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In Breaking Walls episode 119 we continue our Americana mini-series by bringing our appetites to the diner. We’ll hear stories from some of radio’s best and center ourselves around shows taking place in establishments.——————————Highlights:• What Exactly is a Diner?• Lux Presents Hollywood• Suspense At the End of World War II• The Diner After World …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 118 we hit the road with part one of an Americana mini-series. We’ll gas up with some of radio’s best and examine shows taking place at America’s filling stations.——————————Highlights:• Al Hodge and The Green Hornet• Getting a Checkup at Doctor Christian’s• Lux Presents: They Drive By Night with Lana Turner and Lucille Bal…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 117 we blast off with NBC in the fall of 1955 and spotlight its premiere science fiction series, X Minus One. We’ll listen to episodes, hear interviews with those involved, and find out why this series continues to be a favorite among listeners today.——————————Highlights:• The Beginning of the End for Network Radio Drama• …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 116, it’s June of 1955 and network radio is in uncharted territory. TV’s encroachment has the entire industry looking for new ideas. We’ll focus on the launch of one of the most successful—Monitor—which will air in some form or fashion until January of 1975. ——————————Highlights:• The Changing Network Radio Landscape• Who …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 115, we focus on one of the last experimental programs on the air, The CBS Radio Workshop, and the man at its Hollywood helm, William Froug. We’ll listen to episodes, hear interviews with men and women known and unknown, and find out why this show was so critically acclaimed in its day. ——————————Highlights:• Who is Bill F…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 114, as America moves to the suburbs in the mid-1950s, we move with them and examine a radio western called Fort Laramie. Although it only aired for ten months, it’s one of the most critically acclaimed western shows the genre ever produced. ——————————Highlights:• The Network Radio Landscape in 1956• Norman MacDonnell lose…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 113 it’s September of 1953 and Elliott Lewis is one of the busiest men in radio. He’s the producer/director of four shows and the star of two. We’ll join him that fall, following for a week to find out what life was like for the man affectionately dubbed by his peers as “Mr. Radio.”——————————Highlights:• Phil and Alice Cou…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 112, we finish our five-part mini-series by examining NBC’s business and programming during the 1949-50 radio season in the wake of the CBS talent raids by examining the steps NBC took to regain their footing as the television era began. ——————————Highlights:• Garroway• Frank Sinatra’s Tailspin• Monday Night of Music• Ivy …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 111 we resume our mini-series in January of 1949. CBS is now the nation’s number one network, and NBC is left to come up with programming answers. We’ll focus on the shows they launched in the spring and summer of 1949. ——————————Highlights:• Jack Benny: Now on CBS• First The News• Network Radio Opens 1949 with Record Earn…
 
In our remastered Breaking Walls Episode 75 we go back in time to the beginning of radio to tell the story of how this medium began. This episode was originally released on 2/1/2018. ——————————Highlights:* Why the Blizzard of 1888 played such an important role in the need for wireless telegraphy* Who Was Heinrich Hertz? What experiment made him the…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 110 we continue our mini-series on the 1948-49 radio season by focusing on news and programming during Christmas week, 1948. ——————————Highlights:• Jack Benny: Leaving for CBS• A northeast blizzard starts holiday week• Edgar Bergen: Also leaving NBC• Walter Winchell’s big new ABC deal• Soaps, Queens, and the Chesterfield S…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 109 we continue our mini-series on the 1948-49 radio season by focusing on news and programming from Thanksgiving Day, 1948. ——————————Highlights:• Tex and Jinx for WNBC with photographer Robert Capa• John Nesbitt’s Passing Parade for WOR while CBS broadcasts the Macy’s parade• Cornell vs. Penn in the Turkey Bowl Game• Nor…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 108 we go back to October 31st, 1948 and open a five-part mini series on that season’s business and programming. ——————————Highlights:• You Are There• Dewey V Truman• Let’s Sit This One Out• Halloween 1948 in New York over the Mutual Broadcasting System• Ozzie and Harriet Visit a Haunted House• Jack Benny Goes Trick-or-Tre…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 107, we go back to school with the Nelson family and find out why David and Ricky joined the program, and how it affected the entertainment industry forever.——————————Highlights:• Oswald George Nelson—Boy from New Jersey• The Ukulele Craze and the Boy scout Jamboree• Ozzie Starts a Band• Splitting Time Between Football and…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 106, we join Eve Arden at Madison High School and find out why we all love Our Miss Brooks. ——————————Highlights:• Who is Eunice Quedens? • Eve the heroine with Elizabeth Arden cosmetics.• Starting out in Hollywood• Getting on the Radio• Teaming with Danny Kaye, Jack Haley, and Jack Carson• William Paley and his Packaged P…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 105 we pour shots and take dictation with The Adventures of Sam Spade. ——————————Highlights:• Bill Spier’s Musical Beginnings Lead to Suspense• Howard Duff: Unknown Actor• How About Now For Sam Spade?• CBS and ABC compete for Spade• Spade Versus Bergen & McCarthy• 1947-48: Radio’s Highest-Rated Season• Spade Hits Its Strid…
 
