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MWOTRC News from 2006 - 2007

See also: current news; news from 2003-2002; news from 2004

from 2001-2006 are available on CD now. Each issue is complete and is stored in PDF format. Contact our Editor for ordering details.

NEED MORE INFORMATION than you're getting in our Radio Recall journal? Would you like more frequent updates on MWOTRC happenings? Join MWOTRC and receive Gather Round The Radio, a frequent email from Mark Anderson with all the latest. Click here for a sample.

OUR AUGUST MEETING brought together three aspects of our abiding interest in old-time radio, namely: broadcast history, hands-on star memorabilia, and the archival process. The show under discussion was “Maudie’s Diary” which aired on CBS in 1941 and 1942. This “teen-age girl program” was as popular as “Meet Corliss Archer” and “A Date with Judy.” Jack French presented the history, plus memorabilia of the original lead actress, Mary Mason, which was donated by Mrs. Mason’s daughter, Dr. Kathie Greenacre. Jack’s notes include the fact that it was based on a 1930s series that ran in “The Ladies’ Home Journal.” Click here for more of the story, plus pictures.

OUR MAY MEETING featured a visit from radio personality Ed Walker, and a science fiction program produced by Club member Chuck Langdon. Read more, and see pictures from this memorable evening, by clicking here.

MEET SOME OF OUR MEMBERS! Here's an assortment of photos from our March meeting, kindly provided by Mark Anderson. We hope to see you at our next meeting. They're (nearly) always held on the second Friday of the month - details here.

WIN CASH PRIZES IN OTR SCRIPT CONTEST - The 14th annual Friends Of Old-Time Radio (FOTR) scriptwriting contest is now open. This year our judges want a half-hour script which replicates the classic soap operas, complete with brain tumors, mistaken identity - broken romance - whatever best characterizes those women’s daily dramas from the Golden Age Of Radio. Also acceptable will be two fifteen-minute episodes, complete with soupy organ music - and finish with a dramatic teaser for next episode. Short commercials should appear at beginning and end of each episode and the sponsor must be a laundry product that either existed in the 30's or 40's, or one created by the contestant. Cast should be limited to 5 or 6 actors, including announcer, but minor parts could be doubled. Script must be ready to produce - 10 point type or larger with all sound and music cues included. First Prize is $200 and the winning entry will be performed live at our 2008 FOTR convention in Newark, NJ, of which a DVD copy will also go to the winner. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2007. All entries must be mailed to Dave Zwengler, 319 Plymouth Rd., North Brunswick NJ 08902.

THE MARCH MEETING featured speaker was our own Edgar Farr Russell III, who offered a multi-media presentation "Anatomy of a Masterpiece: The Orson Welles Mercury Theatre Production of "Julius Caesar". He described how Welles came to produce his legendary "Julius Caesar in Modern Dress" on Broadway in 1937, and also the lost "Mercury Theatre on the Air" Mark Bush records our March program.presentation of "Julius Caesar" from September 11th, 1938, with excerpts from the rare dress rehearsal recording.

This program featured an all-star cast including members of the original 1937 production-- Arthur Anderson (also a star on "Let's Pretend") and William Herz (the last remaining cast member from "The Mercury Theatre On The Air" version of "The War of the Worlds"). Others in the new cast included classically trained British actor Simon Jones who portrayed Marc Antony. You may know him from the BBC's "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy", and "Brideshead Revisited." The late Hal Stone also appeared in several roles as well as many other OTR favorites.

RADIO RECALL AVAILABLE VIA EMAIL - Our publication, Radio Recall, is now available to members via email instead of the usual printed format. This new format provides faster delivery and color images! If you're interested, please contact our membership chairman to sign up.

- At the Club's January meeting, Fred Berney presented the featured program about Radio in the Movies, and was honored with the 2006 Stan Cawelti award. Read more...

THE NOVEMBER MEETING of the Club featured a quiz show – authentic, live, against-the-clock, with an announcer, a moderator, and a three person panel. Mr. Langdon was at the sound board recording every scratch of the head and every guffaw from the assembled studio audience. Maury Cagle, our Program Chair, cooked this up. Click here or on the picture for the full story.

ALSO AT EVERY MEETING, we begin with "15 minutes of OTR" in which Jack French talks briefly about a quarter hour series and then plays one. The November meeting featured the Cinnamon Bear.

