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Original Star-Spangled Theater header art

The Star-Spangled Theater Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Star-Spangled Theater







Background

From the June 7th 1941 edition of the New York Sun:

RADIO RELIES ON
ITS MOOD MAKERS

Few Composers Able to
Write Musical 'Bridges.'
 
     The use of music to create a mood or to serve as a musical "bridge" to convey the listener from one dramatic situation to another has been highly developed in radio.  It is an art in itself and only a handful of creative musicians have been successful in doing it.  Take a simple dramatic situation as an example.
     On the Columbia Workshop's fantasy "Moon Over Mulberry Street," the producers wanted to create mood music indicating a boy day dreaming and visualizing a rumbling junk wagon which in his imagination turns into a symphony orchestra and finally into a marching band.  There was time for only a few bars of music but Charles Paul, conductor, organist and composer, to whom the assignment was given, succeeded in supplying the necessary atmosphere.
     Paul is the mood musician for some two dozen current air dramas.  His music, most of it original, is called upon to set a hundred different scenes each week.  Drama, romance, mystery, adventure, intrigue; love, hate, fear, boredom, indecision, hope, achievement, joy, sorrow, &c, as the script requires.  The background music must fit into the story exactly and furthermore, hint at what is about to happen.  Paul says a musician is seldom able to repeat his music because each script has its own peculiar requirements.
Rapid Shifts in a Short Time.
     On "City Desk," a newspaper story, Paul recalls one scene where the music had to suggest a reporter wandering through the empty corridor of an insane asylum, and at the same time make the audience aware that someone was going to emerge from one of the doors at any moment.  Another ten-second assignment was to top a battle scene with its roaring cannons and then make the transition to a love scene.
     The mood musician is quick to note and compliment any unusual feat achieved by fellow musicians or even competitive ones.  Paul pointed out a number of sequences in other shows which he considered excellent examples
of the value and far-reaching effect of mood music.  He named several incidents from WJZ's "Star-Spangled Theater"
programs.  One was a comedy sequence wherein a mother took her young son to a department store.  The music served to carry the audience up in the elevator, past the floor-walker, right into the department where the young hero purchased his first pair of long trousers.  He also mentioned a sequence from the same program where the music shifted from a night club scene, through a car ride, to a crash, and into a hospital scene all within fifteen seconds.
Some Programs Tax Ingenuity.
     Programs like the "Star Spangled Theater" and "City Desk" tax the ingenuity of the musician because they cover such a wide scope of action.  Many other shows, however, remain rather constant in theme and it is not so difficult to find representative music to fill their needs.  "The Parker Family" and "The Aldrich Family" call for popular situation music;      "Inner Sanctum," "Sherlock Holmes" and "Bull Dog Drummond" all employ mystery music.  Some of the weirdest musical effects ever created were heard on the chillers of a few years ago, notably "The Witches' Tale" and "Lights Out."
     Over the major networks alone, according to figures compiled by Variety, 5,683 hours of serials and drama are heard weekly.  Busy program directors must have experienced musicians upon whom they can rely absolutely, as rehearsal time is expensive and they cannot afford to waste a minute of it.  Therefore, a mood musician must be talented, experienced, possess originality and have a keen, quick sense of the dramatic.  These requirements are stiff enough to limit the number of top-flighters.  Most of them have their own libraries of stock music which runs into thousands of selections and a separate library of original music to which they are constantly adding.  A successful mood musician must spend most of his spare time composing, so naturally he is ever on the lookout for anything that will aid him and cut down on the time needed for this creative work.  Paul solved this problem by using mathematical music.  This is a new type of musical composition created by Joseph Schillinger by which the composer, after deciding on his key, applies a given formula from which the composition is built geometrically.
     Radio has demanded much of the music masters and they have not been found wanting, for they know better than any one else that music speaks a language that the whole world understands.

Series Derivatives:

Star Spangled Theatre; Star Spangled Theatre of The Air; Star Spangled Banner Theatre; Star-Spangled Vaudeville
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Dramas
Network(s): NBC Blue
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 40-12-01 01 Dr Koenig's 48 Hours
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 40-12-01 to 41-08-31; NBC Blue [WJZ]; Thirty-nine, 30-minute programs;
Syndication: NBC Blue; The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Sponsors: Sustaining; Fitch Shampoo [Regional Sponsor]
Director(s): Albert N. Williams
Principal Performers: Jack Pearl, Jean Muir, Helen Twelvetrees, Alan Dinehart, Bruce Cabot, Mary Brian, Ezra Stone, Gail Sondergard, Doris Nolan, George Coulouris, Barry Fitzgerald, Margo, Alison Skipworth, Taylor Holmes, Joe Penner, James Bell, Jane Cowl, Peggy Wood, Kent Smith, Peggy Conklin, Albert Hackett, Richard Waring, Eva LeGallienne, Bert Lytell, Gloria Stuart, Keenan Wynn, James Dunn, Geraldine Spreckels, Monty Woolley, Mady Christians, Phillips Holmes, Donald Cook, Macdonald Carey, Chester Morris, Gene Lockhart, Montague Love, Rosemary DeCamp, Judith Allen, Esther Ralston, Grace McDonald, Lyle Talbot, Ann Corio, James Dunn, Patricia Ellis, Claudia Morgan, Diana Barrymore, Michael Whelan, Eric Rhodes, Francine Larrimore, Alonzo Deen Cole, Lucille Wall, Gloria Stuart, Jack Whiting, Jan Peerce, Elsa Maxwell, Virginia Paine, Robert Wilcox, Al Jolson, Elsie May Gordon, George Jessell, Artie Shaw, Frank M. Thomas, Frankie Thomas
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s):
Author(s): John Van Druten; Jean Dalrymple and Phillip Bloom; Norman Rosten; Owen Davis; Richard and Francis Lockridge; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Edward Everett Hale
Writer(s) E.A. Ellington; Alonzo Deen Cole; Elizabeth Todd;
Music Direction: Paul Lavalle [Conductor]
Tom Bennett [Composer]
The Southernaires
Musical Theme(s):
Announcer(s): Gilbert Martin
Bert Lytell, Jack Arthur [Host]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
39
Episodes in Circulation: 6
Total Episodes in Collection: 6
Provenances:
Contributor Jerry Haendiges.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

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







The Star-Spangled Theater Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
40-11-24
--
--
40-11-24 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--This Curious World--Variety
40-12-01
1
Dr Koenig's 48 Hours
N
40-12-01 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play:
Dr. Koenig's 48 Hours, with Jack Pearl, Jean Muir, Helen Twelvetrees

40-11-30 Poughkeepsie Evening Star
HELEN TWELVETREES, well known movie and stage star, will be featured in the premiere of "Star Spangled Theater" which will make its bow on NBC-WKIP tomorrow night at 8.

40-12-01 Oakland Tribune
5:00 P.M.
KGO-Star Spangled Theater.
40-12-08
2
Title Unknown
N
40-12-08 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Star Spangled Theatre, with Alan Dinehart, Others

40-12-08 Washington Post
WMAL--8:00--Star-Spangled Theater

40-12-08 Port Arthur News
KFDM--7:00--Star Spangled Theater
40-12-15
3
Last Wife
N
40-12-15 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play:
Last Wife--Bruce Cabot, Mary Brian
40-12-22
4
Chester
N
40-12-22 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Star Spangled Theater (WENR): "
Chester," an audience-played comedy.

40-12-21 Amsterdam Evening Recorder
Sunday WJZ--9. Ezra Stone in Star-Spangled Theatre.

40-12-21 Kingsport Times
8 p.m., Joe Penner, In the Star Spangled Theatre.

40-12-21 Charleston Daily Mail
Joe Penner and others, guestarring on the "Star Spangled Banner" theatre program over the Blue chain from 8 to 8:30 p. m.;
40-12-29
5
The Green-Eyed Monster
N
40-12-29 Circleville Mail
Judith Allen, new addition to the Shadow cost, will make a guest appearance on "Star Spangled Banner Theatre" over the NBC-Blue network on Sunday.

40-12-29 New York Times
8:00-WJZ----Star-Spangled Theatre:
Green-Eyed Monster, with Gail Sondergard and Others

40-12-29 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Star Spangled Theater (WENR): Gale Sondergard, Doris Nolan, and George Coulouris in "
The Green-Eyed Monster."
41-01-05
6
Tanyard Street
N
41-01-05 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Star-Spangled Theatre: Tanyard Street, with Barry Fitzgerald and Margo

41-01-05 Eagle-News
8:00 WJZ--Star Spangled Theatre--"
Tanyard Street"
41-01-12
7
First Stop To Heaven
Y
41-01-12 NY PM Daily
8:00 WJZ: Star Spangled Theater--Alison Skipworth, Taylor Holmes and James Bell in a radio-version of their Broadway show, First Stop to Heaven.

41-01-12 Eagle-News
8:00 WJZ--Star Spangled Theatre--"
First Step to Heaven."