Here is the full episode as one track for those who requested! — In Breaking Walls Episode 104 we focus on Orson Welles’ radio career from Pearl Harbor through the end of radio’s peak, and pick up where we left off in Breaking Walls episode 79.——————————Highlights:• Orson Returns to Radio In the Fall of 1941• The Magnificent Ambersons Enters Produc…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 103 we visit the town of Wistful Vista to spend a weekend at Walt’s Malt Shop with Fibber McGee and Molly. While between 1938 and 1950, Jim and Marian Jordan’s comedy never finished lower than fifth in national radio ratings, in this episode, we’ll focus on the period after, when the show became a closed production and air…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 102, we travel back to the fall of 1955 for the re-launch of Yours Truly Johnny Dollar. Although the five-part Dollar format would last for only a year, listeners then and in the years since have praised the productions as some of the best ever.——————————Highlights:• Who is Johnny Dollar?• Dick Powell: Not Johnny Dollar• D…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 101, we spotlight the career of John Dehner during 1958. In February of that year, Dehner was cast in the title role of J.B. Kendall in Antony Ellis’ short-lived western, Frontier Gentleman. We’ll focus on four episodes of the series which had a recurring character named Belle Siddons, a beautiful gambler and ex-Confederat…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 100 we focus on the radio career of Lucille Ball, arguably the most famous comedienne of the twentieth century.She rose through the ranks in New York as a model before a small role in Eddie Cantor’s Roman Scandals brought her to Hollywood in 1933 where she gained prominence. When the 1940s began, Ball was a b-film actress …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 99 we wrap up our trilogy on the most popular season in radio history with a look at the major network programming surrounding New Year’s 1948.——————————Highlights:• Scenes from the Post-Christmas Blizzard Aftermath• Breakfast in Hollywood• Checking in on Lora Lawton• Lois Lane Has Been Framed• Staats Cotsworth’s Other Gig…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 98 we continue our trilogy on the most popular season in radio history with a look at Christmas Week 1947.——————————Highlights:• Ralph Edwards and Truth or Consequences—A Record Rated Show• It’s Christmas Week and Jerusalem is in Shambles• The Eternal Light and One Man’s Family• Jack Benny Does Last Minute Christmas Shoppi…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 97 we usher in the holiday season with the first of a three-part mini-series on the 1947-48 radio season. The 1947-48 season had the largest radio audience in history. Homes with radios jumped 6%, car radios 29%. The major networks—NBC, CBS, ABC, and the Mutual Broadcasting System added 147 new affiliates. 97% of the natio…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 96, we laugh, scream, and cry while we join radio’s best as they celebrate Halloween on the air.——————————Highlights:• The Birth of the Great Gildersleeve• Sam Spade has a Halloween adventure• Ernest Chappell says, “Don’t Tell Me About Halloween”• Spike Jones and His City Slickers Celebrate• Sherlock Holmes and the Laughin…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 95, we go back to school with radio’s teacher’s pets, class clowns, and perhaps the most iconic “Miss” in radio history. ——————————Highlights:• How William Paley used The Columbia Workshop to launch shows and careers.• Suspense Moves to Hollywood and Gets Sponsorship• The Radio Rise of Eve Arden and the Launch of Our Miss …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 94 we visit the malt shops, drug stores, and soda counters in America’s heartland and spend time with radio’s best dramatic actors and actresses.Highlights• Norman Corwin, Margaret Sullavan, and Byron Kane’s Big Break• The Pharmacist Goes to War—and Saves a Life• Inner Sanctum and Santos Ortega• Dennis Day: Soda Jerk• The …
 
