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Margaret O'Brien Collection

The daughter of a circus performer and a flamingo dancer, Margaret O'Brien got into the movies at age three and was known as the "best crier" in the lot!

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35 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 22 hours, 59 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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23 Audio CDs


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About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Child Stars were a necessity for the studios, especially for MGM who built a reputation for producing wholesome, family fare. Anyone who was familiar with the business knew that a movie lot was far from being a wholesome, family friendly environment. A movie lot is a work place, just like a factory anywhere in the world, and like workers anywhere under pressure, tensions can run high and language can become salty.

Margaret O'Brien

Having kids on the set, especially kids working in front of the camera, meant that certain precautions had to be taken, and those precautions often meant inconvenience and sometimes considerable investment for producers and the studios. There were already a variety of teachers on the MGM lot as part of their "Movie Star Factory" giving diction, dancing, singing, and acting lessons, but if these professionals didn't do their job it meant that a Starlet may not have been as prepared for a part she wanted. A school teacher working with a child star could bring an entire production to a halt if the kid failed a math quiz or forgot to do her geography homework. The mother of a child star could be even more difficult to work with than a beauty queen, but if the mother was not happy, it would be impossible to get a great performance from the kid.

Over the years, child actors brought a lot of money in for the studios, some of them successfully made the transition to grown-up parts within the studio system while others found their services were no longer necessary by the time they reached the age of consent. After growing up in the insanity of the studio system, some were relieved to take "normal jobs" and live out their lives in relative obscurity.  It is likely that Margaret O'Brien could have made the transition to grown-up film roles, but by the time came for her to make that move the studio system was beginning to collapse.

Margaret was born in San Diego, California, 1937. She never knew her father, Lawrence O'Brien, who was a circus performer who passed away before her birth. Mother Gladys Flores was a flamenco dancer. Margaret was only three years old when former child star Mickey Rooney (only 21 at the time, arguably still a child star although the veteran of 135 films at the time) approached her on the set of Babes on Broadway (1941) saying "Hello, the cute little girl!" Margaret was given an important part supporting Larraine Day and Robert Young in the propaganda film Journey for Margaret (1942). She played a homeless waif orphaned by the London blitz, and in one scene has to learn to cry for the parents she had lost to the bombs. Crying convincingly would become one of O'Brien's trademarks.

Al Jolson and Margaret

Perhaps Margaret's greatest movie success came in support of Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Just before shooting began, Gladys got in touch with Louis B. Mayer and demanded $5,000/week for her daughter's services. When Mayer balked and threatened to use a look-alike, they traveled to New York. Mayer caved in and gave Margaret the raise, which meant she made the same amount as Judy Garland on the picture. While it would be a stretch to say that little Margaret "stole the show" from the Wizard of Oz (1939) veteran, she was awarded Juvenile Academy Award for playing Tootie, the younger sister of Garland's character, the same Award Judy had received for her work in The Wizard of Oz just five years before. O'Brien had been given the role partly because of her reputation as one of the best "criers" on the MGM lot. However, she seemed to be having so much fun on the shoot that the tears would not come. Mother Gladys came to the rescue when she told Margaret that "June Allyson is a better crier than you!"

By the time Margaret was ready to negotiate the contract that would have been the foundation for her move into more mature roles, MGM, whose specialty had been big-budget films, was losing audience share to Television. Her mother asked Mayer to release her six months early from her contract. Margaret was up to voice the lead in Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951) but Gladys got into a heated argument with Walt Disney and another MGM actress, Kathryn Beaumont, got the part.

Gladys and Margaret lived in a nice home in Beverly Hills. When her mother got sick, the maid asked if she could take Margaret's Oscar and some other awards home to polish. Gladys passed away suddenly, and while in mourning it was some time before Margaret realized that neither the maid nor the Oscar had returned. Thirty-seven years later, a sports memorabilia collector spotted the miniature Oscar at a flea market and bought it to sell at auction. When he discovered that it was a genuine but stolen artifact, he got in touch with the Academy and eventually with Ms. O'Brien. The collector declined a reward but asked to be photographed returning the statuette to O'Brien so he could brag to his friends that he had presented an Oscar.

