back arrowBreaking Walls

David Sarnoff's NBC-TV Introduction at the 1939 World's Fair in New York—4.20.1939

Episode description

When the 1939 World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows, David Sarnoff was there to share the spotlight with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and New York City’s Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia.

There he announced, via a single mobile NBC television camera unit, connected from a coaxial cable to a transmitting van, which was placed fifty feet from the speakers’ platform, that NBC TV was ready to go on the air.

In the background, it showed the Fair’s symbols—The Trylon and the Perisphere, swept across the Court of Peace, panned the gathering throng, and captured the arrival of the president’s motorcade.

This same camera captured the first television close-up… Mayor La Guardia, who was never the bashful sort, casually strode up and ogled it, face to face.

episodes iconMore Episodes

John Wayne's 1955 Gunsmoke TV Debut Promo

April 20th, 2019


In 1955 when Gunsmoke debuted on television they turned to John Wayne for a one-minute promo spot to give the show credibility.

When Wayne heard that …

Frontier Gentleman: Short Horn Tom Teaches J.B. Kendall 19th Century Western Lingo—4/27/1958

April 19th, 2019


The April 27th, 1958 episode of Frontier Gentleman entitled "Random Notes," featured a vignette in which an old western man named Short Horn Tom …

How Elliott Lewis Advanced the Radio Western When He Took Over Suspense

April 18th, 2019


In June of 1950, Elliott Lewis was named producer and director of Suspense, replacing William Spier.

The program’s new sponsor Autolite preferred to …

How Escape Revolutionized The Radio Western

April 17th, 2019


Escape, CBS’s high-adventure anthology, debuted on July 7th, 1947.

During its erratic seven year run it was shifted and dropped frequently, almost …

NBC's Answer To The CBS Talent Raids of 1948-49

April 15th, 2019


This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954)


In early 1949 NBC found itself …

Eve Arden On How She Got Her Stage Name

April 14th, 2019


On the final day of January in 1975 Eve Arden was an interview guest of Chuck Schaden (Full Interview here -

Mel Brooks Tells Johnny Carson About a Prank He Pulled on General Sarnoff, Head of RCA/NBC

April 13th, 2019


On the February 13th, 1975 episode of The Tonight Show, Mel Brooks was the guest. The interview took place not long after Young Frankenstein debuted.

Luke Slaughter of Tombstone: O'Brien Paints Commercial—05/04/1958

April 12th, 2019


The CBS Western Luke Slaughter of Tombstone came to radio at a time when both sponsorship and listenership were at an all-time low. The program lasted just sixteen episodes, and only on one single broadcast did they …

The Story Behind The Birth Of Gunsmoke

April 11th, 2019


By 1951 director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston were working on multiple projects at CBS and continuing their refinement of the radio …

Fort Laramie: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar Promo—05/06/1956

April 10th, 2019


At the end of the Sunday, May 6th, 1956 episode of Fort Laramie entitled "Never the Twain," CBS broadcast a promotional spot for Yours Truly Johnny …

Raymond Burr On His First Paid Acting Role at Age Eleven

April 9th, 2019


In 1963, during the height of Perry Mason's television fame, Raymond Burr sat down with Jack Webster for an interview about his career and the changes that playing Perry Mason brought into his life. During the course of …

The Story Behind James Stewart's The Six Shooter

April 8th, 2019


This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954).

In 1952, Jack Johnstone was …

Frontier Gentleman — JB Kendall Speaks with an Outlaw On Death Row

April 7th, 2019


The twice-broadcast episode of Frontier Gentleman called "Random Notes" told a series of stories in vignette form, one of which had J.B. Kendall …

The Radio Life And Tragic Death Of Jeff Chandler

April 5th, 2019


This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954).

Jeff Chandler was born Ira …

CBS World News Roundup Promo Spot — 01/18/1959

April 4th, 2019


During the January 18th, 1959 episode of Have Gun, Will Travel, CBS used one of the mid-show act breaks for this CBS World News Roundup promo spot.

Words From The Famed Late 1940s Hollywood Radio Character Actors

April 3rd, 2019


This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954).

By 1946 Los Angeles was the …

Bill Conrad Jokes About How He Was Cast as Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke

April 2nd, 2019


In 1976 John Hickman of WAMU put together an expansive five-part audio documentary on the history of the radio version of Gunsmoke, complete with cast and production crew interviews, show clips, and reflections.

During …

BW - EP90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954)

March 31st, 2019


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 …

Anne Seymour And The Story Behind A Woman Of America

March 29th, 2019


Radio’s first significant western soap opera, A Woman of America told the dramatic story of a young woman’s struggle to find happiness in the …

Don Ameche And The Story Behind The Empire Builders

March 29th, 2019


The Empire Builders first came to the NBC Blue airwaves on January 14th, 1929, the day after Wyatt Earp passed away.

Sponsored by The Great Northern …

Lucille Ball Remembers Her Mother; Talks Working Too Much with Joan Rivers

March 27th, 2019


In 1986 as Lucille Ball was about to premiere Life With Lucy (her last sitcom) on ABC, she was a guest on Joan Rivers' talk show for a wide-ranging conversation on Lucy's career. During the course of the chat Lucy spoke …

CBS Afternoon Program Bumpers—2/23/1958

March 26th, 2019


On the afternoon of February 23rd, 1958, CBS premiered Luke Slaughter of Tombstone and ran the fourth episode of Frontier Gentlemen back-to-back at 2:05 and 2:30PM. Both of the shows were unsponsored and cost-sustained …

CBS President Frank Stanton on the CBS Differences Before and After World War II

March 24th, 2019


In 1977 for CBS' 50th anniversary, Frank Stanton, President of CBS, sat down with interviewers to talk about his life at the broadcasting network. It was here that he explained how CBS programming changed when CBS Head …

Gunsmoke Director Norman Macdonnell On Gunsmoke's Dead Air SFX

March 23rd, 2019


In 1976 John Hickman of WAMU put together an outstanding History of Gunsmoke five-part mini-series. One of the people interviewed was Gunsmoke director Norman Macdonnell.

In this clip Macdonnell speaks about the sound …

Eve Arden On Jeff Chandler

March 21st, 2019


In the early 1980s, the legendary Eve Arden was a guest on John Dunning's 71KNUS Old Time Radio program from Denver, Co. During the course of the conversation, they spoke about Our Miss Brooks and Eve's original Mr. …

Night Beat NBC Sales Promo—02/06/1950

March 20th, 2019


In early 1950 as NBC launched Night Beat starring Frank Lovejoy as Chicago night beat reporter Randy Stone, they sent this recording of the episode "Zero" out to potential sponsors with a sales message taking the place …

Byron Kane On Working with Orson Welles and Hans Conried

March 19th, 2019


Shortly after the death of Hand Conried in January of 1982, Byron Kane was a guest of SPERDVAC ( for a conversation on his life and career. During the course of the conversation, he spoke of his …

William S. Paley On The Importance of Radio

March 18th, 2019


In 1977, head of CBS William S. Paley gave his feelings on radio for CBS's 50th Anniversary broadcast. Paley had grown CBS from a ragtag group of near-bankrupt affiliates into one of the world's leading broadcast …

Fred Allen Jokes About Jack Benny on St. Patrick's Day—03/17/1937

March 17th, 2019


On the March 17th, 1937 episode of Town Hall Tonight, Fred Allen joked about his new-found friendship with Jack Benny, three days after squashing their beef in a sensational broadcast from the Hotel Pierre in New York …

Gracie Allen Marches in the St. Patrick's Day Parade—03/17/1941

March 16th, 2019


On the March 17th, 1941 episode of Burns & Allen, Gracie Allen recounts her afternoon marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It results in a …

Harry Bartell On Not Rehearsing When Working for Jack Webb on Dragnet

March 15th, 2019


On August 14th, 1982, SPERDVAC (Full interview: hosted a conversation with some of radio's most …

Herb Vigran on What Happened to Radio Actors during the 1960s after TV Killed Dramatic Radio

March 12th, 2019


In March of 1983 radio actors Herb Vigran and Herb Ellis were guests of SPERDVAC ( to talk about their radio careers. During the course of the conversation, Herb Vigran shed some much needed …

Byron Kane Tells a Self-Proclaimed X-Rated Radio Story About a Funny Line Flub

March 11th, 2019


In 1982, radio actor Byron Kane was a guest of SPERDVAC ( in California for a conversation about his life and career. During …

Jack Benny Struggles with Daylight Savings Time—09/30/1945

March 9th, 2019


Jack Benny's historic 1945-46 season began on the Sunday evening after Daylight Savings Time's expiration in 1945. He needs to get ready for his program, but is unsure of what the time is. Hilarity ensues.

