Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gunsmoke - Pucket's New Year

From the television version of Gunsmoke, Season 2 originally aired January 5th 1957

Pucket's New Year written by John Meston

this was a great episode and in the style of the radio version since it was written by the man who wrote the majority of the radio episodes and the first 10 season's of television episodes.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

OTR Christmas

Here are several episodes that are tremendous examples from the Golden Age of Radio, thanks to Buck Benny and Bob Camardella and their wonderful podcast !!

Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show 12/23/1951

The Jack Benny Show 12/23/1951

Fibber McGee and Molly 12/16/1941 (Fibber Cuts His Own Christmas Tree)

The Jack Benny Show 12/21/1941

Gunsmoke 12/20/1952 (A Christmas Story)

Life with Luigi 12/20/1949

Duffy's Tavern (The Christmas Carol) 12/21/1945

The Martin and Lewis Show 12/12/1949

The Jack Benny Show 12/22/1946

The Bing Crosby Show (A Crosby Family Christmas) 12/20/1950

The Jello Program starring Jack Benny 12/20/1936 (An Old Fashioned Christmas)

The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show 12/15/1946

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Top 5

This week's Top 5 comes courtesy of the Clever Movies website and their Top 5 Horse Movies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1984 Billboard Top 10 Singles - 12/22/1984 ( 27 years ago Christmas week )

New York Times Bestseller List 12/18/2011

The New York Times Bestseller list for Fiction, the week ending December 18 2011

10 - 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
(6 weeks on list)
9  -  Micro - Michael Crichton 
(2nd week on list)
8  -  The Scottish Prisoner - Diana Gabaldon
7  -  V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton
(3 weeks on list)
6  -  The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparks
(8 weeks on list)
5  -  Kill Alex Cross - James Patterson
(3 weeks on list)
4  -  The Litigators - John Grisham
(6 weeks on list)
3  -  Explosive Eighteen - Janet Evanovich
(2 weeks on list)
2  -  11/22/63 - Stephen King 
(4 weeks on list)
1  -  The Drop - Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch of the LAPD uncovers both the operations of a sadistic killer and a political conspiracy

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jack Benny Christmas

One of the famous running gags for the Jack Benny Show was always Jack going Christmas shopping to buy gifts for Don, Phil, Rochester, Dennis and even Mary.   Usually the clerk was Mel Blanc who by the end was so exhausted dealing with the skin flint Jack that was ready to shoot himself.

here from the 1957 season of the TV version of Jack's show features the classic lineup with Mel as the clerk and Frank Nelson as the smartalec floor walker he made famous on the radio show.

Click here for the radio classic, the 1946 Christmas shopping episode

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New York Times Bestseller List NonFiction 12/11/2011

Here are the Top Ten Books on the New York Times Non Fiction Bestseller list for the week ending December 11th 2011

10 - Catherine The Great - Robert K Massie
9  -  How I Got This Way - Regis Philbin
8  -  Then Again - Diane Keaton
7  -  Back To Work - Bill Clinton
6  -  Throw Them All Out - Peter Schweizer
5  -  Jack Kennedy - Christ Matthews
4  -  Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
3  -  Being George Washington - Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe
2  -  Killing Lincoln - Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
1  -  Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
(5th consecutive week at #1)

New York Times Bestseller List Fiction 12/11/2011

The Top book on the New York Times Bestseller list for the week ending December 11th 2011

10 - The Christmas Wedding - James Patterson
9  -  Devil's Gate - Clive Cussler
8  -  Zero Day - David Baldacci
7  -  The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparks
6  -  Micro - Michael Crichton
5  -  V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton
4  - The Litigators - John Grisham
3  -  Kill Alex Cross - James Patterson
2  -  11/22/63 - Stephen King
1  -  Explosive Eighteen - Janet Evanovich
After a disastrous vacation in Hawaii, Stephanie Plum becomes the target of an international killer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1987 Billboard Top 10 Singles - 12/5/1987

Harry Morgan April 15 1915-December 7 2011

Today we lost another link to television's great past with the passing of Harry Morgan.   He was 96 and left a long legacy of great roles in movies and television.   Most notably, he played Col. Sherman T Potter of the MASH 4077 from 1975-1983.   He was brilliantly cast as Col. Potter, the fatherly old soldier with a great sense of humor.  He could enforce the military's rules and still make you laugh and feel like he was doing it for your own good.