In Breaking Walls episode 93 we ride the rails with some of the most famous stars in radio history. During radio’s golden age, there were three main production hubs: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. With so much daily content to produce, radio’s greatest minds developed programs and episodes centered around every recognizable theme, like the New…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 92 we open the summer season with a trip to Coney Island, Brooklyn. The New York city summer locale was frequented in radio programs and by radio performers. It was also, in the days of wireless telegraphy, an important station location for Guglielmo Marconi. Highlights:• Marconi’s last link• André Baruch Gets His Radio St…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 91, we finish the adult western trilogy with a focus on the period after television decimated radio’s listening audience, forever altering the broadcasting landscape. Dramatic radio’s time as America’s number one entertainment genre was over, but it was far from dead.Our story won’t conclude on that fabled date of Septembe…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 90 and on the second part of our western trilogy, dramatic radio goes from boom to bust in a nine year period after World War II, as a group of actors become radio legends, while the radio western grows up.Highlights:• William S. Paley’s Plan to Overtake NBC• The West-Coast Hollywood Actors • Robson, Yarborough, Lewis, and…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 89, we explore the birth of the dramatic radio western show, specifically targeted to adult audiences. This is the first of a three-part mini-series on adult western radio shows.Highlights:• Back to the Very Beginning• What is a Western Show?• The Birth of Western Dramatic Radio Shows• Empire Builders• Death Valley Days• T…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 88, we spotlight the 1945-46 season of The Jack Benny Program. This season introduced characters like telephone operators Gertrude and Mabel, press agent Steve Bradley, hot dog vendor Mr. Kitzel, and Ronald and Benita Colman. This season featured guest appearances from Ingrid Bergman, Isaac Stern, Van Johnson, Ray Milland,…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 87, we spotlight some New Year’s Day radio programming from the Golden Age of radio, specifically beginning in 1946 after the end of World War II and television's post-war rise. Highlights:• Skelton• Casey Crime Photographer and the Invasion of TV• Radio City Playhouse and Our Miss Brooks• The Railroad Hour and NBC’s Monda…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 86, we spotlight what was on the air over the US’ major radio networks during December of 1945. Highlights:• The First Peacetime Holiday Season in Five Years Begins• Radio’s Three Main Production Hubs• Macabees• Frank Nelson, Lurene Tuttle, and Mandel Kramer• I Can’t Stand Jack Benny• Soap Operas and Kid’s Shows• NBC Domin…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 85, we spotlight the radio career of Frank Sinatra. We’ll find out how a brash, skinny kid from Hoboken, New Jersey became one of the most popular and influential music artists of the 20th century, selling more than 150 million records worldwide, winning an academy award for Best Supporting Actor, and using radio to launch…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 84, it’s the Simple Art of Macabre, to your ears from the mouths of some of the best who ever produced radio’s stuff of nightmares. Highlights:• Why Do We Like To Be Scared? • What pre-dated the radio horror program in the United States of America?• The Witch’s Tale• Cooper, Oboler, and Lights Out• Orson Welles, Himan Brow…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 83, we focus the radio industry of the 1930s and 40s—especially on the career of David Sarnoff, as RCA’s network, NBC begins to lose its grip on the top spot in the broadcasting industry while they introduce Television. We’ll also focus on the introduction of new talent to the industry, and the CBS talent raids of 1948-194…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 82 we focus on the state of the radio broadcasting industry in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as Broadcasting booms while the world goes to War. Highlights:• Early days at NBC’s Radio City in New York• How Press Associations caused NBC and CBS to launch a news service• The Birth of the Mutual Broadcasting System and their…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 81, we spotlight the life and career of one of the twentieth century’s most famous comedians, Fred Allen. Amongst other comedians and entertainers, almost no one was beloved as much as him. His comedic feud with Jack Benny was legendary, as were his battles with network executives and sponsors. Highlights:• John Sullivan i…
 
