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Original Everything For The Boys header art

The Everything for The Boys Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Everything for The Boys

Autolite spot ad for Everything For The Boys from March 7 1944
Autolite spot ad for Everything For The Boys from March 7 1944

Spot Ad for Everything For The Boys from June 6 1944
Spot Ad for Everything For The Boys from June 6 1944

Autolite Batteries spot ad with Dick Haymes promotion
Announcement of Dick Haymes assuming Emcee duties for Everything For The Boys July 11 1944
Announcement of Dick Haymes assuming Emcee duties for Everything For The Boys July 11 1944

The Milton and Barbara Merlin Collection at the Thousand Oaks Library contains the entire Everything for the Boys and Halls of Ivy Collection
The Milton and Barbara Merlin Collection at the Thousand Oaks Library contains the entire Everything for the Boys and Halls of Ivy Collection.
From the January 16, 1944 Kingsport Times:

"Everything For The Boys," a new radio program starring Ronald Colman, written by Arch Oboler and designed to give our servicemen on the fighting front what its title implies, will make its bow Tuesday over NBC-WKPT. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Sherwood's "The Petrified Forest," with Ronald Colman headlining and Academy Award Winner Ginger Rogers as guest star, leads off the new series. The first program will also feature two-way, short wave conversations between Colman and Miss Rogers in the NBC studios and two young bomber pilots stationed at an air base somewhere in England, about to go on their fiftieth mission.

From the April 6, 1944 Soda Springs Sun:

Ronald Colman's been swamped by mail as a result of his NBC show, "Everything for the Boys." From Montana came a letter from a mother, saying "Won't you put my son and your namesake, Ronald Colman Dunn, on your program?" But it's the Army that chooses the overseas fighters who talk to Colman.

If this sounds a bit like Command Performance Lite, you're close, but no cigar. Everything For the Boys, while just as ambitious a title, was a far more intimate program, compared to Command Performance. It was also 30 minutes in length, keeping it both fast paced and crisp. We say it was more intimate because it made for a more intimate connection between the 'boys' or 'girls' with whom each program connected.

As indicated in the above newspaper clipping, Everything For the Boys was not above taking suggestions for candidate on-air correspondents, though other contemporaneous accounts indicate that field commanders and supervisory personnel probably had more to do with the selection process.

In addition, the series, in practice and format, breaks down to two subsets of programs--the Ronald Colman-hosted programs and the subsequent Dick Haymes-hosted programs.

The Ronald Colman hosted programs followed a somewhat different formula than the later run of purely variety programs under Dick Haymes. The reference in each introduction of Colman's Everything For The Boys, to 'the Command Theatre of The Air' gives something of an impression of how the respective command organizations viewed the series. The appeal in most prologues were also similar under Ronald Colman's reign. Colman would connect the program to various ongoing appeals--usually continuing bond drives--by tying the arc of each script to topical war-related events.

This was also something of a departure--and showcase--for Arch Oboler known more for his fame as a supernatural thriller writer. Arch Oboler's brilliant, sensitive adaptations and original screenplays for Everything For The Boys seemed remarkably complementary to Ronald Colman's delivery. The first program illustrates the connection. The Petrified Forest (1936) was the classic Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart vehicle that propelled all three great actors to mainstream stardom.

Oboler's more economical, 20-minute treatment has Ronald Colman in Leslie Howard's role and Ginger Rogers in Bette Davis' role. The more severe limitation of 20-minutes owes itself to the program format under Ronald Colman's reign; the first 20 minutes were devoted to a dramatic production, with the remaining 10 minutes devoted to communicating via short-wave with a couple of airmen, seamen, soldiers, marines, or nurses in far-flung outposts of the Allies' international fighting forces.

Consider the challenge of distilling The Petrified Forest, Lost Horizon, Rogue Male, Of Human Bondage, or Blithe Spirit to a 20-minute format, in support of actors of Ronald Colman and his distiguished guests' caliber, and you can appreciate the weekly task before Arch Oboler.

Also note that almost a third of each broadcast was devoted to Ronald Colman and his guest star's interaction with the short-wave communication with troops in the field. These were real-time connections, point-to-point. In many instances the 10-minute interaction between the cast and the selected troops in the field was more entertaining than the actual dramatic presentation for that week. But more importantly, it was real--and genuine. It felt real, it sounded real, and it was clearly spontaneous. And given the vagaries of short-wave communication--even in 1944--represented a daunting challenge in itself. But they pulled it off.

The transition to the Dick Haymes, all-Variety broadcasts were sufficiently different to lend a completely different character and flavor to the last sixty-six Everything For the Boys programs. Indeed it's this subset of Everything For The Boys recordings that have yet to enter broader circulation. It's these sixty-six programs that can be more properly compared to Command Performance or the many other variety programs specifically directed to military audiences--while still retaining the 20/10 minute formula for the most part.

The amazing array of talent that contributed to the entire series was staggering for the era. In addition, the program often went on the road to be nearer to the troops in the field--or on remotes to military hospitals. Throughout the twenty-five dramatic presentations and the remaining variety format productions, it's clear that Hollywood and Broadway were unstinting of their support for 'The Boys'. The more intimate format for the first twenty-five productions under Ronald Colman were also wonderfully reflective of the very sincere and spontaneous interactions of each of Colman's guest stars with their military correspondents in the field. This was Radio at its best for the era.

Indeed it's hard to diminish the all-Variety renditions of Everything For the Boys. Judging by both the talent represented by the contributing comedy and variety artists, as well as the published program announcements from the era's newspaper listings, the variety-format was the equal of anything then being broadcast over the networks. Dick Haymes for his part, was approaching the zenith of his influence, popularity and talent, such that if an 'equal' to Ronald Colman had to be selected from among varieity artists, Dick Haymes was clearly of a similar caliber and reputation.

