story, titled "Dive Bomber." Coleman acts as observer in the plane, describing emotions of a diving pilot.
43-02-15
14
Title Unknown
N
Wisconsin State Journal - 6:15 p.m. -- Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): Marlene Dietrich and her daughter, Maria Manton, in a drama portraying a German mother whose son is fighting for Hitler.
43-02-22
15
Arctic Rescue
N
43-02-22 San Antonio Light - Private Alan Ladd, who made "This Gun For Hire" for the movies, and who is now learning how to handle guns for Uncle Sam at Fort MacArthur near Los Angeles, has been given special leave by the army, to replace Brian Donlevy on the "Ceiling Unlimited" program over Columbia network. (KTSA, 5:15 p.m.). Alan Ladd stars in a drama entitled "Arctic Rescue." In the story, a group of Americans are grounded near Greenland when a PBY boat sights them. The navy patrol bomber lands on a lake formed over ice, and the nearly-frozen men are pulled aboard. THe rescue ship takes off just as the lake freezes over.
43-03-01
16
Flight Surgeon
N
43-02-28 Long Beach Independent - RALPH MORGAN, Veteran stage and screen star, will appear with his brother, Frank Morgan, on the "Ceiling Unlimited" program Monday night at 8:15 over KNX. The two Morgans will take the leading roles in "Flight Surgeon", a dramatization produced by Thomas Freebairn-Smith.
43-03-08
17
Title Unknown
N
San Antonio Light - James Gleason, as a waggish rear gunner on an American plane, and Pat O'Malley, playing a light-hearted British ground crew armorer, rib each other in the "Ceiling Unlimited" drama (KTSA--6:15 p.m.). The scene is an advanced air base in North Africa and underlying the comedy dialogue is a serious note showing the cooperation existing between British and Americans.
43-03-15
18
Air Transport Command
N
Port Arthur News - Agnes Moorehead, one of radio's own, who went to picture stardom but who hasn't deserted radio. She's heard regularly as "Murilly"on the Lionel Barrymore "The Mayor of the Town" program over CBS Wednesday will be starred in Air Transport Command" on the "Ceiling Unlimited" program over CBS Monday at 6:15 p.m. Agnes was named the best screen actress of the year by the New York film critics.
43-03-22
19
Alberto Santos-Dumont
N
Lima News - The screen star who brought Algiers into American focus long before the North African invasion, Charles Boyer, will be starred as a Brazilian pioneer in the story of "Alberto Santos-Dumont" on "Ceiling Unlimited" over WABC Monday, at 7:15 p.m. EWT.
43-03-29
20
Mr. Split Second
N
Lima News
Time is the essence in war production and this is brought home in "
Mr. Split Second," a story with Basil Rathbone in the lead, in "Ceiling Unlimited" over WABS Monday, at 7:15 p.m., EWT. The narrative is dramatically explicit in revealing how each second in the manufacture and operation of airplanes saves lives.
43-04-05
21
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - 7:15--Ceiling Unlimited, Aero Series--cbs
43-04-12
22
Title Unknown
N
Waterloo Daily Courier - 6:15--WMT Ceiling Unlimited
43-04-19
23
God's Corporals; Hymn to A Hero
N
[Easter presentation]

Waterloo Daily Courier - 6:15--WMT Ceiling Unlimited. Stars Agnes Moorhead.
43-04-26
24
Big Town, 1955 A.D.
N
43-04-26 Tucson Daily Citizen
Edward G. Robinson and Ona Munson resume their "Big Town" roles of Steve Wilson, editor, and Lorelei Kilbourne, reporter, during the "Ceiling Unlimited" program tonight. In the script, the two newshounds tour the world in 1955. During a stopover at island X they meet friends from their old war correspondent days in 1943. KTUC, 9:15.

43-04-26 Lima News
Edward G. Robinson and Ona Munson reenact their "Big Town" radio roles as the crusading editor Steve Wilson and his beautiful assistant Lorelei, when "Ceiling Unlimited" presents "
Big Town, 1955 A.D." on Monday at 7:15 p.m., EWT, over Station WABC.
43-05-03
25
Title Unknown
N
Lowell Sun - CEILING UNLIMITED drama, with Walter Abel and Claire Trevor; WEEI, 7:15 to 7:30.

43-05-10
26
Dictators Meeting In Hell

Y
43-05-10 - San Antonio Light
CEILING UNLIMITED (6:15-6:30 p.m.)--With a story set in hell and satan judging would-be conquerors of the world, Orson Welles, Adolphe Menjou, Peter Lorre will star.
43-05-17
27
I Saw War
N
San Antonio Light - CEILING UNLIMITED (6:15-6:30) Joe E. Brown, back after 50,000 mile tour is heard during dramatization "I Saw War."
43-05-24
28
Island In the Sky
N
San Antonio Light - CEILING UNLIMITED (6:15-6:30)--Cary Grant of the movies stars in "Island in the Sky" on this dramatic program.
43-05-31
29
Title Unknown
N
Nebraska State Journal - 6:15 Ceiling Unlimited
43-06-07
30
Title Unknown
N
Lima News - Headlines tell about America's women at war and the work they are doing will be interestingly dramatized on "Ceiling Unlimited" over Station WABC on Monday, at 7:15 p.m. EWT with Agnes Moorhead in the starring role. This is her second starring appearance on the series. She is familiar to dialers as Marilly, the housekeeper on Lionel Barrymore's program, "The Mayor of the Town."
43-06-14
31
First Mission
N
Lima News - A condensation of actual reports from an American bomber on its first flight over enemy territory provides the basis for the story of a U.S. bomber crew. "First Mission," be dramatized by a cast headed by the screen star Joseph Cotton on "Ceiling Unlimited" Monday at 7:15 p.m., EWT over Station WABC.
43-06-21
32
Title Unknown
N
Lima News - Robert Young, one of Hollywood's favorite sons, appears in a gripping and timely story of the conquest of the air in the North Atlantic, on "Ceiling Unlimited" drama series on Monday, at 7:15 p.m., EWT, over Station WABC. He'll be supported by a cast of outstanding Hollywood radio players.
43-06-28
33
Radar, the Secret Weapon
N
Lima News - Radar, the "secret weapon" which won the Battle of Britain by detecting enemy aircraft and predicting their range and direction for the benefit of anti-aircraft gunners and interceptor plane pilots, is the subject of the "Ceiling Unlimited" drama on Monday, at 7:15 p.m., over WABC. A cast of outstanding Hollywood air actors will be heard in the dramatization of the development and uses of the radio detector and range finder.
[Timeslot Replaced by James Hilton commentaries, sponsored by Lockheed and Vega]





America, Ceiling Unlimited Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes





43-08-08
1
Title Unknown
N
[Changes name to America: Ceiling Unlimited]