Two Stars were placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 to honor Margaret O'Brien, one at 6636 Hollywood Blvd for her work in Motion Pictures, the other at 1672 Vine St for Television.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    35 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 22 hours, 59 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      35 shows - total playtime 22 hours 59 minutes
      1. Academy Award 461218 Lost Angel.mp3
      2. Anacin Hollywood Star 490910 Promise Of Murder.mp3
      3. Bergen Mccarthy 451118 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      4. Big Show 501224 Jimmy Durante Robert Merrill.mp3
      5. Big Show501231 Vivian Blaine Jose Ferrer.mp3
      6. Cavalcade Of America 501024 Juliet In Pigtails.mp3
      7. Charlie Mccarthy 641115 Chase And Sanborn 100th Anniversary .mp3
      8. Command Perf 450308 165 Frank Sinatra Elizabeth Taylor.mp3
      9. Ft 480226 055 Lifes Circus.mp3
      10. Ft 481222 097 Blessed Are They.mp3
      11. Ft 510606 223 Hold Out Heart.mp3
      12. Ft 520528 272 Baby Sitter.mp3
      13. Ft 540728 380 Story Of Danny Dollar Bill.mp3
      14. Ft 541222 401 Juggler Of Our Lady.mp3
      15. Guest Star 500129 0149 Just Plain Jane.mp3
      16. Guest Star 550807 0437 Red Evening Dress.mp3
      17. Jimmy Durante Show 471224 13 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      18. Lux 440619 Lost Angel Margaret Obrien James Craig.mp3
      19. Lux Radio 440619 444 Lost Angel.mp3
      20. Lux Radio 441106 456 Pied Piper Repeat.mp3
      21. Lux Radio 450618 488 Canterville Ghost.mp3
      22. Lux Radio 460218 515 Captain January Repeat.mp3
      23. Lux Radio 460527 529 Music For Millions.mp3
      24. Lux Radio 460902 535 Our Vines Have Tender Grapes.mp3
      25. Lux Radio 461202 548 Meet Me In St Louis.mp3
      26. Lux Radio 480301 605 Bad Bascombe.mp3
      27. Lux Radio 500313 693 Little Women Repeat.mp3
      28. Mail Call 450502 143 Bob Hope Clark Gable Margaret Obrien.mp3
      29. Mgm Of Air 491216 010 Youngest Profession.mp3
      30. Philco Radio Time4649 470528 033 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      31. Philco Radio Time4649 480317 061 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      32. Screen Guild 430405 138 Journey For Margaret.mp3
      33. Screen Guild 480607 Snow White.mp3
      34. Suspense 450315 Cricket.mp3
      35. Suspense 481125 Screaming Woman.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    35 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 22 hours, 59 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      35 shows - total playtime 22 hours 59 minutes
      1. Academy Award 461218 Lost Angel.mp3
      2. Anacin Hollywood Star 490910 Promise Of Murder.mp3
      3. Bergen Mccarthy 451118 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      4. Big Show 501224 Jimmy Durante Robert Merrill.mp3
      5. Big Show501231 Vivian Blaine Jose Ferrer.mp3
      6. Cavalcade Of America 501024 Juliet In Pigtails.mp3
      7. Charlie Mccarthy 641115 Chase And Sanborn 100th Anniversary .mp3
      8. Command Perf 450308 165 Frank Sinatra Elizabeth Taylor.mp3
      9. Ft 480226 055 Lifes Circus.mp3
      10. Ft 481222 097 Blessed Are They.mp3
      11. Ft 510606 223 Hold Out Heart.mp3
      12. Ft 520528 272 Baby Sitter.mp3
      13. Ft 540728 380 Story Of Danny Dollar Bill.mp3
      14. Ft 541222 401 Juggler Of Our Lady.mp3
      15. Guest Star 500129 0149 Just Plain Jane.mp3
      16. Guest Star 550807 0437 Red Evening Dress.mp3
      17. Jimmy Durante Show 471224 13 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      18. Lux 440619 Lost Angel Margaret Obrien James Craig.mp3
      19. Lux Radio 440619 444 Lost Angel.mp3
      20. Lux Radio 441106 456 Pied Piper Repeat.mp3
      21. Lux Radio 450618 488 Canterville Ghost.mp3
      22. Lux Radio 460218 515 Captain January Repeat.mp3
      23. Lux Radio 460527 529 Music For Millions.mp3
      24. Lux Radio 460902 535 Our Vines Have Tender Grapes.mp3
      25. Lux Radio 461202 548 Meet Me In St Louis.mp3
      26. Lux Radio 480301 605 Bad Bascombe.mp3
      27. Lux Radio 500313 693 Little Women Repeat.mp3
      28. Mail Call 450502 143 Bob Hope Clark Gable Margaret Obrien.mp3
      29. Mgm Of Air 491216 010 Youngest Profession.mp3
      30. Philco Radio Time4649 470528 033 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      31. Philco Radio Time4649 480317 061 Margaret Obrien.mp3
      32. Screen Guild 430405 138 Journey For Margaret.mp3
      33. Screen Guild 480607 Snow White.mp3
      34. Suspense 450315 Cricket.mp3
      35. Suspense 481125 Screaming Woman.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    35 recordings on 23 Audio CDs
    total playtime 20 hours, 4 min

