Clara, Lu, and Em

Last updated
Advertisement for Clara, Lu, and Em Supersuds.jpg
Advertisement for Clara, Lu, and Em

Clara, Lu, and Em was a radio daytime soap opera. It began on June 16, 1930 over WGN-AM Chicago, Illinois. It continued in various forms through the 1930s and early 1940s on the NBC Blue Network and CBS, finally airing as a syndicated series in 1945. [1] The program became the first network daytime radio serial when it was moved from its original evening time slot to days.

WGN (AM) radio station in Chicago, Illinois

WGN, 720 kHz, is a commercial AM radio station in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The station is owned by Tribune Broadcasting and is one of several properties owned by the locally based Tribune Media. The station's studios are located on the 18th floor of 303 East Wacker Drive in the Chicago Loop, while its transmitter is located in Elk Grove Village. Since around 1990, WGN has maintained a news/talk format. WGN does not broadcast in HD.

CBS Radio was a radio broadcasting company and radio network operator owned by CBS Corporation, and consolidated radio station groups owned by CBS and Westinghouse Broadcasting/Group W since the 1920s and Infinity Broadcasting since the 1970s. The broadcasting company was sold to Entercom on November 17, 2017.


The drama series began as a Northwestern University sorority sketch by Louise Starkey (Clara), Isobel Carothers (Lu) and Helen King (Em). Their friends suggested they go on the radio, so the trio approached WGN and did their first shows for no pay.

Northwestern University Private research university in Illinois, United States

Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois, United States, with other campuses located in Chicago and Doha, Qatar, and academic programs and facilities in Miami, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California. Along with its undergraduate programs, Northwestern is known for its Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Bienen School of Music, Medill School of Journalism, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.


As interest grew, they were sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive and were heard evenings on the NBC Blue Network from January 27, 1931 to February 12, 1932, before moving to weekdays from February 15, 1932 to March 23, 1934. From March 26, 1934 to January 10, 1936 they ran on the NBC (Red) network. Later in 1936 they returned to the NBC Blue Network, doing a weekly evening series, with music by Ted Fio Rito.

Colgate-Palmolive American multinational consumer products company

Colgate-Palmolive Company is an American worldwide consumer products company focused on the production, distribution and provision of household, health care and personal care products. Under its "Hill's Pet Nutrition" brand, it is also a manufacturer of veterinary products. The company's corporate offices are on Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

NBC Radio Network former American radio network

The National Broadcasting Company's NBC Radio Network was an American commercial radio network, founded in 1926. Along with the NBC Blue Network it was one of the first two nationwide networks established in the United States. Its major competitors were the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), founded in 1927, and the Mutual Broadcasting System, founded in 1934.

Ted Fio Rito musician

Theodore Salvatore Fiorito, known professionally as Ted Fio Rito, was an American composer, orchestra leader, and keyboardist, on both the piano and the Hammond organ, who was popular on national radio broadcasts in the 1920s and 1930s. His name is sometimes given as Ted Fiorito or Ted FioRito.

Characters and hiatus

Storylines centered on three women who lived in a small-town duplex. Clara Roach and her family lived on one side of the duplex, Emma Krueger lived with her family on the other side. Widow Lulu Casey lived upstairs with her daughter Florabelle. When Isobel Carothers suddenly died January 8, 1937 at age 32, Louise Starkey and Helen King decided not to continue. [2]

Return on CBS

When the program returned with Starkey and King in 1942 on CBS, another of their Northwestern University friends, Harriet Allyn, portrayed Lu. The show ran three times a week during the daytime.

Syndicated version

In 1945 a syndicated version of the show had a brief run. Allyn continued in the cast as Em, along with Fran Allison as Clara and Dorothy Day as Lu. [1]

Broadcasting syndication is the license to broadcast television programs and radio programs by multiple television stations and radio stations, without going through a broadcast network. It is common in the United States where broadcast programming is scheduled by television networks with local independent affiliates. Syndication is less of a practice in the rest of the world, as most countries have centralized networks or television stations without local affiliates; although less common, shows can be syndicated internationally. The three main types of syndication are "first-run syndication", which is programming that is broadcast for the first time as a syndicated show and is made specifically to sell directly into syndication; "off-network syndication", which is the licensing of a program that was originally run on network TV or in some cases, first-run syndication ; and "public broadcasting syndication".