NEW OFFICERS ELECTED - The following officers were elected at the December meeting of the Metropolitan Washington OTR Club, in the shadow of the Nation's Capitol:

President: Michael Hayde. Michael is known to many Digesters who have enjoyed his presentations at FOTR Convention in Newark, NJ and the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Aberdeen, MD. A dedicated researcher and scholar, he is an expert on Superman, Grand Ol' Opry, and Dragnet, among others. His highly acclaimed book, "My Name's Friday," is the best history of radio and TV's "Dragnet" as well as the films of Jack Webb. Michael is now working on a book on the radio career of Martin & Lewis.

Vice President: Maury Cagle. Maury's career includes years of experience with the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) in Germany plus a decade as a radio producer for the U.S. Census Bureau. His OTR connection goes back many years to WW II when his father was transferred to Fort Monmouth, NJ when Maury was 10 years old. His family moved into rental property, a coach house on the estate of Tom Howard near Rumson, NJ. Having daily contact with the leader of "It Pays to Be Ignorant" was a unique experience for the lad.

Treasurer: Lennell Herbert-Marshall. Lennell is a familiar face at FOTR Newark where she learned high finance buying scads of materials in the dealers' rooms. Her collection of "Amos and Andy" is second only to Elizabeth McLeod. In the past, Lennell served as our club president for a decade, which made her the first African-American woman to head up an OTR club in the U.S. A retired security officer from a communications company, she and her husband now take regular trips to dozens of nostalgia conventions throughout North America.

SELECTIONS FROM THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF RADIO RECALL are now online. Remember that MWOTRC members receive the full, printed version of our journal, with over twice as many articles. Want to sign up? Click here and you'll soon be contacting our new Membership Chairman, Michael Taylor.

DECODER RING? Not hardly. Decoder badge? More like it, you Captain Midnight fans! Recent inquiry from a web-posting has brought this to light, with Michael Hayde and Jack French providing the definitive words: “Tell them they can't buy a "Captain Midnight Decoder Ring” - there is no such thing. However, if they try searching eBay or the 'net for a “Captain Midnight Decoder BADGE” they'll have much better success.” (Michael) And the coda, by Jack: “However, there was a decoder ring, issued long after the show ended and Stephen Kallis, Jr. has written about it in a past issue of RADIO RECALL. Technically, I guess it would be termed a "replica" of something that didn't exist.”

MOST MWOTRC MEMBERSHIPS EXPIRE IN JUNE. If you haven't renewed yours yet, please make your check for $20 payable to MWOTRC and mail to Michael Taylor, 9605 Glendower Court, Laurel, MD 20723. (For seniors and those living outside the DC area, the cost is $15.)

IF YOU LIVE IN THE WASHINGTON DC AREA or are planning a visit, why not attend one of our meetings? Members, guests, and the general public are invited to all meetings, which include various demonstrations and presentations. We meet at Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbia Pike and Wayne Street, Arlington VA, 7:30 PM on the second Friday evening of every month, except June and December when we meet Saturday noon at a local restaurant.

THE APRIL ISSUE OF RADIO RECALL, now online, welcomes the return of two authors who are top-notch OTR historians. A resident of Colorado, Stewart Wright is a regular contributor to several OTR journals including Return With Us Now. He relies upon primary source materials and oral histories of participants for his writing. And Karl Schadow, one of our club members from the Richmond area, is an expert on The Shadow, Quick As A Flash, and other series. He is practically a fixture in the Audio Archives section of the Library of Congress, where he spends most of his spare time. Read articles from these and other fine contributors in our April issue.

January 2006

The 30th Anniversary FOTR Convention at Newark, NJ was a wonderful one and everyone who attended had a great time. For those of you who missed all the OTR greats in past conventions, you can now review them on your own TV set. Visit the Satellite Media Production web site for details.

Congratulations and a hearty “Well done, old chap!” are in order for Maury Cagle, who was presented the Stan Cawelti Award for outstanding service to the Club. The presentation took place at the December luncheon. Maury concluded a banner year as Membership Chairman in which the Club roster reached new heights of organization and new member acquisition. And in January, Maury started the New Year right by giving a history of the great comedy team “Bob & Ray,” honoring the 60th anniversary of the first pairing of these innovative comic performers. For 2006, Maury has taken on the responsibilities of Program Chair for the Club. Let him know what you would like to see in the way of programs and guest speakers.