The Society To Preserve and Encourage
Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy

Barbara Watkins brings you
sperdvac presents
Barbara Watkins
In the early years SPERDVAC was fortunate to have many of the giants of old time radio attend the monthly meetings and share their experiences of working in the golden age of radio. Most of the meetings were recorded and placed in SPERDVAC's library for members to listen and enjoy. These unique recordings should be shared with everyone interested in OTR. We will post a new one each month here on SPERDVAC's website.

These Recordings have been encoded in high quality mp3 files

    Last time, before we were so rudely interrupted by the collapsing driveway, we posted the Penny Singleton meeting. Who better to follow that up with than Dagwood himself, Arthur Lake. Arthur spoke to us at the July 10, 1982 meeting. It's shorter than the usual meetings and sometimes difficult to hear what the audience members are asking him but you'll agree--this WAS Dagwood! Enjoy!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 82-07-10 Arthur Lake

    SPERDVAC's guest at the January 8, 1983 meeting was Penny Singleton. She tells how a natural brunette became the beloved character named Blondie. The series of movies began in 1938 and were so successful a radio series soon followed, both featuring Arthur Lake as her lovable bumbling husband Dagwood. After she left the Blondie radio show she had her own Penny Singleton Show as a summer replacement in 1950. In later years she was the voice of Jane Jetson in the TV series.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 83-01-08 Penny Singleton

    The September 12, 1981 meeting with guest Nelson Olmsted is 72 minutes of sheer delight! Nelson, who began his radio career as a teller of stories in series such as World's Greatest Stories, Story Dramas, Story for Tonight and Sleep No More, tells us his own life story. He remembers when he was a kid and his father brought home a radio and how you had to twist three dials to find a station. In the 1930s as a student at the University of Texas in Austin, he did some shows with no pay, and when auditions for a paid announcer opened he won the spot, beating out second place Walter Cronkite. Later Nelson appeared in many network shows, including dramas and soap operas. After radio he had a nice career in TV in the 1950, 60s and 70s. Nelson Olmsted's name has been mentioned in various radio related Facebook groups. Now those fans will have a chance to get to know him.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 81-09-12 Nelson Olmsted

    This month's offering is the March 12, 1983 meeting with guests Herb Ellis and Herb Vigran. Herb Ellis passed away last week on December 26 at the age of 97, less than a month shy of his 98th birthday. We dedicate this posting to his memory with gratitude for the many years of entertainment he provided to radio, TV and movie fans everywhere and for his many years of friendship and service he gave to SPERDVAC. You'll enjoy listening to the two men sharing stories about their careers and the good natured ribbing they toss at each other.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 83-03-12 Herb Ellis & Herb Vigran

    The September 11, 1993 SPERDVAC meeting featured actor/producer/director Norman Lloyd. Randy Skretvedt did a beautiful job of interviewing our guest. Mr. Lloyd talks about his early days in the theater and radio, beginning in 1932, and the people he worked with and the shows he worked on. At the time of the meeting he was celebrating 60 years in show business. That was 25 years ago and he is still working at age 104!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 93-09-11 Norman Lloyd

    This month's posting is the February 13, 1988 meeting with guest Howard Duff at the Thousand Oaks Library. Duff is best remembered in radio for his portrayal of detective Sam Spade but worked on many other shows and was active in the Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II. Some of his friends such as Jerry Hausner and Elliott Reid attended the meeting to salute him and others sent greetings via recordings. The meeting is preceded by Les Tremayne's acceptance of an award to AFTRA from SPERDVAC. Howard Duff was a very gracious guest and patiently met with attendees and signed autographs after the meeting.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 88-02-13 Howard Duff

    This month we have a very special treat for you and especially for Shadow fans. At SPERDVAC's 1986 convention Anthony Tollin produced and directed an episode of The Shadow, "The Man Who Dreamed Too Much", from November 19, 1944. Every actor in the cast had appeared in episodes of The Shadow during the golden age of radio. Even more special, every continuing character in the script is played by an actor who played that role. Those roles are filled by John Archer as Lamont Cranston/The Shadow, Lesley Woods as Margo Lane, Dwight Weist as Commissioner Weston and Andre Baruch as announcer. Music was specially recorded by Rosa Rio for this production. Other Shadow veterans in the cast are Bill Zuckert, Amzie Strickland, Alice Frost and Les Tremayne. The recreation is followed by a panel discussion with the actors. Enjoy!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 86-11-08 Shadow recreation the man who dreamed too much

    The SPERDVAC meeting of February 9, 1980 featured Howard Culver as guest. He acted on many radio shows, both in Hollywood and San Francisco, beginning in the 1930s. He also had an extensive career in television. As announcer he was the voice of White King soap on the Chandu the Magician series. For me, he will always be remembered as Straight Arrow, the first childhood hero I was privileged to meet. Listen to what happened when a policeman pulled him over for speeding!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 80-02-09 meeting featuring Howard Culver as guest speaker.

