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The Grantland Rice Story head art

The Grantland Rice Story Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> The Grantland Rice Story

Cities Service Grantland Rice Football Guide from 1934
Cities Service Grantland Rice Football Guide from 1934

Cities Service Grantland Rice Football Guide from 1936
Cities Service Grantland Rice Football Guide from 1936

Grantland Rice's 1945 autobiography The Tumult and The Shouting
Grantland Rice's 1945 autobiography The Tumult and The Shouting

Cities Service Grantland Rice Football Guide from 1939
Cities Service Grantland Rice Football Guide from 1939

NBC preserved The Grantland Rice Story to transcription under their RCA Thesaurus recording division
NBC preserved The Grantland Rice Story to transcription under their RCA Thesaurus recording division

April 30 1955 Billboard Magazine article announcing the release of The Grantland Rice Story
April 30 1955 Billboard Magazine article announcing the release of The Grantland Rice Story

Background

Grantland Rice was one of America's greatest and most widely read columnists of the first half of the 20th Century. Alongside Ring Lardner, Damon Runyon and Paul Gallico, 'Granny' Rice was one of a handful of influential sportswriters who translated the sporting events of the 1st half of the 20th Century to millions of America's sports fans and non-sports fans alike. Going beyond the print media, Rice began broadcasting over Radio with the 1930s Coca-Cola Top Notchers. Over the course of the next twenty-five years Grantland Rice appeared in over 2000 Radio programs, mostly sports interview programs.

Between 1921 and 1948 Rice also produced a series of over 200 sports shorts for film. Rice, already one of America's foremost sportswriters was famous for coining the name, The Four Horsemen, in referring to Notre Dame's famous 1924 backfield of Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. Rice also wrote a great deal of verse, mostly centered around sports, but expanding to all manner of topics. Rice was also famous for the oft cited credo, it's "not that you won or lost, but how you played the game." Another timeless example was his observation that, "A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion."

During his over 50 yrs as a sportswriter and social commentator, Grantland Rice interviewed virtually every significant sports figure of the era. He wrote of Bobby Jones, the golfer, that he was unquestionably the finest golfer to ever play the game, writing "There is no more chance that golf will give the world another Jones than there is that literature will produce another Shakespeare." Tiger Woods, notwithstanding, that observation has held up remarkably well over the subsequent 80 years.

Grantland Rice's poetry was an even more enduring legacy of his remarkable career. Rice's 'Game Called' was adapted from prose he'd originally penned in 1910, but in 1948, he updated the passage to honor Babe Ruth's passing"

"Game Called by darkness — let the curtain fall.
No more remembered thunder sweeps the field.
No more the ancient echoes hear the call
To one who wore so well both sword and shield:
The Big Guy’s left us with the night to face
And there is no one who can take his place.

Game Called — and silence settles on the plain.
Where is the crash of ash against the sphere?
Where is the mighty music, the refrain
That once brought joy to every waiting ear?
The Big Guy’s left us lonely in the dark
Forever waiting for the flaming spark.

Game Called — what more is there for us to say?
How dull and drab the field looks to the eye
For one who ruled it in a golden day
Has waved his cap to bid us all good-bye.
The Big Guy’s gone — by land or sea or foam
May the Great Umpire call him “safe at home.”

Rice's poetry, sports guides, films, and radio programs kept Grantland Rice in the forefront of sports journalists the world over. In 1945, Rice published his autobiography, The Tumult and The Shouting, to tremendous reviews and public acceptance.

RCA Releases The Grantland Rice Story on Transcription

The passing of Grantland Rice in July 1954 marked the end of an era for many. Radio and Television had come into their own, most major sporting events were being broadcast live and the great sportwriters of the era had all but vanished. RCA Thesaurus obtained permission to serialize Rice's popular The Tumult and The Shouting via their transcription subscription service. Titled, The Grantland Rice Story, the 15-minute series comprised fifty-two sequential installments. First airing regionally as early as August 1955, the entire run soon appeared across the nation on various stations at varying times. Some aired it every weekday, some three days a week, some weekly.

The program's 15-minute installments closely followed the text of Rice's book. Jimmy Powers, himself a noted sportswriter and announcer of 30 years narrated, read and commented on Grantland Rice's story in the first person, as Rice had intended. Not quite the equivalent of today's audio-books, the material from The Tumult and The Shouting was augmented by contemporary asides and updates from Jimmy Powers.

The series literally begins at chapter one of Rice's book and moves through the entire autobiography. Powers intersperses the selections from the book with other timely updates and observations about Rice not contained in the book. The additional material helps expand the legend of Rice himself, places his work in context with the era, and provides insights not previoously available when the book was written some 11 years earlier.