Here is an interview he did for TVLegends on

making an appearance on a Jack Benny special with Jack Webb as Friday and Gannon

and just a brief clip of his work on M*A*S*H*

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Interesting Obituaries

This is an audio obituary from 1970, Paul Harvey on his daily noon newscast reads his tribute to the last Vince Lombardi.  Probably recorded around September 3rd of 1970 (the date of Lombardi's death).

Interesting indeed.

1981 Billboard Top 10 Singles - 12/19/1981

New York Times Bestseller List NonFiction 12/04/2011

Here are the Top Ten Books on the New York Times NonFiction Bestseller for the Week Ending December 4th 2011

10 - No Higher Honor - Condoleezza Rice
9  -  Then Again - Diane Keaton (debut)
8  -  Back To Work - Bill Clinton
7  -  Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
6  -  Gabby - Gabrielle Giffords (debut)
5  -  How I Got This Way - Regis Philbin (debut)
4  -  Jack Kennedy - Chris Matthews
3  -  Imperfect Justice - Jeff Ashton w/Lisa Pulitzer (debut)
2  -  Killing Lincoln - Bill O'Reilly w/ Martin Dugard
1  -  Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson 
(4 consecutive weeks at #1)

New York Times Bestseller List Fiction 12/04/2011

Here are the Top Ten Best Selling Novels on the NY Times Bestseller Fiction list for the week ending December 4th 2011

10 - 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
9  -  The Christmas Wedding - James Patterson
8  -  The Old Republic : Revan - Drew Karpyshyn (debut)
7  -  Zero Day - David Baldacci
6  -  The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparks
5  -  Devil's Gate - Clive Cussler (debut)
4  -  The Litigators - John Grisham
3  -  V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton (debut)
2  -  11/22/63 - Stephen King
1  -  Kill Alex Cross - James Patterson
Alex Cross investigates when the President's children are kidnapped, but the FBI and CIA stand in his way.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Interesting Obituaries in the News This Week

Andrea True - Singer/actress

She hit the pop charts in 1976 with her song "More More More" and took it to #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.

Click here for the full obituary in the Los Angeles Times

Anne McCaffrey - Bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy Author

Ms. McCaffrey was the first woman to win a Hugo Award and a Nebula award for her novella, Dragonrider, in 1968 and 1969.  In 2005 she was presented with the 22nd Grand Master Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America and then inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dragonriders of Pern information

Click here for the full obituary in the Los Angeles Times

Lana Peters - Daughter of Josef Stalin

Click here for the full obituary in the Los Angeles Times

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Golden Age of Radio - The Great Gildersleeve

This episode of the Great Gildersleeve is focused on the nephew of Gildy, Leroy, who is portrayed by child impersonator and wonderful voice actor Walter Tetley.

Tetley was famous for his portrayals of young boys on radio including Julius Abruzzio on The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show.  He had those concurrent roles on 2 of the most popular shows on radio.  He joined the Harris/Faye Show in 1948 and by the time it had finished its run on radio in 1954 he was nearly 40 years old.

He became well known to another generation of children from his role as Sherman the boy of Mr. Peabody on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show segment "Mr. Peabody's Improbable History".

Friday, November 25, 2011

New York Times Bestseller List Fiction 11/27/2011

Here are the Top Ten Books on the the NY Times Bestseller List for the week ending November 27th  2011

10 - The Prague Cemetery - Umberto Eco (debut)
9  -  The Snow Angel - Glenn Beck
8  -  Hotel Vendome - Danielle Steel
7  -  The Alloy of Law - Brandon Sanderson (debut)
6  -  1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
5  -  The Christmas Wedding - James Patterson
4  -  The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparks
3  -  Zero Day - David Baldacci
2  -  The Litigators - John Grisham
1  -  11/22/63 - Stephen King (debut)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top 5

Today's Top 5 is a look at the Top 5 bestselling novels on the New York Times Bestseller list November 22nd 1981
This weeks list contained some of the biggest names in novels and some of their most famous works.

