Amanda of Honeymoon Hill

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Amanda of Honeymoon Hill
Ruthrussell.jpg
Drawing of Ruth Russell by actor-singer Norman Sweetser (1894-1980)
GenreDaytime serial drama
Running time15 minutes
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates Blue Network, CBS
Starring Joy Hathaway
Arlene Francis
Announcer Frank Gallop
George Ansbro
Howard Claney
Hugh Conover
Created by Frank and Anne Hummert
Written by Anne Hummert
Directed byArnold Michaelis [1]
Original releaseFebruary 5, 1940 – April 26, 1946
Audio formatMono
Opening theme"Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair"
Sponsored byCal-Aspirin
Haley's MO
Phillips Milk of Magnesia
Phillips Toothpaste
Ironized Yeast
Mulsified Cocoanut Oil Shampoo

Amanda of Honeymoon Hill was a 15-minute daily radio soap opera produced by Frank and Anne Hummert. Broadway actress Joy Hathaway had the title role, sometimes described as "the beauty of flaming red hair." The series was broadcast from February 5, 1940, [2] until April 26, 1946, initially on the Blue Network at 3:15 p.m. until August 1942. It then moved to CBS, airing at 10:30 a.m. until 1943 when it was heard at 11 a.m.

Edward Frank Hummert, Jr., professionally known as Frank Hummert and sometimes credited as E. Frank Hummert, was an American advertising agent originally but was best known for writing/producing episodes of nearly 100 daytime/primetime radio dramas and soap opera serials between the 1930s and the 1950s.

Anne Hummert American screenwriter

Anne Hummert was the leading creator of daytime radio serials or soap opera dramas during the 1930s and 1940s, responsible for more than three dozen series.

Joy Hathaway was a Canadian-born American actress on stage, old-time radio, and television.

Contents

Characters and story

The story followed the travails of the beautiful Charity Amanda Dyke Leighton (Joy Hathaway), who lived on Honeymoon Hill in Virginia with her husband, wealthy Southerner Edward Leighton (Boyd Crawford, George Lambert, Staats Cotsworth). As an artist, Edward made many portraits of Amanda. They had a son, Robert Elijah, but they were separated by events prompted by World War II. He left for Abbeyville to run his factory, converted for war production, while Amanda remained in Honeymoon Hill to supervise her nursery for the children of war workers.

Staats Cotsworth actor

Staats Cotsworth was an actor in old-time radio. He is perhaps best known for playing the title role in Casey, Crime Photographer.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Dot was portrayed by Linda Watkins (1908-1976), and Helen Shields (1900–1963) had the role of Sylvia Meadows. Arlene Francis was a cast member in 1941. Also in the cast: Ruth Russell and John Brown (as Mr. Lenord). Organist Ann Leaf supplied the program's background music, and the opening theme was Stephen Foster's 1854 tune, "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair." In addition to Frank Gallop and George Ansbro, other announcers were Howard Claney and Hugh Conover.

Linda Watkins American actress

Linda Mathews Watkins was an American stage, film and television actress.

Arlene Francis American actress, radio and television talk show host, and game show panelist

Arlene Francis was an American actress, radio and television talk show host, and game show panelist. She is known for her long-standing role as a panelist on the television game show What's My Line?, on which she regularly appeared for 25 years, from 1950–1975 on both the network and syndicated versions of the show.

John Brown was an English radio and film actor.

Anne Hummert unintentionally scripted a prominent double meaning into the show's opening, and this amused many since it was heard for years without change, as described by George Ansbro in his book, I Have a Lady in the Balcony:

George Ansbro Radio announcer:NBC/ABC for six decades

George Ansbro was a radio announcer for NBC and ABC for six decades, working with soap operas, big bands, quiz shows and other programs.

Amanda of Honeymoon Hill ran for five years in the early forties. Frank Gallop was the regular announcer, and his occasional tendency to almost break up but still manage to hang on for dear life while on the air was the giggly gossip of New York radio. The reason was the opening announcement which, as on all the Hummert soaps, was written by Anne Hummert. This particular lead-in indicated how truly naive Mrs. Hummert must really have been: "We bring you now the story of Amanda of Honeymoon Hill, laid in a world few Americans know. The story of love and marriage in America's romantic South..." The attention-getting word remained for the entire run of the program because, evidently, none of Anne Hummert's subordinates at Air Features had the temerity to approach her about deleting the double entendre and replacing it with a word or phrase less suggestive. Rather than chance it, they skipped it. But by substituting for Gallop myself once in a while, I found out what it must have been like for poor Frank to not break up. And for five years yet. [3]

Sponsors

The program was sponsored by Cal-Aspirin, Haley's MO, Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Phillips Toothpaste, Ironized Yeast and Mulsified Cocoanut Oil Shampoo.

Cal-Aspirin sponsored several daytime dramas, as advertising historian Danny Goodwin explained:

Cal-Aspirin was either the sponsor or co-sponsor of (at least) three network daytime serial programs. During the 1935-1936 season, it was the sponsor of Painted Dreams on Mutual and co-sponsored NBC (Blue's) Amanda of Honeymoon Hill during its first two seasons (1940-1942) with Haley's M-O. While the two soaps had various successes, Cal-Aspirin achieved fame as being the very first sponsor of Young Widder Brown , which would become one of radio's most popular serials. Its fame was brief, because it sponsored the program for only its initial season before turning the sponsoring duties over to Bayer Aspirin. [4]

Advertising

Newspaper ads promoted the program with an extreme use of exclamation marks, a contrast with modern advertising approaches.

See also

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References

  1. "Main Street" (PDF). Radio Daily. January 5, 1945. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. "Another One" (PDF). Billboard. February 10, 1940. p. 7. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  3. Ansbro, George. I Have a Lady in the Balcony: Memoirs of a Broadcaster in Radio. McFarland, 2000.
  4. Goodwin, Danny. "Not-So-Famous Products Were Radio Sponsors"

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