Rank #1: Amos and Andy - Andy The Body Guard. 520315. (retro313).
The cast members all sit around to complain about Andy's latest failed attempt at marriage. No steady job, no prospects, always chasing after several girls at once. Later in the lodge hall, Andy talks with Kingfish about his failed attempt at getting married. Particularly with his relationship with Madam Queen. What ever happened to old Madam Queen anyway? Andy doesn't care much, his main concern is getting a job as he reads the classifieds with Kingfish.
Elsewhere, a well to do man talks with his woman about leaving town, and the need to hire a driver for her while he's gone. Guess who? It's Madam Queen with her new man. I have a feeling that some paths are about to recross.
The man stops in to talk to Andy, but Kingfish is on hand to help handle the business management of his friend. What is needed is a man who is going to be unappealing, and keep Madam Queen from having a roving ye. After seeing Andy, the man is satisfied.
Later, Andy drives up in the fancy new Cadillac. Andy begins to get a feeling of deja vu when he recognizes a hint of perfume in the car. Kingfish finds a wallet, and the two go through it and learn that Andy's charge is to be Madam Queen. Can he get out of the deal? When Madam Queen sees Andy, she isn't any more pleased to see him either. The boyfriend, Rocky, still has doubts, and to keep watch, he phones a friend to keep an eye on Andy.
Kingfish is approached by a friend, Calhoun, who is worried, and upset. He claims that Andy is going to be killed. He learned at the pool hall about the man who is to watch Andy, to make sure Andy doesn't get too close to Madam Queen. Elsewhere, Andy drives Madam Queen and the two talk about old time. Good times, bad times, but Andy behaves and sticks to his driving. Although, he notices that they're being followed. Still, there was enough compromising behavior that a bad report ha reached Rocky.
Rocky believes the report, and though Andy goes into hiding, he tracks him down. What will happen when the two meet again? What will the jealous Rocky do?
Spike Jones. 1948. In the Mood for Love.
PS: Don't forget, you can get even more classic old time radio when you visit the home page.
Rank #2: Life Of Riley - Riley Install
Rank #3: Life of Riley 480903 Riley Meets Clem Kadiddlehopper
Riley is upset when he thinks his daughter is insane. Instead, she is just in love. (Pretty close to the same symtoms isn't it?) He and a friend eavesdrop on her when her boyfriend comes over. The boy is scared away, so Riley does his best to find her a date for the prom.
Digger O'Dells nephew is handy and turns out to be Clem Kadiddlehopper. Even Riley can't put that burden on his daughter, but now that Clem has arrived, he can't get rid of him. Fortunately, the boyfriend comes back to save face between Riley and Babs. Now he just has to get rid of Clem.
Bonus Tracks: Ray Noble. 1936. In a Little Gypsy Tea Room. AFRS. 1943. Navy Wave Training.
Rank #4: You Bet Your Life 550114 Paper
First, a 66 year old female bowler, who has been at it for 30 years. Along with an Italian immigrant named Frank. After a sponsor break for DeSoto Plymouth, the show continues.
This time an unmarried, female airport worker is joined by an unmarried man who is seeking a vegetarian mate.
Finally a prince and princess join the show. A prince from the Belgian Congo, who tells his success story rising as a commoner, to living in America, being educated, and returning to his home country. He is even convinced by Groucho to perform a brief native dance and drum number. .
So who wins? I'm not telling. Listen to find out.
Bonus Track: Don Gibson. Sea of Heartbreak.
PS: The song is from around the mid-1950's... probably, but may be from as late as the early 1960's. Leave me a comment and set me straight.
Rank #5: Great Gildersleeves - Summerfield, 1903. 490309ep318Summerfield1903. (retro310).
Though he may be the water commissioner, Gildersleeves has had trouble with Birdie over a leaky water faucet. Finally the drip, and Birdie, has annoyed him long enough, and there's no more hiding from it. Gildy goes poking around the musty, cluttered basement, and gets distracted by some of the old things stored there.
All those distractions wear him out, and he dozes, dreaming of times and fashions gone by in the year of 1903. Gildy is all duded up in his white linen suit, Leroy in his buster brown suit, and Marjorie in a bustle and listening to that new fangled ragtime music. What are kids coming to these days.
