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We all know what happened 6 years ago today. The incidents of Sept. 11, 2001 will be defining for our generation. When I was small everyone knew where they were when President Kennedy was shot. I always felt left out, because I didn't know where I was when that happened. I was only two years old.

For a while January 28, 1986 held some of this power as nearly everyone could remember where they were when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. September 11 has overshadowed all of these dates.

Democracy Now! is an award winning daily news broadcast that is currently being broadcast on 450 Pacifica, NPR and community radio stations around the country. In Portland it is broadcast on KBOO.

Broadcast from Chinatown in New York City, just blocks from Ground Zero, the daily news on Sept. 11 was interrupted in progress to report the attack on the World Trade Center. In this broadcast you will hear the news of the day for the first 48 minutes, then the broadcast is interrupted with the breaking news.

Democracy Now September 11, 2001

Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/
KBOO http://www.kboo.fm/index.php


William Bendix (1906 - 1964) was a popular actor in the mid 1940s, playing soldiers (Wake Island), gangsters (The Glass Key), palookas (The Blue Dahlia) and most famously Babe Ruth (The Babe Ruth Story).

Bendix gained the most fame from his comedic role on the long-running radio show, and later TV show, The Life of Riley. In this situation comedy Riley plays the loveable and well-meaning, but extremely dumb, father of a typical working class family. Chester A. Riley, was a riveter in an aircraft plant in Southern California, but he was very true to his Brooklyn roots.

Bendix was ably supported by Paula Winslow, who played his wife Peg, and the talented John Brown, who played Riley's friend Willis as well as Digby O'Dell "the friendly undertaker." This show spawned several catch phrases, but the most famous was Riley's lament, "What a revoltin' development this is."

Life of Riley December 8, 1950 Junior's Lawnmower Service -- in this episode Chester RIley tries to teach his son, Junior, about business.


William Bendix (1906 - 1964) was a popular actor in the mid 1940s, playing soldiers (Wake Island), gangsters (The Glass Key), palookas (The Blue Dahlia) and most famously Babe Ruth (The Babe Ruth Story).

Bendix became best known for his comedic role in The Life of Riley on radio and later on TV. We will hear the very funny Life of Riley soon, but first here is a dramatic radio role from the series The Fifth Horseman.

The Fifth Horseman was a series of eight half hour dramas featuring Hollywood stars and portraying the dangers of atomic weapons. This NBC production was part of an organized effort to turn control of atomic weapons over to the United Nations. Obviously they were not successful in that goal, but they did produce a timeless document from the early Atomic Age. You can hear the first episode from this series here : http://mcgeescloset.podomatic.com/entry/2007-03-03T18_21_05-08_00

Tonight we have the second episode of the Fifth Horseman from July 11, 1946 Dawn starring William Bendix.

I have only two episodes of this series in my collection so if you have them to trade I would love to make a deal. Contact me at jdchandler2002@yahoo.com.


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007) was a prisoner of war in Dresden, Gernany in February, 1945 when allied forces delivered the most massive bombing raid of World War II. Over three days the ancient city famous for making delicate china and packed with over 200,000 refugees was bombarded with high explosive and incendiary bombs. Somewhere between 25,000 and 125,000 people were killed during the raids, it's hard to tell exactly how many because thousands of bodies were incinerated and never found.

The 23 year old corporal Vonnegut survived this bombing raid less than a year after the suicide of his mother. He was liberated by Soviet troops in May, 1945. Returning to the States, the young war veteran attended the University of Chicago and worked for a while as a crime reporter for City News Bureau of Chicago before moving on to the public relations department at General Electric. Before finally achieving success as a novelist, Vonnegut worked for the correspondence school Famous Writers of America.

In 1950 his first short story appeared in Collier's Magazine. Report on the Barnhouse Effect was about the "first superweapon with a conscience." His first short story was also his first anti-war story. Vonnegut wrote dozens of short stories through the fifties and earned a reputation as a Science Fiction author. His first novels Player Piano, Sirens of Titan and Cat's Cradle, were loosly catagorized as Science Fiction, but some of his best work Mother Night, Hocus Pocus, Breakfast of Champions had little to do with the genre.

In 1969 Vonnegut immortalized his experiences in Dresden with his masterpiece Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade. By the time I, and a whole generation began to read his work in the 70s Vonnegut had reached the status of a cultural icon.

The memorable characters that populated Vonnegut's world and connected the stories of his various books became our friends and our teachers. Kilgore Trout, Elliott Rosewater, Howard W. Campbell, Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack, the children of Dr. Felix Hoenniker showed us what they were made of through the most trying times. They showed us what we could be and they did it with a smile.

Vonnegut's humor and his humanity and his beautiful spare language entertained and inspired us. We will miss him. The world will be a little sadder place without him. But all we can really say is, "So long, Kurt. Thanks." And so it goes.

Dimension X April 22, 1950 Report on the Barnhouse Effect

Please Read God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut: An Interview with the Author at 80.
(cut and paste it please)


Richard Henry "Peter" Sellers (1925-1980) was one of the most popular comedy stars of the 1960s and 1970s, portraying unforgetable characters such as Inspector Closeau, Dr. Strangelove and Chance the Gardner, before dying of a heart attack at 54.

How many remember that Sellers got his start on radio? Coming from a large family of entertainers, Sellers naturally gravitated toward show business after serving as a corporal in the RAF during World War II. By 1951 he had established himself as a radio star on the BBC appearing in such shows as Ray's a Laugh.

In 1951 Sellers joined Spike Milligan "the grandfather of British comedy" and Harry Seacomb to create the Goon Show. This wild comedy ran until 1960 on the BBC and became one of the most influential radio comedies of all time. Influencing the work of later performers such as the Beatles and Monty Python's Flying Circus. Sellers called his days with the Goon Show the "happiest of my life."