41-01-13 Broadcasting
SELECTION of members of the cast for The Star Spangled Theater, sustaining program heard on the NBC-Blue Sundays, 8-8:30 p.m., is made by listeners who indicate by letter their choice of current Broadway stars they would like to appear on the program and also the plays they would like to hear. The players who get the most votes, if available, are chosen for the broadcast.

Announces
Old Acquaintance as next

41-01-19
8
Old Acquaintance
Y
41-01-17 Montreal Gazette
Radio audiences of the Star Spangled Theatre, to be heard over NBC and CFCF at 9 p.m., on Sunday, will get an air preview of a Broadway hit well in advance of the announced Washington "command performance" of it. The play is
Old Acquaintance, the latest from the pen of the English playwright, John Van Druten, and it is at present being played at the Morosco Theatre in New York. The two noted stars of Old Acquaintance, Jane Cowl and Peggy Wood, will be heard from the Star Spangled Theatre in a condensed version under the direction of Albert N. Williams of NBC.

Announces
Mr. and Mrs. North as next

41-01-26
9
Mr and Mrs North
Y
[ Poor recording]

41-01-26 NY PM Daily
The Star Spangled Theater presents Peggy Conklin and Albert Hackett in a radio view of
Mr. and Mrs. North (WJZ 8 p.m.).

Announces
radio's first double feature in a half hour format; Charley's Aunt and Crazy With the Heat
41-02-02
10
Charlie's Aunt and Crazy With the Heat
N
41-02-02 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Star Spangled Theatre: "What's in a Name"

41-02-02 Charleston Daily Mail
Two Broadway productions will be presented on "Star Spangled Theater" at 8 tonight over NBC-WGKV, They are "Crazy With the Heat" and "Charley's Aunt."

41-02-02 Charleston Gazette
Two Broadway productions will be presented on "Star Spangled Theater" at 8 p. m. This is perhaps the first time a double-feature of stage hits has been presented on a half-hour show. The hits are "
Crazy With the Heat," Broadway musical hit, and a revival of "Charlie's Aunt," favorite for many a year. Appearing in the presentation are the shows stars, Willie Howard, Luella Gear, Diosa Costello, Gracie Barrie, Jose Ferrar. and Nedda Harrigan.
41-02-09
11
Grandma Hated Laughter
N
41-02-09 Lima News
The "Star Spangled Theatre" will present Richard Waring and Eve LeGalliene in "
Grandma Hated Laughter" over WJZ Sunday at 8 p.m.

41-02-02 Charleston Gazette
NBC's "Star Spangled Theater" will present
Richard Waring and Eva Le Galliene in "Grandma Hated Laughter" over the NBC-Blue network tonight at 8 o'clock
41-02-16
12
Road Romeo
Y
41-02-16 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama--
Road Romeo, with Bert Lytell, Gloria Stuart, James Dunn and Geraldine Spreckels.

NOTE: Announcement is made that Keenan Wynn will be replacing James Dunn in this feature. Announces Monte Woolley and Macdonald Carey for next week.
41-02-23
13
Rendezvous With Death
N
41-02-23 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama--
Rendezvous With Death, With Monty Woolley, Others

41-02-22 Oswego Palladium-Times
Sunday 9:00 WJZ--Star Spangled Theater--"
Hit the Road."

41-02-23 Olean Times Herald
8:00 -- Star Spangled Theater — "
Hit the Road" — comedy' with James Dunn, Gloria Stuart and others.
41-03-02
14
White Roses
N
41-03-02 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama--
White Roses, with Mady Christians, Phillips Holmes

41-03-02 Albuquerque
6:00 Star Spangled Theatre (NBC) (Fitch Shampoo)
41-03-09
15
Title Unknown
N
41-03-09 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama, with Willie Howard and Bert Lytell
41-03-16
16
The Green-Eyed Monster
N
41-03-16 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama:
Green-Eyed Monster, with Bret Lytell, Jean Muir
41-03-23
17
Forever Now
N
41-03-23 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Four Broadway players--Margo, who recently appeared in "Tanyard Street"; Donald Cook of the current "Claudia," and Macdonald Carey and Bert Lytell of "Lady in the Dark"--will have the leading roles in "
Forever Now," an original comedy for radio by Jean Dalrymple and Phillip Bloom, when it is presented this evening from 8 to 8:30 on the Star Spangled Theater program, WJZ, NBC Blue Network, Coast-to-Coast hook-up.