The entire syndicated series apparently aired in several overlapping markets. Tracking the broadcasts was particularly difficult given the 15 minute format. As best as we can establish, there was at least one contiguous run of the entire 52-installment series airing between September 1955 and September 1956. The series also aired in many markets at the 15-minute mark, often 'buried' behind an on-the-hour broadcast of another program.

The series provides the most comprehensive insight into the career and experiences of one of the most important sportswriters in American history, during an era when the pen and typewriter was still as important to news media as the paper upon which it was printed.

Series Derivatives:

The AFRTS 'The Grantland Rice Story'; The Tumult and The Shouting; Favorite Sports Stories Of Grantland Rice
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Sports Retrospectives
Network(s): The AFRTS, and several other local affiliates and networks while in syndication.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 55-09-17 01 Beginning At the Beginning
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 55-09-17 to 56-09-08; Fifty-two, 15-Minute programs;
Syndication: RCA Thesaurus; The AFRTS
Sponsors: Lindsey Oil Company; Outdoor Sports Shop
Director(s):
Principal Actors: Jimmy Powers
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): Grantland Rice
Author(s): Grantland Rice
Writer(s) Grantland Rice
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): The Grantland Rice Theme
Announcer(s): Jimmy Powers
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
52
Episodes in Circulation: 48
Total Episodes in Collection: 50
Provenances:

Newspaper listings and the randesoteric website.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the newspaper listings and the randesoteric website.

As indicated above, this series was 'filler' for many of the stations and markets in which it was broadcast. The dates below [in red] indicate a theoretical run only. While we were able to find a patchwork quilt of listings supporting those dates, no firm titles, program order, or synopsis accompanied those listings. As is often the case in an independently syndicated, transcribed series, the syndicated transcriptions were distributed in shotgun fashion across the U.S. and Canada.


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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

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







The Grantland Rice Story Program Log

Date Trans. # Title Avail. Notes
55-09-17
1
Beginning At the Beginning
Y
55-08-16 Oakland Tribune
7:15 P.M. KLX--JIMMY POWERS: Highlights from Grantland Rice's book "Tumult and the Shouting."

55-08-14 Oakland Tribune
Monday KLS--7:15, Jimmy Powers; Sports fans, if you haven't tuned in on Jimmy Powers at 7:15 p.m. over KLX-radio Monday through Friday you have really missed something--By Gordon Kotecki.
55-09-24
2
The Big Fellow, Babe Ruth
Y
55-08-17 Oakland Tribune
7:15 P.M. KLX - Jimmy Powers.
55-10-01
3
"Big Red"--Man O' War
Y
55-08-18 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - News; Dinner Music
55-10-08
4
Jack Dempsey, the Man From Maumee Bay
Y
55-08-19 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - Dinner Music; Jimmy Powers.
55-10-15
5
The Dempsey-Tunny Fights
Y
55-08-22 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - News; Dinner Music
55-10-22
6
Great Athletes--Past and Present
Y
55-08-23 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - News; Dinner Music
55-10-29
7
The Story Of Big Bill Tilden
Y
55-08-24 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - Henry J. Taylor; Jimmy Powers.
55-11-05
8
Golf and Its Champions
Y
55-08-25 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - News; Dinner Music
55-11-12
9
The Incredible Man, Walter Hagen
Y
55-08-26 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - Dinner Music; Jimmy Powers
55-11-19
10
Granny's All-Time Pitching Selection
Y
55-08-29 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - News; Dinner Music
55-11-26
11
The Story Of Jack Dempsey's Early Ring Career
Y
55-08-30 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - News; Dinner Music
55-12-03
12
Granny's Story Of Gene Tunney
Y
55-08-31 Oakland Tribune
7:00 P.M. KLX - Henry J. Taylor; Jimmy Powers.
55-12-10
13
War Clouds--World War I
Y
55-12-17
14
Bobby Jones--The Incomparable Youth
Y
55-12-24
15
Football's Beloved Knute Rockne
Y
55-12-31
16
The Immortal Bobby Jones
Y
56-01-07
17
Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Y
56-01-14
18
Granny's All-Time Baseball Team
Y
56-01-21
19
Baseball Managers
Y
56-01-28
20
Granny's All-Time Football Team
Y
56-02-04
21
Magnificent Screwballs
Y
56-02-11
22
The Fabulous Ty Cobb
Y
56-02-18
23
Football's Famous Coaches
Y
56-02-25
24
Football's Advance Guard
Y
56-03-03
25
Uncle Remus and Some Others
Y
56-03-10
26
My Friend, Joe Lewis
Y
56-03-17
27
Sport Films
Y
56-03-24
28
Sports Writers
Y
56-03-31
29
Bantam Ben Hogan
Y
56-04-07
30
Through the Mists
Y
56-04-14
31
Polo's Greatest
Y
56-04-21
32
Jim Thorpe
Y
56-04-28
33
TV and Sport
Y
56-05-05
34
Knute Rockne
Y
56-05-12
35
Granny's Own Voice
Y
56-05-19
36
An Appraisal Of This Game "Football"
Y
56-05-26
37
Turkey Hunting
Y
56-06-02
38
The Man Who Hates To Lose
Y
56-06-09
39
Gene Tunney - 2nd Installment
Y
56-06-16
40
"Red" Blaik Of Army
Y
56-06-23
41
The Mighty Mites
Y
56-06-30
42
Writers and Pals
Y
56-07-07
43
Ed Furgol's Greatest Victory
Y
56-07-14
44
Irwin S. Cobb--A Man Of Heart
Y
56-07-21
45
The Sports Public and Ted Williams
Y
56-07-28
46
Ruth's Homer
Y
56-08-04
47
The Big Game
Y
56-08-11
48
What Makes A Competitor?
Y
56-08-18
49
Famous Football Coaches
Y
56-08-25
50
The Uncrowned Champs
Y
56-09-01
51
Grandaddy Of the Blues and Some Football Memories
N
56-09-08
52
Memorable Tributes To Granny Rice
N