Gildy goes to watch the train come in, which is bringing the new school teacher to town. Along the way he stops in to talk to Peavey before heading down to the station. That practical, sly, old Peavey gets Gildy to buy more stuff than the judge did. Then Gildy parts ways with a quick joke about the president.
At the station, the judge and Gildersleeves argue over the teacher, but Gildy wins out with his high tech, horseless carriage. When the car breaks down, with sound affects resembling Fibber's closet, the Judge rescues the school teacher in his horse drawn buggy.
After the mid show commercial, Gildersleeve's dreaming continues. He makes his way to Floyd's barber shop where the anticipated picnic is described in tantalizing detail. With some inside scoop, Gildersleeves gets an edge on getting in close to the new teacher. (Side note: If you pay attention, you'll learn what Peavey's full name is when he is called on to deliver a limerick.)
The Jolly Boys sing a gay 90's barbershop tune, Rosy You are My Posey. Followed by the big picnic basket auction. Nobody knows who the baskets were made by except the ladies, and the auctioneer. Well, nobody but them and the man with the highest bribe.
Despite missing out on dining with the new teacher, she goes on a canoe ride on the lake with Gildersleeves. Gildy croons to her with a ukeleli, and sings, On Moonlight Bay.
Just when things are getting steamy in his dream, the canoe tips, and Gildy wakens to the harsh reality of being drenched by that leaky dripping faucet. Maybe he'll get it fixed. One of these days.
Billy Murray. 1903. In the Good Old Summertime.
PS: Don't forget, for a lot more great old time radio, visit the home page located at:
Rank #6: Friars Club Roast - Jack Benn
Rank #7: Topper - Malvena's Mother Vis
Rank #8: Amos and Andy 431217 The Marriage Counselor (retro 235)
Rank #9: Archie Andrews 461019 Plumbing Woes
Rank #10: One Man'sFamily - Book 71, Chapter 1: Reintroducing the Barbers (retro488)
Rank #11: Casey, Crime Photographer - The Scene of the Crime 49-03-10 (retro464)
Rank #12: The Great Gildersleeves 411005 ep006 Investigating The City Jail
Rank #13: 227VicAndSade-2EpisodesFrom1943.mp3
Sponsered by Crisco. Written by Paul Rymer. The show was one of the leaders in the afternoon serials. A soap opera of sorts. Since the sponser was Crisco, maybe we should call them a shortening opera? Though not jam-packed full of jokes, the humor had a subtle approach in the way the characters interacted. Vic was prone to absurd plays on words, and though not mentioned in these episodes, was deeply involved in his lodge. An activity that Sade considered silly, but she tolerated it. Sade had her own pet phrases, and was one who was intent on keeping up social appearances.
One notable feature of the show was that it was written entirely by Paul Rymer. Every episode for the long run of the series, something like over 6000 of them, came from the mind of only one person. Legend has it that when a show was running short for time, Paul Rhymer would be in the other room, typing up extra pages of enough dialog to finish out the show.
430318ApplerotPicksOnDottie. Vic and Sade relax after work. Sade reads a letter from her sister, but something is bothering her. With some prodding by Vic, she spills the beans about being upset over two of her friends picking on each other.
30331BrainfeeblesHouseWarming. Vic is putting the finishing touches on some office work that he brought home when Sade comes in. She has some important society news that just can't wait, and fills Vic in on the happenings at Mrs. Brainfeeble's housewarming party.
430412DottiesNewDress. Relaxing at home, and trying to read the newspaper, Sade wants Vic to go to their neighbors for an evening of entertainment. Well, entertaining for Sade to check out Dottie's new dress. Upon arriving, Vic reveals another of his quirks. his fantasy about being a cowboy. Their host, Mr. Brainfeeble shows his set of dueling pistols, and a cowboy hat. Vic goes bonkers with the cowboy gear, and has a good time after all. Though Sade's fun evening turns out to be a dud.
Bonus Track: BenSelvin_ThankYourFather
Rank #14: Suspense 490203 Backseat Driver, Jim and Marian Jordan
A show to prove that actors known for comedy, also have a serious side.