This season's …

The Life And Death Of Buck Jones

March 9th, 2019


This is a snippet from BW-EP89: The Birth of The Adult Radio Western (1929 - 1945)


Buck Jones was born Charles Frederick Gebhart in …

Luke Slaughter—03/09/1958—CBS Network Mid-Show Frontier Gentlemen Promo

March 8th, 2019


During Sunday March 9th, 1958's episode of Luke Slaughter of Tombstone, CBS dedicated the network-sustained show's mid-episode break spot to a promo for the upcoming episode of Frontier Gentleman.

The two shows ran back …

William N. Robson On The Death of Dramatic Radio

March 7th, 2019


In January of 1976, famed radio director William N. Robson was a guest of Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran's on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio (full …

More Doctors Smoke Camels Commercial from Richard Diamond—02/09/1951

March 6th, 2019


In the winter of 1951, Dick Powell was starring as Richard Diamond Private Detective Friday evenings at 8PM on ABC. The program was sponsored by Camels cigarettes.

Their ad campaign touted the lack of throat irritation …

John Wayne, John Ford, Claire Trevor, and Ward Bond close the NBC Theater—01/09/1949

March 4th, 2019


On January 9th, 1949 NBC debuted the Screen Guild Theater with a radio rendition of John Ford's 1939 film, "Stagecoach." John Wayne and Claire Trevor …

Jeanette Nolan On Her Radio Beginnings

March 3rd, 2019


At a SPERDVAC meeting on March 14th, 1992 which featured Jeanette Nolan, Mary Jane Croft, and Sam Edwards, radio legend Jeanette Nolan explained how …

Ruth Woodman, Creator of Death Valley Days Talks with Ida Blackburn in 1961

March 2nd, 2019


In 1961 Ruth Cornwall Woodman, the creator of one of the first western radio dramas, Death Valley Days, was honored at the 1st annual Western Heritage Awards for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, in …

BW - EP89: The Birth of The Adult Radio Western (1929 - 1945)

February 28th, 2019


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 …

CBS 1952 Promo for Gunsmoke

February 25th, 2019


In 1952, as CBS launched Gunsmoke, they presented a long promo to showcase the strengths of the series, which included audio from an episode. This is that promo.

Al Jolson and Bing Crosby at NBC's Hollywood Opening—12/7/1935

February 24th, 2019


In late 1935, a second coast-to-coast NBC broadcast connection was established from New York.

While the first line was brought to San Francisco in the late 1920s, this one went to Los Angeles.

The circuit was able to …

Thomas Edison Thanks America For Their Birthday Well Wishes—02/11/1929

February 23rd, 2019


On February 11th, 1929, the very first broadcast of The Edison Hour took to the airwaves over NBC's Blue Network from their WJZ New York City studios.

With Edison's company manufacturing radios, it was thought to be a …

Joan Fontaine On Radio Paying Well and Her Anthology Roles

February 22nd, 2019


In May of 1975, film legend Joan Fontaine joined Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran as their guest for the Golden Age of Radio on Hartford, CT's WTIC. In …

Don Ameche On Chicago Radio of the 1930s and The Early SFX of Empire Builders

February 20th, 2019


In February of 1973 radio and film legend Don Ameche appeared on Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran's WTIC program The Golden Age of Radio to talk about his …

William N. Robson on The Power of "Three Skeleton Key"

February 18th, 2019


In April of 1974, John Hickman hosted "An Evening With William N. Robson" for his WAMU program, called Recollections. During the course of the five …

Director Jack Johnstone Tells a Funny Story about Al Jolson Being an Asshole

February 17th, 2019


In August of 1987, famed radio director Jack Johnstone was a guest of SPERDVAC's at the Thousand Oaks Library in California. During the course of the conversation on Johnstone's life and career, SPERDVAC's Larry Gassman …

William Conrad Tells a Funny Story About a Fan Interaction

February 16th, 2019


William Conrad tells a funny story about an interaction he had with a fan during the Gunsmoke radio days.

Virginia Gregg Tells a Funny On-The-Air Romance Story About John Dehner

February 15th, 2019


In August of 1982 SPERDVAC ( hosted a CBS panel at the Thousand Oaks Library in California. The panel featured some of the best known radio character actors of the 1940s and 1950s. One of them, …

Jimmy Stewart On His Love of Radio & Westerns

February 13th, 2019


In April of 1986, Jimmy Stewart was a guest of Larry King's Mutual Broadcasting radio show for an amazing hour on his life and career. During the course of the conversation, the topic of radio drama came up. Here's what …

John Dehner on Leaving a Disney Animation Job for Radio Acting

February 11th, 2019


In August of 1982, SPERDVAC hosted a CBS character actor panel featuring Virginia Gregg, Peggy Webber, Parley Baer, Vic Perrin, Harry Bartel, and John Dehner. In this clips Mr. Dehner explains how he came to be a radio …

Director Jack Johnstone On Marilyn Monroe Being an Awful Actress

February 10th, 2019


In August of 1987, famed radio director Jack Johnstone was a guest of SPERDVAC's at the Thousand Oaks Library in California. During the course of the conversation on Johnstone's life and career, he was asked by a guest …

James Stewart's Open as The Six Shooter in The Hollywood Star Playhouse—4/13/1952

February 9th, 2019


More than a year before James Stewart starred as Brit Ponset in The Six Shooter on NBC, he appeared as the character In April of 1952 on The …

Bob Hope and Johnny Carson Talk Radio, Golf, Funny Presidents

February 9th, 2019


In January of 1981 Bob Hope made an appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. In this conversation they spoke about radio, playing golf, performing …

When Dennis Day Returned From The Navy On St. Patricks Day, 1946

February 8th, 2019


Jack Benny’s most famous Irish Tenor, Dennis Day was born on May 21st, 1916 and raised in the Throggs Neck section of The Bronx, New York City—The second of five children born to Irish immigrants Patrick & Mary …

Director Norman Macdonnell on Gunsmoke's Rise as Dramatic Radio in Hollywood Died

February 6th, 2019


In 1976 John Hickman put together an outstanding History of Gunsmoke five-part mini-series. Towards the end of part 4, Gunsmoke director Norman Macdonnell spoke about dramatic radio drying up in Los Angeles during the …

William Conrad Tells a Beautiful Story About Howard McNear's Funeral

February 5th, 2019


On December 15th, 1969 William Conrad sat down with interviewer Chris Lambesis for a conversation about his career in radio. During the course of the conversation, Conrad gave his feelings on former Gunsmoke co-star …

Escape—12/06/1949—CBS Network Mid-Show 60-Second Spot

February 3rd, 2019


During William N. Robson's December 6th, 1949 production of Escape, entitled "Command," CBS ran this mid-show network 60-second spot advertising upcoming episodes of Burns & Allen and Bing Crosby. Escape had no …

Don Wilson Remembers Jack Benny

February 2nd, 2019


Don Wilson remembers Jack's brilliance, and explains how Jack Benny differed from most "funny" comedians in this clip.