5 - The Legacy by Howard Fast

The Lavette family of ''The Immigrants'' and ''The Establishment'' reaches the turbulent 60's.

4 - Noble House by James Clavell

 A British-Chinese struggle for control of one of Hong Kong's oldest trading houses. 
The first of Clavell's 2 #1 novels and spent 15 weeks at #1 from May until August 1981.

3 - Cujo by Stephen King

Monsters haunt a New York family seeking peace in rural Maine.
This was the 3rd #1 for Stephen King, spending 5 weeks at #1.

2 - The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
Life with an eccentric family
John Irving's first #1 novel, spending 9 weeks at the top of the list.

1 - An Indecent Obsession by Colleen McCullough
A nurse and her charges in a special-care ward of a WWII hospital
This is the second and last novel to reach the top of the Times bestseller list. The 'Thorn Birds' spend 15 weeks at #1 in the summer of 1977.  
This was the 2nd of 13 weeks at #1 for "Obsession".

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New York Times Bestseller List 11/20/2011 Non Fiction

Here are the Top Ten Books on the New York Times Non Fiction bestseller list for the week ending November 20th 2011

10 - No Regrets - Ace Frehley and Joe Layden
9  -  Boomerang - Michael Lewis
8  -  The Time of Our Lives - Tom Brokaw
7  -  Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
6  -  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me - Mindy Kaling
5  -  No Higher Honor - Condoleeza Rice
4  -  Blue Nights - Joan Didion
3  -  Jack Kennedy - Chris Matthews
2  -  Killing Lincoln - Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
1  -  Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson 
(2nd consecutive week at #1)

New York Times Bestseller List 11/20/2011 Fiction

Here are the Top Ten Books on the NY Times Fiction bestseller list for the week ending November 20th 2011

10 - The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenies
9  -  Out of Oz - Gregory Maguire
8  -  The Snow Angel - Glenn Beck
7  -  The Christmas Wedding - James Patterson
6  -  1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
5  -  Lost December - Richard Paul
4  -  Hotel Vendome - Danielle Steel
3  -  The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparks
2  -  The Litigators - John Grisham
(last week's #1)
1  -  Zero Day - David Baldacci
A Military investigator unconvers a conspriacy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gunsmoke - The Tragedian

"The Tragedian"
Season 5 Episode 20  
aired January 23rd 1960

This revolves around and down and out actor turned card sharp who Matt and Chester decide to help instead of arrest.
The highlight for Gunsmoke fans was the appearance of Howard McNear as Joe the owner/cook of a local restaurant.
The longtime cast member of the radio version of Gunsmoke originating the role of Doc Adams before moving into the equally legendary role of Floyd the barber on the Andy Griffith Show.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friars Tribute to Jack Benny

Here are a couple of clips from a Friars Tribute to  Jack Benny hosted by Johnny Carson.
Not quite sure where or when (my guess is around 1968-69) this was but maybe one of my friends can step up with some information.

The best of course feature Phi Harris followed by Dennis have to watch those 2 in that order to get the funniest part of this roast.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Trailer Park

Tonight's visit to the Trailer Park is to see the trailer for "Gentleman's Agreement".   One of the biggest selling books of 1947 and then the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture in 1947.

The story of a reporter, played by Gregory Peck, who goes undercover to conduct a research expose on antisemitism in New York City and the affluent community of Darien, CT.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Top 5 - Music Edition

Album sales by artist.  

Here are the Top 5 acts in albums sales since 1991, when Neilsen Soundscan started tracking album sales for Billboard magazine.  (Sales totals as of the week ending 10/29/2011).