Series Derivatives:

AFRS Everything For the Boys
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Drama and Variety
Network(s): NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 44-01-18 01 The Petrified Forest
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 44-01-18 to 45-10-09; NBC; Ninety-one, 30-minute programs; Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Syndication: AFRS
Sponsors: The Electric Autolite Company
Director(s): Arch Oboler
Principal Actors: Ronald Colman, Ginger Rogers, Janet Blair, Norman Field, Mercedes McCambridge, Greer Garson, Bob Burns, Hans Conried, Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Martha Scott, Joan Bennett, Lou Merrill, Dennis Day, Bob Bailey, Ida Lupino, Ella Logan, Ingrid Bergman, Luis Van Rooten, Ruth Chatterton, Ella Mae Morse, Olivia De Havilland, Loretta Young, Edna Best, Agnes Moorehead, Maureen O'Sullivan, Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Helen Forrest,  Judy Garland, Virginia O'Brien, Gloria De Haven, Betty Rhodes, Dale Evans, Dorothy Lamour, June Allyson, Georgia Gibbs, Betty Hutton, Ed Gardner, Kay Kyser, Fred Astaire, Martha Raye, Lana Turner, Phil Harris, Betty Grable, Harry James Orchestra, Westminster Choir, Sterling Holloway, Eddie Cantor, Frank Morgan,  George Burns, Gracie Allen, Fanny Brice, Harold Peary, Monty Wooley, Diana Lynn, Lauritz Melchoir, King Cole Trio, Rhythm Swingtette, Joan Leslie
Recurring Character(s): Varied from script to script
Protagonist(s): Varied from script to script
Author(s): Robert Sherwood, James Hilton, Mark Twain, J.L. Balderston, Harry Crown, A.J. Cronin, Arnold Bennett, Eric Knight, Noel Coward, James M. Barrie, Somerset Maugham, Albert Casella
Writer(s) Gene Fowler, Helen Deutsch, Arch Oboler; Harry Cronman [Adapter]
Music Direction: Gordon Jenkins [Composer/Arranger/Conductor]
Meredith Wilson [Composer]
Musical Theme(s): Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra
Announcer(s): Jim Bannon, Frank Martin [Autolite spokesperson]
Ronald Colman [Host]
Dick Haymes [Host]
Bette Davis [Host/Narrator]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
91
Episodes in Circulation: 27
Total Episodes in Collection: 18
Provenances:

Billboard review of Everything for The Boys from February 12 1944
Billboard review of Everything for The Boys from February 12 1944
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