America ---Ceiling Unlimited
Port Arthur News
First network program to return from a vacation this season is "Ceiling Unlimited" which debuts over CBS today at 1 p.m. with a new talent line-up. It will be a gala variety series with Joseph Cotton, the movie leading man, as master of ceremonies. Others are Nan Wynn, singer, and Peter McGeehan as "the Voice of Lockheed." Music will be by Wilbur Hatch and a 24-piece orchestra. When "Ceiling Unlimited" went off the air a few weeks back it was a 15-minute dramatic show. The new series will be a half-hour period with emphasis on variety but minus comedy.
43-08-15
2
Title Unknown
N
Zanesville Signal - 2:00 WJR--Ceiling Unlimited.
43-08-22
3
Title Unknown
N
Nebraska State Journal - 1:00 Ceiling Unlimited
43-08-29
4
Title Unknown
N
Lincoln Star - 1:00 Ceiling Unlimited
43-09-05
5
A Smart Soldier Like Me
Y
San Antonio Light - Joseph Cotton will be featured in the CBS program "America--Ceiling Unlimited" heard Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on KTSA.
43-09-12
6
Title Unknown
N
Lima News - The statement of the week--the most potent comment made during the week anywhere in the world--the story of the week, the song of the week and last-minute news comprise the varied elements of the Sunday "America--Ceiling Unlimited" broadcast over Station WABC at 2 p.m. EWT.
43-09-19
7
Title Unknown
N
Nebraska State Journal - Movies and radio are pickin' Cotton--first name Joseph--for stellar roles in rapid succession. Current air assignment is "America--Ceiling Unlimited," CBS Sunday series. (KFAB, 1 p.m.)
43-09-26
8
Johnny Flynn and the Scourge of the Desert
N
Wisconsin State Journal - 1 p.m. -- Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): Joseph Cotton in "Johnny Flynn and the Scourge of the Desert."
43-10-03
9
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - Major Ben Lyon and his wife, Bebe Daniels, although in London, are being quite active in arrangements for American radio programs. Major Lyon is currently arranging for members of the American Eighth Air Force and the RAF to tell of their bombing raids over Europe via the "Flight Story of the Week," a new feature on "America--Ceiling Unlimited" over CBS today at 2 p.m.
43-10-10
10
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - 1:00--Ceiling Unlimited, CBS
43-10-17
11
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - 1:00--Ceiling Unlimited, CBS
43-10-24
12
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - 1:00--Ceiling Unlimited, CBS
43-10-31
13
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - 1:00--Ceiling Unlimited, CBS
43-11-07
14
Title Unknown
N
Port Arthur News - 1:00--Ceiling Unlimited, CBS
43-11-14
15
Title Unknown
N
43-11-14 Long Beach Independent - Connie Moore, lovely stage, screen and radio star who appeared as guest singer on KNX's "America--Ceiling Unlimited" program last Sunday, will remain as the singing star of the program, according to a report made yesterday. The program is aired at 11 o'clock this morning.
43-11-21
16
Title Unknown
N
San Antonio Express - 1:00 P.M. AMERICA, CEILING UNLIMITED Combining music and drama, Connie Moore and Joseph Cotton sing and act on today's show which answers the questions "What is America singing, saying, reading?"
43-11-28
17
Title Unknown
N
Nevada State Journal - 11:00 KNX--Ceiling Unlimited
43-12-05
18
Title Unknown
N
San Antonio Light - 1:00 Ceiling Unlimited
43-12-12
19
Title Unknown
N
San Antonio Light - 1:00 Ceiling Unlimited
43-12-19
20
A Letter to An Unborn Son

Y
[Special Christmas Program]
San Antonio Light - 1:00 Ceiling Unlimited
43-12-26
21
Flight Report
N
[Special Christmas Rebroadcast]

"Flight Report," the story of an early American bombing raid over Germany, will be repeated by popular request, with Joseph Cotton again starred when "America--Ceiling Unlimited"
airs its last 1943 broadcast on Sunday, at 1 p.m., over Station WABC. Broadcast last Spring, "Flight Report" attracted much comment. Joseph Cotten is heard as a bomber pilot. Constance Moore sings Fred Waring's "The Time Is Now," and as a surprise offering sings the Number One song of 1943.
44-01-02
22
Custody of the Cook
N
1 p. m. — Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): "Custody of the Cook."
44-01-09
23
Cajun Cradle
N
Ceiling Unlimited
Joseph Cotten in 1 p. m. (WBBM): "Cajun Cradle," story of a Cajun girl's superstition about marriage.
44-01-16
24
The Little People
N
1 p. m- — Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): "The Little People," by Frank Richardson Pierce, story of loyalty of the Aleutian people to the American cause.
44-01-23
25
Girl Adrift
N
1 p. m. — Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): "Girl Adrift," Richard Howels Watkins' story of German plot to destroy a convoy.
44-01-30
26
Title Unknown
N
44-02-06
27
Title Unknown
N
44-02-13
28
Remember This Day
N
1 p. m. — Ceiling Unlimited
(WBBM): Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore in "Remember This
Day," story of American pilot in South Pacific; Miss Moore salutes women marines, singing "Yankee Doodle Girl"
44-02-20
29
Those Who Were on the Ferry
N
1 p. m. — Ceiling Unlimited
(WBBM): Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore in "Those Who Were
on the Ferry."
44-02-27
30
Comes the Devil
N
1. p m — Ceiling Unlimited
(WBBM): Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore in "Comes the Devil."
44-03-05
31
Situation Well in Hand
N
1 p. m. — Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore in Vina Delmar's "Situation Well in Hand."
44-03-12
32
Title Unknown
N
Constance Moore Introduces New Song on "Ceiling Unlimited"
Constance Moore offers the world premier of "I fell in Love," a new song by Ramez Idriss, a guitarist in Wilbur Hatch's orchestra, on "America—Ceiling Unlimited," on Sunday, March 12, at 1 p.m., over station WMT. Miss Moore also sings "This Is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening." Wilbur Hatch's featured orchestra number is "Begin the Beguine.'' Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore co-star in the dramatic portion of the program.
44-03-19
33
Title Unknown
N
44-03-26
34
The Bride and Delehanty
N
1 p. m. — Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): "The Bride and Delehanty" story of detective assigned to trace down spy suspect.
44-04-02
35
George Is a Noble Guy
N
44-04-09 Wisconsin State Journal
1 p. m.—America — Ceiling Unlimited
(WBBM): Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore in Will F. Jenkins' story, "George Is a Noble Guy."
44-04-09
36
God's Corporals; Hymn to A Hero
Y
[Easter Rebroadcast presentation; dramatic sketch from 43-04-19 Ceiling Unlimited program]

44-04-09 Wisconsin State Journal
1 p. m. — America-Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): "God's Corporals," story of American soldier wounded in New Guinea. Stars
Agnes Moorhead.
44-04-16
37
A Date in Bethesda
N
44-04-16 Wisconsin State Journal
1 p. m. — America-Ceiling Unlimited (WBBM): Joseph Cotten and Constance Moore in "A Date in Bethesda."






Ceiling Unlimited Radio Program Biographies




George Orson Welles
(Director, Scenarist, Actor, Producer, Narrator)
Stage, Screen, Radio and Television Actor, Author, Poet, Artist, Magician, Pianist, Producer, Director
(1915-1985)

Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Education: The Todd School, Chicago, IL, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1936 Musical Reveries
1936 The March Of Time
1936 Columbia Workshop
1937 Les Miserables
1937 Shakespeare Festival
1937 The Shadow
1938 The Mercury Theatre of The Air
1938 The Silver Theatre
1938 Campbell Playhouse
1939 Columbia Masterworks' The Merchant Of Venice
1940 This Is Radio (for New York World's Fair)
1940 A Discussion Between H. G. Wells and Orson Welles
1940 The Rudy Vallee Sealtest Show
1941 Front Page Drama
1941 Forecast
1941 The Orson Welles Theatre
1941 We Hold These Truths
1941 The Cavalcade Of America
1942 Treasury Star Parade
1942 Ceiling Unlimited
1942 Suspense
1942 Information Please
1942 The Texaco Star Theatre
1942 Hello Americans
1942 The Radio Reader's Digest
1943 The Jack Benny Program
1943 Reading Out Loud
1943 The Pepsodent Show
1943 The New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
1944 Radio Almanac
1944 The Dinah Shore Program
1944 The Lux Radio Theatre
1944 Fifth War Loan Drive
1944 The Radio Hall Of Fame
1944 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1944 Now Is The Time
1944 This Is My Best
1944 Stop Or Go
1944 G. I. Journal
1945 Command Performance
1945 Fourteen August, A Message For The Day Of Victory
1945 Armed Forces V-J Program
1945 The Victory Chest Program
1946 The Danny Kaye Show
1946 The Fred Allen Show
1946 The Mercury Summer Theatre
1946 The Bill Stern Colgate Sports Newsreel
1946 The Orson Welles Program [ABC]
1947 The Esquire Jazz Concert
1950 This Is The U. N.
1951 The Lives Of Harry Lime
1952 The Black Museum
1954 Anthology
1954 The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
1955 The Ed Sullivan Show
1956 Tomorrow
1956 Biography In Sound
1972 The Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1974 The Dick Cavett Show
1975 The Tom Snyder Show
1976 NBC: The First Fifty Years
1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Story Of The Juggler Of Our Lady
Adventures Of A Quarter
Orson Welles, ca. 1938
Orson Welles, ca. 1937