BW - EP88: I Can't Stand Jack Benny—The Story Behind His 1945-46 Season

January 31st, 2019


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. …

A Portion of Bob Hope's Eulogy for Jack Benny from December of 1974

January 28th, 2019


When Jack Benny passed away on December 26th, 1974 after a short battle with cancer at the age of 80, it was Jack's best friend George Burns who was …

NBC's Monitor Debut Episode — 06/12/1955

January 26th, 2019


As major network radio drama was winding down in the 1950s in favor of more news, talk, and music, NBC launched Monitor on June 12th, 1955 with this closed circuit broadcast. It was a true magazine of the air, running …

Vincent Price PSA For Tolerance On The Saint's Show Close — 07/30/1950

January 25th, 2019


After the story end of the July 30th, 1950 episode of The Saint on NBC airwaves called "The Case of the Previewed Crime," Vincent Price came on for a …

Van Johnson Guest Stars on The Jack Benny Program — 04/07/1946

January 24th, 2019


On the April 7th, 1946 episode of the Lucky Strike Program, Van Johnson guest starred in a skit called "Weekend at Acme Plaza" in which he receives dating advice from the one and only "Van Jackson," Jack Benny.

Fletcher Markle On How Orson Welles Helped Him Conquer His Speech Impediment

January 23rd, 2019


In June of 1984, actor, screenwriter, and radio director Fletcher Markle was a guest of SPERDVAC to discuss his life and career. During the course of the conversation, Markle explained how hearing Orson Welles on the …

Fred Allen On Ad Execs; Jack and Mary Benny

January 22nd, 2019


At 1PM on the Wednesday before thanksgiving, November 24th, 1954, Fred Allen appeared on NBC's Tex and Jinx mid-day talk Show. It was recorded on a grey, rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving in Peacock Alley at The …

Jack Benny Gets Beat Up While Joe Louis Watches—11/11/1945

January 20th, 2019


After being robbed for $10,000, on the November 11th, 1945 episode of the Jack Benny Program, Jack coyly tries to get former Heavyweight Boxing champion Joe Louis to be his bodyguard. Louis thinks he's there to learn to …

Dennis Day Talks About the Various Singers on Jack Benny's Program

January 18th, 2019


During a 1980s Interview with John Dunning for 71KNUS in Denver, Dennis Day explained how he came to be hired by Jack Benny and the interview process.

Lucille Ball on Getting Homesick at the Beginning of Her Career

January 16th, 2019


In 1971, Lucille Ball—along with her daughter and Carol Burnett—sat down for a long interview with Dick Cavett. The conversation centered around both …

Singer Kate Smith on How She Broke into Radio with CBS

January 15th, 2019


On November 11th, 1975 famed singer and emcee Kate Smith was a guest of Chuck Schaden's (full interview here -

Jack Benny on Why He Preferred Television Over Radio

January 13th, 2019


On Jack Carney's June 20th, 1983 Comedy Program, he played a portion of an interview with the late Jack Benny, recorded some years earlier. In this clip Jack says he preferred television over radio and why.

The Story Behind Our Miss Brooks

January 13th, 2019


This audio is a section from BW - EP87: New Year's Day On the Air (1946 - 1956)

Eve Arden broke into radio on The Danny Kaye show in 1945 before co-starring with Jack Haley in 1946, and with Jack Carson on The Sealtest …

Radio Director Himan Brown on Bringing Dick Tracy to Radio

January 12th, 2019


In June of 1991, famed Radio producer and director Himan Brown was in Chicago at the Museum of Broadcast Communications where he was interviewed by …

The Danny Kaye Program—10/26/1945 Jack Benny and His Cast Guest Host on CBS

January 11th, 2019


Unusually, the Friday October 26, 1945 broadcast of the Danny Kaye Show, airing on the CBS radio network, featured Jack Benny and practically the entire cast of the Jack Benny show filling in for Kaye, who was on a USO …

Radio Director Jack Johnstone Explains His In-Studio Directing Methods

January 9th, 2019


In the late 1980s, famed radio director and writer (Superman, The Six Shooter, Johnny Dollar) Jack Johnstone was in California to be interviewed by …

Jack Benny On The Importance of Organic Character Development

January 7th, 2019


In June of 1983, Jack Carney broadcast a two-part audio documentary on the life and career of Jack Benny featuring interviews and recollections with …

Ingrid Bergman on the Jack Benny Program—10/14/1945

January 7th, 2019


On the October 14th, 1945 episode of the Lucky Strike Jack Benny Program, Ingrid Bergman was the guest. The two performed a satire of a scene from Bergman's 1944 film hit, "Gaslight."

The scene is ripe with topical …

Dennis Day on How His Character Was Written to Annoy Jack Benny

January 5th, 2019


On Easter Sunday in April of 1982, Dennis Day was a guest of John Dunning's on 71K Newstalk radio in Denver, CO. They spoke about Day's life and career—especially his quarter-century association with Jack Benny. During …

Radio Actress Shirley Mitchell On How She Got Started in Hollywood

January 4th, 2019


In October of 1984, Chuck Schaden sat down with actress Shirley Mitchell for a conversation about her life and career (full interview here -

Press Agent Steve Bradley's First Appearance on The Jack Benny Program—09/30/1945

January 4th, 2019


During the debut episode of the 1945-46 Season of Jack Benny's Lucky Strike Program, a new character—Press Agent Steve Bradley—was introduced. …

The Story Behind On Stage With Cathy and Elliott Lewis

January 2nd, 2019


While by the 1952-53 season, radio audiences were leaving in droves, the networks were still willing to invest resources in the medium. Radio was also being left to the radio people, which allowed for creative growth.

On …

BW - EP87: New Year's Day On the Air (1946 - 1956)

December 31st, 2018


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 …

Norman Corwin, Byron Kane, and Bethel Merriday on CBS' Forecast—8/26/1940

December 29th, 2018


This audio is a section from BW - EP80: Forecast—The Most Important Forgotten Series in Radio History (1940 - 1941)


On August 26th, 1940 Norman Corwin directed a pilot called “Bethel Merriday” based on the 1940 …

The Story Behind Frank Sinatra's Rocky Fortune and To Be Perfectly Frank

December 28th, 2018


This audio is a section from BW - EP85: From Hoboken to Eternity—Frank Sinatra's Radio Career (1935-1955)


Thanks to “From Here to Eternity,” Sinatra was again on the rise. He was, however, still broke. NBC radio …

Radio Programming From The Week Between Christmas and The New Year—1945

December 26th, 2018


The week between Christmas and New Year’s can sometimes be spent returning unappreciated gifts. That’s exactly what was happening on Dinah Shore’s Bird’s Eye Open House broadcast on December 27th.

Her guest star for the …

Elliott Lewis on How He Got Into Radio Directing

December 25th, 2018


In the 1980s, radio writer/actor/director/producer Elliott Lewis was a guest of John Dunning on his 71K Newstalk Radio program out of Denver, CO. During the course of this wide-ranging interview, Lewis spoke about how …

The Great Gildersleeve—12/23/1945—The Family and Leila Open Their Christmas Gifts

December 24th, 2018


This clip comes from the December 23rd, 1945 episode of The Great Gildersleeve, which aired Sunday at 6:30PM for East coast audiences, but was recorded at NBC's KFI Studios in Los Angeles. A second broadcast was done at …

Radio Announcer Tony Marvin on the Importance of Announcer Flexibility

December 23rd, 2018


In the spring of 1973, longtime radio announcer Tony Marvin sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio to discuss …

Radio Stories From Christmas Week 1945

December 21st, 2018


Sunday night’s highest rated comedy was The Charlie McCarthy Show starring Edgar Bergen and his famous ventriloquist dummy, Charlie McCarthy.

