Packed with more sudsey value for your dollar, OTRCat is proud to present these Rare Recordings of Soap Operas from the Golden Age of Radio. Included in this compilation are many rare soap series and including some programs the last surviving recordings of their shows. These serial programs will make you want to let the dishes stack up in the sink, let dinner go cold, and have yourself a good cry while the dashing heroes and lovely heroines of Yesteryear take you away from your day to day troubles…
The Affairs of Dr. Gentry, (1957-1959) "In everyone's life there is great happiness, and great sorrow… The story of a woman alone in a Man's world." Dr Ann Gentry, played by Madeline Carol, was one of the rare lady doctors during the Golden Age of Radio Soap Opera. The Affairs of Dr. Gentry was a syndicated part of NBC's Two Hours of Drama in the afternoon.
Amanda Of Honeymoon Hill was a product of the Ann and Frank Hummert Radio Factory. The show ran from Feb 5, 1940, through Apr 26, 1946, initially over the Blue Network before moving to the 10:30am slot on CBS. Charity Amanda Dyke Leighton lived with her wealthy artist husband on his Honeymoon Hill estate in Virginia. During WWII, her husband was forced to return to supervise his factory for war production, while Amanda remained on Honeymoon Hill to run a nursery for the children of War Workers. The show's intro, written by Ann Hummert, contained an embarrassing double meaning, that was a source of amusement for announcers for years, however they preferred to skip or ignore the double entendre than face the scorn and embarrassment of Ann Hummert.
Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories (1937 - 1956) sponsored by Spry Shortening sponsored, the show held the 11:45am timeslot until 1946 when it moved to 12:15. After a short discussion with the announcer, Aunt Jenny would introduce the story for the day, and after words she would dispense some country wisdom, as well as a tasty recipe featuring Spry Shortening.
Dick and Jeannie is a love story about two small town kids who come to New York to make their separate fortunes as singers on the radio. Dick winds up as an elevator operator in a large radio building, and Jeannie is a tour guide in the same building. One day Dick hears Jeannie singing in an empty rehearsal hall, and joins her in song. They begin to date and fall in love. Of course they break into song at every opportunity. People on the street must have been shocked to see two young people in love singing in Central Park, accompanied by an organ! Be careful, this Soap is so sweet your teeth may begin to ache after a couple episodes!
The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters is the story of a success Broadway Playwright who is mustered out of the Army, only to find himself the guardian, and eventually the sweetheart of Evelyn Winters, the attractive 20 year old daughter of his former Colonel who had been killed in action.
John's Other Wife, running from Sep 1936 through Mar 1942, told the story of John Perry who owns a department store and his lovely wife Elizabeth. John's "Other Wife" is his secretary Annette, who is indispensable to him at the store. John's Other Wife is another product of the Radio Factory of Ann and Frank Hummert.
Joyce Jordan, MD, sponsored by Proctor and Gamble's Dreft, and created by Irna Phillips,"the moving and dramatic story of a woman doctor; of her struggle to be a Woman and a Doctor at the same time, Joyce Jordan, MD." Dr. Joyce Jordan is a career girl, having made her share of sacrifices through the earlier series, Joyce Jordan, Girl Intern. But she is still moved by the same instincts and desires shared by her audience. Of course life will never be simple for our daydreaming heroine. Her life and love is complicated by the people around her, many jealous of her success, others just spiteful.
Judy and Jane is a very early example of the Soap Opera, running regionally in the Midwest from 1932 through 1935. Judy and her friend Jane are very concerned about life in their small town of Honeycrest. Jane's husband is a rising attorney, and they take on problems like the growing problem of marijuana cigarettes, "Reefer," at Honeycrest high school. Judy and Jane was produced by Frank and Ann Hummert.
Life Can Be Beautiful was facetiously known to those close to the program as Elsie Beebe, which was a rough acronym of the original title. The show was "an inspiring message of faith drawn form life." The story focused on Carol Conrad, aka Chichi, a teen on the run. Papa David Solomon, owner of the Slightly Read Bookshop offers Chichi a place to stay in the back of his shop. There she carries on a touching romance for many years with crippled law student Stephen Hamilton, the couple briefly married in 1944.