This suspenseful drama begins with Fibber McGee taking his gal, Molly out to a movie. Tonight, they are known as Jo, and Ellie. The show is over, and they drive home. As they leave the bright lights of the city, and cross the dark valley to their home, a radio news flash comes over the air. An escaped killer is on the loose. As Ellie worries about her grown kids at home, the couple get a surprise when the killer shows himself in their backseat.
The desperate man acts as backseat driver who holds Joe and Ellie hostage as he plans to make his get away. Will he drag them with him? Does he have plans to kill them? Will Joe be able to outsmart the desperate criminal in some way? To make a hasty move could set the killer off, and sign their death warrants.
I'll clue you in just a little, Joe has a secret that he isn't telling.
Bonus Track: Stan Kenton. Tampico. Vocals by June Christy. Plus, fun with the Retrobots.
Rank #15: Red Skelton - Impressing Others ep34, 2-05-26 (retro462)
Rank #16: Great Gildersleeves 411019 School Pranks
As Throckmorton P. Gildersleeves and Judge Hooker complete a game of checkers, LeRoy has a question. He wants to take the day off of school so he can go to the circus. Fortunately for him, he has two fine examples in these two pillars of the community. A kid listens to the advice from such outstanding citezens. Too bad, they get on a tangent, talking about their old schoolboy days, and all the crazy pranks they played at school. Suddenly fearing what kind of impression their loose tongues might make, they try to downplay their past misdeeds and want to set Leroy down the right path.
Suddenly, reports of school pranks come to light. Gildersleeves thinks he is at the root of it. Leroy has been acting evasive when questioned about the pranks. Circumstantial evidence points to him, and Gildersleeves grows even more concerned. Would Leroy really stoop to such disruptive pranks? Feeling responsible, Gilersleeves tries to set things right, but you have to know that it somehow won't quite work out right. A lesson in responsibility, consequences, and taking responsibility for your actions is delivered in a light hearted way.
Bonus Tracks: Graham McNamee. 1940. Talks to Ward Wilson about, Mike Checks.
Rank #17: Superman A Mystery For Superman 5 episodes, Complete. )retro487)
Rank #18: The Adventures Of Sam Spade - The Rowdy Dowser Caper 51-04-20
Rank #19: Richard Diamond - Butcher Shop ep88, 51-03-09 (retro460)
Rank #20: A retro Original - Tribute to the Marx Brothers. (retro269)
Through much of the first decades of the 20th century, the Marx Brothers were a rising act in vaudeville theaters. In the early days of talking movies, they made the transition, and became film stars. In the early 1930's the brothers broke into radio. Their radio show featured Groucho and Chico as they tried to run a law office known as Flywheel Shyster and Flywheel.
Sadly, only one or two complete episodes, and a few fragments of shows are all that remain from this program with Groucho as Flywheel, and Chico as his sidekick, Revelli. Fortunately, the scripts from these shows do exist, and in the early 1990's the BBC produced a series of remakes. Voice actors were hired to recreate the characters, and the scripts came to life once more. The actors do a wonderful job at presenting the characters just as they were created and styled by Groucho, Chico, and the rest of the original cast. The excellent job done by voice actors, and production crew present old time radio to a new audience. Just as it might have been heard back then, only with better technology.
The show was originally titled, "Beagel Shyster and Beagel," but word on the street has it that there was a real life lawyer named Beagel who took offense at the use of his name. Although that story is true and documented, there's another that isn't. The new show was a hit, and recieved good ratings, but the sponsor wasn't entirely sure of the show. Groucho's style of humor was not one that sat well with everybody. It is said that when the show changed names, the only explanation Groucho gave to listeners was one episode where he claimed that he had gone through a divorce, and went back to his maiden name. Divorce was a huge social taboo at the time, and not one the sponsors felt was in good tast. The show wasn't renewed for another season.
Groucho has had an impact on comedians all through the decades since this show was new, so a lot of the humor can feel like a cliche, or old jokes. Given the limits the humor pushed 80 years ago, it often is still relevant for people of today.
Tracks in the Show: Show fragment. A five minute excerpt from 05-08-1933.TV Interview with the cast of Flywheel Shyster and Flywheel. 1992. (8 min.)Part 1 of Flywheels Production Of Romeo and Juliet. 06-09-1990. Groucho Marx and Friends. Backstrap Molasses. (Danny Kaye, Jimmy Durante, and Ella Fitzgerald.)