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


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The Everything for The Boys Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
44-01-18
1
The Petrified Forest
Y
44-01-18 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): weekly program featuring dramatizations of hit plays, movies and novels, starring Ronald Colman; Gordon Jenkins, musical conductor; two-way short-wave conversations with fighters overseas. Premier program guest, Ginger Rogers, playing with Colman in Robert Sherwood's Pulitzer prize-winner, "The Petrified Forest," adapted for radio by Arch Oboler.
44-01-25
2
Lady Of the House
N
44-01-25 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman with Irene Dunne in "Lady of the House;" two-way conversations with overseas fighters.
44-02-01
3
Lost Horizon
Y
44-02-01 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Mercedes McCambridge in "Lost Horison." Also Janet Blair in shortwave conversatin with a WAC and soldier stationed in Algiers.
44-02-08
4
Berkeley Square
Y
44-02-08 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman with Greer Garson in "Berkeley Square", two-way, short wave radio conversastion with advance base in South Pacific.
44-02-15
5
A Man To Remember
Y
44-02-15 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Bob Burns in "A Man to Remember," Arch Oboler dramatization of Katherine Taylor's "The Failure."
44-02-22
6
The Women Stayed At Home
Y
44-02-22 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman "The Women Stayed at Home," with Mercedes McCambridge; two-way conversation with soldiers in Port Moresby, New Guinea.
44-02-29
7
Rogue Male
N
44-02-29 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman in "Rogue Male," with Ida Lupino as guest.
44-03-07
8
Of Human Bondage
Y
44-03-07 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Bette Davis in "Of Human Bondage;" two-way conversation with servicemen stationed at an Allied base in Chungking, China.
44-03-14
9
The Ghost Goes West
Y
44-03-14 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Anne Baxter in "The Ghost Goes West; two-way converstion with servicemen in Chung-King.
44-03-21
10
The Girl In the Road
Y
44-03-21 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman with Martha Scott in "Girl of the Road;" two-way short wave conversation with two young Canadians stationed abroad.
44-03-28
11
Ostrich In Bed
Y
44-03-28 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Barbara Stanwyck in "Ostrich in Bed;" two-way conversation with men overseas.
44-04-04
12
This Living Book
Y
44-04-04 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "This Living Book," story of the Bible, with Colman as narrator; Dennis Day will sing Easter greetings to servicemen; two-way conversation with servicemen in Fairbanks, Alaska.
44-04-11
13
The Citadel
Y
44-04-11 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Ida Lupino in "The Citadel;" two-way conversation with soldiers in Cairo.
44-04-18
14
The Jervis Bay Goes Down
Y
44-04-18 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman in dramatic narration of Gene Fowler's poem, "The Jervis Bay Goes Down," telling of the old liner and its death struggle with a Nazi raider; guest, Ella Logan, singer; two-way conversation with servicemen in New Caldeonia.
44-04-25
15
Death Takes A Holiday
Y
44-04-25 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "Death Takes a Holiday," with Ronald Colman and Ingrid Bergman; two-way conversation with coast guardsmen in Naples, Italy.
44-05-02
16
Holy Matrimony
Y
44-05-02 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Ruth Chatterton in "Holy Matrimony;" two-way conversation with servicemen in Central Pacific.
44-05-09
17
This Above All
Y
44-05-09 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Ronald Colman and Olivia De Havilland in "This Above All;" two-way conversation with servicemen in England.
44-05-16
18
Blithe Spirit
Y
44-05-16 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "Blithe Spirit" with Loretta Young, Edna Best, and Mercedes McCambridge.
44-05-23
19
Quality Street
Y
44-05-23 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Maureen O'Sullivan in J.M. Barrie's "Quality Street;" two-way conversation with servicemen in Pacific.
44-05-30
20
The House I Live In
Y
44-05-29 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Tuesday - Guest Dinah Shore in "The House I Live In;" two-way conversation with servicemen overseas.
44-06-06
21
Durante Takes Over
N
44-06-06 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Variety program, "Durante Takes Over," with Jimmy Durante and Jose Iturbi, pianist, guests.
44-06-13
22
Reunion In Vienna
N
44-06-11 Kingsport Times
Claudette Colbert will star with Ronald Colman as the final guest of the season on NBC's "Everything for the Boys," Tuesday in Robert Sherwood's "
Reunion in Vienna," adaptation by Arch Oboler. Dick Haynes, new emcee on the summer show, sings for servicemen on overseas spot.
44-06-20
23
Helen Forest
N
44-06-20 Lima News - When Dick Haymes, six-foot musical meteor, comes to the microphone to emcee his inaugural "Everything for the Boys" musical show of the summer season, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., EWT, his guest of the evening will be lovely songstress Helen Forrest. Haymes and Miss Forrest, answering requests of servicemen both here and overseas, will feature a medley of top hit tunes of the day.
44-06-27
24
Ella Mae Morse
N
44-06-27 Lowell Sun
EVERYTHING FOR THE BOYS, Dick Haymes; Elle Mae Morse, guest; WBZ 7:30.
44-07-04
25
Title Unknown
N
44-07-04 Port Arthur News Everything for the Boys, 10:30, NBC.
44-07-11
26
Judy Garland
N
44-07-08 Evening Gazette - Singing star Judy Garland will visit Dick Haymes on WLW's "Everything for the Boys" Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. for a musical program to be beamed to service men here and abroad.
44-07-18
27
Virginia O'Brien, Ella Morse
N
44-07-15 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, singing m.c.; guest singer, Virginia O'Brien; two-way conversation with GIs in England.
44-07-25
28
Helen Forrest
N
44-07-25 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, with Helen Forrest, Singer, as guest; two-way conversation with fighting men overseas.
44-08-01
29
Gloria De Haven
N
44-08-01 Wisconsin State Journal
Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes with Gloria De Haven as guest, two-way conversation with two coast guardsmen in England.
44-08-08
30
Betty Rhodes
N
44-08-08 Wisconsin State Journal
Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest Betty Rhodes, with Dick Haymes; two-way conversation with men overseas; music, "Louise," "I Got Rhythm," "Old Man River," "This Can't Be Love."
44-08-15
31
Dale Evans
N
44-08-15 Wisconsin State Journal
Everything for the Boys (WIBA): with Dale Evans as guest of host Dick Haymes; trans-oceanic talks with GIs, special request numbers.
44-08-22
32
Dorothy Lamour
N
44-08-22 Wisconsin State Journal
Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dorothy Lamour guest of Dick Haymes.
44-08-29
33
June Allyson
N
44-08-29 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes with June Allyson; two-way short wave conversation with Lieut. Albert Lloyd, Jr., San Diego, Calif., and Corp. Ray Davis, Kenton Oh., from Cairo, Egypt.
44-09-05
34
Georgia Gibbs
N
44-09-05 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Georgia Gibbs.
44-09-12
35
June Allyson
N
44-09-12 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and June Allyson; two-way conversation with servicemen overseas.
44-09-19
36
Bob Burns
N
44-09-19 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): with Dick Haymes; Helen Forrest becomes regular vocalist with cast; guest, Bob Burns, comedian.
44-09-26
37
Betty Hutton
N
44-09-26 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest, with Betty Hutton as guest.
44-10-03
38
Ed "Archie" Gardner
N
44-10-03 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest, vocalists; interviews with men overseas; Ed "Archie" Gardner, gues in two-way conversation with servicemen at an Allied base.
44-10-10
39
Ginger Rogers
N
44-10-10 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, with Ginger Rogers as guest.
44-10-17
40
Dinah Shore
N
44-10-17 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Dinah Shore.
44-10-24
41
Kay Kyser
N
44-10-24 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Kay Kyser, guest; two-way conversation with men overseas.
44-10-31
42
Fred Astaire
N
44-10-31 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, with Fred Astaire as guest.
44-11-07
43
Title Unknown
N
44-11-07 Mason City Globe-Gazette - 10:30 Everything For the Boys. Pre-empted in some markets for Election Preview.
44-11-14
44
Martha Raye
N
44-11-14 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest, with Martha Raye as guest.
44-11-21
45
Jimmy Durante
N
44-11-21 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, singer, with Jimmy Durante as guest.
44-11-28
46
Lana Turner
N
44-11-28 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haynes, singer; Lana Turner, guest; shortwave conversation with servicemen overseas.
44-12-05
47
Phil Harris
N
44-12-05 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes with Phil Harris as guest; Helen Forrest introduces new song, "Every Time."
44-12-12
48
Betty Grable
N
44-12-12 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes with Betty Grable as guest.
44-12-19
49
Harry James Orchestra, Westminster Choir
N
44-12-19 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, Helen Forrest, Harry James orchestra, Westminster choir, and four American servicemen speaking from London.
44-12-26
50
Judy Garland
N
44-12-26 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes with Judy Garland.
45-01-02
51
Title Unknown
N
45-01-02 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 NBC Everything for the Boys
45-01-09
52
Sterling Holloway
N
45-01-09 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest, vocalists, with comedian Sterling Holoway, as guest.
45-01-16
53
Eddie Cantor
N
45-01-16 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, Helen Forrest, vocalists; Eddie Cantor, guest.
45-01-23
54
Frank Morgan
N
45-01-23 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Frank Morgan; music, "Evalina," "More and More," "I’ll See You In My Dreams," "lover, Come Back to Me."
45-01-30
55
Sterling Holloway
N
45-01-30 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, Helen Forrest, vocalists, with Sterling Holloway, comedian; "I Wish I Knew," "Wish You Were Waiting for Me," "Don't Fence Me In."
45-02-06
56
Title Unknown
N
45-02-06 Port Arthur News - Everything for the Boys, 10:30, NBC.

