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Actor Jim Bannon -- does anyone have his book?

Joe Webb
 

Does anyone have Jim Bannon's book "The Son That Rose in the West"? I am researching his possibly being "The Man in Black" for a few weeks on Suspense and it being noted in his book. THANKS!!!
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Larry Gassman
 

Joe,
I know his voice. Give me a date or two and I can check to see if I can help.
Larry

Larry Gassman
 

Joe,
I know his voice. Give me a date or two and I can check to see if I can help.
Larry

David Lee Smith
 

5   #594  

"Does anyone have Jim Bannon's book "The Son That Rose in the West"? I am researching his possibly being "The Man in Black" for a few weeks on Suspense and it being noted in his book. THANKS!!!" - Joe Webb

Well, after winning the book on eBay (for just $4.95) it arrived today and I gave it a quick scan. I didn't see anything on the first run-thru, so I did a search on the computer and found on RadioGoldIndex:

"46408. Suspense. August 21, 1943. CBS net. "Sorry, Wrong Number". Sustaining. An invalid woman battles the frustrations of the telephone system after she overhears a plot to murder someone. The program is hosted by "The Man In Black." The story was previously produced on "Suspense" on May 25, 1943 (see cat. #3681). The story was subsequently produced on "Suspense" on February 24, 1944 (see cat. #52776), September 6, 1945 (see cat. #46406), November 18, 1948 (see cat. #46416), September 15, 1952, October 20, 1957 (see cat. #93441) and February 14, 1960 (see cat. #16468). Lucille Fletcher (writer), Agnes Moorehead, William Spier (producer), Ted Bliss (director), Hans Conried, Ted Osborne ("The Man In Black"), Lucien Moraweck (composer), Lud Gluskin (conductor), Berne Surrey (sound effects), Cathy Lewis, Jim Bannon ("The Man In Black"). 29:21. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete." (http://www.radiogoldindex.com/frame1.html)

Looking thru the book again on the year "1943" I found:
Pg. 55 September 1943 

"My schedule at this point is so full I just about need a secretary to get to the right place at the right time. I have Cavalcade on Monday, Rudy Vallee on Tuesday, The Great Gildersleeve on Wednesday, Star over Hollywood on Saturday morning, Walter Winchell on Sunday and I Love a Mystery five days a week. Mystery is a two-show deal but all the rest of them are single broadcast jobs...

For about six weeks I did the announcing on one of the thrilling shows which you probably don't catch, it is called "Suspense" but that was strictly a short-term fill-in job. Joe Kearns, who actually does it, was sitting in the Derby bar one night, minding his own business, when a GI next to him came on with what has almost become a standard question to civilians. "How come you're not in uniform ?" The fact that Kearns couldn't whip a pint of cream in a Waring Blender didn't matter. Joe swears he didn't make any sort of a smart answer but the guy clobbered him anyway and broke his jaw. While his face was wired together I did his show."

ENJOY OLD TIME RADIO - David Lee Smith
Inline image


Joe Webb
 

Thanks -- I was able to get a copy of the book, too.

This is what we know so far....
Kearns is missing from Suspense for 10 consecutive episodes, likely as Bannon claims with a broken jaw.
Bannon was very very busy, and as he writes this letter to his parents in September, many weeks later, he may not remember the specific number of episodes he did, and the exact number was not really important in this letter to his parents or in this context.
Through the years, most of these episodes were not attributed to Bannon, but to Berry Kroeger or Ted Osborne. It was assumed that Ted Osborne was strictly a New York actor, and that this attribution was inaccurate just for that reason. The same was true for Kroeger, but newspapers indicate he was going to Hollywood for a screen test and other opportunities around this time, so Kroeger, also a friend of Kearns, was available for the role. Most of the information we have indicates that he did not take the Man in Black role at this time, despite being on the west coast. So the main objection to the Kroeger role turns out not to be true, but there's no indication he did it.
Bannon is hard to identify in the role because he is trying to act, for want of a better term, "Man in Black-ish" -- so many of the folks I have had listen to the programs who are radio voice experts know it is not Kearns, but suspect it is Bannon, but can't say "yeah, that's Bannon's voice" because Bannon is not speaking naturally.
The question is did Bannon do all 10? That's still up in the air -- we'll take his word for it that he did six... and that he probably did 10... but where is the certainty?
There isn't -- no copies of scripts with cast assignments exist for this particular era. We have early scripts that were used in prepared for production, but none that were brought into the studio.

