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This week’s highlights are topped by the 67th Anniversary of radio’s Gunsmoke! Before it’s 20 years on television it began it’s decade long radio run on April 26th, 1952. And not only do we celebrate it with a First and Finale Special, but I also bring back a rare and hilarious rehearsal recording which debuted on the channel last year. Around Christmastime 1955, the Gunsmoke cast and crew apparently combined their booze-filled holiday party with a rehearsal of “The New Hotel” episode. It’s a recording featuring flubs, bloopers, uncontrolled laughter, improper sound effects and even some profanity (bleeped out of course for this replay). I will play the rehearsal followed by the actual episode as it later aired in February of 1956.
In addition to Gunsmoke we mark radio debut anniversaries for Lum and Abner (88th); Richard Diamond, Private Detective’s 70th and X-Minus One 64th.
Heading up the birthday celebrants is former child superstar Shirley Temple as we bring back her performance in Lux Radio Theater’s “Captain January” plus a visit to The Bob Hope Show. We also mark the birthdays of Lionel Barrymore (Mayor Of The Town, Dr. Kildare, Command Performance); Vic Perrin (Suspense, Escape); Frances Robinson (The Whistler, Brooksie on Let George Do It); Ned Wever (Bulldog Drummond); Simone Simon (Inner Sanctum); Charlotte Lawrence (Suspense) and writer George Harmon Coxe (Casey, Crime Photographer).
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