Light of the World presented stories from the bible that was found to be uplifting to women on the home front during WWII. The program was sponsored by General Mills. An interesting side note- Radio couple Betty and Bob (also sponsored by General Mills) decided to give up the rat race and move to the country after listening to an episode of Light of the World.
Manhattan Mother told the story of a strong single woman raising her children alone.
Masquerade is another creation of the "Mother of the Soap Opera," Irna Phillips. The show ran from 1948 through 1952, sponsored by General Mills Gold Medal Flour. "Life is a Peepshow in a Penny arcade, an endless pageant, a Masquerade…" Marion Field's world is filled with lies and deception. Get out your hankies for this one!
Monticello Party Line was sponsored by Dr. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin, a patent laxative. The story revolves around the small town lives of Monticello, Illinois, home of the Dr. Caldwell Company. The program revolved around a telephone party line, but the party line itself was only rarely used as a plot device. Monticello Party Line was written by Sandra Michael, who also created Against the Storm, the highly intelligent daytime program that won a prestigious Peabody Award in 1942.
Pretty Kitty Kelly was an adventure story running from 1937 through 1940, that came was created by Ann and Frank Hummert. Kitty Kelly arrives in America suffering from amnesia and becomes involved in a series of murders.
The Story of Mary Marlin begins Jan 1, 1935, as husband Joe Marlin leaves his home of Cedar Springs to take his seat in the US Senate. Set in Washington, Mary's troubles are more personal and emotional than political. At one point she has to spurn the advances of the (fictional) President of the United States!
This Day is Ours is a thrilling love story brought to you by Crisco Shortening. The show premiered on Nov 7, 1938, and ran for two years. Eleanor McDonald, played by Joan Banks and later Templeton Fox, has more than her share of troubles, including the kidnapping of her child, a case of amnesia, having to help a friend find a killer, and the list goes on.
Today's Children was the first soap developed for a national network, by Irna Phillips. It was largely a remake of her earlier Chicago show, Painted Dreams. Miss Phillips took her new show to WMAQ, changed the lead character from Mother Malone to Mother Moran, and went on to create some of the most beloved and longest running soaps in radio and television. Her creations include The Guiding Light and As the World Turns.
Wendy Warren and the News held the noon time slot on CBS, beginning in 1947. The show told stories in 24 hour increments, and added reality by featuring a daily news broadcast. CBS Reporter Douglas Edwards would give a three minute summary of the day's news, followed by lady reporter Wendy Warren, played by Florence Freeman, which would lead into the daily story of her tortured love life.
The Woman In My House (1951 - 1959) is brought to us by Sweet Heart face soap on NBC. During 1950's most of the veteran Soaps on the air remained stable, but the newer soaps often didn't fare as well, partly thanks to the draw of television. Of the new Radio Soaps introduced during this period, only The Woman in My House lasted more than one season. "Imperious Man, look in your heart and dwell on this, without the Woman in My House, what would I be?"
Woman in White was an early soap from "The Mother of Soap Opera," Irna Phillips. First broadcast in 1938, after the death of Phillips mother who had been the inspiration for the Mother Malone/Mother Moynihan characters of her earlier soaps. It was the first Soap to deal with the inner workings of a Hospital. This was also Phillips first project with talented Soap writer Agnes Nixon.
Woman of America premiered on NBC in Jan, 1943. Set in the Old West after the Civil War, the struggles of heroine Prudence Dane is called upon to be strong and persevering as her family moves West in their covered wagon. The narrator, fictional great-granddaughter of Prudence Dane, reminds listeners "the women of America are once again fighting side by side with their men in the factories, farms, and homes."
Your Family and Mine (April 25, 1938 - 1940) "Share the hopes and fears, the loves and triumphs of the Wilbur family in this thrilling story- Your Family and Mine." The series was created by Lillian Laugerty, who also penned the successful series Big Sister which enjoyed a long run from 1936 through 1952.