And now this became a new wrinkle the other day...
If Kearns was not on Suspense during his recovery, then why is he performing in Lights Out in August? Why didn't he just return to Suspense? He is in both circulating Lights Out episodes from August 1948 (Murder Castle, Sub-basement), though not in the show credits. It's obvious it's him in these episodes, with extended speaking parts.
When Kearns was injured and needed to recover, did Suspense hire Bannon for a specific number of episodes rather than on a week-to-week freelance basis? That would explain Kearns' absence even though he would have been available. They didn't need two Men in Black.

For right now, until some other information surfaces, it seems that Bannon did Suspense for 10 weeks, but now there's a new mystery about why Kearns did not return sooner when it was clear that he was able to resume acting.

This was a strange time for Suspense, too, as Spier had a heart attack and missed three weeks while Kearns was out.

My experiences in researching Suspense continues to be like an onion... you peel a layer, and the onion still seems to stay the very same size!

THANKS for your help!


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Brian Kavanaugh
 

Joe,

You have the wrong date on the 6/29/43 episode for Kearns' return (1943-06-29 rather than 1943-09-23).


On Tue, May 19, 2020 at 6:51 AM Joe Webb via groups.io <drjoewebb=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Thanks -- I was able to get a copy of the book, too.

This is what we know so far....
Kearns is missing from Suspense for 10 consecutive episodes, likely as Bannon claims with a broken jaw.
Bannon was very very busy, and as he writes this letter to his parents in September, many weeks later, he may not remember the specific number of episodes he did, and the exact number was not really important in this letter to his parents or in this context.
Through the years, most of these episodes were not attributed to Bannon, but to Berry Kroeger or Ted Osborne. It was assumed that Ted Osborne was strictly a New York actor, and that this attribution was inaccurate just for that reason. The same was true for Kroeger, but newspapers indicate he was going to Hollywood for a screen test and other opportunities around this time, so Kroeger, also a friend of Kearns, was available for the role. Most of the information we have indicates that he did not take the Man in Black role at this time, despite being on the west coast. So the main objection to the Kroeger role turns out not to be true, but there's no indication he did it.
Bannon is hard to identify in the role because he is trying to act, for want of a better term, "Man in Black-ish" -- so many of the folks I have had listen to the programs who are radio voice experts know it is not Kearns, but suspect it is Bannon, but can't say "yeah, that's Bannon's voice" because Bannon is not speaking naturally.
The question is did Bannon do all 10? That's still up in the air -- we'll take his word for it that he did six... and that he probably did 10... but where is the certainty?
There isn't -- no copies of scripts with cast assignments exist for this particular era. We have early scripts that were used in prepared for production, but none that were brought into the studio.

And now this became a new wrinkle the other day...
If Kearns was not on Suspense during his recovery, then why is he performing in Lights Out in August? Why didn't he just return to Suspense? He is in both circulating Lights Out episodes from August 1948 (Murder Castle, Sub-basement), though not in the show credits. It's obvious it's him in these episodes, with extended speaking parts.
When Kearns was injured and needed to recover, did Suspense hire Bannon for a specific number of episodes rather than on a week-to-week freelance basis? That would explain Kearns' absence even though he would have been available. They didn't need two Men in Black.

For right now, until some other information surfaces, it seems that Bannon did Suspense for 10 weeks, but now there's a new mystery about why Kearns did not return sooner when it was clear that he was able to resume acting.

This was a strange time for Suspense, too, as Spier had a heart attack and missed three weeks while Kearns was out.

My experiences in researching Suspense continues to be like an onion... you peel a layer, and the onion still seems to stay the very same size!

THANKS for your help!


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Joe Webb
 

if you're referring to the online log, i caught that typo the other day

are you referring to something else?

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Brian Kavanaugh
 

It was the online log. When I opened it yesterday, that's when I noticed it. Today, though, I see the updated value.


On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 7:22 AM Joe Webb via groups.io <drjoewebb=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
if you're referring to the online log, i caught that typo the other day

are you referring to something else?

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Joe Webb
 

yeah, copy and paste gets me into trouble sometime

thanks for using the log! i find something new to add to it or to tweak it in some way almost every day

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