Question? What do starlets Marlene Dietrich, Kay Thompson, Margaret Sullivan, and Loretta Young have in common? How about writers and directors Norman Corwin, Helen Deutsch, and Bill Spier. How about Danny Kaye, Mel Allen, Gerald Mohr, Elliot Lewis, Byron Kane, Lurene Tuttle, Paula Winslowe, Joseph Kearns, and Arthur Q. Bryan?Answer: They guest-sta…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 79, we present a detailed look at Orson Welles’ radio career through the end of 1941. Highlights:• Beginnings in Illinois and China — How they helped shape Orson• The Todd Seminary School — His first exposure to theater and Radio• Connections and Early Breaks — How his mentor Roger Hill, Thornton Wilder, Alexander Woollcot…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 78, in honor of Major League’s Baseball’s opening day, we present stories, recollections, and in-game sounds from some of baseball’s most memorable moments and people.Highlights:• Hear what Jackie Robinson’s Major League Baseball debut on April 15th, 1947 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY sounded like• NY Daily News Columnis…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 77 we pick up our story on the history of American radio broadcasting, as a few ramshackle radio stations become large national networks, giving rise to an entire generation of entertainment giants during the roaring 1920s. Highlights:• July 2, 1921— Jack Dempsey defends his heavyweight boxing title in front of 80,000 fans…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 76, we pick up our story on the history of American dramatic radio after the sinking of the Titanic in April of 1912. The time between 1912 and 1922 saw three competing interests battle for control of the wireless airwaves as wireless telegraphy transitioned into radio broadcasting. These three interests were big private b…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 75 we go back in time to the beginning of radio to tell the story of how this medium began.Highlights:* Why the Blizzard of 1888 played such an important role in the need for wireless telegraphy* Who Was Heinrich Hertz? What experiment made him the father of Hertzian Waves?* What Oliver Lodge, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graha…
 
In Breaking Walls episode 74, we celebrate the WallBreakers’ 6th birthday with an anniversary extravaganza! First, we’ll chat with the creator of the 1970s radio drama The Zero Hour, Mr. Jay M. Kholos. Then, a portion of a recent conversation with the author of The Who Is Johnny Dollar Matter, Mr. John C. Abbott. If you’ve been listening to this po…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 73 we spotlight the 1970s CBS and Mutual Broadcasting dramatic radio revival and why it ultimately failed.Highlights:• Go Inside the November 1, 1973 Mutual Broadcasting closed circuit press conference from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City announcing Zero Hour• How Jay M. Kholos came to create The Zero Hour• How …
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 72 we tell some of the story of American dramatic radio’s last decade on the air through one of the last shows to air, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar.Highlights• The cautionary tale of the Mutual Broadcasting System and why CBS, NBC, and ABC killed their own radio business• The 3rd Floor of NBC and Colby's Restaurant• Why Johnn…
 
In Breaking Walls Episode 71, we offer season’s greetings, glad tidings, and a preview of what our next episode (72) of Breaking Walls will be on January 1st.We've been getting a lot of traction with the golden age of radio mini-documentaries we've have been producing. If this is foreign to you, check out episode 70 which delves into the life and c…
 
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