"The Golden Age of Radio"
(As originally broadcast on WTIC, Hartford, CT)

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Program 87 - Lowell Thomas, Jack Benny, Ann Elstner

Lowell Thomas                      Jack Benny
Lowell Thomas, Jack Benny, Ann Elstner  (This program was never on the air at WTIC - it is reconstructed based on interviews conducted by Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran)
Lowell Thomas was a man ahead of his time: the first roving newscaster, a film maker through the 1920s, a radio presenter in the 1930s, an adventurer who wrote more than 50 books, he was heralded as the father of 'Cinerama.'
Born in 1892, Lowell Thomas started out as a reporter for the Chicago Evening Journal. He had a flair for making ordinary stories exciting.

Jack Benny was among the most beloved American entertainers of the 20th century. He brought a relationship-oriented, humorously vain persona honed in vaudeville, radio, and film to television in 1950, starring in his own television series from that year until 1965. The comedian grew up in Waukegan and went on the vaudeville stage in his early teens playing the violin. The instrument quickly turned into a mere prop, and his lack of musicianship became one of the staples of his act. Benny's first major success was on the radio. He starred in a regular radio program from 1932 to 1955; Benny's radio program spent most of its run on NBC. In 1948 he was lured to CBS, where he stayed through the remainder of his radio career and most of his television years.
Based on the novels by Olive Higgins Prouty (1882-1974) , Stella Dallas was a working-class heroine that was suddenly rich after marrying Stephen Dallas; her strong love for her daughter Laurel is the primary theme of the series.  Stella hung out on NBC until 1955 with Anne Elstner in the title role for the entire run. "Stella Dallas" was “A continuation on the air of the true-life story of mother love and sacrifice, in which Stella saw her own beloved daughter, Laurel, marry into wealth and society, and realizing the difference in their tastes and worlds, went out of Laurel’s life.”

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Program 87 - Lowell Thomas, Jack Benny, Ann Elstner

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