Listener Reports Numbers 51-thru-53

Larry Maupin

LI. Program: Stella Dallas

Broadcast Date: December 22, 1955. KNBC-San Francisco. NBC

Sponsor: Sustained by NBC.  PSA for CARE.

Suggested Episode Title: "Raymond Wiley Plots His Revenge"

Opening: Theme music from the beautiful "How Can I Leave Thee," then the introduction  and an announcement that a donation of one dollar will provide a 24-pound CARE package for those in need.  "And now, "Stella Dallas."

Summary: Raymond Wiley, business partner of Stella's ex-husband Stephen Dallas, plans to kill both Stephen and Stella to secure his title to properties in Brazil on which Wiley has built a multi-million dollar empire in coffee, rubber and diamonds.  Hoping to save her life, Stephen plans to ask Stella to re-marry.

Closing: "Be sure to listen tomorrow-- same time, same station-- to "Stella Dallas'."  Then a promo for "Weekday."

Notes: (1) There is a lot of interesting detail in this episode.  Stella lives in a rooming house in Boston; Stephen has sent her a box of pale yellow roses; Stephen and Stella take a cab to lunch at the Beverly Hotel in downtown Boston; daughter Lolly made the hat Stella is wearing.  This is the only radio soap opera I am aware of that was set in Boston.  Real-life locations for others were New York, Chicago and Hollywood.  "Young Widder Brown" was set in Simpsonville, West Virginia, which sounds as if it should be a real place and perhaps is; the same with Rosehaven, Long Island, home of the Nobles in "Backstage Wife"; (2) A good recording.

LII.  Program: Strange

Broadcast Date: 1955 (day and month not given)

Sponsor: No commercials.

Suggested Episode Title: Greenwood Acres

Opening: "The story you are about to hear is true, but strange.  The ABC network presents strange, true stories of the supernatural."

Summary: The premise of the story is that a man keeps traveling back and forth in time between 1952 and 1865.  Greenwood Acres is an old plantation house, but a man(Lieutenant Proctor) sees it as new.  One day he sees a pretty girl in the water who calls him by his first name (Seth) as if she knows him, but he has never met her before.  She runs away, but when he tells a local woman about what he saw she says that Greenwood Acres is nothing but a ruin now and has been so for many years.  Puzzled, he visits the local library and reads about a girl named Laura who in 1865 loved a soldier named Seth, which would have been a time when the mansion was still beautiful,

Conclusion: "Walter Gibson, your expert on the supernatural and stories of ghosts, of spirits, werewolves and voodoo.  And each story you hear is true, but strange."

Note: The sound quality is fair, with quite a few stretches being almost inaudible."

LIII. Program: The Guiding Light

Broadcast Date: July 15, 1940

Sponsor: Proctor&Gamble's White Naptha Soap

Episode Title: "Rose and Charles Have Dinner" according to the OTRR Library listing.

Opening: Theme music, then "The Guiding Light," brought to you by the makers of P&G soap, the White Naptha Soap."  Then a commercial.  "And now, 'The Guiding Light'."

Summary: Rose Kransky and her former employer Charles are having dinner together and have not seen each other recently because Rose has been at home with her new baby.  They have apparently been having an affair, and their conversation is intimate and serious.  Charles' wife Nora has recently died, and Rose believes that Nora's last wish was that Charles and Rose get married.  This seems to be a good idea, but is complicated by the fact that Rose is already married.  They debate what to do.

Conclusion: "Is the president of the publishing company entertaining the idea of a future relationship with his former secretary?  Does he believe the answer to be marriage?"  Then another commercial for White Naptha Soap, followed by theme music.  Then what sounds like ""Torchie receives an offer to return East.  Be sure to listen tomorrow to "The Guiding Light "  This is your announcer Ford Pearson."

Notes: (1) This is an outstanding episode.  I think "The Guiding Light" dealt more frankly and openly with the subject of adultery than any other radio soap opera.  Meta Bauer was also involved in an adulterous relationship during a long story line that has happily been preserved and that fortunately also includes a murder; (2) The sound quality is good for the most part.

Larry Maupin