Curtain Time (radio program)

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For the record album of the same name, see Curtain Time.

<i>Curtain Time</i> 1968 studio album by Jack Jones

For the radio program of the same name, see Curtain Time .


Curtain Time
Running time30 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Home stationWMAQ
StarringOlan Soule
Harry Elders
Nannette Sargent
Beverly Younger
AnnouncerDon Gordon
Myron (Mike) Wallace
Directed byBlair Walliser)
Harry Holcomb
Norman Felton
Original releaseJuly 22, 1938 – March 29, 1950

Curtain Time was a radio anthology program in the United States. It was broadcast on ABC, CBS Mutual, and NBC during the old-time radio era, beginning in 1938 and ending in 1950. [1]

Radio broadcasting transmission by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience

Radio broadcasting is transmission by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both. The signal types can be either analog audio or digital audio.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

American Broadcasting Company American broadcast television network

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast radio and television networks that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, is in New York City, New York, at their broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


Curtain Time was much like The First Nighter Program [2] in that it simulated a theatrical environment "where listeners were invited to attend the evening's performance." [1]

<i>The First Nighter Program</i>

The First Nighter Program was a long-running radio anthology comedy-drama series broadcast from November 27, 1930, to September 27, 1953. The host was Mr. First Nighter (Charles P. Hughes, Macdonald Carey, Bret Morrison, Marvin Miller, Don Briggs and Rye Billsbury.



In 1935, Curtain Time was carried on WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois. [3] By October 1937, it had moved to WGN, also in Chicago. [4] An item in the trade publication Broadcasting in 1938 noted, "[I]t is understood that the show may be extended nationally in late summer." [5]

WMAQ (AM) former clear-channel radio station in Chicago

WMAQ was an AM radio station located in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and broadcast at 670 kHz with 50,000 watts. The station was in existence from 1922 to 2000, and was the oldest surviving broadcast outlet in Chicago. It was a class A clear channel station, and could be heard, particularly at night, over most of the eastern United States. WMAQ was owned in its later years by CBS Radio, but for much of its life it was owned by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and later Westinghouse Broadcasting. The station's original owner was the Chicago Daily News newspaper, but its longest-running ownership was as an NBC Radio owned-and-operated station. Its transmitter was located in Bloomingdale, Illinois just off Army Trail Road, with a 238-meter (780-foot) tower where it remains today, with the callsign still on the exterior facade. The AM 670 transmitter is now in use by WMAQ's successor, All Sports Radio WSCR, and remains under the ownership of Entercom, which merged with CBS Radio in 2017.

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 Nexstar Media Group. 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.

<i>Broadcasting & Cable</i> American television industry trade magazine

Broadcasting & Cable is a weekly television industry trade magazine published by Future US. Previous names included Broadcasting-Telecasting, Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising, and Broadcasting. B&C, which was published biweekly until January 1941, and weekly thereafter, covers the business of television in the U.S.—programming, advertising, regulation, technology, finance, and news. In addition to the newsweekly, B&C operates a comprehensive website that provides a roadmap for readers in an industry that is in constant flux due to shifts in technology, culture and legislation, and offers a forum for industry debate and criticism.


Beginning October 14, 1938, Curtain Time was carried on the Don Lee network as well as on WGN. An item in Broadcasting reported that General Mills had begun a 52-week sponsorship of Curtain Time for its Korn Kix cereal. [6]

General Mills American consumer goods manufacturer

General Mills, Inc., is an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. It is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known North American brands, including Gold Medal flour, Annie's Homegrown, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totino's, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Häagen-Dazs, Cheerios, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, and Lucky Charms. Its brand portfolio includes more than 89 other leading U.S. brands and numerous category leaders around the world.

Kix (cereal) brand of American cold breakfast cereal

Kix is a brand of American cold breakfast cereal introduced in 1937 by the General Mills company of Golden Valley, Minnesota. The product is an extruded, expanded puffed-grain cereal made with cornmeal.

Olan Soule, who later starred in a similar show, The First Nighter Program, usually had the male lead in this season's episodes. The female leads varied, but they included Betty Lou Gerson and Louise Fitch. [7] Other cast members included Alice Hill. [8] Don Gordon was the announcer, and Blair Walliser was the director. Henry Weber directed the music. [7]

Olan Soule American actor and voiceover performer

Olan Evart Soule was an American character actor and voice-over performer who had professional credits in nearly 7,000 radio shows and commercials, appearances in 200 television series and television films, and in over 60 films. Soule's voice work on television included his 15-year role (1968–1983) as Batman on several animated series that were either devoted to or involved the fictional "Dark Knight" superhero.

Betty Lou Gerson American actress

Betty Lou Gerson was an American actress, predominantly active in radio, but also in film and television, and as a voice actress. She is best known as the voice of the villainous, selfish socialite Cruella de Vil from Walt Disney's animated film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) for which she was named a Disney Legend in 1996.

Louise Fitch

Louise A. Fitch was an American actress best known for her work in old-time radio.


Harry Elders was the regular male lead, [7] with Beverly Younger [9] and Nannette Sergeant splitting durites as female leads in this iteration of Curtain Time, which was sponsored by Mars, Incorporated. It was carried on ABC July 4, 1945 – June 27, 1946, and on NBC July 13, 1946 – March 29, 1950. [7] The program was also heard in Canada via 29 CBC Trans-Canada stations. [10] During the 1946-1947 season, Canadian coverage moved "from 28 CBS Trans-Canada stations to 44 Dominion stations." [11]

Others often heard in the cast were Betty Winkler, George Cisar, Beryl Vaughn, Sunda Love, Sidney Ellstrom, Maurice Copeland, and Michael Romano. Hosts included Patrick Allen, [7] Vincent Pelletier, [12] and Lew Valentine. [13] Mike Wallace (billed as Myron Wallace) was the announcer. [7] Norman Felton [9] and Harry Holcomb were directors. [7] Porter Heaps and Burt Farber were music directors. [14]

See also

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  1. 1 2 Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN   978-0-7864-4513-4. P. 89.
  2. Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN   978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 173.
  3. ""Along Came Lett" to Be Curtain Time Play Today". Chicago Tribune. December 29, 1935. p. Part 3-Page 4. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  4. "Curtain Time to Offer 'Shadow of the Crown'". Chicago Tribune. October 24, 1937. p. Part 3-Page 6. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  5. "More for Korn Kix" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 15, 1938. p. 20. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  6. "Network Accounts" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 15, 1938. p. 73. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 187–188. ISBN   978-0-19-507678-3 . Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  8. "Behind the Mike" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 1, 1939. p. 50. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  9. 1 2 Dunning, John. (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN   0-13-932616-2. P. 151.
  10. "Network Accounts" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 30, 1945. p. 70. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  11. "Network Changes" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 16, 1946. p. 64. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  12. "Mars Switch" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 3, 1946. p. 73. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  13. "Agencies" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 24, 1945. p. 54. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  14. "Production" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 18, 1946. p. 62. Retrieved 1 February 2016.