    This month's offering is the meeting of October 12, 1985 with guests Betty Garde and Elliott Reid. Betty did most of the talking so we invited Elliott back a couple months later. Betty Garde did it all during the golden age of radio from the Mercury Theater with Orson Welles, daytime soaps, nighttime drama. She talks about many of the shows she appeared on and starred in and the people she worked with. She also had an extensive career on stage, in film and on television.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 85-10-12 meeting featuring Betty Garde and Elliott Reid as guest speakers.

    Actor George Petrie was SPERDVAC's guest at the May 13, 1989 meeting. His first radio job was in 1938 in Connecticut as part of the Federal Theater under the National Recovery Act. By 1940 he was in New York doing a show called Five Star Final on WMCA. Over the years George worked on most of the shows coming out of New York. He discusses many of them and the people he worked with. His television career is just as prolific. For those who don't recognize his name you will definitely recognize his face. He appeared on many of the top rated shows in the 1950s through the early 1990s.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 89-05-13 meeting featuring George Petrie as guest speaker.

    This month's SPERDVAC Presents features the October 13, 1979 meeting with guest Curley Bradley. He is best remembered as radio's Tom Mix. He tells us how he got the role. The show moved from New York to Chicago in 1937 and Jack Holden was cast as Tom. In 1939 Russell Thorson took over the role. Curley was part of the singing trio The Ranch Boys and played the part of Pecos Williams. The show left the air for a year and when it returned in 1944 Curley won the title role which he played until the series' end. He talks about his horse Tony and tells some interesting stories about meeting some of his little Straight Shooter pals.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 79-10-13 meeting featuring Curley Bradley as guest speaker.

    This month SPERDVAC presents writer, producer, director Arch Oboler, guest at the October 8, 1977 meeting. He is best remembered for the Lights Out and Arch Oboler's Plays series but had his hand in many other series as well during the golden age of radio. He brought along one of his Arch Oboler's Plays "Rocket from Manhattan" which he played for the audience and is included here.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 77-10-08 SPERDVAC meeting featuring Arch Oboler as guest speaker.

    SPERDVAC's guest speaker at the January 9, 1988 meeting was John Guedel who created and produced Art Linkletter's House Party and People Are Funny and Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life radio shows. He tells us all about how these programs came to be. And he even shows us a pillow he invented! I know I say this all the time but this meeting is such a delight to listen to. Don't miss it! Enjoy!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 88-01-09 SPERDVAC meeting featuring John Guedel as guest speaker.

    The August 13, 1983 SPERDVAC meeting featured actress Alice Frost as guest speaker. She tells us about her early work on stage and how she got started in radio in the 1930s and talks about some of the shows she appeared on and the people she knew. To radio fans she is best remembered as Ruth Evans on the soap opera Big Sister for five years and as Pamela North for ten years on Mr. and Mrs. North with Joseph Curtin. Some of her many other credits include The Mercury Theater with Orson Welles, The Shadow, Believe It or Not, Stoopnagle and Budd, The Clock, Suspense and Inner Sanctum Mysteries. Enjoy!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 83-08-13 SPERDVAC meeting featuring actress Alice Frost as guest speaker.

    On October 9, 1982 SPERDVAC honored Frank Nelson and Veola Vonn with a dinner at the famed Brown Derby on Vine Street in Hollywood. It was a sell out crowd of members and celebrities, including writer Milt Josefsberg and singer Larry Stevens from the Jack Benny show, who came to hear about their careers and reminiscences of working in radio. Veola spoke of playing the femme fatal on many of the shows and of her memories of Hanley Stafford and Fanny Brice. Frank told many amusing stories of working on various shows and why he decided to turn to comedies rather than continue his many dramatic roles. At the end of the evening they delighted the audience by performing a Bickersons skit. Enjoy!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 82-10-09 7th Annual Dinner with Frank Nelson and Veola Vonn

    The SPERDVAC meeting of May 10, 1986 was a very special one. Some of the original people from the series This Is Your FBI came to present a recreation for SPERDVAC including director/producer Jerry Devine, writer Jerry D. Lewis, composer Dr. Frederick Steiner and narrator William Woodson. The cast included Peggy Webber, Parley Baer, Lou Krugman and Sean McClory. Jerry Devine talks about the origin of the series and answers questions from the audience. It is preceded by a short talk by Ames Bishop discussing a book written about the 50 year history of radio station WNEW in New York City, proceeds to benefit ALS.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 5-10-86 This Is Your FBI

