Radio stars (June 1933)

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RADIO STARS The Three Moods in Blue of WLW. Flora Fran Blackshaw, Marion Clark and Kresup Erion. Their modern arrangements of songs are grand. Come Inside to the Inside Story (Continued from page 25) fanfare. Shilkret dances on his podium, arms jerking, eyebrows raised high—a habit of his. A third actor steps to the mike. Dark, suave-looking, slim, he's one of Radio Row's best voices, Webster Van Vorhees by name. On this program, they call him the narrator. His job is to introduce Mr. Hill. Hill is already at a mike bending courteously toward it. Amelia Ear- hart rises and walks to another one. Hill starts to question her, but he talks to the mike. She answers, talking into another mike ten feet away. He tells her that Nat Shilkret has written a piece in her honor named "Skyward." He asks Nat to play it. Van Vorhees steps up. "Here we go. Are you ready, Miss Earhart?" "Wind it-up," she answers. IN a far corner, three people spring into action. A squarish black box begins to shake and dance and from it comes a noise like an airplane motor. There are sputterings and barkings and the rumble steadies into a roar. Mrs. Ora D. Nichols and her two as- sistants, George O'Donnell and Henry Gauthier, a trio of sound wizards, are making us believe that'we're in an air- plane. The noise fades into Shilkret's composition. Don't you hear it? Feel it? Rushing wind and blinding speed! Miss Earhart smiles appreciatively from her chair. At its end, Hill takes over a mike. "It has taken a million years for men to get it through their heads that women are people." This is the Hill we ex- pect. No courtesy now to that brown tin gadget. He punches his words across—right into the mike. "They were willing to grant a few gleams of intelligence to a girl only if she had a face that would frighten cows, and a figure like a gargoyle " He tells how women have conquered the air. It's an introduction to Miss Earhart who stands again at her mike. Hill's dynamic voice, "You may have seen her pictures in the newspapers and magazines, but they utterly fail to re- veal her feminine charm and attractive- ness. "They give an imperfect idea of her pretty complexion, her steady, blue- gray eyes, her charming mouth, her easy, graceful bearing. "There is an inescapable resem- blance to Lindbergh . . . one wonders where all her endurance comes from, this girl who has twice leaped the At- lantic. . . ." She grins at the sheaf of papers in her hand; grins like a school girl on a rostrum, with red-cheeked embarrass- ment. |_| ILL turns to her again, shoots ques- tions. "You don't believe, do you, that woman's place is in the home?" She replies, "I don't believe that a woman should be a prisoner of her home any more than a man should he. A home is no longer just four walls. Women, as well as men, want to as- sume responsibilities of a larger life." In a moment, she is telling of her girlhood. Three newcomers step to- ward the mikes. Two are children, those kiddie prodigies you read about. Audrey Egan and Jimmie Maccallion are to recreate, with Josephine Fox as the mother, a scene from Miss Ear- hart's life. "Was there anything in your child- hood that pointed to your future ca- reer?" Hill asks. "Well ... I always jumped the fence instead of going around by the gate." That introduces the scene. Those kids, watch them. Their chins are tilted toward the mikes and they read their lines from printed scripts as in- telligently as any adult. When it is over, Mr. Hill brings us to another scene. Here, Miss Earhart is resigning from her job as filing clerk. Her manager can't understand it. "I'm afraid you're making a-mistake. Miss Earhart. There's a real future in this office for a woman. If you remain and are industrious and apply yourself, it shouldn't be many years be- fore you would be the head of the filing department. And that's a good job for a woman, you know. It pays thirty dollars a week." Amelia's mother had just bought her a second-hand airplane and there was no stopping her. We come, then, to the fateful night when a stranger called her at her home in Boston and asked the most amazing question ever put to a woman. "Would you fly the Atlantic?" She had never thought of such a thing seriously. But if he was serious, why . . . yes! T HAT conversation was the beginning of the adventure that took her across to England in 1928 as a passenger in the sky-cruiser "Friendship." The next scene put her on her own, poised at the brink of the Atlantic for the first solo hop to Europe ever made by a woman. Waiting for weather re- ports. Now, actors swarm about those busy mikes. One is a girl who im- personates Miss Earhart, Marion Hop- kinson. Messenger boys arrive with telegrams. Bernt Balchen is imperson- ated by a glib chap with a Swedish accent. Night is falling. They make everything on the plane ready for the take-off. In her own corner, Miss Ear- hart leans forward, absorbed in the drama. A messenger arrives. "It's from George," the girl says who is impersonating the flyer. "Doc Kimball reports bad weather moving in from the south. 'Immediate start urged.' Well, that's that. 1 might as well be on my way." "Everything's set." "All right. Wind it up." The studio fills with the noise of an airplane. That is Mrs. Nichols again at her sound wizardry. We hear the bump and boom of a take-off . . . and Ed Hill sets himself before a mike. Every line of his body shows his concentration on his job. This is the climax of his show. His legs are apart and his knees bend to a half crouch as his lips churn these words into the mike. DERNT BALCHEN watches the red and gold ship dwindle into the eastern haze as the girl sets forth on her 2,000 mile adventure. Death, in the darkness of the night reaches for the girl as she races her plane east- ward." The sentences come to us 40