Radio stars (Sept 1933)

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RADIO STARS 0 ?//// Mary Eastman showed the show-me state THERE must be some- thingabout the Middle \\'estern parts of these United States. Every so often up pops a star from the corn-rows of Kansas or the mud-holes of Mis- souri. This time it's brown- eyed Mary Eastman over at the Columbia studios, the littlish girl with the biggish voice singing to the strains of Howard Barlow's and Andre Kostelanetz's orchestra. Horace Greeley may ha\c been sincere when he gave that "go West"' advice, but the ])eo])le of Kansas City. Missouri. a flozen years ago. thought otherwise. And wisely .so. Miss Eastman began studying voice at the tender age of eleven in the old liome town. Day after day she rode the one-man street cars to the home f)f Rose Ryan, a leading Kansas City musician, where she learned, step by step, all things that go into a .singer's education. She was good, or at least i)e(ii)le thought .so. So good that they insisted that she i^i. V\ Chicago to enter thr Musical College. After a \ i'ar in the \\ indv Cit\'. the time came for the awarding of scholarships. Every stu- dent studied extra hard. Mary Eastman was conceded by those in the knfiw as being one of the few whf) had a chance. The night before the contests, dozens of girls with dozens of atomizers sprayed dozens of throats. Then practice, and a night's sleej)—then the trying test> Minutes seemed like hour^ to Miss Eastman as the judges, behind closed doors, deliberated their choice. Ves, she was nervou>^—anxious. Then came the an nouncement. Mary Eastmati had won the contc t Was she satisfied?" No! Like many another ambition- girl, she wanted to go to New York. Her mind had beei made up. .So she ])acked her bags. In the ea.stern cii\ she started training immediately under Frank LaF(jrge. During those five years, .she has worked. Musical comedies, guest a|)i)earances. concerts and a special per- formance in lla\ana. Such ])eople as Mme. .Schumaim- Heink and Ricliard C'rooks. two of the o])era's leading singers, have had her to assist tiiem. .\n Atwater Kent audition in New York City offered her a chance to break into radio. She auditioned. She won. There were district contests and finally a .state contest Slie won again and again. From there it was just a step to the Columbia Hroadcasting System. And now. the folks in Kansas City sit back in their armchairs Tuesda\- evenings at 8 o'clock and Sundays at *) :.^() p. ni. (I-'D.S'I" ) and .sav to each other. "1 told you .so " 32