Listener Reports Number 49 and 50

Larry Maupin

XLIX. Program: Stella Dallas

Broadcast Date:Friday, August 10, 1945. 4:15pm Eastern War Time. WEAF-New York. NBC.

Sponsor: Double Dandureen Dandruff Shampoo; Ironized Yeast

Episode Title: "To Trap Neal and Harriet" according to the OTRR Library listing.

Opening: Theme music from "How Can I leave Thee", then "We give you now 'Stella Dallas', the continuation on the air of the true-to-life story of mother love and sacrifice.  These episodes from the later life of Stella Dallas are based on the famous novel of that name by Olive Higgins Prouty, and are written by Anne Hummert."  Then a commercial for Double Dandureen.

Summary: The scene is the home of Neal and Christine Rayburn.  Phil Baxter and Stella have devised a trap  that will prove to Neal that Harriet Rayburn is a bad stepmother to little Teddy and help him see that she is trying to ruin his marriage.

Conclusion: "This is the fateful moment.  This is the moment that will decide Teddy's future, Christine's future.  And there's a totally unexpected surprise just ahead for Stella Dallas."Then another commercial for Double Dandureen.  Then "'Stella Dallas' will be on the air tomorrow-- that is, Monday-- at 4:15pm Eastern War Time.  This is Frank Gallup speaking."  Then an Ironized Yeast spot at the end.

Notes: (1) John Dunning writes in "On The Air" (p.635) that "Stella Dallas" was perhaps the most excruciating melodrama on radio, certainly rivaling and some believe surpassing even the Hummerts' torturous "Backstage Wife" and "Romance of Helen Trent" in the pain-per-minute sweepstakes": (2) The audio quality is superb.

L. Program: Stella Dallas

Broadcast Date: April 25, 1949

Sponsor: Philips' Milk of Magnesia

Episode Title: "Paul Wyman Pays Stella a Visit" according to the OTRR Library listing

Opening: Theme music, then introduction.  Then, "And now, 'Stella Dallas'."

Summary; Paul Wyman comes to see Stella at her home, and she asks him how much his housekeeper Reva Collins had to do with his decision to keep his daughter Celia a prisoner in her own home.  Wyman tells Stella that he will do anything necessary to keep Celia from seeing a young architect who lives nearby.  Then he confides in her that he fears for his daughter's life if she should marry.  He also tells her that in his earlier years he was responsible for someone's death, and that while it may not have been "murder in the eyes of man" it may have been "murder in the eyes of God."  Wyman encounters Stella's daughter Laurel Grosvenor on his way out, and they talk briefly.  Then Laurel ("Lolly") and Stella discuss the matter.

Conclusion: "Stella is in the center of these fierce conflicting emotions.  Celia, Paul and Steven have each asked for her help.  You'll want to hear the full and unusual drama tomorrow on 'Stella Dallas'."  Then another Philips' Milk of Magnesia commercial.  Then theme music.  Then "Stella Dallas will be on the air at this same time tomorrow.  This is Frank Gallup speaking."

Notes:(1) This is a splendid episode.  It shows why "Stella Dallas" is among the handful of radio soap operas that best exemplify their tremendous appeal to millions of listeners; (2) The audio quality is only fair and the recording could use some further editing

Larry Maupin