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  Fibber McGee and Molly - The Lost Episodes, Volume 6 - 10 hours [Download] #RA581



 
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Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lost Episodes
Volume 6



"Speed'er up a little!"

 By 1949, when they made a guest appearance on a CBS program, Jim and Marian Jordan had been the stars of "Fibber McGee and Molly" for almost fifteen years.With the change in format to a five-day-a-week, quarter-hour program beginning October 5, 1953, radio stalwart "Fibber McGee & Molly" had to face the challenge of working within a smaller production budget without sacrificing the reputation for comedic quality which stars Marion and Jim Jordan insisted upon. Though financial concerns required the departure of many mainstays - bandleader Billy Mills, vocal group The King's Men, performers Gale Gordon and Richard LeGrand, and announcer Harlow "Waxy" Wilcox - the budget did allow two veteran regulars to continue on the show: the versatile Bill Thompson, as the Old Timer and Wallace Wimple, and Arthur Q. Bryan, as Doc Gamble.

And yet, even though the population of Wistful Vista did get a bit smaller, "Fibber McGee & Molly" still depended on a host of distinctive performers to play various roles, utilizing actors and actresses from the talented pool known as "Radio Row." Listening to these quarter-hour programs, it's often surprising and amusing to hear familiar voices like Parley Baer, Joseph Kearns, Mary Jane Croft, William Conrad, and Virginia Gregg turn up as denizens of the sleepy Illinois town inhabited by the McGee's. One frequent player had a longer resume with the program than her fellow radio colleagues, having first appeared on the show as a saleslady on April 4, 1939. Elvia Allman, born September 19, 1904 in Enochville, North Carolina, made "Fibber McGee & Molly" one of the many notches in her radio belt while performing as a character actress and voice-over artist for over fifty years.

Elvia's radio origins have been traced back as far as 1929, when she received her first exposure on KHJ in Los Angeles with "Uncle John's Children's Hour". She would later appear as a performer on KFRC's "The Blue Monday Jamboree"; her stint on that popular series leading to work on the syndicated comedy program "The Komedy Kingdom" and the radio serial "The Cinnamon Bear". (The complete runs of both of these programs are available from Radio Archives.) While making her name in radio, she also freelanced with voice work for the Warner Brothers and Walt Disney cartoon studios; she provided the voice of Disney's Clarabelle Cow, though the absence of proper documentation has made just what particular cartoons she performed in a bit murky for modern-day researchers.

Elvia Allman in the early 1940sOn radio, Elvia displayed an amazing versatility, not only performing comedy but possessing a surprisingly good singing voice to boot. But many of her characterizations hewed to standard "comedy" types, her chief specialty being that of a doggedly determined man-chaser. The best example of this is her stint on "The Bob Hope Show", where she played "Cobina" opposite comedienne Blanche Stewart's "Brenda." The two characters, depicted as homely, desperate women on the prowl for any male with a pulse, parodied two real-life society debutantes, Brenda Frazier and Cobina Wright, Jr. (Frazier and Wright were not at all amused by the characterizations but softened a bit when comedian Hope invited the pair to appear as guests on his show.) Both Stewart and Allman's "debs" were so popular that they appeared in several feature films in their radio personas, notably 1941's "Time Out for Rhythm", which teamed them up with the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry & Curly). Brenda and Cobina were gradually phased out of the proceedings once actress Barbara Jo Allen gained popularity as Vera Vague, yet another member of the man-chasing sorority that dominated radio at that time.

Elvia introduced another spinster-on-the-prowl in Cuddles Bongschoonk, a regular character on Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore's comedy half-hour in the mid 1940s; Cuddles frequently acted as "The Nose and the Haircut's" secretary. But modern-day OTR fans remember her best for her long-running contribution to "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show"; as Gracie's best gal pal Tootsie Sagwell, she constantly complained about the lack of men in her life...prompting Gracie to usually scheme about hooking Tootsie up with the contingent of handsome male movie stars that guested on the program, much to husband George's dismay.

Elvia Allman mugs with Jerry Colonna, Bob Hope, and Blanche Stewart on a 1940s broadcast of Hope's popular weekly comedy series.Many of the characters played by Allman didn't deem it necessary to be on the hunt for eligible men -- odds were that she was already manacled to some poor unfortunate soul, as in the case of her many appearances on radio's "Blondie", in which she played Cora opposite Dagwood Bumstead's conniving boss, J.C. Dithers (Hanley Stafford). Allman excelled in these shrewish battleaxe roles, and the best-remembered of them all was Mrs. Niles, the Gorgon-like wife of announcer Ken Niles on "The Abbott & Costello Show", who matched wits (such as they were) with Lou Costello on a weekly basis. (She had also played the character on "The Camel Caravan" with the aforementioned Durante and Moore). Elvia's formidable demeanor remained in high demand, as she frequented shows like "Glamour Manor" and "Mirth and Madness" and appeared alongside the likes of Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Judy Canova, Phil Baker, Jack Paar, Ray Bolger and Tommy Riggs & Betty Lou.

