Radio stars (July 1933)

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RADIO STARS WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? (Left) Paul Whiteman giving an audition to a tot. (Above, left) The Eno Crime Club program, full of horrors. Should such radio entertainment be abol- ished just because of the children? (Above, right) Irene Wicker, known as "The Singing Lady." By WILSON BROWN JUST the other day, a group of mothers, in Scarsdale, New York, banded together to prevent their children from listening to had radio programs. Not all radio programs, mind you. Just "bad" ones. Which raises the question: what is a "had" radio pro- gram ? Certainly, if a program causes a child to awaken in the night screaming that some monster is after him, that is bad. If programs produce hysterics or sleeplessness, that is had. Those things, these Scarsdale mothers claim, have happened and are happening to children all over America. As far as I can determine, no comprehensive national survey has been made of what children are listening to. True, some stations have attempted to study the question, hut only locally. Nevertheless, we know that some pro- grams definitely attract vast juvenile audiences. Break- fast programs, chewing gum programs, fairy story pro- grams. Admittedly, they are selling breakfast foods and chewing gum to the kids. But are they "good" for them —the programs themselves, not the products they adver- tise? Are these millions of kid intellects being twisted or numbed or unduly stimulated ? THE mothers of America must answer that. The Scarsdale mothers have already done so. Without mincing words, they have characterized such outstanding kilocycle shows as The Shadow. Little Orphan Annie, Myrt and Marge. Detectives Black and Blue. Howard Thurston, and Skippy as "very poor." They have said that Chandu, Charlie Chan, the Marx Brothers. Just Plain Bill. Paul Wing. Bobby Benson, and Betty Boop were "poor." And in doing so, they have struck right at the top of their children's favorite supper-time spellbinders. No mat ter what their mothers think, the kids like Skipp\ that was marked "very poor." The kids like Little Oi phan Annie and Myrt and Marge and Detectives Blacl and Blue. Particularly, they like Chandu. the Magician, whom the mothers insist is "poor." On such shows as Eddie Cantor, Buck Rogers, and Rin- Tin-Tin, there is more agreement. The parents call them "good" and the youngsters agree. But of the "excellents" voted by the parents; namely, Great Moments in History. Dramatized News Events, Roses and Drums, True Ani- mal Stories and Current Events, (Continued on paf/c5U) What is the answer to the mothers who want to abolish certain programs? 23