Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"The Aldrich Family" from Radio

I've enjoyed listening to recordings of "old-time" radio shows. Mostly, I like the anthology series, especially those with suspense, horror, science fiction and fantasy themed stories, but sometimes I like the comedy shows, too. I guess they could be called the radio sit-coms.

One of the shows I enjoyed was "The Aldrich Family", which centered around the exploits of mischievous Henry Aldrich and his pals. The show aired during the 1940s and Henry was played by Ezra Stone, who later became a director of many tv shows. The show opened with his mother calling him, "Henryyyyyyyyyyyy! Henry Aldrich!" and his nervous reply, "Coming Mother."

In the later 1960s, as I "lightly" started my autographed photo collection, I included some of the stars of old-time radio. But finding photos of those actors and actresses was not easy, as many never did go on to tv or movies. So when I located an address for somebody, I'd write them and request a photo. Some had them and some didn't.

One person who didn't have any photos was Ezra Stone. He noted such on my letter to him, in addition to providing answers to a few questions about the show's cast. I did find a photo of him in a book about radio, and sent him a photocopy which he signed, and also made a note on my letter about his directing a couple of tv shows for the current season.

Katherine Raht was a pioneer actress in radio, and she played Henry Aldrich's Mother. She was listed in the Manhattan phone directory and I called her, telling her I liked the show, and then I did something stupid. I asked her if she'd do the opening of the show for me (described above). Her reply - "Oh no, that would be silly. Thank you for remembering me." Then she politely hung up!

Once again, not able to find a photo of Ms. Raht, I sent her a letter requesting one, not just of her but of the cast of the show. She replied directing me to go to NBC and ask for cast photos, but she did enclose one of herself. This is the way I received the photo from her, and is an example of why people should not sign glossy photos with a fountain pen - the ink can smudge easily.

You can download and listen to episodes of "The Aldrich Family" here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post. For more Aldrich family you may also want to check out http://otrcat.com/aldrich-family-henry-aldrich-p-1033.html which has quite a few episodes I hadn't run across before last year.