45-02-06 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Amos 'n' Andy, guests; "Indian Giver," "All the Things You Are," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams."
45-02-13
57
Title Unknown
N
45-02-13 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes, singer, with Monty Woolley and Sterling Holloway as guests; music, "It's Only a Paper Moon," "The More I See You," "The Honorable Mr. So and Sol"
45-02-20
58
Ed "Archie" Gardner
N
45-02-20 Chester Times - Maybe "the elite don't repeat" at the Thoid Avenoo pump room presided over by Ed (Duffy's Tavern) Gardner, but that won't keep the spa's bouncing Boniface from dropping round for his second visit to Dick Haymes' "Everything For the Boys" on KYW at 7:30. While Dick and Archie split an infinitive, Helen Forest will sooth the customers with a variety of songs.
45-02-27
59
Burns and Allen
N
45-02-27 Port Arthur News - Dick Haymes' "Everything for the Boys" with Burns and Allen as guestars, 10:30, NBC.
45-03-06
60
Fanny Brice
N
45-03-06 Chester Times - The voice of Fanny Brice's beloved "Baby Snooks" will go on the overseas circuit when Fanny Brice comes calling on Dick Haymes' "Everything For the Boys," at 7:30, over KYW.
45-03-13
61
Betty Hutton
N
45-03-13 Lowell Sun - BETTY HUTTON, guest on "Everything for the Boys;" Helen Forrest, songs; Dick Haymes, mc; WBZ, 7:30.
45-03-20
62
Phil Harris
N
45-03-20 Chester Times - Over KYW, Phil Harris appears as Dick Haymes' guest on "Everything For The Boys".
45-03-27
63
Title Unknown
N
45-03-27 Port Arthur News - Everything for the Boys, 10:30, NBC.

45-03-27 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes with Bob Burns; "Marie," "I Should Care," "I Don't Know Why."
45-04-03
64
Title Unknown
N
45-04-03 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): from Santa Ana Redistribution Center; "Laura," "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral," "Every Time."
45-04-10
65
Harold Peary
N
45-04-10 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Harold Peary (Great Gildersleeve); music, "This Can't Be Love," "Let's Take the Long Way Home," How Deep Is the Ocean," "I Didn't Know About You."
45-04-17
66
Monty Wooley
N
45-04-17 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Monty Wooley.
45-04-24
67
Eddie Cantor
N
45-04-24 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Eddie Cantor; music includes "Jones Junior High," favorite song of GIs in South Pacific, "Sweet and Lovely," "Blue Skies," "He's Home for a Little While."
45-05-01
68
Betty Grable
N
45-05-01 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Betty Grable; music, "Acapulco," "The More I See You," "I Wish I Knew."
45-05-08
69
Title Unknown
N
45-05-08 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): with Dick Haymes, from Hoff General hospital, Santa Barbara, Calif.; music, "It Was Only a Paper Moon," "Laura," "The Night Is Young."
45-05-15
70
Diana Lynn
N
45-05-15 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Diana Lynn, pianist; "Every Time," "Dream," "If I Could Be With You."
45-05-22
71
Lauritz Melchoir
N
45-05-22 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes entertains Lauritz Melchoir, Metropolitan Opera tenor; music, "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Dancing in the Dark," "Stars Fell on Alabama."
45-05-29
72
King Cole Trio
N
45-05-29 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guests, King Cole Trio.
45-06-05
73
Title Unknown
N
45-06-05 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest; "Sentimental Journey," "Candy," "All of My Life," "Sweetheart of All My Dreams."
45-06-12
74
"War Worker Father Of the Year"
N
45-06-12 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): tribute to Father's Day, with "War Worker Father of the Year" as guest; music, "A Friend of Yours," "Boy O'Mine," "Out of Nowhere."
45-06-19
75
Rhythm Swingtette
N
45-06-19 Lowell Sun - EVERYTHING FOR THE BOYS; Dick Haymes, Helen Forrest, Rhythmn Swingtette; WBZ, 7:30.
45-06-26
76
Title Unknown
N
45-06-26 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest; "I Wish I Knew," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "People Will Say We're in Love."
45-07-03
77
Joan Leslie
N
45-07-03 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): guest, Joan Leslie.
45-07-10
78
Title Unknown
N
45-07-10 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Gordon Jenkins and augmented orchestra and chorus continue during absence of Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest; "Good, Good, Good," "Shadrack," "Laura," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows."
45-07-17
79
Title Unknown
N
45-07-17 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "You Said It," "Gotta Be This or That," "Out of This World," "Shadrack."
45-07-24
80
Title Unknown
N
45-07-24 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest return; "Somebody Loves Me," "Over the Rainbow," "Love Letters."
45-07-31
81
Title Unknown
N
45-07-31 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest singing "I Don't Care Who Knows It" and "Till the End of Time."
45-08-07
82
Title Unknown
N
45-08-07 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): featuring showtwave interview with B-29 crewmen in Guam; Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest sing "I'm Gonna Love That Girl, " "Out of This World," "You Belong to My Heart," "Let the Rest of the World Go By," "Honey."
45-08-14
83
Title Unknown
N
45-08-14 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Gordon Jenkins and orchestra return; "My Heart Stood Still," "Every Time," "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano," "Temptation."
45-08-21
84
Title Unknown
N
45-08-21 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): 6:30 NBC Everything for the Boys.
45-08-28
85
Title Unknown
N
45-08-28 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "Tick Tally Roo," "That Old Black Magic," "Temptation," "Dream."
45-09-04
86
Title Unknown
N
45-09-04 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," "Chinatown," "Running Wild," "Bye Bye, Blackbird."
45-09-11
87
Title Unknown
N
45-09-11 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest return, singing "I'll Buy That Dream," other music, "I'm Gonna Love That Gal," "Baja," "Till the End of Time."
45-09-18
88
Title Unknown
N
45-09-18 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," "Baja," "Honey," overseas interviews with servicemen.
45-09-25
89
Title Unknown
N
45-09-25 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "Swanee," "Two Sleepy People," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "What's the Use of Wondering."
45-10-02
90
Title Unknown
N
45-10-02 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "There's No You," "Stranger in Town," "Isn't It Kind of Fun," "Paper Moon."
45-10-09
91
Title Unknown
N
45-10-09 Wisconsin State Journal - Everything for the Boys (WIBA): "That's for Me," "One Sunday Morning," "Tampico," "White Christmas"; Dick Haymes talks on Tokyo-Berlin-Hollywood hookup.






The Everything for The Boys Radio Program Biographies




Ronald Charles Colman
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1891-1958)

Birthplace: Richmond, Surrey, England, U.K.