Edgar Bergen had first come to the attention of American audiences on Rudy …

Musical Director Rex Koury on Writing Gunsmoke's Famous Theme

December 21st, 2018


In 1967 musician and composer Rex Koury sat down for a documentary interview with John Hickman on Gunsmoke. During the course of the chat he explained how he came to be associated with the show, and how he composed the …

Duffy'sTavern—12/21/1945—The Gang Performs A Christmas Carol

December 20th, 2018


On the Friday, December 21st, 1945 episode of Duffy's Tavern on NBC, Archie and the gang performed their own hilarious version of "A Christmas …

Jack Webb New Year's Day Dragnet/Chesterfield 60-Second Promo Spot—1/1/1956

December 19th, 2018


Both Dragnet and Gunsmoke shared Chesterfield as a sponsor. During Gunsmoke's January 1st, 1956 episode, entitled "Puckett's New Year," the mid-show 60-second commercial for Chesterfield featured Jack Webb talking …

Vincent Price On The Lux Radio Theatre and Working With Bette Davis

December 18th, 2018


In late 1972, Vincent Price sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio (full interview here -

Gunsmoke Director Norman Macdonnell On How Executive Committees Hurt Radio in the 1950s

December 17th, 2018


In the 1970s, Radio producer/director Norman Macdonnell sat down with a documentary crew for an interview on his time in the radio industry. During the interview, he spoke of how radio's changing executive in the 1950s …

Red Skelton on How Ed Wynn Got Him Started in Comedy

December 15th, 2018


In the early 1990s, Red Skelton was a guest of Canadian television host Dini Petty's talk show. They spoke about his life and career. In this clip, Red Skelton explains how comedian Ed Wynn got him started in show-biz …

Elliott Lewis on Working With Jack Benny

December 14th, 2018


In the early 1980s, Elliott Lewis was a guest of John Dunning's on his 71K Newstalk Radio program in Denver, CO. During the conversation Elliott spoke about working with Jack Benny early in Lewis' career.

William Conrad on the Importance of Charisma & Gunsmoke

December 13th, 2018


In the early 1970s, William Conrad, then starring in TV's Cannon, spoke about his career as a radio actor and his time as star of radio's Gunsmoke for a 5-part Gunsmoke audio documentary.

In this clip he speaks about …

When Bing Crosby's NBC Strike Opened The Ratings Door for CBS and Suspense—12/1945

December 12th, 2018


Newscasting had become a full fledged wing of broadcasting during the war. In 1945 there were twenty-nine separate prime-time news programs appearing …

Announcer Don Wilson on Jack Benny's Comedic Philosophy & Christmas Shows in Palm Springs

December 11th, 2018


In June of 1980 famed radio announcer Don Wilson, who starred on Jack Benny's program for decades, sat down with Chuck Schaden for a conversation …

Radio Director William N. Robson Explains Why Gunsmoke And Other Adult Westerns Came Late To Radio

December 10th, 2018


In the early 1970s, famed radio writer and director William N. Robson was interviewed for a documentary on the history of Gunsmoke. During the course …

Stories From Radio's Christmas Day Programming—12/25/1945

December 8th, 2018


As night fell on Christmas Eve, a crowd of 10,000 gathered on the snow covered south lawn of the White House to witness the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. They were a mix of men, women, and children with all …

Radio Legend Elliott Lewis Explains Why He Called Ad Execs The League of Frightened Men

December 7th, 2018


In the early 1980s, radio actor/writer/producer/director Elliott Lewis was a guest of John Dunning's Old-Time Radio program for 71K Newstalk Radio in Denver, CO.

During the course of the conversation the two were …

Radio Announcer Tony Marvin on Life as a CBS Staff Announcer in the 1940s

December 6th, 2018


In the spring of 1973, longtime radio announcer Tony Marvin sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio to discuss …

Radio Actor John Gibson on When He Knew TV was Going To Kill Radio Drama

December 5th, 2018


Radio actor John Gibson (of Casey, Crime Photographer; Terry and the Pirates) seen here (far left) with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran, was a guest of …

Stories From NBC's Tuesday Night Comedy Lineup—December 1945

December 4th, 2018


Tuesday night’s comedy lineup featured the three highest-rated shows on the air. Between 9 and 11 PM eastern time on Tuesdays, NBC ran Amos n’ Andy, …

Eve Arden On How Our Miss Brooks Was Created

December 3rd, 2018


In the early 1980s, radio, film, and theater actress Eve Arden spoke with John Dunning for 71K News Radio in Denver, Co. During the course of the conversation John asked her how Our Miss Brooks, her most famous radio …

Network Radio's Soap Opera Programming in December of 1945

December 3rd, 2018


In New York, WABC signed on at 5AM the morning of Wednesday December 5th, 1945 with news. WEAF followed at 5:30 with recorded music. WOR at 5:45 with …

Radio's Involvement in the US Victory Bond Drive—December 1945

December 2nd, 2018


Normally after Suspense aired at 8:00 over CBS stations on Thursdays, The FBI in Peace and War followed at 8:30. Thursday December 6th 1945’s usually …

BW - EP86: Home For the Holidays—December 1945 On the Air

November 30th, 2018


In Breaking Walls Episode 86, we spotlight what was on the air over the US’ major radio networks during December of 1945.

• The First …

Ventriloquist Dummy Charlie McCarthy Flirts With Susan Hayward on His Radio Program—12/16/1945

November 30th, 2018


Almost nine years to the day after making his first appearance on Rudy Vallée's Royal Gelatin Program, Edgar Bergen and his alter-ego Charlie McCarthy hosted Susan Hayward on their radio program. McCarthy, always the …

Actress Jan Miner Tells a Funny Radio Drama SFX Flub Story

November 28th, 2018


In the 1970s, Prolific New York stage, radio, and TV commercial actress Jan Miner sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for their WTIC Golden Age …

The Open of NBC/RCA's First Television Broadcast—07/07/1936

November 27th, 2018


In 1932 RCA field engineers were testing an Iconoscope pickup tube linked to a transmitter installed on the roof of a Camden, NJ research plant. …

Jackson Beck's Thoughts on the Radio industry of the 1970s

November 25th, 2018


In March of 1973, Jackson Beck was a guest of Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio (full interview here -

ABC's Mr. District Attorney 30-Second Promo Spot, 1951

November 24th, 2018


ABC's 30-second promo spot for their crime drama, Mr. District Attorney, which aired Friday nights at 9:30PM for sponsor Vitalis over ABC stations. …

Bob Hope's Opening Monologue—12/04/1945

November 23rd, 2018


In late autumn 1945, Bob Hope returned to Hollywood from an overseas tour entertaining troops. On this early December edition of his show, he offers …

Mercedes McCambridge On Radio's Imaginative Power

November 22nd, 2018


In October of 1976, Chuck Schaden sat down with famed actress Mercedes McCambridge to talk about her career (full interview available to stream for …

Director Jack Johnstone Tells a Funny Story about a Superman Radio SFX Flub

November 21st, 2018


In 1987 prolific radio writer and director Jack Johnstone was a guest of SPERDVAC for a talk about his radio career. During the course of the …

Writer Carroll Carroll Tells a Funny Story About Bing Crosby Forgetting His NBC Pass During WW2

November 20th, 2018


In 1972, writer Carroll Carroll sat down for Same Time Same Station to talk about Bing Crosby's radio career. Carroll had been a long-time Crosby …

WOR's Anti-Isolationist Christmas Message on MBS' Year in Review—12/25/1945

November 18th, 2018


At 9:30PM EST on the Christmas evening in 1945, the Mutual Broadcasting System aired its coast-to-coast year in review. This 90-minute program told …

Fiorello La Guardia Rails On Gangsters and Corruption on His Talk To the People Radio Show—1/28/1945