Welles publicity photo, ca. 1939
Welles publicity photo, ca. 1939

Welles rehearses with Mercury Theatre Players, ca. 1938
Welles rehearses with Mercury Theatre Players, ca. 1938

Welles and wife Virginia Nicholson, ca. 1938
Welles and wife Virginia Nicholson, ca. 1938

Welles' second book with collaborator Roger Hill, ca 194
Welles' second book with collaborator Roger Hill, ca 1941

Welles' The Mercury Shakespeare book inside plate from 1941
Welles' The Mercury Shakespeare book inside plate from 1941

A Welles sketch for The Mercury Shakespeare book
A Welles sketch for The Mercury Shakespeare book.

Welles rehearses Mercury Theatre for its next play the day after The War of The Worlds broadcast, Oct. 31, 1938
Welles rehearses Mercury Theatre for its next play the day after The War of The Worlds broadcast, Oct. 31, 1938

Welles is quizzed by reporters after The War of the Worlds broadcast
Welles is quizzed by reporters after The War of the Worlds broadcast.
Tall, husky Welles, taking a meeting with a collaborator, ca. 1942
Tall, husky Welles, taking a meeting with a collaborator, ca. 1942

Welles as Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, ca. 1937
Welles as Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, ca. 1937

Orson Welles, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson record a BBC broadcast of Sherlock Holmes, ca. 1948
Orson Welles, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson record a BBC broadcast of Sherlock Holmes, ca. 1948

Welles assesses a set for a Stage production, ca. 1972
Welles assesses a set for a Stage production, ca. 1972

Welles as The Third Man, walks into the mist, ca. 1949
Welles as The Third Man, walks into the mist, ca. 1949

"I started at the top and worked down."
--Orson Welles (1981)

Frank, prophetic, revealing words from a man most experts consider one of the great artistic geniuses of the 20th Century. There's no disputing his genius--at every endeavor he ever set his hand or mind to. George Orson Welles was born to a very successful inventor and a gifted, beautiful concert pianist. It's no wonder he was equipped as well as he was to excel at every Performing Arts challenge he ever attempted.

Already a child prodigy in multiple disciplines -- art, the piano, and magic -- he lost his mother at the age of nine. Welles' father took him on a world tour for the next six years. Then his father died when Welles was fifteen. He became the ward of a family friend, Dr. Maurice Bernstein, in Chicago.

Upon graduating from The Todd School in 1931, Welles decided to foregoe College for the present and instead take a sketching tour of Ireland, his ancestral home. Once in the U.K., Welles attempted to enter the London Stage, then returned to the U.S. to attempt to enter the Broadway Stage. Unsuccessful in both Drama centers, Welles' wanderlust took him to Morroco and Spain. It's reported that he even attempted bull-fighting while in Spain.

Coaxed back from Europe, friends Thornton Wilder and Alexander Woolcott got him a tryout with Katherine Cornell's road company. It was while with Katherine Cornell that Welles made his Broadway Stage debut as Tybalt in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1934). Also in 1934, Welles directed his first short film, The Hearts of Age, and married his first wife, Virginia Nicholson, who later acted with him in Mercury Theatre.

While on tour with Katherine Cornell and then William Kane he collaborated with fellow Todd School alumnus and Headmaster, Roger Hill to write Everybody's Shakespeare, a book containing acting treatments of The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and Twelfth Night. Welles and Hill collaborated on another book in 1941. But it was Katherine Cornell's influence on Welles that eventually led to the dramatically novel approaches he took to the Classics. Cornell's updated treatments of both Romeo and Juliet and The Barretts of Wimpole Street were considered quite avant garde for their day. Indeed it was his impatience with Cornell in helping further his career that led him to work with William Kane back in Chicago.

In Chicago, Welles teamed with other Todd School alumni to mount a drama festival of his own with local actors, Dublin's Gate Theatre actors Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards, and several Broadway stage artists he'd met during his first abortive attempt to break into the New York Stage. The festival was an unexpected success and caught the attention of John Houseman who was then working with the Federal Theatre Project under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration.

Houseman's current project was working with the Negro Theatre Unit of the Federal Theatre Project in mounting an all-Negro production of Macbeth, set in Haiti. The players of the Negro Theatre Unit were primarily comprised of actors and technicians from Harlem's American Negro Theatre. The production was heralded by the public and critics alike and toured the U.S. under the auspices of the Federal Theatre Project. Still only 20, Welles was finally being hailed as a Theatre prodigy.

Though having already performed in Radio during 1935, Welles' first lead in Radio came with 1936's Musical Reveries, a fifteen-minute variety-drama format wherein Welles' segment comprised drama and poetry readings. Welles and John Houseman formed the Mercury Theatre in 1937, mounting one of Broadway's most controversial treatments of Julius Caesar. Drawing on his experience with Katherine Cornell, Welles made the Shakespeare classic into a contemporary exploration of Mussolini's fascist Italy, with the sparsest of sets, fascist military costuming, and only dramatic lighting and sound to add to the atmosphere. Both heralded and despised by traditional Stage critics, the notoriety got Welles and Houseman an opportunity to air a serial presentation of Les Miserables (1937) over The Mutual Broadcasting System. Running for seven weeks of installments during the Summer of 1937, the program was a resounding success and introduced the Mercury Theatre repertory ensemble to the nation.

The success of both Les Miserables and Welles' performances in The Shadow (1937) got Welles and Houseman a shot at a prime time CBS commitment to nine, hour-long Mercury Theatre productions of Welles' chosing, conceptually titled, "First Person, Singular." The concept envisioned Welles narrating a series of productions in his own words and from his own perspective (e.g. in the first person, singular, or 'I'). The first nine broadcasts met with broad acceptance and critical acclaim, resulting in CBS extending the commitment for thirteen more installments.

It was with that second set of programs that Welles broadcast the Mercury Theatre's most famous and remarkable production, The War of The Worlds, a novel by H.G. Wells that had been brilliantly adapted for Halloween Eve by Howard Koch, one of the Mercury Theatre writers. The production and aftermath of the production are chronicled in detail above, but The War of the Worlds catapulted Orson Welles into the realm of Performing Arts legend within forty-eight hours of that historic broadcast.

While Welles did go on to even further accomplishments in the Performing Arts, it goes without saying that Orson Welles will always be equally viewed as both a Radio and Film Legend. Anyone with an even passing awarness of The Golden Age of Radio will undoubtedly mention Orson Welles in any discussion of Radio from the 1930s to the 1950s. Welles' imprint on the history of that era is part of the very fiber of Radio History--and not simply for his Shadow (1938) appearances, his various Mercury Theatre productions over the years, or his The Lives of Harry Lime (1951) performances.

