Some Notes About "Just Plain Bill" and "A Brighter Day"

Larry Maupin

Some years ago I borrowed a cassette tape from the SPERDVAC General Library labeled G-763(a) in the catalog.  The contents listed on Side 1 were only an episode from "Just Plain Bill" entitled "Basket of Fruit."  That was indeed on Side 1, but to my happy surprise there was also an uncataloged episode of "The Brighter Day."  I copied the tape and still have it.  

There are a couple of interesting points about this.  One is that the tape is of a July 4th, 1980 broadcast over radio station KLON-FM in Long Beach, California introduced by the announcer as "KLON and SPERDVAC Present an Independence Day Salute to the Golden Age of Radio." The first hour, which is the only one I have, contains episodes of the two soap operas and "The Fred Waring Show," all undated but indicated as being from the 1940s.  Other programs listed on Reel 763 in the catalog for that broadcast are "The Guiding Light: Dinner With Martin Kane"; "Midstream: Midge Conway meets Timothy Story"; "Damascus"; "Front Page Drama: The Dotting of an I"; "Moon Dreams: The Raven"; "Flash Gordon: Flash Drinks Lithiam Antidote: and "Shadow of Fu Manchu: Nolen Smith Goes To Dr. Petries's House."  Having all the OTR shows broadcast over KLON that day would be a great item in anyone's collection and must have been exciting for OTR fans who were able to listen to the shows on that day.  I wonder if any of our members heard any of it live.

The other matter of interest is that I have checked to see if the OTRR Library has the episode of "Just Plain Bill" or "The Brighter Day" broadcast on KLON that day, and I have concluded that it does not.  The library has only one "Just Plain Bill" episode involving a basket of poison fruit that Judith Seymour brought Bill in an effort to murder him.  The episode I have from SPERDVAC is an earlier one in which the basket has been delivered but not yet opened.  Bill's son-in-law Kerry Donovan is keeping it away from him because Kerry does not trust Judith and fears that she may be trying to harm Bill.  In the OTRR Library episode Bill's grandson Wiki has eaten some of the fruit and it has been discovered to be poisoned.  I might add that the KLON episode blasts out the opening theme of "Polly Wolly Doodle" on the harmonica loud and clear, and it is a joy to hear.

The episode of "The Brighter Day" on the cassette, as I mentioned, was uncataloged when I received the tape and may still be.  It is a thoroughly delightful episode which might be entitled "Sounds of Spring."  Patsy Dennis is fifteen and has heard a rumor that Otis J. Hopkins is planning to ask her to the Junior Prom.  She is experiencing adolescent sexuality, and interprets the night sounds of frogs and insects as "all mating calls."  A couple of nice details are that a prom ticket costs $2.75 and that Patsy's brother Grayling is on the bowling team.

I am posting this because I think it would be good if these two episodes were added to the OTRR Library collection.  SPERDVAC may have encoded it by now, because it has been many years since I copied the tape.  If it cannot be obtained from any already encoded source, the tape i have with both episodes on it is of very good sound quality and I can mail a copy to anyone who wants to encode it for inclusion in the OTRR Library.  Perhaps there is one particular person who does most of the encoding, and if so he or she is welcome to contact me if interested.

Best wishes to everyone.
Larry Maupin

Larry Maupin