Education: London University

Military Service: Served with London Scottish during World War I; decorated Mons Medal

Radiography:
1939 The Circle
1939 Lux Radio Theatre
1939 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1940 Good News
1940 Arch Oboler's Plays
1940 Canadian Red Cross Emergency Appeal
1941 America Calling
1942 Towards the Century Of the Common Man
1942 Over Here
1942 Radio Reader's Digest
1942 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1943 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1943 Command Performance
1943 Cavalcade For Victory
1944 Everything For the Boys
1944 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 D-Day
1945 A Tribute To...
1945 Suspense
1945 The Doctor Fights
1945 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Request Performance
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1945 The Lucky Strike Program
1946 Academy Award
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 Favorite Story
1946 Theatre Guild On the Air
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 Sealtest Variety Theater
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1950 The Halls Of Ivy
1950 Document A/777
1950 The Miracle Of America
1950 Screen Guild Theatre
1950 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood
1951 A Salute To...
1954 Anthology
1972 Same Time, Same Station
A Program Of Canada
Ronald Colman circa 1917
Ronald Colman circa 1917

Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky circa 1928
Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky circa 1928

Ronald Colman fan card circa 1932
Ronald Colman fan card circa 1932

Ronald Colman in The Masquerader (1933)
Ronald Colman in The Masquerader (1933)

Ronald Colman in Clive of India circa 1935
Ronald Colman in Clive of India circa 1935

Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt in Frank Capra's Lost Horizon (1937. Poster illustration by James Montgomery Flagg of 'Uncle Sam' illustration fame
Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt in Frank Capra's Lost Horizon (1937. Poster illustration by James Montgomery Flagg of 'Uncle Sam' illustration fame.

Ronald Colman in If I Were King (1938)
Ronald Colman in If I Were King (1938)

Colman's split-personalities in A Double Life (1947)
Colman's split-personalities in A Double Life (1947)

Ronald Colman in Champagne for Caesar with Celeste Holm and Vincent Price (1950)
Ronald Colman in Champagne for Caesar with Celeste Holm and Vincent Price (1950)

Ronald Colman and Benita Hume publicity photo for Television's The Halls of Ivy (1954)
Ronald Colman and Benita Hume publicity photo for Television's The Halls of Ivy (1954)

Ronald Colman's last film appearance headlining The Story of Mankind (1957) as The Spirit of Man
Ronald Colman's last film appearance headlining The Story of Mankind (1957) as The Spirit of Man

Vincent Price and Ronald Colman reunite in 1957's The Story of Mankind
Vincent Price and Ronald Colman reunite in 1957's The Story of Mankind

The Colmans --  Ronald and Benita Hume -- roughing it with Jimmy Weldon circa 1957
The Colmans -- Ronald and Benita Hume -- roughing it with Jimmy Weldon circa 1957

Ronald Colman in Life Magazine circa 1957
Ronald Colman in Life Magazine circa 1957

Ronald Colman in Life Magazine spread circa 1957
Ronald Colman in Life Magazine spread circa 1957
Ambitious young Ronald Charles Colman was serving as an office boy in 1908 with the British Steamship Company while performing with the Bancroft Amateur Dramatic Society. In 1916 he debuted on the London Stage. In 1919 he enjoyed his Film debut in The Toilers.

And in 1920 he emigrated to America, soon after appearing in various stage roles, including a small part with George Arliss in The Green Goddess. He was chosen by Lillian Gish as leading man in the films The White Sister (1923) and Romola (1924).

In 1924 he was invited to Hollywood by Samuel Goldwyn. By the early 1930s, Colman's star status is virtually assured when Samuel Goldwyn permits Colman the luxury of appearing in only one film per year. Jealously protective of his own image and reputation, Colman felt compelled to sue the Goldwyn Studios in 1933 over false rumors of Colman drinking on set during the making of The Masquerader.

The 1940s marked the beginning of Colman's work on Radio, including numerous repeating guest spots with wife Benita Hume on Jack Benny's program, several drama anthologies, numerous patriotic appeals both in America and abroad, several retrospectives of his own Film triumphs and innumerable appearances as himself, or as a couple with his wife, Benita Hume.

Colman also had several of his own Radio programs, among them, Everything For The Boys (1944) for Autolite and The Halls of Ivy (1950-52) with his wife Benita Hume. The Radio version of The Halls of Ivy was a Peabody Award winner. The Halls of Ivy was also chosen the Best New Radio Show for 1950. The Colmans spun the Radio version into a Television series that ran for two years from 1954 to 1955 and also garnered honors as Best New Television Show for 1954 .

According to director George Cukor, "Colman knew more about acting for the camera than any actor" he'd ever worked with. For Colman fans, this does not come as a revelation. From Ronald Colman's earliest film triumphs you can see that it's not the camera that loves him. It's Colman's native, effortless ability to place himself in the optimal position before the camera that delivers his characterizations most effectively.

For three generations of Film fans, Colman's suave, debonair sophistication served as a pattern of behaviour, carriage and dress they could quite comfortably and confidently emulate to great effect--and the women of America couldn't have been more grateful.

Throughout Colman's entire life, his quiet, soft-spoken delivery set an entire new standard for the roles in which he was cast. As counter-intuitive as it seems, that very soft - spokenness made Colman's patented delivery all the more effective. Why? Look at the lessons of early Radio. Both before and after the circuitry innovations that dramatically cleared the airwaves of the pops and spits and rasps that had made radio listening such a challenge, the art of listening to Radio became an acquired skill.

And yet once that skill was acquired, the art of listening to anything -- Radio included -- became a valuable skill indeed. Colman's secret was understanding the natural tendency to listen even more intently to quieter or more subtle aural passages to grasp their full nuance or meaning. That's precisely the technique that Ronald Colman employed to make his own softer-spoken deliveries even more subtle and effective to the observer or listener alike. Some might say there's a lesson there to be learned as it might apply in the business world as well.

It wasn't simply Colman's beautifully modulated voice, either. As Cukor pointed out, Colman could accomplish a great deal more by forcing the viewer to follow Colman's most subtle movements, just as he forced them to follow and listen to his voice. Colman wasn't limited to specific roles by any means. He played swashbucklers and rogues and lovers and heroes and thinkers and 'everymen' with equal effectiveness. Even when cast in a role which requires the viewer to suspend disbelief even more than usual, it was never that much of a stretch. Everyone was pulling for Ronald Colman. Everyone was willing for Ronald Colman to be anyone he chose to be in Film.

