Radio stars (June 1933)

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RADIO STARS HE BARKS FOR A LIVING Bradley Barker set out to be a big business executive. But fate had other plans for Bradley—of which he could know nothing. Bradley Barker is his name- actually! Of course, he does more than just bark like a dog on the air. But that barking got him a start and he still does it By JOSEPH KENT WHEN they told me that it was Bradley Barker who barked over the air, I wondered if they were trying to put something over on me. But they weren't. Bradley Barker is a barker—of the woof-woof variety—which automatically nominates him for a niche in Mr. Believe-It-or-Not Ripley's hall of fame. To me, he illustrates a lot of things. For one, he proves that you never can tell about this thing called life—that a career all carefully planned and executed may vanish in a cloud of dust while life turns into a thunderbolt that knocks you into all sorts of odd alleys. Exactly that happened to Bradley Barker. And it makes one of the oddest stories ever told along Radio Row. It makes you sort of shudder, too, and wonder just how secure are all the things in which we put our trust. This business of barking is a curious way to earn a liv- ing, isn't it? It is one of the alleys down which Barker was knocked. In the beginning, he had other ideas en- tirely. And he still has—but life keeps him woof-woofing away. You have heard him often, though you never suspected it, I'll bet. Remember the dog in "Moonshine and Honey- suckle"? That was Bradley Barker. It isn't his only talent. He also grunts and chatters. In' the "Doctor Doo- little" broadcasts he was a pig, a parrot, and a monkey. In the Betty Boop comedies, both those on the screen and on the air, he" is the "odd" voice. Not often does one meet a man with such a menagerie in his throat. But the funny thing is this: it all began as an accident. As a kid, Bradley Barker never thought of noise-making as a way of keeping the wolf from the door. He'd have screamed with laughter if anyone had suggested it. In his brain were images of captains of industry and giants of commerce. He would be like them, when he grew up. His start indicated his purpose. He became an adver- tising man. Somehow, he strayed into the ranks of the acting profession. Since then he has never been able to escape the lure of greasepaint. This man's love for acting is a pulsing, genuine thing. You have to hear him talk about it to understand. Today, he is a radio actor on many a program—just one of an army of radio actors. And here is the little drama into which life has flung him: Though it is acting that he loves and which he calls his life work, it is this other thing—this woof-woofing and growling that makes him famous. And he detests it. You see, he was once very much of a movie actor, playing in support of such motion picture stars as Lionel Barrymore, Constance Binney, (Continued on page 45) 11