While appearing on the Goon Show Sellers began to appear in movies, winning the British Academy Award for I'm All Right, Jack in 1959. After that Sellers career focused more on movies and he became an international star.

Tonight we have The Goon Show November 16, 1954 The Mystery of the Marie Celeste Solved which features the strange voices and sound effects the Goons were famous for as well as the jazz music of Ray Ellington and his orchestra.


Elliott Lewis (1918-1990) was known as Mr. Radio. He was probably the most prolific and talented radio performer of the so-called Golden Age of Radio. Lewis began his career in the 1930s as an actor on shows like the Christmas classic Cinnamon Bear. By 1940 Lewis was appearing in 22 shows a week, a record he broke during World War II as a Staff Sergeant with the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) when he was involved with 120 shows a week.

By the 1950s Lewis moved more toward writing and directing, notably he was the director of Suspense from 1951-1954. In 1953 Lewis told Time Magazine that the greatest advancement in television was bigger screens "so people could see how bad the shows were."

In 1954 Lewis began working in television as a director of the dramatic anthology Climax! he created the first film version of James Bond with his hour long adaption of Casino Royale starring Barry Nelson! By 1960 Lewis had moved to television as director of Lucille Ball Show, Petticoat Junction and many other shows.

Elliott Lewis remained true to his roots in radio as writer, director and actor on the Mutal Radio Theater in the 1980s. At the same time he was an executive consultant on Remington Steele. In the late 80s Lewis retired to Gleneden Beach, OR where he died of a heart attack in 1990.

Elliott Lewis is one of my favorite radio talents and I will present several episodes from his career over time. Tonight I want to start with his comedy work. My favorite role that Lewis played was on the Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show, a spin-off from the jack benny Show.

Lewis began with the show in 1946 in the character of Frank Remley, the guitar player in Phil Harris' band. The character was mentioned many times on the Jack Benny Show but rarely portrayed until Phil Harris' show. He stayed with Phil and Alice for the run of the show through 1953. Midway through the run Lewis dropped the name of Frank Remley and the character became Elliott Lewis.

Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show October 23, 1953 How to Repair a Living Room is one of my favorite episodes and is a good example of the zany comedy that this show featured.


Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was a talented actor, singer and dancer who became one of the most popular stars of the 1950s and has became an icon of American culture. She appeared rarely on radio.

Marilyn began her movie career in 1948 with Ladies of the Chorus. By 1952 she had small, but highly visible roles in several films. That year she got her first starring role, as a deranged babysitter in Don't Bother to Knock. As part of the publicity campaign to turn her into a star and sex symbol, she appeared on the Bergen & McCarthy Show. The next year she broke out with a very sexy role in Niagra.

Here is the Bergen and McCarthy Show from November 9, 1952. Edgar Bergen had been on the air with his ventriloquist act for nearly 20 years by this time and his loveable characters, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, were household names. In this episode Charlie McCarthy and Marilyn Monroe are planning to get married and the whole world is in an uproar.


Leonard "Lenny Bruce" Schneider (1925-1966) became one of the most popular and controversial comedians of the 1950s and 1960s. In his stand-up routines he pushed the bounds of obscenity and legal problems and drug addiction destroyed his career and led to his death at the age of 40.

Lenny Bruce has become an icon of American culture, a pioneer of stand-up comedy and a strong advocate for free speech. Bruce's legal battles were instrumental in changing the definition of obscenity in America and weakening censorship in broadcast and entertainment.

Few know that he got his first break with a national audience on radio. After serving as a combat soldier in Europe at the age of 18 in the Second World War, Bruce began a career as an impressionist and comedian in Brooklyn. In 1949 he was a contestant on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, a showcase for young performers. Bruce is introduced by his mother, who introduces herself as "Sally Bruce".

Maybe I'm weird, but Bruce's routine reminds me of the Dick Van Dyke Show, when they flashed back to his Army days. See what you think.


Jack Paar (1918-2004) became one of the most popular television personalities of the 1950s and the second host of the popular Tonight Show. Few remember that he got his start on radio.

In the 1930s Paar worked as announcer and humorous disc jockey on various stations in the Great Lakes region. During World War II he served with a USO troupe that toured the Pacific Theater of War. While serving with the military Paar's biting satire got him in trouble more than once. This would become a common occurence during his television career. After the war Paar got his biggest break when he hosted a summer replacement series in the Jack Benny time slot. Paar's show was very popular and the radio show for NBC was one of the main reasons he got the slot on the Tonight Show.

"My life," said Paar, "seems to be one big obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle." Paar chafed under the network system and he felt particularly irritated by censorship. In 1960 when a joke was censored on the Tonight Show Paar said, on the air, "I'm leaving the Tonight Show. There must be a better way to make a living."

He stayed away from the show for more than a month and when he returned his first line was "As I was saying before I was interrupted..."

Here is the first of his summer series on NBC. Jack Paar is joined by Trudy Irwin, "The All Girl Singer" and Dennis Day, in a very funny routine.


Jack Webb had a lifelong love of dixie land jazz. After the success of Dragnet in 1951 he got the chance to bring jazz to the radio with the series Pete Kelly's Blues. Webb played a jazz trumpeter in the 1920s who traveles around the country playing jazz and getting involved in dangerous situations.

This stylish show featured the writing of Joe Eisenberg and the music of Dick Kemp as well as a great performance by Jack Webb. A movie, starring Jack Webb, and a short-lived TV show grew out of this series.

"When they ask you, tell them this one is about the blues...Pete Kelly's Blues."

Pete Kelly's Blues August 29, 1951 Zelda


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