November 16th, 2018


New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia had his own radio show on WNYC from 1941-1945 and on ABC for the first six months of 1946. In this clip from January of 1945, when LaGuardia was still Mayor, he rails on …

Writer E Jack Neuman On Johnny Dollar And The Death Of Dramatic Radio

November 15th, 2018


In the 1980s John Dunning interviewed writer E. Jack Neuman for 710 KNUS Radio in Denver. Neuman wrote many radio scripts under the pen name "John …

Voice Actor Mel Blanc on Getting Hired by Jack Benny and His Many Voices

November 14th, 2018


In 1974, Mel Blanc sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran to talk about his career as a voice actor for their WTIC program, "The Golden Age of …

Jim Jordan on the Origin of Fibber McGee and Molly

November 12th, 2018


In 1971 Jim Jordan, better known as Fibber McGee, sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's the Golden Age of Radio to talk about his …

Announcement: Burning Gotham—A New Audio Drama Set in 1830s New York City

November 10th, 2018


On the frigid, blustery night of December 16th, 1835, the worst fire in New York city history swept through Manhattan. Everything south of Maiden Lane and east of Broad street—at that time the city’s chief merchant …

Radio Actor Staats Cotsworth On The Power Behind A Compelling Voice

November 9th, 2018


In 1975, long-time New York radio actor Staats Cotsworth sat down with Ed Corcoran at a radio convention to chat about his career. This interview was …

Jack Benny's 1946 New Year's Message—12/30/1945

November 9th, 2018


At the end of Jack Benny's December 30th, 1945 program, he offered a message about the just passing 1945 and the upcoming 1946.

Actor Mandel Kramer On CBS and NBC Networking and Camaraderie During the Golden Age of Radio

November 7th, 2018


In September of 1974 east-coast radio actor Mandel Kramer sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio (the full …

The Announcement of the "I Can't Stand Jack Benny" Contest—11/25/1945

November 6th, 2018


In November of 1945, with Jack Benny's rating slipping for the first time in years, Benny and his writers devised an ingenious way to bring …

How Frank Sinatra Got the Role of Maggio in From Here to Eternity

November 4th, 2018


In 1952 Frank Sinatra released eight singles. None topped the charts at higher than number 19. Four failed to chart altogether.

Columbia’s A&R …

Mary Livingston Red Cross PSA & Lucky Strike Commercial — Jack Benny Program 12/2/1945

November 3rd, 2018


In the winter of 1945 there were many soldiers who were still injured and recovering in army hospitals across the world. To help pay back its war …

When Jack Benny Got Robbed—10/28/1945

November 2nd, 2018


In October of 1945, the Jack Benny Program's ratings were falling. It was a short period of time that would later be known as "the Benny slump." In …

How Frank Sinatra Broke Free From Tommy Dorsey in 1942

November 2nd, 2018


The Tommy Dorsey Band was staring at the Palladium when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Manilla, finally sending the United States into World …

BW - EP85: From Hoboken to Eternity—Frank Sinatra's Radio Career (1935 - 1955)

October 31st, 2018


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 …

Sammy Davis Jr. On His Friendship with Frank Sinatra and Being Jealous

October 28th, 2018


Sammy Davis Jr. speaks with Tom Cottle about his friendship with Frank Sinatra and being jealous of him.

Frank Sinatra's Appearance on the Bing Crosby Show Three Days After Winning An Oscar—03/28/1954

October 26th, 2018


On March 25th, 1954, Frank Sinatra won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his roll as Maggio in "From Here to Eternity."

On the Sundays bookending …

Nancy Sinatra on Her Relationship with Ava Gardner

October 24th, 2018


In 1995 in honor of Frank Sinatra's 80th birthday, Nancy Sinatra Jr. sat down with Larry King to talk about a retrospective book she put together on Frank Sinatra's career. During the wide-ranging interview, Larry King …

Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall on Command Performance—08/30/1945

October 23rd, 2018


Command Performance took to the airwaves on March 1, 1942 over a special service division of the war department, called The Armed Forces Radio Service.

Lauded by Time, the program had an estimated weekly budget of …

Vincent Price Tells a Funny Story About Jack Benny and Ronald Colman

October 22nd, 2018


In the early 1970s, Vincent Price sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio to discuss his career. During the chat …

The Story Behind Orson Welles' Prolific 1937 That Led to the War of the Worlds

October 20th, 2018


By late spring in 1937, the WPA’s Federal Theater Project was under intense scrutiny for staging what some felt to be too many left-leaning labor …

Frank Sinatra Remembers A Concert Where Screaming Girls Scared His Grandfather To Death

October 19th, 2018


In the 1970s, Frank Sinatra remembered a funny story involving his grandfather and a concert at the Paramount where Sinatra was performing in the …

Songstress Jo Stafford On Mitch Miller's Bad Material Selection Capabilities

October 17th, 2018


In 2003 singer and musician Jo Stafford, who had 10 top-5 hits between 1944 and 1959, sat down with musician Michael Feinstein to talk about her career. During the conversation she touched on many subjects like her …

Frank Sinatra on The Jack Benny Program 10/08/1944

October 16th, 2018


In October of 1944 Frank Sinatra was enjoying the greatest popularity of his early career. Still only 29, he had taken to radio acting as well as …

Frank Sinatra Tells a Hilarious Story About Don Rickles Embarrassing Him at a Restaurant

October 13th, 2018


On November 12th, 1976 Frank Sinatra was a guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. They spoke of their relationship and Frank's career. In the middle of the interview Don Rickles surprised the duo by walking out on …

Andre Baruch On The Sponsor's Tight Control of Your Hit Parade

October 12th, 2018


Longtime radio announcer Andre Baruch tells of American Tobacco President George Washington Hill's control of the show. Hill churned through many a …

Rudy Vallée Explains The Importance of Being Different—How He Started Out

October 10th, 2018


In the early 1970s Rudy Vallée, the most popular music artist of the late 1920s and early 1930s, sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's …

Frank Sinatra Remembers Visiting a Heroin Dry Out Clinic To Prepare for The Man With The Golden Arm

October 7th, 2018


In 1955 Frank Sinatra starred in Otto Preminger's production of The Man With The Golden Arm. It was a film many consider to be well-ahead of its time …

The Story Behind Bill Spier's Exit From Suspense

October 6th, 2018


After the November 20th, 1947 episode of Suspense, Roma Wines wrapped up its sponsorship of the series. For the next five weeks CBS broadcast Suspense on Friday evenings. Beginning on January 3rd, 1948 the program …

Orson Welles Reflects on War Of The Worlds—Admits He Scared People On Purpose

October 5th, 2018


In the 1950s, Orson Welles reflected upon the public reaction to his War of the Worlds broadcast on October 30th, 1938, and also admits that he and the rest of his Mercury Theater production crew did the broadcast to …

Frank Sinatra Tells A Joke About What Misery Is

October 4th, 2018


In 1965, CBS cameras followed Frank Sinatra around with unprecedented access to the performer's personal life. In this clip, seated at Jilly Rizzo's …

The Story Behind Lights Out—The Most Gruesome Radio Show of the 1930s

October 3rd, 2018


In 1934, as Chicago was cresting as the center for radio production, NBC Writer and director Wyllis Cooper created a program for NBC's Chicago affiliate WENR that drastically altered the tone of radio horror.

Cooper had …

The Story Behind Escape and The Saint, as told by Vincent Price and William N. Robson

October 2nd, 2018


After World War II ended, transcription became a network possibility as CBS and ABC in particular, pumped resources into programming. New mystery …

BW - EP84: The Simple Art of Macabre—Mystery, Suspense, and Horror from Radio’s Best (1931 - 1982)

September 30th, 2018


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.


• Why Do We Like To Be Scared?

