Radio stars (June 1933)

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RADIO STARS within a year. And this is the reason. Peggy has been smart enough to wait until she is ready for her big chance. She could have had a network spot months ago. Managers swarmed around trying to buy her services. If she had accepted, she would have made a few ready pennies—and then, because of her inexperience, become a flop. In- stead, she waited and studied and pre- pared herself, gaining confidence and poise, until now Whiteman says she is ready for success—real, lasting success. That, I think, is one of the best tips that Paul Whiteman can give anybody. And there you are. The road is ugly and rough and your chances of reaching the top are remote, but if you've got the faith that nothing can diminish, you may get there. Paul Whiteman knows no sure recipe for suc- cess—and don't let anyone tell you that there is one. But he knows what has happened to others. The same thing, if you get the breaks and have the talent, can happen again. She Cries for a Living (Continued from page 10) ciated with babies. At home in Parkers- burg there was a much younger sister and brother. After she left finishing school, she went to Cleveland and worked in an orphanage. All this time, she never once thought of radio a*s a profession. She was doing something for the world by means of social service work. In the orphanage she would mimick the children. If a two-year-old tuned up to cry, Sallie Belle would beat her to it—do the crying, thereby shaming the child or amusing it. After that job, she went into girls' camp work as a counselor of dramatics and swimming. Immediately, she be- came known as the girl who could mimick. Imitating babies, she found, was a sure way of entertaining. Two years ago newspapers carried a story about the trouble the National Broadcasting Company was having in its search for a person who could imi- tate a baby. Of course she was amused. She thought it silly that such an easy thing would be hard to find. So she wrote NBC a letter. The answer came rushing back. Yes, NBC needed a baby mimicker and needed it badly. Would she come for an audition ? She went. Peter Dixon and a radio official listened. Peter needed her right away for "Raising Junior." She was on the air within the week. Sallie doesn't always expect to cry for her supper. She has another bigger ambition. No, it isn't marriage and babies of her own. She wants to be an actress. Even now, when she isn't needed for the baby work, she plays dramatic roles. Some people might expect her to be slightly ashamed of her "work." Or embarrassed when she stands before the mike in a crowded studio. But she isn't. She knows that the audience is, without exception, amused. Inside, though, she isn't satisfied. She wants to move those listeners emotionally, not with baby tears but through the art of acting. That's what she wants, really. Well, some day she may. She is plucky—and up to now, she feels she has been lucky. He Barks for a Living (Continued from page 11) and Marguerite Clark. They made si- lent films in those days. The invention of the "talkies" thrust him into his new career. A comedy called for the sound of an egg frying on a stove. No one could supply the sound, no sound expert would even attempt it. Barker took a deep breath and pursed his lips close to the mike. The result was perfect. The step from the "talkies" to radio was logical and short. He made it as an actor, thinking so little of noise- making that he didn't even mention it to his new employers. Fate overtook him the night a script came into the studio calling for the barking of a crazed, angry dog. Everyone tried his hand at barking, and each was dis- missed. Barker finally took his turn, and his husky yelp sent one woman into hysterics. And got him a permanent assignment as the "dog" of that par- ticular show. Since then, he has amplified his stock in trade and improved his technique. Mostly through accidents, too. Once, a hot electric iron was supposed to be thrust into a glass of water, but the iron failed to heat. So Barker sizzled. On another occasion, a rooster was sup- posed to crow at a given moment. It didn't. But Barker did. His hardest job was the time he imi- tated all the animals on Frank Buck's "Bring 'Em Back Alive" broadcast. He was everything from birds to gorillas. Incidentally, he still wonders if his gorilla imitation was authentic. He's never heard one in his life and he sim- ply made up the noise as he went along. Barking for a living does have its advantages, he admits. Men with men- ageries in their throats don't grow on every tree and in consequence he gets most of the bow-wow business at NBC. When he takes a holiday, he goes to the zoo or the farm of a friend and spends his days memorizing new noises. So that is what life does to you in this radio business . . . takes you out of your chosen profession and makes you a jungle echo. Bradley Barker still can't understand it. 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