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  Joe Palooka - 5 hours [Download] #RA706



 
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5 hours - Digital Download


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Joe Palooka


For over fifty years, Joe Palooka was one of the most popular characters in newspaper comic strips.During radio's heyday, it was common to adapt stories and characters from the comic strips into shows for radio listeners to enjoy. In some cases, the results were extraordinarily successful; Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie, sponsored by Ovaltine, became a radio legend, while both Jungle Jim and Flash Gordon enjoyed weekly success. But, surprisingly, some of the biggest names in the comics failed to click with listeners - and, in 1945, one of those big names was that of the popular prizefighter of the funny papers, Joe Palooka.

Billboard Magazine advertises the availability of the new Joe Palooka radio series - October 1945Created by cartoonist Ham Fisher, Joe Palooka had made his newspaper debut in 1930. Since that time, his popularity had grown to the point that his exploits were being carried in 900 newspapers throughout the country - helped, no doubt, by the fact that the pugilist had spent the war years serving in the United States Army. One of the earliest characters to enlist, Joe joined the military in 1940 and spent the next five years fighting the Axis forces in both his daily and Sunday comic strips. Not surprisingly, he was a big hit with GI's, his adventures printed in both Stars and Stripes and Yank, two newspapers printed exclusively for military personnel. The character was so beloved, in fact, that the US government used Private First Class Palooka's likeness in training manuals, recruitment materials, and even in guides to foreign countries. By 1945, Joe Palooka's reputation for patriotism, honesty, healthy living, and clean fighting had made him, in the words of one journalist, "the soldier's best friend".

Realizing that the war had brought fame and respect to the character far beyond his expectations, in 1945, Ham Fisher decided that it was time to bring Joe Palooka back to radio in a new series of peacetime adventures. (The character had briefly been the star of his own CBS radio series back in 1932, but it hadn't caught on with listeners and had left the airwaves after only a few months.) To bring his comic strip to life, Fisher first contacted Harold Conrad, a former Broadway columnist who had lately turned to press agentry and free-lance writing. There was no question that Conrad had knowledge of the boxing world and Fisher felt that his fascination with the eccentrics and rogues that populated the sport would infuse the radio version with an authentic ringside flavor. Conrad agreed to write a couple of radio scripts for a syndicated series to be produced by Graphic Radio Productions, Inc., a company formed by Fisher, Johnny Rosenblatt, and J. Gordon Roberts. Two audition shows were quickly produced by the NBC Radio-Recording Division in their Chicago Merchandise Mart studios, but the series failed to sell.

North Central Broadcasting distributed the Joe Palooka radio series on 16" transcription disks.Undaunted by this, Ham Fisher then took the concept to John Boler, the President of the North Central Broadcasting System, which supplied programming to a number of midsized radio stations. Boler, in conjunction with Fisher's partners, agreed to produce a five-a-week radio series to be recorded in the studios of the L. S. Toogood Recording Company in Chicago. Recording began in the fall of 1945 and, over the next few months, a total of 130 fifteen-minute episodes were produced - 26 weeks worth of daily shows. As it turned out, however, 1946 was not a good year for North Central Broadcasting; in the summer, the company filed for bankruptcy and, by the end of the year, it was no more. With all of the financial complications, "Joe Palooka" failed to get the publicity and salesmanship that it deserved and, unfortunately, the series never aired outside of a few small local markets.

Though disappointed by the way things turned out, Ham Fisher remained enthusiastic about Joe Palooka's potential for broadcasting - but radio, it seemed, was not to be his medium. Fisher turned his attention to television and, by 1953, "The Story of Joe Palooka" made its video bow in a syndicated series produced by Guild Films. The radio series, having been heard by very few people, fell into obscurity and has been almost completely forgotten by radio historians - but luckily, a few months ago, RadioArchives.com acquired twenty episodes of the series, as well as the 1945 audition recordings made by NBC. The result is a brand new five-hour collection containing twenty episodes of "Joe Palooka", as well as the two NBC auditions. For fans of comic strips, as well as those who grew up with Joe Palooka in the movies and on television, it's a rare chance to hear this iconic American hero on the air in his own radio series.

For over fifty years, Joe Palooka, his colorful manager Knobby Walsh, his girlfriend Ann Howe, and the many other characters that populated the comic strip brought enjoyment to millions of devoted readers. In this five CD set, you'll enjoy five full hours of his radio adventures, made available here for the very first time since 1945. It's a fascinating glimpse into the history of an American icon who entertained and inspired American youth - and here is the complete content:

#1 The 15th Round
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#3 The Search
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#5 Dark Shadows
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#6 The Warning
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#7 The Man Who Wouldn't Talk
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#8 No More Joe
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#9 The Road Side Incident
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#10 Meet Miss Ruth McGregor
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#11 Incriminating Evidence
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#12 Myrtle Turns Detective
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#23 Shots in the Night
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#24 Al Wilson's Story
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#27 Contrast
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#28 The Cave In
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#37 Visiting Hours 2 to 4
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#38 Clear the Wires
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#39 My Dear Old Mother
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#40 Gotta Get Knobby Walsh
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#41 No One To Help
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

#42 Trouble Brewing
1945 - 15:00 - North Central Broadcasting System syndication

Audition Program #1
1945 - 15:00 - Graphic Radio Productions, Inc.

Audition Program #2
1945 - 15:00 - Graphic Radio Productions, Inc.

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