    This month's post is the September 10, 1983 SPERDVAC meeting with a panel of actors who began their careers as child actors in radio, Billy Idelson, Eddie Firestone, Bob Hastings and Dick York. They talk about the shows they did, the people they worked with, the bloopers that happened and answer questions from the audience. It's filled with information and lots of laughs. All four actors went on to have extensive careers in television.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 9-10-83 Child Actors

    This month SPERDVAC Presents the meeting of July 14, 1979 with actor, writer, director and producer Elliott Lewis. Elliott Lewis the actor could do it all. He was equally at home in dramas, comedies, romances or serials. Perhaps the first role one thinks of when hearing his name is that of Remley on the Phil Harris Alice Faye Show. Elliott tells SPERDVAC how he got that role. At the time of this meeting he and Fletcher Markle were producing and directing Sears Radio Theater and shares some stories about that, too.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 7-14-79 Elliott Lewis

    John Milton Kennedy was a longtime friend of SPERDVAC, having emceed several events for SPERDVAC before appearing at the February 12, 1983 meeting to talk about his career. He began as a stage actor, winning a Shakespearean contest in 1930, and has many delightful stories to tell about the early days of radio. (Did you know the call letters for station KGFJ stood for keeping good folks joyful?) He is best remembered by radio fans as the announcer on Lux Radio Theater from 1942 to 1952, saying Lux presents Hollywood! Now, SPERDVAC Presents John Milton Kennedy!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 2-12-83 John Milton Kennedy

    Singer Bea Wain and announcer Andre Baruch were the honored guests at SPERDVAC's 6th Annual Dinner on June 13, 1981 at the fabled Brown Derby on Vine Street in Hollywood. They talk about how they got started in radio. Andre started as a pianist and ended up accidently as an announcer because the audition line was shorter. Andre does most of the talking but Bea sometimes gets a word in here and there. Also in attendance was their longtime friend L.A. Speed Riggs, famed tobacco auctioneer on many radio shows. You'll learn what his initals stand for. It was a very entertaining evening and SPERDVAC is happy to share it with you.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 6-13-81 Andre Baruch and Bea Wain

    June Foray was a great friend to SPERDVAC, always willing to help. She attended most of our conventions and shared her talent whenever asked. At this September 20, 1980 meeting she shared her memories of how she got started working in radio and the people she worked with, including Steve Allen, Smilin' Ed McConnell and Stan Freberg. Also included are many clips of her work and her many voices that are still entertaining audiences around the world today. It's hard to believe this was 37 years ago!

  • SPERDVAC Presents 9-20-80 June Foray

    Writer Phil Leslie was SPERDVAC's guest speaker at the March 14, 1981 meeting. Phil wrote for the Beulah Show, The Great Gildersleeve, and for 13 years for Fibber McGee and Molly. He is interviewed by a young John Tefteller and clips of some shows are played. This was also SPERDVAC's annual election meeting, presided over by president Joe Crawford who steps down after five years as president. Joe mentions many names who helped make SPERDVAC successful in the early years.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 3-14-81 Phil Leslie

    What do Missy Wong, Archie Goodwin, Paladin, Ma Friday, Clyde Beatty and Chester Wesley Proudfoot all have in common? The six actors who portrayed those characters were all guests at the August 14, 1982 SPERDVAC meeting. We're very pleased to share this magical afternoon with you as Virginia Gregg, Harry Bartell, John Dehner, Peggy Webber, Vic Perrin and Parley Baer talk about their radio careers and reminisce with each other. This panel was a radio fan's dream come true! As a bonus, the meeting begins with SPERDVAC member Cal Witt describing his visits with Bob Bailey who was living in a convalescent home in nearby Lancaster, California.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 08-14-1982 CBS Panel

    This month's selection for SPERDVAC Presents is Stan Freberg's first appearance from June 12, 1976. Jay Ranellucci, SPERDVAC member and Frebergís engineer for the preceding twenty years, introduces him to the capacity crowd at the First Christian Church in Reseda. Stan Freberg was SPERDVACís first guest speaker and became honorary member number #1. He shares his thoughts on radio and plays many of his classic routines and commercials in ninety minutes of hilarity.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 06-12-1976 Stan Freberg

    The first is writer/director Jack Johnstone's August 7, 1987 appearance. At the mention of Johnstone's name Yours Truly Johnny Dollar immediately springs to mind. He was also involved in many other well known series such as The Man Called X, Hollywood Star Playhouse and The Sixshooter. It's a very entertaining 90 minutes with lots of information. It was this day that many of us first learned who John Dawson really was.

  • SPERDVAC Presents 08-07-1987 Jack Johnstone

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