• What pre-dated …

Harry Bartel Tells a Funny Jeanette Nolan Crime Classics Story

September 29th, 2018


In 1982, SPERDVAC hosted a panel discussion with some of CBS's well-known Hollywood radio character actors. During the discussion, Harry Bartel told …

Actress Peggy Webber Tells Funny Radio Script Stories About Orson Welles and Peter Lorre

September 27th, 2018


In August of 1982 at a SPERDVAC panel discussion with some of CBS Hollywood's biggest radio character actors, Peggy Webber, who played numerous parts …

Roxy Rothafel, Lew Fields, and Joe Weber Rehearse For the Opening of Radio City's Music Hall in NYC

September 25th, 2018


Impresario Samuel 'Roxy' Rothafel in rehearsal for his radio show to be broadcast from Radio City in New York City, 1932. In this clip, Roxy Rothafel stands at microphone onstage in front of orchestra talking to comic …

Radio Actress Jan Miner Explains How She Got Started in New York Radio

September 24th, 2018


In August of 1970, Jan Miner, Network Radio Soap Actress and heroine of "Hilltop House," sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran to talk about her career as a radio actress in New York city. In this clip she explains …

Director William N Robson Explains How War SFX Were Achieved On Radio During the 1940s

September 22nd, 2018


In January of 1976 famed radio producer/director William N. Robson sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran to discuss his career for WTIC's The …

Arch Oboler Explains Why He Punched Lou Merrill During a Rehearsal

September 20th, 2018


Noted radio writer, producer, and director Arch Oboler sat with Chuck Schaden on August 5th, 1976 and explained why he once broke his hand on Lou …

Radio Actor John Dehner Tells a Funny Story About Forgetting He Was Supposed To Be On The Air

September 19th, 2018


In August of 1982, SPERDVAC (The Society To Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety, and Comedy) was hosting a panel discussion with some of the most famous west-coast radio character actors of the 1940s-50s. During …

Announcer Ken Roberts on How He Became The Shadow's Announcer

September 17th, 2018


In the early 1980s, radio announcer Ken Roberts sat down for a documentary on the Shadow. Here he recounts how he came to be the announcer for the program in the early 1930s.

Arch Oboler on Giving Of Yourself When Listening To Radio

September 14th, 2018


In August of 1976, Chuck Schaden sat down with famed radio writer, producer, and director Arch Oboler for a conversation about Oboler's career. In …

CBS, Alfred Hitchcock and The Story Behind The Birth Of Suspense

September 13th, 2018


*For the full story about CBS' Forecast, tune into Breaking Walls EP80*

At 9:30PM on July 22, 1940, CBS' experimental pilot series, Forecast, …

Vincent Price On How He Broke Into Radio Acting

September 11th, 2018


Vincent Price explains how he became a radio actor even though he wasn't part of any radio stock company. Price worked in radio drama either in the United States, or in another country for the rest of his life.

Inner Sanctum Host Raymond Edward Johnson on the Power of the Radio Mystery

September 11th, 2018


In December of 1972, Raymond Edward Johnson, famous as the host of Inner Sanctum Mysteries, sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran to talk about …

E.G. Marshall on How Doing Different Dialects Helped You Get Voice Acting Work

September 9th, 2018


In March of 1974 E.G. Marshall was a guest of Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio. In this clip he talks about the …

Hans Conried Explains The Dangers of An Actor Doing Free Work—Even When Desperate

September 8th, 2018


In August of 1971, radio and television character actor Hans Conried spoke with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's Golden Age of Radio. In this …

Orson Welles Explains Why He Hired an Ambulance To Take Him To Radio Gigs

September 7th, 2018


In 1976 Orson Welles was a guest of Johnny Carson's on The Tonight Show. In this clip the two share radio stories and Orson Welles talks about why he …

Vincent Price on How to Get Started in The Acting Business Through Radio Drama

September 6th, 2018


In November of 1972, Vincent Price was a guest on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio, with hosts Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran. Price lauded radio's power …

Elliott Lewis on the Importance of Understanding All Aspects of the Creative Process

September 5th, 2018


On July 14th, 1979, radio writer/producer/actor/director Elliott Lewis was a guest of SPERDVAC in California. In this clip, he speaks about the …

The Story Behind RCA/NBC's Development of TV in the 1920s-1930s

September 3rd, 2018


As 1933 ended, the business of RCA was improving and its deficit narrowing, although the economy continued to languish despite the New Deal legislation passed at President Roosevelt’s behest.

Unlike film and theater, …

The Story Behind The CBS Talent Raids Of 1948-49

September 2nd, 2018


By 1948, CBS Chairman WIlliam S. Paley understood that programmers alone could not develop programs that would enable CBS to surpass NBC. Stars were …

BW - EP83: Sarnoff & Paley: Tainted Friendships, Tall Tales, Talent Raids, and TV (1934 - 1952)

August 31st, 2018


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 …

Director William N. Robson On When The Golden Age of Radio Truly Was

August 30th, 2018


Prolific radio producer and director William N. Robson, who directed shows such as The Columbia Workshop, Escape, The Man Behind the Gun, and …

Famed Horror Playwright and Director Arch Oboler On How He Got on NBC

August 28th, 2018


Prolific American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, and director Arch Oboler was a guest of SPERDVAC'S on October 8th, 1977. In this clip …

Himan Brown On The Origin of Inner Sanctum Mysteries

August 27th, 2018


In December of 1973, Himan Brown was a guest of Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran's on their WTIC Hartford, CT-based "Golden Age of Radio" Program. In this …

Actress June Havoc on Her Radio Acting Career

August 25th, 2018


In November of 1970, famed actress June Havoc—along with her husband, acclaimed radio producer and director Bill Spier—sat down with Dick Bertel and …

Radio Actress Fran Carlon Explains Why You Had To Be On Your Toes When Acting During World War II

August 23rd, 2018


Radio Actress Fran Carlon speaks about why radio actors and actresses needed to be on their toes for script cuts and news cutaways during World War II.

Arthur Godfrey Reports from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Funeral—April 14, 1945

August 18th, 2018


President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away on April 12, 1945. Two days later at his funeral, roaming CBS announcer Arthur Godfrey was added to the CBS news team for the special coverage. Choking back tears, he …

On the Korean War Front Line with Soldiers Talking About Their Experience—1952

August 17th, 2018


During the Korean War, NBC sent reporters to talk to the soldiers on the front lines during the conflict. This is some of what they said.

Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis with Guest Marilyn Monroe—02.24.1953

August 16th, 2018


On February 24th, 1953 Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis played host on their radio show to Marilyn Monroe. All three of the entertainers were on the rise. Martin introduced the play she'd perform in as, "Tonight's play is …

NBC Announcer Ben Grauer On Fast News Relays During World War II

August 10th, 2018


For Westinghouse's 50th Anniversary in 1970, Long-time NBC radio announcer Ben Grauer spoke about being on his toes with news relays during World War II.

Douglas Edwards & Charles Osgood On Live Radio Flubs of the 1940s

August 8th, 2018


For CBS's 50th anniversary celebration in 1977, CBS anchors Doug Edwards and Charles Osgood spoke about on-air flubs. Mr. Edwards told a great story …

The Story Behind The 1933 Press-Radio War

August 6th, 2018


Back In 1933, in part because of President Roosevelt’s fireside chats, the newspaper publishers decided that radio had scooped the press once too often. They closed their wire services to the networks and demanded the …

An Interview With Best-Selling Author David Shields

August 4th, 2018


I've been fortunate enough to interview David Shields ( for Breaking Walls twice before, The first …

The Story Behind Bing Crosby's Lawsuit and Jump From NBC to ABC

August 2nd, 2018


In 1945 as World War II ended, Bing Crosby decided that he wanted to pre-record his Kraft Music Hall program on NBC. There’d been disc-transcriptions since the late 1920s, and while the Mutual Broadcasting System had no …

BW - EP82: Depression, War, And The Birth of ABC (1932 - 1946)

July 31st, 2018


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. 

