Saturday, January 21, 2017

The best kind of McCarthyism

In May of last year, I received a plum assignment from Radio Spirits: authoring the liner notes for a collection of Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy broadcasts.  This wasn’t my first rodeo, you understand (I refer you here and here)—but the programs selected for this set would consist of many uncirculated shows, something that makes the heart of any old-time radio fan go pitter-pat.  It certainly did wonders for my cardiac circulation, reveling in the antics of radio’s most popular ventriloquist and his smartassed sidekick as they traded quips with the likes of Paulette Goddard, Bert Lahr, Ida Lupino, Sydney Greenstreet, and Lupe Velez.

This collection is titled Smile a While, and it contains sixteen broadcasts from 1943, when Edgar Bergen and his wooden friends ranked among radio’s top comedy programs—entertaining audiences weekly to relieve the stress and worries resulting from WW2.  I’ve got two of these sets (the SRP is $31.95) to give away to two lucky members of the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear faithful; I offer my most profuse mea culpa for not getting this up on the blog as I originally planned…but it took me a lot longer to defeat the Killer Flu Virus from Venus.  As it’s been a little over a month since I handed out some fantabulous swag, even if you made out like a bandit in December’s The Couple Next Door contest you can enter this one if you so desire.

Here are the rules:

1) Send me an e-mail with “Smile a While” in the subject header to igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com.  You have until 11:59pm EST on January 28, 2017 (next Saturday) to enter.

2) Make sure you are a U.S. resident or have a U.S. mailing address.

3) Again, since TDOY hosted the last giveaway back in December, the usual request to sit out a contest to allow other cartooners a more sporting chance is kinda null and void.  However…if you still wouldn’t feel right about entering, not only would we understand completely but we would probably write folk songs chronicling your generous nature and have a statue erected in your home town (provided I can sneak this provision in an upcoming Congressional infrastructure bill).

4) I will choose two winners Sunday morning (via the Random Number Generator at of January 29th and not only inform the lucky persons of their tremendous good fortune but suggest they have a flutter at buying a lottery ticket.  Keep in mind that when entering, you don’t have to provide a snail-mail address…but I will need it once you receive that “Congratulations!” e-mail.

5) As always…there is no number five.

This is truly an entertaining set (the November 14, 1943 broadcast with guest star Mary Boland is one of the funniest half-hours I’ve ever listened to) and it would look swell on the shelf that houses your OTR collection…or better still, a generous gift for the person in your life who’s not only got a birthday coming up but loves Edgar & Charlie as well.  As always, profuse thanks go out to my employers at Radio Spirits for donating the prizes and remember—Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is the phrase that pays!

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