That's far more than sympathy or empathy. Colman's singular gift was his almost effortless ability to convince his severest critics that he could be and would ultimately become anything or anyone he was set to portray.

Ronald Colman had no problem transitioning to talkies. Indeed, Colman's first sound film, Bulldog Drummond (1929), garnered him an Academy Award nomination. Watching Colman as Drummond begs the question of why he didn't go on to an entire series of Bulldog Drummond adventures. He was a natural in the role. But then he was also a natural in Raffles (1930).

Bulldog Drummond was instructive on several levels. The Bulldog Drummond characterization is predictably madcap and frenetic, yet Colman adapted well to it. Colman's athleticism in the role seems quite natural and more reminiscent of Douglas Fairbanks, the senior. The snappy dialogue is delivered just as crisply and effectively as any actor of the genre, including George Sanders, Warren William, William Powell, or Basil Rathbone. In short, one wonders if a Colman-acted Bulldog Drummond franchise might not have been the early equal of Sean Connery's triumph as James Bond.

Be that as it may, Colman chose what were the best roles for his career quite wisely indeed. Had he reeled off a series of Bulldog Drummonds we might have been robbed of his marvelous performances in Raffles (1930), Arrowsmith (1931), Clive of India (1935), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), a reprise of Bulldog Drummond in Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1934), Lost Horizon (1937), or The Prisoner of Zenda (1937).

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Colman's sympathetic--and romantic--appeal continued to arc. Random Harvest (1942) in particular, was one of the World War II era's most popular films. Colman's appearance with Greer Garson was pure magic.

A Double Life (1947), the film for which Colman received an Academy Award, is an intriguing commentary on Colman, the movie actor par excellence, who in this film plays a legitimate stage actor who becomes so immersed in the role of Othello that he is driven to murder. Colman, as the dashing romantic lead, is measured against one of the great tragic roles in the Shakespeare tradition. Colman taking a run at Shakespeare is tested twice in the film: on opening night, when his style is conventional (e.g., theatrical), and near the end, when Colman replays the scene in rhythms and tones that are far more cinematic--Colman's forte.

The film's underlying conceit is the suggestion that Colman and other actors like him depend on their charm, wit, grace, but that they labor, sometimes even to their own detriment to be good actors. The film not only underscores Colman's star image, but provides a chance for us to see an actor at the very height of his craft; Colman's meticulous preparation and execution is apparent in even his smallest scenes. Early in the script, as Anthony John recalls how he had already come a long way with his ambition, Colman perfectly caricatures the juvenile in tennis shorts 'he' used to be, then performs a remembered scene with 'his father,' then comes back to himself as he remembers having to teach himself how to talk, how to move, and how to think. Pure Colman. Pure Genius.

In the 1950s, Colman turned in a marvelously sympathetic portrayal of a television quiz show sensation in Champagne for Caesar. Ronald Colman's swan song in Film was--so very appropriately--as 'The Spirit of Man' in 1957's The Story of Mankind.

From the Santa Barbara Daily Review, April 19, 1958:

Actor Ronald Colman
Dies of Pneumonia

SANTA BARBARA (INS)--Academy Award winner Ronald Colman, 67, debonair leading man of scores of the screen's most famous films, died today of pneumonia.
Colman, who was one of movies' top stars for three decades, succumbed at 5 a.m. at St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara, 100 miles north of Hollywood on the California coast.
His actress-wife, the former Benita Hume, was at his bedside when death came to end a career highlighted by such well-loved pictures as "Lost Horizon," "A Double Life" and "Under Two Flags."

A friend of the family, Robert Sinclair, said the British-born actor suffered from fibrosis of the lungs, which turned into pneumonia.
Sinclair said Colman had experienced trouble wtih a "low grade infection" for many years. It actually began while he was serving with the British Expeditionary forces in France in World War I.
A Hollywood associate said that after the Colmans' "Halls of Ivy" television program went off the air, the actor, his wife and their daughter, Juliet, went to Europe, where his lung condition became worse.

The Colmans had been planning a trip to the south of France next August.

Comedian Jack Benny, with whom Colman frequently appeared on radio and television, said when informed of the actor's death:
"I am deeply saddened at the news. He was a great actor, a great gentleman and a great friend."
His most recent film was "The Story of Mankind." Before that, he and his wife starred for several years in the "Halls of Ivy" radio and television serials.

Sinclair said Colman became ill Saturday night and was taken to St. Francis Hospital yesterday. He apparently made a full recovery, but he died this morning.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at the All Saints By the Sea Episcopal Church in Santa barbara, followed by cremation.
Colman was born at Richmond, Surrey, England, on Feb. 9, 1891, and began his acting career on the London stage in 1916. He came to America four years later to tour with stage comopanies and appear in New York in "La Tendresse" and "The Nightcap."

His "Halls of Ivy" radio show won the George Foster Peabody award and other accolades, and he was voted the film personality who had proven most effective in radio in Motion Picture Daily's 1951 poll.

Ronald Colman lived with episodic lung pain most of his adult life. It never affected his performances. Stiff-upper-lip Brit that he was at heart, he simply soldiered on for an entire career after being afflicted with lung damage while in the service of his country during World War I. The infamous mustard gas attacks of World War I killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides of World War I.

A few--the strongest in both will and character--managed to outlive their disease's inevitable--and terminal--prognosis. We're blessed that Ronald Colman was one of them.