• Early days at NBC’s Radio City in …

New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reads Dick Tracy on Radio—7.1945

July 29th, 2018


In July of 1945 during a newspaper deliveryman's strike, New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia took to the air on WNYC and read comics to the kids. …

CBS Head William Paley on Early CBS Struggles

July 28th, 2018


Head of CBS William S. Paley talks about some of the early struggles he had running CBS in the late 1920s.

D-Day: First Radio Bulletin on NBC—6.6.1944 3:30AM Eastern War Time

July 26th, 2018


This is the first bulletin to take to the airwaves on the morning of D Day, June 6th, 1944 at 3:30AM Eastern War Time.

NBC newsman Robert St. John …

Bing Crosby Explains Why He Left NBC for ABC in 1946

July 25th, 2018


During World War II the technology which would allow transcription discs started to become feasible.

After the war ended Bing Crosby saw this as an …

Edward R. Murrow's Full Report from Buchenwald

July 24th, 2018


On April 15, 1945, Edward R. Murrow reported back to CBS for their World News Roundup about his experience at the Buchenwald concentration camp. This …

Edward R. Murrow Condensed Report from Buchenwald Concentration Camp—4.15.1945

July 23rd, 2018


On April 15, 1945, Edward R. Murrow reported back to CBS for their World News Roundup about his experience at the Buchenwald concentration camp. It's a haunting account, and one that only scratches the surface of what …

A Man Named Marlowe Episode 6—The Finale: The Windup & The Phoenix

July 21st, 2018


Previously on A Man Named Marlowe: At 4:30 in the morning the woman who hired Marlowe comes to his hotel room in Spokane. She explains what happened and why she lied to Phillip. Her real name is Janice Thomlinson. …

Bob Hope on Performing The Night England Entered World War II

July 20th, 2018


For NBC's 50th anniversary broadcast in 1976, Bob Hope spoke about being a performing passenger on the Queen Mary the night that England entered World War II in 1939.

Breaking Walls Episode 82 will be on the state and …

Arthur Godfrey Shares How He Began in Radio in 1929

July 18th, 2018


Famed radio & television broadcaster, MC, and entertainer talks about how he got started in radio in 1929.

Breaking Walls Episode 82 will be on the state and growth of the radio industry during the 1930s and 1940s, …

NBC Engineer Aldo Gizalbert On Studio Problems at Radio City's Opening

July 16th, 2018


In September of 1972, former NBC engineer and producer Aldo Gizalbert sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for their Hartford, CT-based WTIC …

TRAILER: A Man Named Marlowe—The Finale: The Windup & The Phoenix—Coming July 22nd

July 14th, 2018


Coming July 22nd, 2018: The Final Episode of A Man Named Marlowe, entitled “The Windup & The Phoenix.

In episode 6, it’s the windup… and it’s a …

NBC Announcer Ben Grauer On NBC Stuffiness in the 1930s

July 13th, 2018


Long-time radio announcer Ben Grauer spoke in 1970s about the buttoned-up nature of radio in the 1930s.

Breaking Walls Episode 82 will be on the state and growth of the radio industry during the 1930s and 1940s, and will …

Radio Announcer Andre Baruch on his Coney Island Radio Beginnings

July 13th, 2018


Film narrator, radio announcer, news commentator, talk show host, disc jockey and sportscaster André Baruch was taking a walk through Coney Island one day when his life was changed forever. Here he tells how his career …

Conductor Howard Barlow Talks About CBS's First Night Confusion in 1927

July 12th, 2018


Conductor Howard Barlow, who'd later go on to be known as "the voice of Firestone," was conducting in-studio for CBS during their first big broadcast in 1927. In this clip, recorded for Westinghouse's 50th anniversary …

A Man Named Marlowe Episode 5: The Release, The Ruse & The Meeting

July 8th, 2018


Previously on A Man Named Marlowe: After Marlowe’s meeting with nightclub owner and gangster Benny Chance, he drives to his friend Lou’s automat only to find that Lou has been murdered. Marlowe goes to his office …

TRAILER: A Man Named Marlowe—Episode 5: The Release The Ruse & The Meeting—Coming July 8th

July 1st, 2018


Coming July 8th, 2018: Episode 5 of A Man Named Marlowe, entitled “The Release, The Ruse, & The Meeting.

In episode 5, Spokane begins to yield …

BW - EP81: The Fred Allen Show—His Life On The Air (1932 - 1956)

June 30th, 2018


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 …

Songwriter Mort Greene Shares a Fred Allen Story About A Panhandler Named Whistler

June 26th, 2018


After Fred Allen passed away on St. Patrick's Day in 1956, the entire radio community mourned. That May 29th, in honor of what would have been his …

A Man Named Marlowe Episode 4: The Ghost & The Odyssey

June 24th, 2018


Previously on A Man Named Marlowe: Marlowe stops in at an all-night diner in an attempt to decompress from the murders he’s witnessed. When he gets back to his apartment, he receives a call from a henchman, telling him …

Jimmy Durante Tells a Funny Fred Allen Story

June 21st, 2018


After Fred Allen passed away on St. Patrick's Day in 1956, the entire radio community mourned. That May 29th, in honor of what would have been his …

Fred Allen Explains How Giveaway Programs Helped Kill Radio

June 19th, 2018


At 1PM on November 24th, 1954, Fred Allen appeared on NBC's Tex and Jinx Show out of WEAF. It was recorded on a grey, rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving in Peacock Alley at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York city. …

TRAILER: A Man Named Marlowe—Episode 4: The Ghost & The Odyssey—Coming June 24th

June 16th, 2018


Coming June 24th, 2018: Episode 4 of A Man Named Marlowe, entitled "The Ghost & The Odyssey."

In Episode 4, two more murders bring Marlowe to the edge, until a visit from a ghost sends him to Spokane looking for …

Fred Allen Explains Why He Dislikes Advertising Agencies

June 14th, 2018


At 1PM on November 24th, 1954, Fred Allen appeared on NBC's Tex and Jinx Show out of WEAF. It was recorded on a grey, rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving in Peacock Alley at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York city. …

Jack Benny Explains How His Feud With Fred Allen Began

June 13th, 2018


After Fred Allen passed away on St. Patrick's Day in 1956, the entire radio community mourned. That May 29th, in honor of what would have been his …

A Man Named Marlowe Episode 3: The Aftershock & The Proposition

June 10th, 2018


Previously on A Man Named Marlowe: Marlowe gets tailed across town to his friend Bernie Ohl’s house. After leaving Bernie’s he heads up to Big Bear Lake to investigate the cabin his new client Ruth Moriarity mentioned. …

An Excerpt from Norman Corwin's "Home For the Fourth"—7.4.1944

June 6th, 2018


An Excerpt from Norman Corwin's "Home For the Fourth"—7.4.1944 by

Norman Corwin Delivers a Thanksgiving Eulogy—11.9.1941

June 6th, 2018


On the eve of World War II (for the United States) Norman Corwin had control of CBS' Columbia Workshop for 26 weeks. It was his final night as the …

Fred Allen Explains His Problem With Executives and Running Long

June 4th, 2018


At 1PM on November 24th, 1954, Fred Allen appeared on NBC's Tex and Jinx Show out of WEAF. It was recorded on a grey, rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving in Peacock Alley at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York city. …

TRAILER: A Man Named Marlowe—Episode 3: The Aftershock & The Proposition—Coming June 12th

June 3rd, 2018


Coming June 12th, 2018 : Episode 3 of A Man Named Marlowe, entitled "The Aftershock & The Proposition."

