most popular and longest running national serial was One Man's
Family, the sweeping saga of family life created by that great
creator of radio drama, Carlton E. Morse. Morse's work on I
Love a Mystery was another facet of his genius for involved,
personal plot lines that were loaded with interesting, impressive
characters that thought and talked together like real people.
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Perhaps it is easiest to state flatly that Carlton E. Morse was
the greatest old time radio show creator of them all. Yet that would be
unfair to all the other fine creative talents who made radio shows
so varied and so entertaining that our lives were enriched and
rewarded by their presence.
One Man's Family
Press release photo, 1950
The plot lines are too involved to summarize, and the players
would be a list of several dozen. In One Man's Family,
the story of an entire family is the idea, and the family was
headed by patriarch Henry Barbour, a stern white collar worker
when the series began, and a loving, doting grandfather when it
finally ended. "The show's success was due in no small part
to the magnificent 27-year run as Henry Barbour by J. Anthony
Smythe," says John Dunning, who gives a detailed account
of the show in his "On
the Air, The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio,".
One Man's Family was blessed with fine actors as major cast players,
all under the direction of Morse, and most remained with the show
through the years, even as the Barbours developed and deepened
as a family through the changes that American life and their own
actions brought their way.
One Man's Family is a masterpiece of radio serial family
drama. No one who heard the show during its vast sweep of broadcast
history would deny that.