Arch Oboler
(Writer, Director,Writer)

Stage, Screen, Radio and Television Writer, Director, Producer; Playwright; Mineralogist
(1907-1987)

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

Radiography:
1937 Lights Out
1937 The Chase and Sanborn Hour
1938 The Royal Desserts Hour
1938 Good News
1938 The Rudy Vallee Hour
1938 Texaco Star Theatre
1938 Columbia Workshop
1939 Curtain Time
1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
1940 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1940 Everyman's Theatre
1941 The Treasury Hour
1942 Cavalcade Of America
1942 Hollywood March Of Dimes Of the Air
1942 Plays For Americans
1942 Keep 'Em Rolling
1942 To the President
1943 Cavalcade For Victory
1944 Everything For the Boys
1944 The First Nighter Program
1944 The Adventures Of Mark Twain
1944 Four For the Fifth
1945 Weird Circle
1945 Chicago, Germany
1945 Wonderful World
1945 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 The Victory Chest Program
1946 The AFRA Refresher Course Workshop Of the Air
1953 Think
1956 Biography In Sound
1970 The Devil and Mr O
1972 Same Time, Same Station
1979 Sears Radio Theatre
Drop Dead!
Arch Oboler Drama
AFRTS Playhouse 25
The Joe Pyne Show
Treasury Star Parade
Hollywood Calling
I Have No Prayer
Yarns For Yanks
Arch Oboler goes over The Hollywood March Of Dimes Of The Air script with emcee Tommy Cook at the NBC mike (1942)
Arch Oboler goes over The Hollywood March Of Dimes Of The Air script with emcee Tommy Cook at the NBC mike (1942)

Arch Oboler with Raymond Edward Johnson rehearsing at the MBS Mike
Arch Oboler with Raymond Edward Johnson rehearsing at the MBS Mike

Arch Oboler goes over a script with one of his actors circa 1941
Arch Oboler goes over a script with one of his actors circa 1941

Arch Oboler gives direction to one of his actors circa 1941
Arch Oboler gives direction to one of his actors circa 1941

Arch Oboler with Norma Shearer conferring on Escape (1940)
Arch Oboler with Norma Shearer conferring on Everyman's Theater (1940)

Oboler's post-Apocalyptic film Five (1951)
Oboler's post-Apocalyptic film Five (1951)

Arch Oboler on the set of Five circa 1951
Arch Oboler on the set of Five circa 1951

Perky piece punctuates penta-psychodrama proposing pitiful post-pandemic panic.
Perky piece punctuates penta-psychodrama proposing pitiful post-pandemic panic.

Oboler's F.L.Wright-designed beachhouse was used as the final location for his movie Five (1951)
Oboler's F.L.Wright-designed beachhouse was used as the final location for his movie Five (1951)

The gatehouse of Oboler's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Malibu Canyon
The gatehouse of Oboler's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, 'Eaglefeather,' in Malibu Canyon.

Arch Oboler's Twonky (1953)
Arch Oboler's Twonky (1953)

Oboler's Bwana Devil boasted its claim as the first feature length 3-D film
Oboler's Bwana Devil (1952) boasted its claim as the first feature length 3-D film

As late as 1962, Arch Oboler and Capitol Records teamed to create a fascinating compilation of Oboler's scarier productions.
As late as 1962, Arch Oboler and Capitol Records teamed to create a fascinating compilation of Oboler's scarier productions.
5'1" tall Arch Oboler, pound for pound, inch for inch one of Radio history's scariest writers/directors--ever--was born in 1909, in Chicago. He was also, by most accounts, one of Radio's most sensitive, introspective writers, and a giant by virtually any conventional measure of the industry.

ARCH OBOLER, WROTE THRILLERS FOR RADIO IN 1930'S AND 40'S

By WILLIAM G. BLAIR
Published: Sunday, March 22, 1987

Arch Oboler, who enthralled listeners with his tales of suspense and horror in the golden age of radio in the 1930's and 40's, died Thursday of heart failure at the Westlake Community Hospital in Westlake, Calif. He was 79 years old and lived in Malibu.

Although Mr. Oboler was perhaps best known as the writer of a series of nighttime radio dramas that were broadcast under the name ''Lights Out,'' he also wrote for screen and stage.

The ''Lights Out'' programs, delightfully chilling fare to many now over the age of 50, began with these words:

''These stories are definitely not for the timid soul. So we tell you calmly and very sincerely, if you frighten easily, turn off your radio now. Lights out, everybody!'' 'I Wrote About Human Beings'

The rights to rebroadcast and distribute many of the ''Lights Out'' thrillers were acquired from Mr. Oboler late last year by Metacom, a Minneapolis-based concern that specializes in the distribution of old radio shows.

In an interview with The New York Times in October, Mr. Oboler said he had turned down offers to sell his radio stories to television in the 1950's because ''basically, I think TV talks too much and shows too much.''

Mr. Oboler said he believed his thrillers had not lost their ability to terrify because ''I wrote about human beings, not special effects.''

''What we fear most is the monster within - the girl who lets you down, the husband who is unfaithful,'' he said. ''The greatest horrors are within ourselves.''

In movies, he first made a name for himself as the writer of the 1940 screen version of ''Escape,'' the anti-Nazi best-selling novel by Ethel Vance, that starred Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor.

Three-Dimensional Movie

More than a decade later, he wrote, directed and produced the first three-dimensional movie, ''Bwana Devil,'' which had moviegoers in special eyeglasses ducking when African spears and lions appeared to be flying off the screen directly at them.

In the mid-1950's, Mr. Oboler turned to Broadway. He wrote ''Night of the Auk,'' a science-fiction drama set aboard a spaceship. The show, produced by Kermit Bloomgarden and directed by Sidney Lumet, ran for eight performances and was briefly revived in 1963.

From the 1960's on, as head of Oboler Productions, he continued to write for radio, movies and the theater. In 1969, he wrote a book called ''House on Fire'' that a reviewer for The Times described as ''pretty much what Mr. Oboler used to terrify America with.''

He is survived by his wife, the former Eleanor Helfand, and a son, Dr. Steven Oboler of Denver. A private funeral is planned.

Between 1936 and 1944, Arch Oboler either conceived or participated in an ambitious undertaking of both brief and long-running dramatic series':

  • 1936 Lights Out!
  • 1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
  • 1940 Everyman's Theater
  • 1942 Plays for Americans
  • 1942 This Is Our America
  • 1942 To The President
  • 1943 Free World Theatre
  • 1944 Four for The Fifth (with William N. Robson)
  • Drop Dead!: An Exercise In Horror (1962 Capitol Records LP)
  • The Devil and Mr. O (a 1970s revival series)

Arch Oboler's Plays was Oboler's breakout dramatic showcase over Radio. Everyman's Theater further established Oboler's versatility and range, while underscoring Oboler's growing appeal to a far wider audience than he'd already established with Lights Out!. Though eight years his senior, the diminutive Oboler, while never as widely popular as Orson Welles, invites comparison to the other great young playwright-actor-director. Their skills were clearly each other's equal, their versatility had already been amply demonstrated by 1940, and their genius was indisputable. It's also clear that both Wyllis Cooper and Norman Corwin served to influence and inform Oboler's growing, wider appeal.