Radio is an aural medium. Welles' genius was in shaping every phrase he uttered over Radio with an ear to what ultimately came out of the radio set or speaker at the other end. Welles knew radio technology and knew how to best employ it for maximum effect. He accomplished the same in Film. Studying both the available technology--and techniques--then maximizing their results at the receiving end, whether that was simply ears and imagination or eyes, ears and imagination. It was one's imagination that Welles sought to connect with. From the elaborate dramatic tempo and framing of a suspenseful spoken phrase, to the most elaborate crane shot in Film, Welles played and tinkered with the medium at hand until he acheived his desired effect.

There's no disputing Welles' genius, nor that he possessed the archetypal temperament of a genius. He demanded perfection--from himself and from those he worked with. And his demands were often both quixotic and onerous. But irrespective of the egos he bent and the frustration he engendered in his collaborators, Welles produced Art. Brilliant Art. In every medium he undertook.

There's no room on this page for an exhaustive biography of Orson Welles. And even if we chose to undertake such a biography the warts and missteps of Welles' career would invariably distract attention from a fair assessment of Welles' enduring impact. We're neither intellectually equipped nor at a level from which to judge Orson Welles' life. We determined that, frank and realistic to the end, Welles alone, was best equipped to make those kinds of judgements.

We opened with Welles' own assessment of his performing life. It's both brutal and honest. Welles' life after Mercury Theatre and both Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) wasn't idle in the least, but beset with personal and financial distractions, Welles never quite recaptured the consistent brilliance and genius of his first twenty years on the public stage.

Welles never seemed to find the time for all the projects he wanted to pursue, but he made the time to leave the world in awe of his extraordinary talent. More importantly, he left a legacy of excellence and innovation in every endeavor he did undertake, inspiring hundreds of thousands of younger performing artists to reach for the unattainable and--occasionally--actually grasp it, as George Orson Welles had.




Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Jr.
(Host)
Radio, Television, Film and Stage Actor
(1905-1994)

Birthplace: Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1936 Columbia Workshop
1938 Mercury Theatre
1939 Campbell Playhouse
1941 Lux Radio Theatre
1941 Orsen Welles Theatre
1942 Silver Theatre
1942 Ceiling Unlimited
1943 Cavalcade Of America
1943 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1944 Suspense
1944 The Harold Lloyd Comedy Theatre
1945 A Date With Judy
1945 Weapon For Tomorrow
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1945 Birds Eye Open House
1946 Radio Reader's Digest
1946 Academy Award
1946 Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players
1947 March Of Dimes Campaign
1947 The Eagle's Brood
1947 Hollywood Fights Back
1948 The Eternal Light
1948 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1949 Prudential Family Hour Of Stars
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1950 Family Theatre
1950 Guest Star
1950 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1950 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood
1951 Theatre Guild On the Air
1951 Hallmark Playhouse
1952 Stars In the Air
1952 Philip Morris Playhouse
1953 Bakers' Theatre Of Stars
1953 The Martin and Lewis Show
Treasury Salute
Yarns For Yanks

Joseph Cotten circa 1941
Joseph Cotten circa 1941

Young Joseph Cotten circa 1911
Young Joseph Cotten circa 1911

Aviator Joseph Cotten circa 1925
Aviator Joseph Cotten circa 1925

Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins in The Third Man circa 1949
Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins in The Third Man circa 1949

Joseph Cotten for The United Nations circa 1952
Joseph Cotten for The United Nations circa 1952
Joseph Cotten was born into a well-heeled Southern family, the eldest of three sons born to Sally Bartlett and Joseph Cotten, Sr. 'Jo' and his brothers Whit and Sam spent their summers at their aunt and uncle's home near Virginia Beach. It was during those summer vacations that young 'Jo' developed his gifts for story-telling, reciting, and performing for family.

Cotten formally studied acting at the Hickman School of Expression in Washington, D.C. working as an advertising agent soon after. By 1924 Joseph Cotten tried to break into acting in New York. After a year of trying to make ends meet on a shipping clerk's pay, Cotten suspended his run at the New York stage to travel to Miami.

In Florida, Cotten worked as a lifeguard, salesman, entrepreneur--'Tip Top Potato Salad', and as a drama critic for the Miami Herald. Cotten also continued to pursue stage appearances of his own, soon appearning in plays at the Miami Civic Theater. His newspaper connections then lead to a position as an assistant stage manager back in New York.

1929 brought a one-season engagement at the Copley Theatre in Boston. It was there that he was finally given the chance to expand his acting experience, appearing in 30 productions in a wide variety of characterizations. Cotten returned to Broadway in 1930 for his debut.

In 1931 Cotten married Lenore La Mont ('Kipp'), a pianist, previously divorced with a two-year-old daughter.

To augment his income as an actor in the mid-30s, Cotten began appearing on Radio in addition to his theatre work. At one memorable audition he met an equally ambitious, budding actor on a mission to make his name-Orson Welles. Though almost ten years Welles' senior, the two found the other a kindred spirit.

For Cotten more than Welles, the association would completely redefine his acting ambitions. Though viewed as two of the Performing Arts most serious dramatic actors, their initial joint efforts belied that characterization. Indeed, one apocryphal tale has them at a rehearsal for CBS radio, with the two of them destroying a scene taking place on a rubber tree plantation.

One--or the other-was supposed to speak the line: "Barrels and barrels of pith ... ." They apparently could not restrain their uncontrolled laughter at each abortive 'take'. The director reportedly berated them as acting like school-children and unprofessional. As a consequence, for some time thereafter, both actors were deemed unreliable.

It was Welles' raw ambition that put that frivolous incident quickly behind them. Welles formed the Mercury Theatre Players with John Houseman. Bringing together Film talent from the West coast and Stage talent from the East Coast, Welles' and Houseman's repertory ensemble began to take Radio and the New York Stage by storm. Cotten joined Everett Sloane, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick and Ray Collins as the core of the ensemble.

Cotten first appeared in Mercury Theatre's productions of Julius Caesar and Shoemaker's Holiday. He made his film debut in the Welles-directed short Too Much Johnson (1938), a comedy based on an 1890 William Gillette play. The short film was occasionally screened immediately before or after Mercury productions. Cotten returned to Broadway in 1939, starring as C.K. Dexter Haven in the original production of Philip Barry's "The Philadelphia Story" opposite Katherine Hepburn.

Cotten's radiography both pre-dates his Mercury Theatre association and continues well beyond the Mercury Theatre of The Air productions of the late 1930s through the mid-1940s. Indeed, well beyond the influence of Mercury Theatre, Joseph Cotten continued well into the mid-1950s to leave his mark on Radio Drama. In a career spanning almost twenty years and 2,000 appearances in Radio, Joseph Cotten immeasurably contributed to the rich legacy of Radio's Golden Era.

In the wake of the panic over Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast, Orson Welles was offered an impressive contract from RKO Pictures. A two-picture deal promised full creative control for the young director, and Welles brought his Mercury players with him for feature roles in what he chose to bring to the screen.

By early 1940, Welles met and collaborated with writer Herman J. Mankiewicz. The result was a 'roman a clef' of William Randolph Hearst and his personal history that Welles titled Citizen Kane. Welles cast Joseph Cotten as Kane's college friend turned confidant and theater critic, Jed Leland. In contrast to the furor Welles' 1938 War of The Worlds broadcast had created, Citizen Kane's only notoriety at the time of its release was over the production's out of control budget and its quixotic--but brilliant--novice director.

For his part, much as depicted in Citizen Kane, William Randolph Hearst owned the majority of the country's press outlets and predictably forbad any promotional articles or advertisements for Citizen Kane. Despite the dearth of promotion, the film was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1942--though largely ignored by the Academy. The film took home one Oscar--Best Screenplay for Welles and Mankiewicz.