5 - Celine Dion - 51,368,000 

4 - Metallica - 53,025,000

3 - Mariah Carey - 53,406,000

2 - The Beatles - 63,017,000 

1 - Garth Brooks - 68,551,000
All 15 of his releases have been certified multi-platinum (sales of 2 million or more)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New York Times Bestseller List 10/23/2011 Fiction

Here are the Top 5 books on the NY Times Bestseller list for fiction for the week ending October 23rd 2011

1 - Shock Wave - John Sanford (Debut)
Virgil Flowers investigates several bombings of a superstore chain that seeks to open a store in a Minnesota river town.

2 - The Affair - Lee Child (2 weeks on list) 
 For Jack Reacher, an elite military police officer, it all started in 1997. A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A cover-up.

3 - Survivors - James Wesley (Debut)
Individuals use survivalist skills to defend themselves after the United States suffers a socioeconomic collapse.

4 - Neverwinter -  R. A. Salvatore (Debut)
 The second book in a fantasy series featuring Drizzt Du‘Orden.

5 - The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (4 weeks on list)
Two young rivals at a magical circus become collaborators as they fall in love.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gunsmoke on Radio - Doc Holliday

The first season of the radio version of Gunsmoke.
"Doc Holliday" Season 1 episode 13
CBS Radio 
Originally aired July 19th 1952

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Top 5

Our Top 5 this time around covers another of my favorites, Horse racing and the Kentucky Derby.  

Here are the 5 fastest horses to win the Kentucky Derby.

#5 - Decidedly - 1962 2:00.40
This was the son of the 1954 Derby winner Determine.

#4 - Spend a Buck - 1985 2:00.20
1985 Horse of the Year

#3 - Northern Dancer - 1964 2:00
The 3 Year Old Horse of the Year in 1964 and considered one of the greatest sires in the history of thoroughbred racing.  He is an ancestor of all the Triple Crown winners of 2009 (Mine That Bird, Rachel Alexandra and Summer Bird).

#2 - Monarchos - 2001 1:59.97
Only the 2nd (and to date last) horse to ever break the 2 minute barrier in the Derby

#1 - Secretariat - 1973 1:59.40
Considered by many the greatest race horse of all time and the first horse to break the 2 minute barrier at the Derby.  He went on to win the Preakness and Belmont for 1973 making him the first horse since 1948 to win the Triple Crown.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sanford and Son - Lamont Goes African

In honor of Demond Wilson's 65th birthday today I give you one of the funniest episodes of a very funny show, 
Sanford and Son.

 January 19th 1973 
Episode 31 
season 2

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Trailer Park

Welcome back to the Trailer Park.  Its been sometime since we last visited and enjoyed the trailer to one of our favorite movies.

Tonight we see the trailer for the 1952 comedy "The Stooge" starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.  It was released on New Year's Eve 1952 and is one of my favorite Martin and Lewis features.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New York Times Bestseller 10/02/2011

Here are the 2 books that are currently the #1 bestsellers on the NY Times Bestseller List
(click on the title to go to Amazon to see more or buy a copy)

New York To Dallas - JD Robb

Jacqueline Kennedy : Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Top of the Pops - Album Edition

Today our TOTPs looks at the top 5 albums for this week in 1994.  This top 5 had a group that was having almost unprecedented success on the singles chart, a 1960s icon with an all blues album and one of the biggest selling soundtracks of all time.

Lets get this party started!!!

#5 - Dookie - Green Day
After peaking at #2 this album is on its way down but is the best selling album for the punk band from California.
They have sold over 15 million copies of this album as of 2011.

#4 - The Lion King - Soundtrack
This album debuted July 13th 1994 and spent the rest of July, all of August and 2 weeks in September at #1. It would return to the top in 1995 for one more week at the end of April and first week in May.  This is the 3rd biggest movie soundtrack of all time behind "The Bodyguard" and "Titanic".   This album would win an Oscar and Golden Globe for the single "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" written and performed by legend Elton John.

#3 - Rhythm of Love - Anita Baker
Down from its peak of #2.