Fran Allison American television and radio comedian, personality and singer

Frances Helen Allison was an American television and radio comedian, personality and singer. She is best known for her starring role on the weekday NBC-TV puppet show Kukla, Fran and Ollie, which ran from 1947–57, occasionally returning to the air until the mid-1980s. The trio also hosted The CBS Children's Film Festival, introducing international children's films, from 1967-77.

See also

Related Research Articles

Golden Age of Radio

The old-time radio era, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of Radio, was an era of radio programming in the United States during which radio was the dominant electronic home entertainment medium. It began with the birth of commercial radio broadcasting in the early 1920s and lasted through the 1940s, when television gradually superseded radio as the medium of choice for scripted programming, variety and dramatic shows. There were few U.S. network attempts at major scripted radio dramas after the end of several long-running dramatic series in 1962, including Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

For the American TV schedule, see: 1975–76 United States network television schedule.

<i>Amos n Andy</i> television series

Amos 'n' Andy is an American radio and television sitcom set in Harlem, Manhattan's historic black community. The original radio show, which ran from 1928 until 1960, was created, written and voiced by two white actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, who played Amos Jones (Gosden) and Andrew Hogg Brown (Correll), as well as incidental characters.

Mutual Broadcasting System former radio broadcasting system

The Mutual Broadcasting System was an American commercial radio network in operation from 1934 to 1999. In the golden age of U.S. radio drama, Mutual was best known as the original network home of The Lone Ranger and The Adventures of Superman and as the long-time radio residence of The Shadow. For many years, it was a national broadcaster for Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and Notre Dame football. From the mid-1930s and until the retirement of the network in 1999, Mutual ran a highly respected news service accompanied by a variety of popular commentary shows. During the late 1970s, Mutual pioneered the nationwide late night call-in radio show and introduced the country to Larry King.

WGN-TV Independent TV station in Chicago

WGN-TV, virtual channel 9, is an independent television station licensed to Chicago, Illinois, United States, serving as the flagship television property of the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company, which also owns radio station WGN and local cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV). The station's second digital subchannel serves as an owned-and-operated station of the classic TV network Antenna TV.

Irna Phillips American actress and writer

Irna Phillips was an American scriptwriter, screenwriter, casting agent and actress. Known by several publications as the "Queen of the Soaps", she is best known for creating, producing and writing several of the first American daytime radio and television soap operas. As a result of creating some of the best known series in the genre, including Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and Another World, Phillips is credited with creating and innovating a daytime serial format with programming geared specifically toward women. She was also a mentor to several other pioneers of the daytime soap opera, including Agnes Nixon and William J. Bell.

Fred Silverman is an American television executive and producer. He worked as an executive at all of the Big Three television networks, and was responsible for bringing to television such programs as the series Scooby-Doo (1969–present), All in the Family (1971–1979), The Waltons (1972–1981), and Charlie's Angels (1976–1981), as well as the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1976), Roots (1977) and Shōgun (1980). For his success in programming wildly popular shows, Time magazine declared him "the man with the Golden gut" in 1977.

WXYT (AM) CBS Sports Radio station in Detroit

WXYT is a commercial radio station licensed to Detroit, Michigan broadcasting a sports talk format. The station serves the Detroit-Windsor market and the Southeastern Michigan and Southwestern Ontario areas. Its transmitter is in Monroe County at Ash Township and operations and studios are at Entercom's facilities in Southfield, Michigan. WXYT is a 50,000 watt, Class B station broadcasting on a regional frequency. It is not a clear-channel station because of its frequency and highly directional antenna.

Daytime television is the general term for television shows produced for airing during the daytime hours on weekdays. The hours and days for daytime television in the United States usually run from 6:00am to 8:00pm ET, Monday through Friday; although it may vary depending on time zone/region, networks, and/or local stations. This article is only about American daytime television; for information about international daytime television, see Daytime television.

The year 1934 saw a number of significant happenings in radio broadcasting history.

The year 1932 saw a number of significant happenings in radio broadcasting history.

The year 1930 saw a number of significant happenings in radio broadcasting history.

The year 1944 saw a number of significant happenings in radio broadcasting history.

The year 1931 saw a number of significant events in radio broadcasting history.

The year 1933 saw a number of significant events in radio broadcasting.

All the 5 Commercial Networks airs the Daytime Monday–Friday Schedules for each calendar season beginning in September 2001. All Times are in Eastern; affiliate schedules may differ.


  1. 1 2 Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 112–113. ISBN   978-0-19-507678-3 . Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  2. Thompson, Edgar A. (August 1, 1941). "Riding the Airwaves". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 2. Retrieved 7 April 2015.

Listen to