The following year Cotten and Welles collaborated yet again in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), acclaimed but again ignored at Oscar time, and the following year, the Nazi thriller Journey Into Fear (1943) with Joseph Cotten writing the screenplay in collaboration with Welles.

Welles' notorious overrunning of budgets was more than sufficient cause for RKO to drop Welles thereafter. But it was in 1943 that Joseph Cotten met and became life-long friend to young producer David O. Selznick. The predictable result of that alliance was a long-term contract and the launch of Cotten's more conventional, successful--and mainstream--movie career as a romantic leading man.

Between 1942 and 1949 Joseph Cotten appeared with some of the most beautiful, talented and accomplished of Hollywood's leading ladies. His favorite was young Selznick's wife, Jennifer Jones, both Selznick and Jones becoming two of Cotten's most intimate personal friends.

Cotten portrayed a remarkable range of roles throughout the 1940s: from the film noir killer in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Shadow of a Doubt (1943) with Teresa Wright, to 1949's Carol Reed film noir classic, The Third Man, reuniting him with Orson Welles. But they weren't all film noir roles. Indeed, it was only Shadow of a Doubt and The Third Man that were genuine film noir classics. Cotten's remaining film during the 1940s were a fascinating variety of roles and genre. He made four films with friend Jennifer Jones: Since You Went Away (1944), Love Letters (1945), Duel in The Sun (1946) and the 1948 Robert Nathan classic, Portrait of Jennie. Cotten also did The Farmer's Daughter (1947) with a vivacious Loretta Young.

Despite two of film noir's most memorable performances, Cotten failed to receive Adademy recognition for either Shadow of A Doubt or The Third Man--nor did his very believable and critically acclaimed performance in Portrait of Jennie. And though Joseph Cotten was kept in reasonable demand into his more mature acting years, by the 1950s the his movie roles were becoming more from the 'B'-list.

Cotten reunited with Welles in his The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952). There were a few more film noir opportunities, along with the requisite fare of the maturing actor with fewer roles. But it was Television and its television playhouse format that brought Cotten the most fame and dramatic challenges for the remainder of his acting career.

Television's On Trial--later called The Joseph Cotten Show--was a short-lived showcase of sorts. He had several memorable roles in Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, among them, Dead Weight, during which he's limited to voice over and facial expression alone to project his character's portrayal. His last project with Welles was as the uncredited coroner cameo in Welles' 1958 film noir, Touch of Evil. Cotten reportedly observed of his long association with Welles, that it was:

"Exasperating, yes. Sometimes eruptive, unreasonable, ferocious, yes. Eloquent, penetrating, exciting, and always - never failingly even at the sacrifice of accuracy and at times his own vanity - witty. Never, never, never dull."

With the passing of his first wife in 1960, Joseph Cotten met and married British actress Patricia Medina. The 1960s found both of them equally busy in Television and Film. Cotten routinely appeared in the most popular of Television's detective and cowboy formats of the period--as did Ms. Medina.

By 1964 Cotten returned to film with the popular thriller hit Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) reuniting him with other vintage Hollywood legends Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, and Agnes Moorehead. The remainder of his 1960s appearances were a combination of Television Drama staples, entertaining but otherwise unremarkable Film productions, and several guest appearances on the many Quiz, Talk, Morning Show, and Sunday night variety formats, such as the long-running Ed Sullivan Show. Cotten, now officially one of Hollywood's 'senior statesmen' leant his perceived dramatic gravitas to any number of brief, dramatic cameos or short supporting appearances in Film and made-for-Television movies.


Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), though not a particularly huge box office success--at the time--nevertheless showcased Cotten in just such a senior statesman type of role. Cotten also appeared in the campy The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) with Vincent Price. Cotten joined another great Golden Age of Film actor, Edward G. Robinson--another senior statesman actor--in the Universal sci-fi cult favorite, Soylent Green (1973). Cotten also further burnished the gigantic, all-star cast of Airport '77 (1977).

Cotten wrapped up his 1980 appearances with several Universal Television outings, among them, Fantasy Island. One of Hollywood's greats, Cotten wore his own double-breasted blue blazer and tan slacks in several roles--no need for wardrobe--and his reported pride and joy was a ultra-rare blue 1939 Jaguar SS, which became something of a fixture on the Universal lot.

Joseph Cotten was still starring in Film during the 1980s with Heaven's Gate (1980). After a final Love Boat episode (1981), Cotten retired with his wife to gardening and entertaining friends. Cotten penned his autobiography Vanity Will Get You Somewhere in 1987. Joseph Cotten's matter-of-fact delivery and somewhat gruff acting voice served him well in most roles. He clearly demonstrated a command of any number of widely varied roles over his career, and yet just missed attaining an Academy Award in the process. But with the passing of time, his characterizations in Citizen Kane, Shadow of a Doubt, The Third Man and Portrait of Jennie have considerably elevated his stature in the minds of both modern critics and modern audiences alike.




Constance Moore
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actress
(1921-2005)
Birthplace: Sioux City, Iowa, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1940 Who's In Town Tonight
1943 Ceiling Unlimited
1945 The Harold Lloyd Comedy Theatre
1945 Hollywood Mystery Time
1946 The March Of the Movies
1946 Command Performance
1947 Lux Radio Theatre
1949 The Bob Hope Show
1950 Starlight Operetta
Personal Albulm
Salute To Reservists
Constance Moore ca. 1943
Constance Moore ca. 1943


Constance Moore glamour photo ca. 1939
Constance Moore glamour photo ca. 1939


Constance Moore ca. 1946
Constance Moore ca. 1946


Constance Moore with Hollywood Mystery Time co-star Dennis O'Keefe in 1940's La Conga Nights
Constance Moore with Hollywood Mystery Time co-star Dennis O'Keefe in 1940's La Conga Nights


Constance Moore publicity shot from 1943
Constance Moore publicity shot from 1943


Constance Moore promoting 1945's Delightfully Dangerous
Constance Moore promoting
1945's Delightfully Dangerous


Earl Carroll Vanities Songbook cover from 1945
Earl Carroll Vanities Songbook cover from 1945

Constance Moore was born in the midwest to Francis Richard Moore and her mother, Constance Houghton of Dallas, Texas. Her father was heir to a candy factory, grocery chain and the Crystal Ice Company, all quite successful enterprises in Texas. Constance was later joined by her brother Oliver, not long after which their parents divorced and 'Connie' moved to Dallas with her mother and brother.

Miss Moore attended Miss Gray’s Day School in Dallas while beginning to consider a career in Entertainment. She hadn't yet acquired the acting bug but she had definitely acquired a passion to become a singer. In 1936 she debuted over Radio, singing on the local CBS affiliate, KRLD, sponsored by her Uncle Jack Marvin of the local Marvin Drugstores chain. Fortunately for both young Connie and the network, Connie Moore's voice and delivery so pleased the station management that they decided to keep her on.

And so Connie Moore began to commute to a Radio station via streetcar each morning at 7 a.m.--before attending her high school. Upon each day's closing high school bell, Connie raced back to the Radio studio for another hour-long broadcast at 5 p.m. daily. Upon graduation from high school, the station hired her to sing with its studio band and she began to undertake her first series of Night Club engagements as the chanteuse for the Ken Meyers Orchestra. A Universal Pictures, talent scout heared Connie Moore on the local radio station and offered Connie a contract. Over her mother's initial objections, Universal upped the ante to $125.00/week and it was time to "move to Be-ver-lee. . . .Hills that is, swimmin' pools, movie stars . . . " and all.