#2 - II - Boyz II Men
After debuting at #1 2 weeks ago it drops to #2 but this album would be the 3rd biggest selling album of 1995 and produce 2 #1 singles that managed to spend a total of 16 consecutive weeks at the top from August to December of 1994.  They replaced themselves at #1 as "I'll Make Love to You" was moved out of #1 after 14 weeks for "On Bended Knee" which logged 2 weeks at the top.  The were only the 3rd act to accomplish this feat after Elvis and The Beatles and the first since 1964.

#1 - From the Cradle - Eric Clapton

The 5th #1 album for the guitar god from the UK.  This was the follow up to the hugely successful "Unplugged" LP which spent 3 weeks at the top.  This all blues album would top the chart for 1 week and produce one top 20 hit "I'm Tore Down" which reached #5.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Andy Griffith Show

Season 3 (1963)
episode 24 
 "Aunt Bee and the Medicine Man"

this is  a classic episode of TAGS with a Gunsmoke connection, the "medicine man" in this episode is played by radio legend and Gunsmoke regular John Dehner.

Dehner's credits include Paladin in the radio version of  "Have Gun Will Travel" and several small roles in the tv version of Gunsmoke.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Random Stuff

Here is a great opening monologue from Craig Ferguson on his show from September 22nd 2011

Top 5

This week's Top 5 is music oriented but its the Top 5 grossing concerts from Billboard magazine dated September 16th 1978

Top 5 Concerts (6,000 to 20,000 size arenas)

1 - REO Speedwagon/Climax Blues Band -  205,194.00 gross receipts
(Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Aug 28-29)

2 - Grateful Dead - 149,369 gross receipts
(Red Rocks Ampitheater Aug 30-31)

3 - Ted Nugent/Cheap Trick/AC/DC - 119,952 gross receipts
(Seattle, WA Aug 29th)

4 - Sha Na Na/Dr. Hook - 97,734 gross receipts
(Providence RI  Aug 31st)

5 - Outlaws/ Bill Chinook - 93,500 gross receipts
(Music Inn, Lenox MA  Sept 2nd)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Have Gun Will Travel

On Saturday at 930pm, September 14th 1957 CBS television debuted a western that was to become just as legendary as Gunsmoke in the annals of TV westerns,  Have Gun Will Travel.
Starring Richard Boone this was the story of a man called Paladin, a gun for hire in San Francisco.
The show ran on tv until the end of the 1962-63 season, a total of 225 episodes and became almost more famous for its tremendous closing theme song "Ballad of Paladin" written and performed by Johnny Western.

The premiere episode was titled "Three Bells to Perdido" 

November 23rd of 1958 "Have Gun Will Travel" debuted on the CBS Radio network as one of its last radio dramas to feature continuing characters. This version featured radio veteran and Gunsmoke regular John Dehner as Paladin.
The radio version ran until November 22nd 1960 and initially each episode was a radio version of the episode that aired on television earlier in the week.  Eventually original stories were written and produced for the radio show including the finale when Paladin left San Francisco to collect an inheritance back east.

Thanks again to the great Buck Benny podcast for the posting of the debut radio episode and the second episode of Have Gun Will

New York Times Bestseller List 09/18/2011 Part 2

 Here are the Top 5 books on the NY Times Bestseller list for Fiction:

1 - Kill Me If You Can - James Patterson
When a young man finds a bag of diamonds, he gets the attention of the major assassin the Ghost, and a rival assassin who wants the Ghost gone forever.

2 - The Sookie Stackhouse Companion - Charlaine Harris
(Debut) A closer look at the telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, her family and, of course, her lovers

3 - A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin
(8 weeks on List)  After a colossal battle, the Seven Kingdoms face new threats; Book 5 of "A Song of Ice and Fire."

4 - A Trick of the Light - Louis Penny
(Debut)  Called to a case, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of homicide encounters a world where nothing is as it seems.

 5 - Flash and Bones - Kathy Reichs 
 (2nd weeks on list)                                                     A turbocharged case unfolds for the forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan in the series behind the show "Bones."