In Episode 3, Marlowe's offered a large sum of money to drop the case and stop looking for John Moriarity, even …

BW - EP80: Forecast—The Most Important Forgotten Series in Radio History (1940 - 1941)

May 31st, 2018


Question? What do starlets Marlene Dietrich, Kay Thompson, Margaret Sullivan, and Loretta Young have in common? How about writers and directors …

Mel Allen Talks About the Crazy Sportscasting Competition Between NBC and CBS

May 30th, 2018


Mel Allen began his broadcasting career as a staff announcer at CBS before transitioning to sportscasting. In July of 1975, he appeared on Dick …

A Man Named Marlowe Episode 2: The Advice & The Horror

May 28th, 2018


Previously on A Man Named Marlowe:
Los Angeles, 1935. It’s the heart of the Great Depression and Philip Marlowe is broke. He stops into his friend Lou’s automat for a sandwich. Lou tells Marlowe he’s got some work for …

Famed Suspense Producer William Spier Explains How He Got Involved With Radio

May 25th, 2018


Suspense and Sam Spade producer William Spier and his second wife, actress June Havoc (famed author/singer/actress Kay Thompson was his first wife) …

William S. Paley Explains How He Bought CBS

May 21st, 2018


On November 20, 1958 head of CBS William S. Paley received an award for his thirty years of work in the field of programming.

Paley had purchased a …

TRAILER: A Man Named Marlowe—Episode 2: The Advice & The Horror—Coming May 29th

May 21st, 2018


Coming May 29th, 2018: Episode 2 of A Man Named Marlowe, entitled "The Advice & The Horror." In Episode 2, a busted tail job, a birthday dinner, and a trip north set Marlowe on a path to a grizzly series of murders …

A Man Named Marlowe Episode 1: The Man & The Case

May 14th, 2018


Los Angeles, 1935. It’s the heart of the Great Depression and Philip Marlowe is broke. He’s contemplating whether he should pawn his .38, give up his …

Vincent Price Explains Why He Loves Radio Drama

May 11th, 2018


In November of 1972 Vincent Price appeared on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran. During the interview he spoke about …

Hans Conried Explains the Differences between NYC, CHI, and Hollywood as Radio Drama Hubs

May 9th, 2018


Radio, television, and cartoon character actor Hans Conreid sat for an interview with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for their Hartford, CT-based WTIC …

TRAILER: A Man Named Marlowe—Coming May 15th

May 5th, 2018


What if everything you knew was destined to change? What if it was all a lie you created to keep you getting up in the morning? What if murder …

BW - EP79: The Boy Wonder—Orson Welles' Early Career (1931 - 1941)

April 30th, 2018


In Breaking Walls Episode 79, we present a detailed look at Orson Welles’ radio career through the end of 1941.

• Beginnings in Illinois …

Hans Conried Explains Why NBC, CBS, and ABC Killed Radio Drama in the 1950s

April 20th, 2018


Radio, television, and cartoon character actor Hans Conried sat for an interview with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for their Hartford, CT-based WTIC …

Announcement: A Man Named Marlowe—An Original Audio Drama

April 10th, 2018


Coming on May 15, 2018: an original audio drama called: A Man Named Marlowe.

Author Raymond Chandler set The Big Sleep, the first of his novels …

Orson Welles And Johnny Carson Share Prank Stories from the Golden Days of Radio

April 8th, 2018


In 1976 Orson Welles appeared on Johnny Carson and the two shared stories of pranks and ribs they'd pulled or seen pulled during their days working …

Dizzy Dean Shares A Story of His 1938 World Series Heartbreak

April 5th, 2018


Sometime during early 1937 while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dizzy Dean hurt his arm. It's quite possible that whatever the injury was, it …

The Story Behind The Birth of the Mutual Broadcasting System

April 3rd, 2018


This clip, from Breaking Walls Episode 77: The Birth of The Radio Networks—From NBC to CBS to Mutual Broadcasting (1922 - 1934) tells the story of the birth of the Mutual Broadcasting System.

In the early 1930s, WOR in …

BW - EP78: Our Game—Baseball Memories From Throughout Radio History (1934 - 1972)

March 31st, 2018


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 …

Rudy Vallee Tells The Story of How He Started on NBC

March 23rd, 2018


On October 24, 1929, the same day that the US Stock Market lost 11 percent of its value at the opening bell, The Fleishchmann Yeast Hour premiered on NBC at 8PM.

It had been packaged by the ad agency J Walter Thompson, …

The Story Behind the Birth of Hollywood as Radio's Top Recording Location

March 19th, 2018


By 1934, Los Angeles was beginning to be a cultural and recording center for radio broadcasting. This clip, from Breaking Walls Episode 77: The Birth …

BW - EP77: The Birth Of The Radio Networks—From NBC To CBS To Mutual Broadcasting (1922 - 1934)

March 15th, 2018


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 …

BW - EP76: Over There—The War for Radio’s Airwaves (1912 - 1922)

March 1st, 2018


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 …

Band Leader Vincent Lopez On First Night at WJZ - November 27, 1921

February 27th, 2018


Brooklyn-born bandleader Vincent Lopez (12.30.1895 – 9.20.1975) talks about his first night on the air for WJZ on November 27, 1921. Lopez, who began leading his own band at age 17, was 25 at the time. Lopez worked …

John B. Gambling (1897 – 1974)Talks about Early WOR Programming

February 22nd, 2018


John Bradley Gambling (4.9.1897 – 11.21. 1974)was the host from 1925 to 1959 of "Rambling with Gambling" on WOR. In an interview from 1970 he talks about how he was hired by WOR in 1925 and how his early-morning …

WOR Chief EngineerJack Poppele (1898 - 1986) Talks About Launching WOR on 2.22.1922

February 22nd, 2018


Radio legend and Chief Engineer Jack Poppele (02.04.1898 - 10.07.1986)recalls his part in the launch of WOR on 2.22.1922 during an interview he gave in 1970.

WOR took to the air from Bamberger’s department store in …

BW - EP75: We Are Echoes—The Birth Of Radio (1887 - 1912)

February 15th, 2018


In Breaking Walls Episode 75 we go back in time to the beginning of radio to tell the story of how this medium began.

* Why the Blizzard of …

BW - EP74: Jay M. Kholos of The Zero Hour & John C. Abbott of The Who Is Johnny Dollar Matter

February 1st, 2018


In Breaking Walls episode 74, we celebrate the WallBreakers’ 6th birthday with an anniversary extravaganza!

First, we’ll chat with the creator of the …

BW - EP73: The 1970s Revival of Dramatic Radio and Why It Failed (1973 - 1982)

January 14th, 2018


In Breaking Walls Episode 73 we spotlight the 1970s CBS and Mutual Broadcasting dramatic radio revival and why it ultimately failed.


• Go …

BW - EP72: Johnny Dollar and The Death of Dramatic Radio (1948 - 1962)

December 31st, 2017


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, …

BW - EP71: A Vintage Christmas Murder Mystery

December 15th, 2017


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 …

BW - EP70: Christmas Shopping With Jack Benny—How One Man Changed The Entertainment Industry

November 30th, 2017


In Breaking Walls Episode 70, we’re celebrating the month of December by spotlighting The Jack Benny Program. Jack Benny was the highest rated comedian of his era. Beginning on radio in 1932, he was a radio mainstay …

BW - EP69: From Antarctica To India With Gratitude and Announcements

November 15th, 2017


In Breaking Walls Episode 69, I talk about some of the things I’m most grateful for this year. For the past four months I’ve been working on a …

BW - EP68: Norman Corwin and 1941

November 1st, 2017


In Breaking Walls Episode 68, we welcome November’s theme of “Gratitude” with an interactive look back at Norman Corwin’s radio plays, originally heard on U.S. radio around Thanksgiving of 1941. There are a lot of …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store