She stayed with family and in 1937 she was thrown into a series of low-budget, Universal B-Movie potboilers and budget musicals. Universal signed her to a long-term contract and had her bleach her natural brunette hair blonde. Still somewhat midwest naieve, upon signing the longer contract with Universal she asked her recruiter: "Everybody asks me who my agent is. Do I need an agent?" Still all of only 16 years of age she was nonetheless already taking singing engagements with local Los Angeles swing bands while balancing her time on Universal's sound stages.

Her Film breakthrough was a series of Buck Rogers serial films in 1939, starring young Buster Crabbe. The collaboration worked quite successfully, and by the Summer of 1939 she eloped to Nevada with Talent Agent Johnny Maschio--chaperoned by her mother. Constance Moore, 19, now Mrs. Constance Maschio returned from her honeymoon in time for her Universal reporting date of May 1, 1939.

One of Hollywood's more successful marriages, Johnny Maschio gave up his talent agency to become a highly successful real estate broker and the couple became very successfully involved in Conservative California politics, supporting George Murphy, and later Ronald Reagan, and their bids for both Union and State politics.

She first performed on Radio with Dennis O'Keefe in 1940, a professional relationship that would last over ten years in Radio and Film. She appeared in the World War II drama I Wanted Wings (1941) on location in San Antonio, which gave her an opportunity to visit with family once again. Though pregnant throughout the filming, the movie was one of 1941's successes--for Veronica Lake, especially.

Constance Moore gave birth to her daughter, Mary Constance, in the Fall of 1941. After recovering, Connie undertook an extended USO tour, playing the camps along the northern tier, while young Judy Garland did the camps along the southern route. Both tours ended in New York, where Constance Moore was approached with a musical version of Tobacco Road. The play ran sixteen months before Constance Moore opted to leave it for another Film opportunity, starring with fellow Iowan MacDonald Carey in Take a Letter, Darling (1942).

1943 brought her another Radio triumph with Mercury Theatre alumni Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles in Ceiling Unlimited. Her 1945 Film, Earl Carroll Vanities was nominated for Oscars for both Best Music and Best Song, Constance Moore's "Endlessly." Starring with Dennis O'Keefe--another Iowan--the two are again paired on Radio with 1945's Hollywood Mystery Time, replacing Carleton Young and Gloria Blondell as Ted Lawton and Gloria Dean.

A year later she became a part of Aviation History when Howard Hughes' TWA Lockheed Constellation took off from Burbank Airport to set a new transcontinental non-stop commercial speed record--with Howard Hughes at the controls.

By 1947, Constance Moore had pretty much retired from Film and Radio. With both a daughter and son to raise and a husband to devote her life to, she simply felt her family needed her more than Hollywood did--and vice versa. Constance Moore continued to do some occasional Summer Stock and Television appearances through the mid-1950s, playing The Stork Club in New York, The Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles and Chicago's Drake Hotel in between.

After a ten-year hiatus 1964 found Constance Moore replacing Irene Hervey on Television's The Young Marrieds. In 1967 Constance Moore made her last Film appearance in the cult film Las Vegas By Night, with Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay--her husband was the Producer.

In 1998 her husband of 59 years, Johnny Maschio, passed away at the age of 95. Following a long, debilitating series of illnesses, Constance Moore Maschio passed away herself at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in the Fall of 2005, of heart failure.



Wilbur Hatch
(CBS Hollywood Music Director)

(1902-1969)

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

Education: University of Chicago

Radiography:

1937 White Fires Of Inspiration
1939 Gateway To Hollywood
1940 I Was There
1940 Forecast
1942 The Whistler
1942 They Burned the Books
1942 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Meet Corliss Archer
1943 Suspense
1944 American Rhapsody
1944 Three Of A Kind (Audition)
1944 Four For the Fifth
1945 Twelve Players
1945 Columbia Presents Corwin
1947 The City
1947 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1948 Escape
1948 Shorty Bell, Cub Reporter
1948 The Little Immigrant (Audition)
1948 Our Miss Brooks
1948 Life With Luigi
1948 My Favorite Husband
1949 Young Love
1949 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1951 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1952 I Love Lucy
1952 Hollywood Playhouse Of Romance
1953 General Electric Theatre
1953 Bakers' Theatre Of Stars
1953 Rogers Of the Gazette
1953 Crime Classics
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1958 Luke Slaughter Of Tombstone
1958 Frontier Gentleman


Wilbur Hatch ca. 1958

Wilbur Hatch with Desi Arnaz ca. 1960
Wilbur Hatch with Desi Arnaz ca. 1960

Wilbur Hatch was a very active member of the American Federation of Musicians
Wilbur Hatch was a very active member of the American Federation of Musicians

Wilbur Hatch Spot Ad thanking listeners for their response to his American Rhapsody Program ca. 1944
Wilbur Hatch Spot Ad thanking listeners for their response to his American Rhapsody Program ca. 1944
A midwestern product, Wilbur Hatch was born in Mokena, Illinois just southwest of Chicago. Wilbur Hatch attended the University of Chicago and upon completing his degree in Music, in 1922, became a staff pianist for KYW Radio in Chiacago at the age of 20. Hatch moved to Los Angeles in 1930 and began working as a staff composer and musician for CBS and Radio KNX in 1937

By 1937 Hatch was composing and conducting for CBS Radio's White Fires of Inspiration (1937-1938), Gateway to Hollywood (1938), and I Was There (1940). In 1940, Hatch got his big break tackling the Music Direction, composing, scoring and conducting for all of CBS Forecast's West Coast-originating previews for both the 1940 and 1941 seasons. The productions ranged from straight dramas to western adventures to comedies to variety programs. In all, Wilbur Hatch was credited with twelve out of the fourteen CBS Hollywood originating programs for Forecast's two preview seasons--an extraordinary performance.

Over the next twenty years, Hatch composed, conducted and/or directed the music for over 4,000 CBS Radio programs. He has one of the top 20 highest number of Radiography entries in the RadioGOLDINdex database of Radio programs and performers. Known for the music behind The Whistler (1942-1955), Hatch also scored the music for five of The Whistler movies, and twelve of The Whistler (1954-1955) Television programs.

Hatch's Radiography shows a breadth and versatility unique in Radio History. Wilbur Hatch directed most of the Screen Guild Players programs over a span of thirteen years. He also scored and directed the music for Broadway Is My Beat (1949) and Our Miss Brooks (1948) and then went on to direct the Music for the Our Miss Brooks (1952-1955) Television programs.

Even as CBS Television was taking off, Hatch continued to score and direct for both Radio and Television. CBS New York had Lyn Murray and CBS Hollywood had Wilbur Hatch. And that's how it stacked up for both of them for over twenty years for CBS.

Hatch got his next career break directing the Music for the I Love Lucy series, which led to his appointment as Music Director for Desilu Studios and all of their prolific output of Television programs. The 1960s saw Hatch directing and/or scoring the music for Gunsmoke (1964), The Untouchables (1960-1963), Mission Impossible (1966-1967), Twilight Zone (1961), and Star Trek (1966-1967).

Despite one of the busiest careers in Hollywood, Wilbur Hatch always found--or made--time to volunteer his talents to a dizzying array of Church and Community programs. His wife, Margaret, was also a Choral Director and soloist. They were both heavily involved in the local Church community.

Hatch was one of Hollywood's most respected and beloved Music Directors for almost thirty years, before he died suddenly of a massive heart attack in 1969. A devoted family man, Hatch was survived by his wife, three children, and eight grandchildren.

Wilbur Hatch continues to be remembered by hundreds of thousands of Golden Age Radio fans to this day. Having scored a great number of Radio and Television's most popular and enduring programs over the years, it's a foregone conclusion that virtually every Golden Age Radio collector has at least 400 to 1,000 examples of his Hatch's work in their libraries. An extraordinary testament to one of Radio's most enduring, yet unsung talents--unsung until now, that is.



