vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

  • Mood:

Tune in for Lombard

We primarily think of movies when it comes to Carole Lombard... but don't forget that, like many film stars, she dabbled in radio -- especially beginning in the mid-1930s, when lower costs of transcontinental hookups made Los Angeles (and by that I mean "Hollywood," as in the motion-picture industry) a suitable site for network broadcasts.

"Lux Radio Theater," which began in New York in 1934 but whose ratings were unspectacular there, shifted operations to Hollywood in June 1936 and quickly soared to giant success. The following year, Jack Benny took his popular radio program from New York to LA, and by 1938 both CBS and NBC had both built impressive, state-of-the-art studios on Sunset Boulevard.

From 1937 to mid-1941, Lombard frequently appeared on network radio, occasionally as a guest on a variety show but more often participating on shows such as "Lux." There, she'd take part in either an adaptation of a film or an original radio production. She even briefly appeared on "The Circle," a short-lived NBC show with notables such as Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Groucho and Chico Marx.

Earlier this month, the blog "Once Upon A Screen" commemorated the 76th anniversary of Lombard's passing by linking to ten of her appearances on radio. The earliest, from May 1937, has Carole alongside roguish dummy Charlie McCarthy on "The Chase & Sanborn Hour"...

...the latest features her with Bob Hope in an adaptation of "Mr & Mrs. Smith," designed to Hope's comedic persona, on "Lux" in June 1941.

Other stars heard opposite Carole include Grant, James Stewart (twice), William Powell, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy, Robert Young, Basil Rathbone and Edward Everett Horton. None of the last three ever made a sound film with Lombard. (Young had an unbilled part opposite Carole in the 1928 Mack Sennett short "The Campus Vamp.")

The listening is fascinating. Lombard and Stewart play the Margaret Sullavan and Henry Fonda roles in "The Moon's Our Home"; she and Young are the leads in a version of "The Awful Truth" (with Bellamy reprising his film role); Carole, Cary and Kay re-team to adapt "In Name Only," something Lombard does with MacMurray for "True Confession."

The links to the broadcasts are at https://aurorasginjoint.com/2018/01/16/carole-lombard-on-the-radio-2/. Enjoy.


  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.