Our OTRCAT personality-spotlight this time looks toward a man who was in the Broadway musical, "The Second Little Show" (at New York’s Royale Theatre) a few months before he turned to radio as a dramatic actor. He was also a lyricist, working with composers of a number of popular songs in the 1930’s.
His name: Ned Wever
In Octorber 2005, while preparing to produce a radio broadcasts known as "Collectible Classics", I came upon a recording made by singer Mildred Bailey. That disc (a Vocalion) was "Trust in Me." Its label read: Ned Wever, lyric; Jean Schwartz and Milton Ager, music.
In the 1950s, work found me on the highways of New England; the car radio carrying great daytime dramas known as soap operas. I’d heard a voice and wanted to know more about the person behind the voice.
The radio fan-magazines of the time contained articles dealing with radio’s top daytime dramas, but I never found them on the newsstand on the street.
Ned Wever was born in New York April 27, 1899. In his senior year at Princeton University, he wrote the book and lyrics for Princeton’s Triangle Club show.
In September of 1930, he appeared on Broadway in the cast of "The Second Little Show." It was short-lived, running 63 performances. When it closed, Wever directed his energy to radio, becoming a pioneer on the art of daytime radio drama.
From 1932-1940, he was a member of the cast "Betty and Bob." He also appeared on:
|Ned Wever in Bulldog Drummond Jan 17, 1947:
"Claim Check Murders" (26:05)
|Ned Wever in Dick Tracy Sept 13, 1945:
"Case of the Buried Treasure" (14:29)
|Ned Wever in Lora Lawton:
Dec 4, 1947 Broadcast (15:17)
|Ned Wever in on X-Minus One
May 29, 1956: "Lulungameena" (28:26)
|Ned Wever in Young Widder Brown:
Episode 3051 (9:14)
After his years on radio, he turned to TV and films. On the smaller screen, he dropped in on "Petticoat Junction" in 1964 on "George Burns and Gracie Allen" in 1968; and on "Get Smart" in 1969.
On the wider screen, his roles would include playing judges, police detective, an FBI chief, doctors, and attorney, the owner of a bar, and several productions for Walt Disney Company.
Ned Wever died on May 6th, 1984 at Laguna Hills, California. His heart has given out. I will always think not only of his clear radio voice but of his work in composing lyrics to songs such as:
In 1933, Ned Wever became a member of the music licensing firm of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Before moving to the west coast for his work in film/TV, Mr Wever’s home was in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
For more Ned Wever recordings, see the Ned Wever MP3 CD compilation.