Old Time Radio Thursdays – #030: The Story Lady (1945)

The short intro: For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Old Time Radio is the phrase generally used to refer to the time when radio was (mostly) live, and was full of a variety of different shows, as opposed to simply being a means for record labels to use robots to promote the top records of the day. Old Time Radio Thursdays is my chance to explore some of those old radio shows, their connections (both old and new) to movies, and hopefully to encourage some of the rest of you to take a look at a probably unfamiliar source of entertainment that I truly love. If you want more info on OTR, and some examples of the variety of shows that were made, be sure to check out this introductory post.

So after spending the past four weeks looking at the Adventures of Superman radio show, I figured it was time for something different. Well, you don’t get much different than The Story Lady.

actor_3158Unfortunately, I really haven’t been able to dig up a whole lot of information on these irreverent shorts, except that they were produced in 1945 and starred Joan Gerber as The Story Lady and Byron Kane as The Announcer, who pretty much always got the last word. Gerber was born in 1935 and died in 2011 and had a number of notable voice-over roles both on the radio and in cartoons

Taking their basis from popular children’s stories, these shows would give them very… interesting twists, some of which seem quite surprising even today, and even more so for the era in which they were originally broadcast.

I do feel like I should give a bit of a warning that while there’s not particularly anything NSFW about these little tidbits, at the same time, they were aimed at adults and not made for very small children, as one might think, so you might want to keep that in mind as you are listening.

So, with that out of the way, let’s tune in and see what The Story Lady has in store for us today, shall we?

UPDATE: Unfortunately, it appears that in the few days since I originally prepared this post and today, the Story Lady videos I had featured have been removed by the original poster. I’m looking now for replacements, but in the meantime, here’s at least one link that does seem to be working, and you can always find more episodes at the Internet Archives link below.

UPDATE 2: Okay, I was able to find some replacement samples, and hopefully these will remain available. Apparently the ones I had originally linked to had been moved to a new YouTube channel. Some of my favorites are unfortunately still among the missing, but still, these will give you a good taste of what the series was like, so enjoy!

This really is just a small sampling of the series, and there are lots more out there. As always, I’d suggest beginning your search at The Internet Archives.

Next time: Since February is Black History Month, we’ll take a look at how old-time radio depicted the fight for African-American civil rights with the 1948-1950 series Destination Freedom.

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