41-03-18 Oswego Palladium-Times
Jean Dalrymple, whose typewriter often concerns itself with scripts for theater and radio, collaborated with Philip Bloom to turn out "
Forever, Now," a comedy for the microphone. She had Helen Hayes in mind as the lead and wrote in the hope the script would go into her broadcast. Producers of the Hayes program had other ideas. They said it didn't fit into their schedule. But that didn't keep the yarn from the air; rather, it now is to get a chance to offer direct competition to Miss Hayes' next Sunday night adaptation of "A Little Journey." It is listed for the NBC-Blue Star Spangled Theatre at 8, the same time Miss Hayes broadcasts on the eastern half of the CBS chain. Leads will be taken by Margo of stage and screen and Donald Cook of Broadway.
41-03-30
18
Once Upon A New Year's
N
41-03-30 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama:
Once Upon a New Year's, with Chester Morris
41-04-06
19
Macready's Macbeth
N
41-04-06 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama: MacReady's Macbeth with Gene Lockhart, Montague Love, Rosemary DeCamp

41-04-06 Charleston Daily Mail
8:00—Gene Lockhart, Montague Love and Rosemary De Camp to have lead roles in "
Macready's Macbeth," original drama on the "Star Spangled Theater."
41-04-13
20
Ben Hur
N
41-04-13 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama: "
Ben Hur," with Bert Lytell, Jean Muir, Judith Allen
41-04-20
21
Café Casualty
N
41-04-20 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama:
Café Casualty, with Esther Ralston
41-04-27
--
Pre-Empted
--
41-04-27 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, at Hotel Algonquin
41-05-04
22
Hollywood Heartbreak
N
41-05-04 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama:
Hollywood Heartbreak, with George Coulouris, Bert Lytell; others
41-05-11
23
Lady Spy
N
41-05-11 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama--
Lady Spy
41-05-18
24
Man Hated Woman
N
41-05-17 Binghamton Press
Sunday WJZ 8:00 Star Spangled Theatre: Grace McDonald;

41-05-18 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Drama--
Man Hated Woman
41-05-25
25
Front Page Story
N
41-05-25 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
Front Page Story, with Alan Dinehart, Lyle Talbot, others
41-06-01
26
The Skeleton's Bride
N
41-05-28 Poughkeepsie Star
ANN CORIO will don sock and buskin on Sunday, June 1, for a featured role in the NBC "Star Spangled Theater."

41-06-01 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
The Skeleton's Bride, with Ann Corio, Lionel Stander
41-06-08
27
Let's Lunch Again
N
41-06-07 Poughkeepsie Star
A trio of movie stars--JAMES DUNN, PATRICIA ELLIS and CLAUDIA MORGAN--will appear on the "Star Spangled Theater" at 8 tomorrow night over WKIP. The half-hour original radio play which they will present is titled "
Let's Lunch Again."
41-06-15
28
Favor From A Friend
N
41-06-13 Montreal Gazette
Diana Barrymore, youngest member of the famous stage, screen and radio clan, has the leading role in the Star Spangled Theatre production of an original play called
Favor From A Friend, over NBC and CFCF at 8 p.m. Sunday. Opposite her will be Michael Whelan.

41-06-14 Binghamton Press
Sunday WJZ 8:00 Star Spangled Theatre: "
Favor for a Friend."

41-06-17 Poughkeepsie Evening Star
That "Star Spangled Theater," NBC feature Sunday night program, really sparkles with stars. Recent programs have presented MONTAGUE LOVE, GENE LOCKHART, BERT LYTELL, ESTER RALSTON, ANN CORIO, LIONEL STANDER, CLAUDIA MORGAN, JAMES DUNN and PATRICIA ELLIS.

41-06-15 Ogden Standard
John Barrymore's daughter Diane Barrymore and Michael Whalen will co-star on the Star Spangled Theatre tonight in the original radio play "
Favor for a Friend" starting at five o'clock, Bert Lytell will be master of ceremonies. To be heard over KLO and the NBC Blue network.
41-06-22
29
Oklahoma Gaucho
N
41-08-21 Poughkeepsie Star
CLAUDIA MORGAN, NBC's beautiful and busy actress, will play a return engagement in the "Star Spangled Theater" tomorrow night at 8, when she appears in "
Oklahoma Gaucho," the story of a phoney. ERIC RHODES, well-known actor, will appear opposite Claudia, and BERT LYTELL will act as emcee.

