This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
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FOND MEMORIES OF EDDIE GALLAHER
by Jim Cox
(From Radio Recall, December 2003)
It was so sad to read of the passing of Eddie Gallaher. I knew him from "On a Sunday Afternoon" in the summers along about 1954, 1955, 1956 when CBS unleashed him to fill much of its time zone between 2:30 and 5 p.m. in June, July and August, interspersed with "Chevrolet spotlights the news" with Larry LeSueur, Allan Jackson and Robert Trout (at 2:30 and 4:00).
Eddie featured a mix of classical and pop stuff and his running commentary, very authoritative, was always delightful. Some of his music was live, featuring a CBS symphony directed by the inimitable Alfredo Antonini. Eddie would go up to NY from WTOP each weekend for the show.
I was so taken with Eddie's theme song, "Summertime Is Summertime," that I wrote him and asked about it. Not really expecting a reply, I was surprised when he responded quickly, telling me it was from the soundtrack of the Broadway show "Seventeen." I literally looked for that show in every record shop I entered in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s--until I mentioned it on the Internet’s OTR Digest one day.
Doug Douglass immediately responded, telling me of a source in NYC that had that soundtrack. I ordered it and played the LP recording, exactly as heard on Eddie's show, until the grooves nearly wore out.
Someone from Washington told me a few years ago he was still alive and still in radio. I wrote him another letter. No response. I knew then the bloom was off the rose. My friend told me he had been in failing health. All that remains for me are the happy memories and "Summertime Is Summertime."