Ludwig Elias Gluskin
(Conductor)

Percussionist; Orchestra Leader; Music Director
(1898-1989)

Birthplace: New York City(?), New York, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1940 Forecast
1941 Columbia Workshop
1942 Hello Americans
1942 Celing Unlimited
1943 Downbeat
1943 Suspense
1944 Get Out the Vote
1945 Word From the People
1945 I Was There
1945 On A Note Of Triumph
1945 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Fourteen August
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1946 Mercury Summer Theatre
1946 The Jack Kirkwood Show
1947 The Sweeney and March Show
1947 The Adventures Of Sam Spade
1948 The Last Water Hole
1948 The Whistler
1948 The Amazing Mr Tutt
1948 My Friend Irma
1948 Two Lines
1948 The Hunters
1949 Philip Morris Playhouse
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1949 Life With Luigi
1951 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1953 The Arthur Godfrey Show
1953 On Stage
1953 Crime Classics
1954 Our Miss Brooks
1954 The Amos 'n' Andy Show
1972 Same Time, Same Station



Lud Gluskin Orchestra circa December 1927
Lud Gluskin Orchestra circa December 1927


Ludwig 'Lud' Gluskin inset circa 1927
Ludwig 'Lud' Gluskin circa 1927


The Lud Gluskin Orchestra on the road in Amsterdam circa 1929
The Lud Gluskin Orchestra on the road in Amsterdam circa 1929


Lud Gluskin record label from his European recordings
Lud Gluskin record label from his European recordings


Another of Lud Gluskin's Jazz Hot recordings from Europe
Another of Lud Gluskin's Jazz Hot recordings from Europe


Non sequitur
Non sequitur


December 19 1974 Article on the Palm Springs connection for Radio stars past
December 19 1974 Article on the Palm Springs connection for Radio stars past. Notice in the pop-up that the Radio stars themselves refer to the era as The Golden Age of Radio.
Ludwig Elias Gluskin was born in New York City [or possibly Russia] in 1898 to Russian/Jewish emigres. Reportedly a child prodigy, by the 1920s, Lud Gluskin was performing with Jimmy Durante--Durante at the piano and Gluskin on percussion. Gluskin had already acquired considerable 'buzz' as a pit drummer in hundreds of venues.

By the mid-1920s Lud Gluskin began touring Europe with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra as Whiteman's drummer. In 1927, he became leader of The Playboys, a Detroit jazz band that had been stranded in Paris. Gluskin and The Playboys made more than 700 recordings in Paris and Berlin, most of which are highly prized to this day.

Gluskin and his dance band toured Europe for the following seven years. During that time, Gluskin's Orchestra was the only American Jazz Band both touring--and residing in--Europe and he reportedly took Europe by storm. In researching Gluskin's career we found hundreds of rave notices about Gluskin's performances and recording sessions in Europe. He was unquestionably one of the earliest American Jazz legends touring Europe.

Upon his return to the U.S., Gluskin was hired by CBS as the Music Director for CBS Radio. Gluskin's 1989 New York Times obituary credits Gluskin with conducting the orchestra for Orson Welles' famous Mercury Theatre production of War of The Worlds. As legendary as Gluskin's career ultimately was, the credit for the original compositions for War of The Worlds must go to Bernard Herrmann. It's understandable that Gluskin was inadvertently credited with the War of the Worlds score. Herrmann, Gluskin and Lyn Murray were contemporaries at CBS, and during their time together were held in equal esteem.

But by at least the late 1930s, Lud Gluskin was the Music Director for CBSs West Coast operations--he'd both performed and directed for CBS East until as late as 1939. The following interview was conducted in Hollywood by sydicated journalist, Paul Harrison on March 29, 1938:

Helping the Hopefuls

One of the first things a visitor notices is the consideration and assistance given these hopefuls. A topnotch accompanist and sound-mixer are provided. Bill Moore, in charge of musical auditions, is patient, and polite and listens attentively. So, frequently, do Lud Gluskin, the west coast musical director, and Charles Vanda, coast program director. For men with trained ears, it must be a pretty painful experience.

"But we listen to everybody," Gluskin said. "Sometimes you think you can't stand another minute of it—yet there's always the feeling that just possibly the next person who walks in the studio will be just the one you're looking for."

And here's a fascinating article and interview from The Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, dated September 4, 1938 that gives a flavor of Lud Gluskin's disposition and personality:

What's Your Theme Song

By Alice L. Tildesley 

     What sort of music, or what special number, comes to mind at sight of you?  Is it organ music?  Is it Jazz?  Is it romantic?  Is it a sweet old song of home?  In other words, what's your theme song? 
     Hollywood. 
     SOMEWHERE—to some one—there's music for- every one. Maybe a whole symphony-maybe just a melody-but madrigal or chant, overture or carol, to a musician each personality brings its appropriate music. That is Lud Gluskin's idea.
     Lud Gluskin Is a stocky, smiling gentleman, musical director for the West Coast studios of a nation-wide broadcasting concern, who, when he isn't directing, playing, conferring with composers, actors, artists, musicians, et cetera is listening to music, music, music. 
     "You can bring to mind a funeral march or a cacophony of discords, if you have an unpleasant personality," he observed.  "There are stars in pictures or on the air, just as there are people In private life, who make things difficult for everybody, and these are the inharmonious ones who give an unmusical impression. 
     "One girl, who has starred on the screen, had her own program on the air and appeared on concert tour, is a headache in any language. When a musician, orchestra leader, actor, singer or business representative is told he is to be on one of her programs or in one of her pictures, he begins to worry. 
     "That woman will be Inconsiderate and unreasonable," he sighs. "She'll high-hat every one she should be nice to. and upset the cast. Can I get out of the engagement? Can I afford not to take it? What shall I do? 
     "Anyone who has ever been with her knows that she won't do her work well.  When there are mistakes, it will always be the faujt of somebody else. If she flats a note, or comes in a little ahead or behind the orchestra, it will be the conductor who was wrong, or the saxophone player, or the man who beats the drums. Or else it's the music. The man who transposed the score was an amateur, or the fellow who wrote it didn't know what he was doing. 
     "The Dead March from Saul would be a good choice for her, in my opinion." 
     WHO wants to remind us of anything so gloomy?  "On the other hand, there's Jeanette MacDonald," continued the director, his blue eyes lighting with pleasure. "She's like the music of Victor Herbert, gay and charming. 
     "There's a warmth and a charm to Jeanette that makes any one working with her feel glad to be there. She is delightful, romantic, with a peppery little temper at times—not too much, but the sort of thing all stars must have if they are to succeed—yet so sweet, so gay, so lovely. 
     "I traveled with her across Europe, when she was making a concert tour, and always found her co-operative. She worked hard, harder than any one in her company; she always made the most Intense effort to please; she never shirked. If you asked her to rehearse, she never said 'No!' She was open to every suggestion. That doesn't mean the accepted every one made but she approached it with an open mind, tried It out and definitely considered it. There was none of this: 'I should know.  Look where I am about Jeanette. I don't believe she would know how. to be highhat. 
     "If I were to select one special song for her, I think it would be Victor Herbert's 'Kiss Me Again.'" 
     The song, "Stout-Hearted Men," from the Rudolph Friml operetta, reminds Mr. Gluskin of Nelson Eddy.  "Nelson is romantic and handsome," he pointed out. "He has a fine, true voice and a nice manner. You think of him as a gentleman first, yet he has glamour, if you'd care to use that overworked word. 
     "Real artists, like real actors, are sincere all the way through, so far as their work is concerned. It's the phony ones who aren't looking for criticism or suggestions The real ones are eager to improve." 
     There is a young star—a very young star—whose shining success is beginning to dim her personality, according to our expert. 
     "She is beginning to go high-hat, to be hard to handle, to think she is important and must have the last word to say on everything. My prediction is that she won't last In her present top spot if her attitude keeps up. I used to think of her as like a strain from Gounod's 'Ave Maria,' but if she keeps up as she is doing, antagonizing those who must work with her, I'll begin to be reminded of one of those old English roundelays that bring you back to where you started from, if you sing long enough. 
     "ALL stars should get wise to themselves.  No one is any better than his last performance, and he must keep on topping himself. He needs help to do this, and who can expect help if he won't co-operate?"
     "You're the Top," by Cole Porter, is the air that Norma Shearer brings to mind, according to Mr. Gluskin. 
     "Norma is like Cole Porter's music:  brilliant, sophisticated, sure of herself, admired. Norma knows what she is doing, always; she never steps out of character or forgets that she is before the public and must so conduct herself.  She acts like a great lady, because she happens to be a great lady at heart, and she never disillusions you. 
     "Like Porter's music, there is nothing careless or slipshod about her. She doesn't gloss over anything, any more than he glosses over his work. You can Imagine him painstakingly perfecting a score; Just so you can imagine Norma taking infinite trouble over every detail. 
     "Jessica Dragonette, top-ranking singing star, now about to make a picture debut, reminds me of the best of the Strauss waltzes Let's say. the 'Blue Danube Waltz.' Her glorious voice, crystal, crystal clear; her delicacy, her Old-Worldliness, are like the Strauss music. 
     "She's like a minuet, too; say Beethoven's 'Minuet.' She has subtlety and charm and beauty and, like every true artist, confidence in herself, so far as her work is concerned. 
     "There's a difference in the music a man hears mentally when he sees a glamorous woman and that heard by a woman, I suppose. I may think this because of the varying ideas my wife and I have about Greta Garbo, To Mrs. Gluskin, Garbo is the most remarkable star who ever came to Hollywood.  Exotic music, romantic, stirring music—perhaps Russian, perhaps Hungarian—is the sort of thing my wife would be likely to hear as a translation of the Garbo personality. 
     "But to me, Garbo is a woman's star. She makes me think of music by Beethoven or Bach, slow, majestic, maybe even wonderful, but not especially interesting to me. Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' would be my choice, if I had to select a single piece. 
     "On the other hand, Marlene Dietrich is a man's idea of what is glamorous.  She is exotic, mysterious, rare, beautiful." 
     "She reminds me of the late George Gershwin's music — something from 'Porgy' or 'Lady Be Good.' She's stirring, yet aloof, very diamatic, almost too beautiful, touched with a desire that is just out of reach, if you understand me.  Not many women have this quality." 
     THERE are girls who are like swift hot music; girls who are full of fire, girls who are deeper than they look on the surface and each of these has her own special music. 
     "Martha Raye is like the 'St. Louis Blues,' by Joe Handy," said the director.  "She is always wild and natural, full of fire. 
     "Judy Garland is the best of the hot, youthful music; we might give her Ted Koehler's 'I can't Pace the Music.  Somehow I have the notion that this little kid is going to be tops soon because she has a new, hot, gay quality that appeals. 
     "Ginger Rogers is like swing music, flapperish, rapid, young, not with the same childish youth of Judy, but a more modern youth.  Benny Goodman's 'Don't Be That Way' would be a good selection  for her. 
     "And Bette Davis, who can seem so ice cold and can again show such depths of feeling and fire, is best compared to Ravel's 'Bolero.'"  
     Back in the days- when Lud Gluskin went to high school, he played the drums in the school orchestra—first the trap drum, then the small drums. After school, in order to make pocket money, he and Jimmy Durante acted as orchestra for a beer hall, Jimmy playing the piano and Lud the drums Now they are both well-known figures in Hollywood.  
     After an interruption of two years at the front during the World War, Lud came home with his mind made up to be a musician. His father felt that there would be more money in clerking, so presently Lud ran away from home, went to San Francisco and entered the importing business. 
     "That wasn't music, either," admitted Mr. Gluskin, "but it happened and I couldn't choose. I was sent to Japan and did fairly well, but the music bug was in my blood and I couldn't lorget it.  When I had saved a little money I came back and managed to join Paul  Whiteman's band. 
     "When I toured Europe with my orchestra, we had to give them American music because that was what they wanted from us.  Naturally, at first, I thought I'd give them a selection of the best things from modern Europeon composers, but no—we were an American band, we were supposed to play American music. And piay it we did. 
     "However, vvhen we came back here, imported especially from abroad because we had made a hit over there, I began by playing the same music we had played in paris, Budapest and so on and the managers stopped me. We were from Europe; we were supposed to piay Euiopean music, naturally. Nothing else would do.  
     "Speaking of youth, Shirley Temple reminds me of  'Toy Trumpet,' by Raymond Scott. She's a miracle, that child, and sweet as they come.  
     "I was watching her on the set the other day when she had difficulty with a line she had to speak as she danced with Bill Robinson up a stair. It wouldn't come right. They marked the step, they emphasized trie beat of the music, and .still she couldn't quite get it. Then Bill said: 'Tell you what, honey, when it comes time for that line I'll sort of squeeze your hand.' He did and she said the line correctly and all was well.  
     "A little later she ran up to where Bill and I were talking and pulled him down to her.  "" 'Thank you a million times," she whispered. 'Some day, when you are in a tough spot, I hope I'll be on hand to help you."  
     "You don't have to worry about a kid like that getting high-hat She's a trouper.  "Another splendid person in Hollywood is Basil Rathbone. To me he is Stravinsky's 'Firebird.' A little beyond the average range, fine and true; brilliant, almost dazzlingly brilliant, with a spiritual side. He Is stirring; he could be dangerous; instead he is a protection and shield against danger.  
     "Irving Berlin's music, after his new picture, ought to remind me of Alice Faye, but somehow it's Myrna Loy that he brings to mind.  Myrna is romantic in a Berlin manner—I might select 'Cheek to Cheek' especially for her."  "As to Alice Faye, I am reminded of 'Stardust' by Hoagy Carmichael.  She has developed a great deal, that girl.  She has depth and beauty and yet she is still just a wee bit naive."   
     How about a game tonight? Try analyzing yourself and your friends and making out lists of the music that portrays each one. I wonder if you'll be surprised at the varied songs or scores that are selected for yourself? 

Copyright by Ledger Syndicate


By 1940 Lud Gluskin was directing many of CBS's most prestigious West Coast orginating programs with Wilbur Hatch and eventually Bernard Herrmann yet again. CBS entrusted Gluskin with an extraordinary number of its most popular, long-running, and critically acclaimed programs over the next 25 years. Gluskin ultimately provided music direction. compositions, and performances for well over 5,000 radio productions.

In 1948, he became music director for CBS-TV and presided over the network's shows for 10 years. Gluskin's Television career was just as prestigious and successful. Gluskin's Film career was equally productive. Lud Gluskin reached the enviable point in his career when he could work when he wanted to, where he wanted to, and in any medium he wanted to.

That confidence and competence were both well earned and deserved. After a 65 year career as a performer, a 35 year career in Radio, a 12 year career in Film and a 25 year career in Television, Lud Gluskin retired to Palm Springs, California.

Ludwig Elias Gluskin passed away in Palm Springs in 1989 at the age of 90. One of the Performing Arts most beloved and multi-talented musical geniuses, literally thousands of Lud Gluskin's personal recordings and Radio and Television work remain available for the enjoyment of his millions of fans. A fitting memorial to one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century.




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