The Grantland Rice Story Radio Program Biographies




Henry Grantland Rice
Sportswriter; Radio, Television and Film Producer, Announcer, Interviewer; Author
(1880-1954)

Birthplace: Murfreesboro, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Education: Vanderbilt University

Radiography:
1930 Coca-Cola Top Notchers
1935 Opening Of the NBC Hollywood Studios
1936 Then and Now
1938 Fight Preview
1941 Cities Service Concert
1941 NBC's Fifteenth Anniversary Party
1942 Information Please
1943 The Sportsman's Club
1944 Saturday Night Bondwagon
1946 Savings Bond Campaign
1951 Grantland Rice Football Forecast
1953 Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports
1955 The Grantland Rice Story
Grantland Rice circa 1943
Grantland Rice circa 1943

 Grantland Rice circa 1945
Grantland Rice circa 1945

 Grantland Rice circa 1952
Grantland Rice circa 1952

Grantland Rice circa 1953
Grantland Rice circa 1953

From the July 14, 1954 edition of the Newport Daily News:
 
Grantland Rice, Dean Of American Sports Columnists
 
     NEW YORK (AP) -- "Outlined against the blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again."
     Perhaps there will be better leads written on sports stories, but there probably will never be a more widely known one.  It was written almost three decades ago in describing the Army - Notre Dame football game of 1924 by Grantland Rice, the dean of American sports writers, who died of a stroke last night at 73.
     Notre Dame went on to win the game on that murky day and the famous backfield of Elmer Layden, Harry Stuldreher, Jim Crowley and Don Miller became a legend.
     Rice was a perfectionist of his profession and many is the youngster who tried to pattern himself after this veteran of more than a half-century in sports.
     Granny, as he was known in the trade, was one of the first erudite sports writers.  When he started, after his graduation from Vanderbilt University with a Phi Beta Kappa key, sports departments as they are known today, were non-existent.
 

          $5 A Week

     In fact, his first job with the Nashville News in 1901 combined covering sports with the state capital, county court house and customs office--at $5 a week.
     From the start, his flair for verse manifested itself and almost anybody can quote his most famous lines, although no doubt not everyone knows the author:
     "When the great scorer comes
     "To mark against your name
     "He'll write not 'won' and 'lost'
     "But how you played the game."
     He had several books of verse published including one on the first world war in collaboration with Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
     He served in the Army during World War I and was commissioned a first lieutenant.  He was sent to France and was transferred to the Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, then was made a liaison officer.
     Rice's opinions were widely sought and he never could decide whether Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb was the greatest athlete he ever watched.  He was certain that his greatest thrill was watching Ruth point to the flagpole in Wrigley Field then hitting the ball to that exact spot for a home run, during the 1932 world series.
 

          Greatest Fight

     He said the Dempsey-Firpo fight of 1923 was the greatest fight he ever saw and that Bobby Jones' grand slam of 1930 was his biggest golf thrill.  Jones, who was one of Rice's closest friends, said "his death is the worst news I have heard in years."
     In addition to the Nashville News, Rice worked on Forester Magazine, the Atlanta Journal, the Cleveland News, the Nashville Tennesseean, the New York Evening Mail, the New York Herald Tribune and the Bell Syndicate which distributed his column at the time of his death.
     He is survived by his widow, Katherine, whom he married in 1906, and a daughter, Mrs. Fred Butler of Venice, Calif.  Professionally she is Florence Rice of the movies and stage.
     Rice was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Nov. 1, 1880.



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