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. OTR Tuesday 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.
This week we’re going to revisit a show that we first looked at back in 2014: The Story Lady.
Fortunately in the time that has passed since I originally wrote that post, I’ve managed to dig up a bit more information on these irreverent shorts,. At the earlier time I was going on information from a site that claimed they were first produced in 1945, but since then I’ve actually learned that they were put together by Mel Blanc Productions during the 1960s. That makes a lot more sense,. especially that there are references to such contemporary figures as Hugh Hefner that make much more sense with the contemporary setting.
The Story Lady 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. One of her most “famous” roles was the voice of Freddie the Flute on the Saturday morning television show H.R. Puffinstuff.
Taking their basis from popular children’s stories, these roughly one minute long 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’ve not been able to track down a definitive list of episodes, or even a complete count of how many there are, but I do know that there are well over 200 available online.
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?