41-06-21 Binghamton Press
Sunday WJZ 8:00 Star Spangled Theatre: Claudia Morgan
41-06-29
30
The Great Journey
N
41-06-28 Binghamton Press
WJZ 8:00 Star-Spangled Theater - Francine Larrimore

41-06-29 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
The Great Journey, with Francine Larrimore, Donald Cook

41-06-30 Poughkeepsie New Yorker
The Sunday night "Star Spangled Theater" emcee, BERT LYTELL, really is a veteran actor. He made his stage debut in New York when only a few months old--in the arms of his mother.

41-06-29 Ogden Standard
The NBC Blue network's Sunday night "Star Spangled Theatre" emcee is Bert Lytell, a veteran actor. . . . He made his stage debut in New York when only a few months old in the arms of his mother . . . Mr. Lytell was tops in "stock" on the west coast, years ago, and has also scored in pictures as well as on the legitimate stage in the east.
KLO releases the "Star Spangled Theatre" Sundays at five p. m.
41-07-06
31
Human Events
N
41-07-06 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
Human Events, with Jack Pearl, Lucille Wall
41-07-13
32
Beyond Tomorrow
N
41-07-13 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
Beyond Tomorrow, with Gloria Stuart, Jack Whiting
41-07-20
33
The Life of Enrico Caruso
N
41-07-20 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
Life of Enrico Caruso, with Jan Peerce, Esther Ralston

41-07-20 Lima News
The life of Enrico Caruso, the late great Italian tenor, will be dramatized on "Star Spangled Theatre", Sunday July 20, at 8:00 p.m., EDST. On the NBC-Blue Network, with Jan Peerce, brilliant NBC tenor, in the Caruso Role. Esther Ralston, stage and screen star currently heard in NBC's "Portia Faces Life", will co-star with Peerce.
41-07-27
34
Hotel For Women
N
41-07-27 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
Hotel for Women, with Elsa Maxwell, Virginia Paine

41-07-27 Lima News
Elsa Maxwell, famous giver of glamorous parties, will bring her talents to the air waves Sunday, at 7:00 p.m. on WJZ's "Star Spangled Theatre."
41-08-03
35
The Gypsy's Hand
Y
[ Poor recording; partial cold open; Bert Lytell subs for Robert Wilcox]

41-08-02 Poughkeepsie New Yorker
SHAKE HANDS . . . One of the eeriest shockers ever to refrigerate the air waves has been cooled down for the "Star Spangled Theater," Sunday night at 8 over WKIP. The pretty little chief character in this sanguinary script, which features plenty of screaming, is the amputated right hand of a gypsy pianist. Appropriately enough, the tid-bit is entitled "
The Gypsy's Hand."

41-08-03 New York Sun
8:00 WJZ: Star Spangled Theater--Robert Wilcox in an Alonzo Dean Cole horror shocker, The Gypsy's Hand.

Announces
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin as next

41-08-10
36
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Y
41-08-10--16 Fredonia Censor
Al Jolson, the blackface Mammy singer, returns to the air on Star Spangled Theatre Sunday night, Aug. 10, at 8:00 p.m., for one of his most original roles--a singing Uncle Tom in a brand new and musical version of that famous drama, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The rich Jolson voice, so famous for its rendition of Negro airs, will be heard in "My Old Kentucky Home" and a Negro spiritual during the program. Star Spangled Theatre is presenting its new musical "
Uncle Tom's Cabin" as a serious piece of dramatic craftsmanship, capturing hte mood and purpose of its author. This is the type of role which gives free range to Jolson's faculties for drama while vocalizing under a mask of the familiar black grease paint.

Announces
George Jessell in The Man Without A Country as next
41-08-17
37
The Man Without A Country
N
41-08-17Lockport Union Sun
George Jessell plays the lead in "
The Man Without a Country" on "Star Spangled Theatre" via WEBR at 8.
41-08-24
38
The Pied Piper of Swing
N
41-08-23 New York Post
ARTIE SHAW stars in the Star Spangled Theatre's "
Pied Piper of Swing" (WJZ--8 p.m. Sunday).

41-08-24 Lima News
Swing, with Artie Shaw in the star role, takes possession of "Star Spangled Theatre" on Sunday at 7 p.m. over WJZ.
41-08-31
39
Skeeters In the Clearing
N
41-08-31 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Play--
Skeeters in the Clearing, with Frank M. Thomas, Frankie Thomas and Claudia Morgan

41-08-30 Schenectady Gazette
Sunday NBC-Blue 8. Star-Spangled Theater, Father of Song, Frank and Frankie Thomas, in a father and son drama, "Skeeters in the Clearing".
41-09-07
--
--
41-09-07 New York Times
8:00-WJZ--Maupin Orchestra









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