Speaking of Radio

Chuck Schaden's Conversations with the Stars Who Made it Golden

  
CHICAGO TONIGHT (June 25, 2009)
Host Phil Ponce interviews Chuck Schaden, who is about to close his 39-year broadcasting career, and Steve Darnall, who will follow Chuck as host and producer of Those Were The Days. Telecast on WTTW, Chicago. Excerpt. (9 minutes).
Jack Benny and Chuck Schaden speaking of radio, September 3, 1970

Introduction

I grew up listening to radio.  I was seven years old and sitting on the living room floor in front of my family’s Zenith console radio listening to The Shadow when the program was interrupted by a news bulletin about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

In the years that followed – those glorious radio years of the Forties – I raced home after school to listen to Captain Midnight and get his daily message to members of the Secret Squadron, which I would quickly translate on my Ovaltine Secret Decoder.

During radio’s prime-time 1940s I always listened to Fibber McGee and Molly, the Great Gildersleeve and The Aldrich Family.  My Dad and I enjoyed Mr. District Attorney, Lights Out and Truth or Consequences.  My Mother sat on the living room sofa mending socks while we all listened to First Nighter (from the “little theater off Times Square), Kate Smith and Our Miss Brooks.

Even my younger brother Kenny sat still long enough at the end of the decade to laugh with us as our whole family never missed the great Sunday comedy shows: Jack Benny, Phil Harris-Alice Faye and Charlie McCarthy.  What a line-up!

These and so many other wonderful radio shows brought great pleasure to our lives and, for me, they actually helped shape my life.

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