On "Fibber McGee & Molly", Allman's characterizations ran the gamut from secretaries (she was heard as Mayor La Trivia's assistant, Miss Himmler - also known as Miss Gimlet - and Aunt Sarah's social secretary Miss Longfeather) to nurses to society matrons. After a few one-shots in the matron game (including Miss Rhoda Dendron, President of the Wistful Vista Peony and Petunia Club) she was assigned the part of Mrs. Albert Clammer in January 1950, ostensibly to fill the void left by Bea Benaderet, who had played Miss Millicent Carstairs upon the departure of Abigail Uppington, played by Isabel Randolph. As the doyenne of Wistful Vista's elite social set, she gave Fibber and Molly the same amount of disapproval as did Carstairs and Uppington -- but, unfortunately, Mrs. Clammer had a skeleton in her closet: in the past, she had worked as a dance-hall hostess! Mr. Clammer no longer hung his hat in Wistful Vista; it seemed that he had gone out for cigars in 1938...and never came back. By the time the quarter-hour shows were being produced, Elvia continued to make sporadic (if no less memorable) appearances playing various waitresses and shop clerks.

Allman enters TV immortality on the classic candy wrapping line episode of "I Love Lucy" with Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball.Allman successfully made the transition into television work and, while she may not have appeared weekly on any series, she certainly made her mark with semi-regular roles on "The Beverly Hillbillies" (as Elverna Bradshaw) and "Petticoat Junction" (as "Uncle" Joe Carson's female nemesis, Selma Plout). For classic television fans, her fame in rerun heaven was cemented when she played the candy factory forewoman in the classic "I Love Lucy" episode "Job Switching," in which she has Lucy and Ethel at the mercy of a conveyor belt rapidly spitting out chocolates faster than the girls can wrap them.

The Golden Age of Radio introduced fans to a wealth of experienced comedic performers who, though not big household names, nevertheless possessed distinctive vocal talents that made them instantly recognizable to fans. You'll have the chance to listen to these supporting actors and actresses in this sixth volume of "The Fibber McGee and Molly Show," a new series of collections transferred from the long-lost original NBC Reference Recordings of the show. Radio Archives invites you to listen to forty more full-length programs that, for the most part, have not been heard since they originally aired over fifty years ago. An additional bonus is their sparkling audio quality; thanks to the innovations of the digital age, these classic shows can now be heard at a level of clear and crisp high fidelity that far exceeds what was available to the average listener in 1954 and 1955. The result is shows that sound - and are - just as bright, fresh, and entertaining as they were when first heard, a real tribute to the time, talent, and devotion to quality that went into their production.


Hooked and Ladder
Wednesday, December 1, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, RCA Victor, and Dial Soap

Strike Up the Wedding Band
Thursday, December 2, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and RCA Victor

A-Ducking He Did Go
Sunday, December 5, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and RCA Victor

The Timex of Their Lives
Monday, December 6, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and RCA Victor

Depth of a Salesman
Tuesday, December 7, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Viceroy Cigarettes, and RCA Victor

Burning the Midnight Oil
Wednesday, December 8, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, RCA Victor, and Dial Soap

The Prize is Right
Thursday, December 9, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and RCA Victor

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best
Sunday, December 12, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and RCA Victor

Gift Wrapped
Monday, December 13, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and RCA Victor

I’m From the Government...and I’m Here to Help
Tuesday, December 14, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Viceroy Cigarettes, and RCA Victor

Please Mr. Postman
Wednesday, December 15, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, RCA Victor, and Dial Soap

Do Not Open Until Christmas
Thursday, December 16, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and RCA Victor

Mail and Female
Sunday, December 19, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and RCA Victor

Babes in Toyland
Monday, December 20, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

Making an Ash of Himself
Tuesday, December 21, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Viceroy Cigarettes

The Taming of the Shrewd
Wednesday, December 22, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

A Star is Born
Thursday, December 23, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

Your Presents is Requested
Sunday, December 26, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance

Caught Plastered
Monday, December 27, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

There’s No Such Thing as Bad P. R.
Tuesday, December 28, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Viceroy Cigarettes

A Game of Frisby
Wednesday, December 29, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

Tabula Rasa
Thursday, December 30, 1954 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

Hello, We Must Be Going
Sunday, January 2, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance

He Got Game
Monday, January 3, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

Sold at Auction
Tuesday, January 4, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Viceroy Cigarettes, and Better Farming Magazine

Balloon Payment
Wednesday, January 5, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

The Balloonatic
Thursday, January 6, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and Better Farming Magazine

Lighter Than Air
Sunday, January 9, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance

The Day the Balloon Goes Up
Monday, January 10, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

Equal Day for Equal Work
Tuesday, January 11, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Viceroy Cigarettes, and Better Farming Magazine

Do or Diet
Wednesday, January 12, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Dial Soap

The Flesh is Weak
Thursday, January 13, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and Better Farming Magazine

The Company She Keeps
Sunday, January 16, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Better Farming Magazine

A Bitter Pill to Swallow
Monday, January 17, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and Crosley Television

Weighty Affairs of State
Tuesday, January 18, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance and Viceroy Cigarettes

Home is Where the Heartburn Is
Wednesday, January 19, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Crosley Television, and Dial Soap

That Horse Has Been Scratched
Thursday, January 20, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial and Better Farming Magazine

You Sleigh Me!
Sunday, January 23, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance

Gee Quiz
Monday, January 24, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Dial Soap, and Crosley Television

Tea-Totalers
Tuesday, January 25, 1955 - 15:00 - NBC, sponsored by Prudential Insurance, Viceroy Cigarettes, and Better Farming Magazine

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