    Margaret OBrien Disc A001

    1. Screen Guild 430405 138 Journey For Margaret

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A002

    1. Lux 440619 Lost Angel Margaret Obrien James Craig

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A003

    1. Lux Radio 440619 444 Lost Angel

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A004

    1. Lux Radio 441106 456 Pied Piper Repeat

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A005

    1. Command Perf 450308 165 Frank Sinatra Elizabeth Taylor
    2. Suspense 450315 Cricket

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A006

    1. Mail Call 450502 143 Bob Hope Clark Gable Margaret Obrien

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A007

    1. Lux Radio 450618 488 Canterville Ghost

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A008

    1. Bergen Mccarthy 451118 Margaret Obrien

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A009

    1. Lux Radio 460218 515 Captain January Repeat

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A010

    1. Lux Radio 460527 529 Music For Millions

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A011

    1. Lux Radio 460902 535 Our Vines Have Tender Grapes

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A012

    1. Lux Radio 461202 548 Meet Me In St Louis

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A013

    1. Academy Award 461218 Lost Angel
    2. Philco Radio Time4649 470528 033 Margaret Obrien

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A014

    1. Jimmy Durante Show 471224 13 Margaret Obrien
    2. Ft 480226 055 Lifes Circus

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A015

    1. Lux Radio 480301 605 Bad Bascombe

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    Margaret OBrien Disc A016

    1. Philco Radio Time4649 480317 061 Margaret Obrien
    2. Screen Guild 480607 Snow White

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A017

    1. Suspense 481125 Screaming Woman
    2. Ft 481222 097 Blessed Are They

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A018

    1. Anacin Hollywood Star 490910 Promise Of Murder

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A019

    1. Mgm Of Air 491216 010 Youngest Profession
    2. Guest Star 500129 0149 Just Plain Jane

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A020

    1. Lux Radio 500313 693 Little Women Repeat

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A021

    1. Cavalcade Of America 501024 Juliet In Pigtails
    2. Ft 510606 223 Hold Out Heart

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A022

    1. Ft 520528 272 Baby Sitter
    2. Ft 540728 380 Story Of Danny Dollar Bill

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Margaret OBrien Disc A023

    1. Ft 541222 401 Juggler Of Our Lady
    2. Guest Star 550807 0437 Red Evening Dress
    3. Charlie Mccarthy 641115 Chase And Sanborn 100th Anniversary

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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