The reach and effect of Arch Oboler's writing style, subject matter, and point of view remain significant influences to this day. Indeed a world of imitators, 'hat tippers', homages, and unabashed worshippers of his style have sprung up every year since the mid-1950s. And for good reason. Devising new ways to scare the be-jee-zuzz out of people has become something of a cottage industry at various times during the past 60 years.

Thillers sell when the public is in the mood for them. And when the public is in the mood for them, they tend to be insatiable for them.

Wyllis Cooper and Arch Oboler were arguably the two of the most significant influences in supernatural thrillers over Radio, of the 20th Century. Virtually every modern fiction writer of the past seventy years cites both Cooper and Oboler as influences.

Arch Oboler's fortunes waned with the waning of The Golden Age of Radio. His solo Film projects were, while revolutionary in many respects, not nearly up to the standards of his Radio work. His Five (1951) was a rather overly contrived, over-ripe, and self-important opus about a post-apocalyptic world and its five widely differing survivors. Filmed around his property and home in Malibu Canyon, it's become more of a cult flick than a representative Atomic Age sci-fi drama.

Bwana Devil (1952) was the first feature-length film to be produced in 3-D, yet another of Oboler's signature--albeit eccentric--innovations. Historic for only its innovative technology, the film, while popular as a novelty, was a stinker in every critically measurable way.

His Twonky (1953), starring pal, Hans Conreid, was a fascinating concept, somewhat frivolously executed. It featured a television set with a mind of its own, purportedly receiving direction from an alien force in geoconcentric orbit around Earth. This was highly reminiscent of the CBS Radio Workshop program, The Enormous Radio (1956), wherein a similar problem surfaces with a Radio set.

Oboler later released the Capitol LP, Drop Dead!: An Exercise In Horror (1962), reprised many of his Arch Oboler's Plays with the 1971 revival series The Devil and Mr. O, and in 1969, employed his 3-D production skills in another first, Stewardesses, a soft-core porn feature he wrote and directed for 3-D, under the pseudonym, 'Alf Silliman.'

Arch Oboler spent much of the remainder of his life attending to the various elements of his Oboler Productions company and the various writing, Film, Radio and Television projects Oboler managed through it.


From the January 29th 1979 edition of the Santa Ana Register:

Oboler Ponders
Past, Future

NOSTALGIA
RADIO

By GARY LYCAN

     Arch Oboler is one of a kind.  He tends to keep a low profile, but he stands out in a crowd.  Small in stature, but high on talent, he was honored last Friday by Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters for his contributions to the industry.
     Oboler turned out hours of superb radio anthologies, most notably the spine-tingling Lights Out series.  His sister Dr. Minnie Pearlstein is fond of saying the only thing Oboler didn't write was his own birth certificate.  At age six he was writing for the youth page in a big Chicago daily paper.  Until they met one day, the editor thought he was at least 17 and was going to offer his a job.
     But Oboler kept writing, and found his niche in radio.  He was a familiar figure in the studio control booth--a floppy hat, polo shirt and unpressed pants.  But while his clothes resembled hand-me-downs, his plays didn't.  They were classics and extended from Lights Out to Everyman's Theatre.  That was years ago, and at 69 today he may have hung up the hat and opted for a jumpsuit, but he is still writing and will be one of the talents contributing to CBS' Sears Radio Theatre debuting on Feb. 5.
     Joining in the salute to Oboler were players from his stock company — announcer Frank Martin, composer Gordon Jenkins, actors Hans Conreid, Byron Kane, Vic Perrin, Howard Duff, Elliott Lewis, Virginia Grey, Lurene Tuttle, archivist Martin Halperin, broadcaster Frank Bresee and 71-year-old Dr. Pearlstein, who helped raise Oboler as a boy.
     "My sister specialized in social diseases," Oboler told PPB.  "At her very first lecture on the subject at the University of-Illinois, she got up and said 'Gentlemen' I realize you are not accustomed to being lectured to by a woman, but the dean of the department has asked me particularly to give all of you in the next hour syphilis.' "
     Actor Kane got in a zinger of his own, recalling the time he was supposed to say "chemical reaction" in the script and for the East Coast live feed it came out "chemical erection."
     Writer-director Oboler disappeared from view in the control booth, Kane recalled.  Oboler spoke eloquently about the past. "So many memories come to mind.  Charles Laughton doing 'The Flying Yorkshireman" and at the last moment before we were on the air, he told me he couldn't possibly play the role, he didn't feel it, and would I get him a harness and hoist him up in the air."
     He recalled the time he visited Marlene Dietrich to talk about her doing one of his plays.  "I knocked on the door and that voice said 'come in.'  In a little while out came the lady in a diaphanous negligee.  I, from the canyons of Chicago, had never seen anything like it in a Sears and Roebuck catalogue.
     "She sat down and I began talking to her about the play, very earnestly.  Suddenly I felt her Dolly Partons pushing against me.  I thought it was accidental.  It continued, and I moved down the couch.  I was terribly young.  The rehearsal suddenly came to an abrupt end and she went out of the room.
     "So many, memories, and so many-regrets," sighed Oboler.
     One of Oboler's first fantasies was called' 'Futuristic" (1934), and it's apparent he is still a visionary today.  "I try to write not about immediacy but about human beings.  I like to think of the future.  The scientists tell us we have ahead of us 4 billion years.  Our total civilization, recorded and unrecorded, is a bit over 10,000 years.  Think of that.  Four billion years.
     "We can make of this world a heaven on earth.  Why should we think of ourselves as the ultimate species.  What conceit it would be to think of mankind being as it is four billion years from now.  And if we aren't the ultimate species, well, the entomologists tell us the butterflies will take over, beautiful winged creatures, at war only with the wind."
     That is Arch Oboler.  Writer, producer, director.  And prophet.





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