Drawing of Ruth Russell by actor-singer Norman Sweetser (1894-1980)
|Other names||Bill the Barber|
|Genre||Daytime dramatic serial|
|Running time||15 minutes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Created by||Frank and Anne Hummert|
|Written by|| Robert Hardy Andrews |
|Directed by||Martha Atwell|
|Original release||September 19, 1932 – September 30, 1955|
|Opening theme||"Darling Nellie Gray"|
|Ending theme||"Polly Wolly Doodle"|
|Sponsored by|| Kolyonos Toothpaste |
Just Plain Bill was a 1932-1955 15-minute American radio drama program heard on CBS Radio and NBC Radio.It was "a story of people just like people we all know.”
Originally called Bill the Barber,[ citation needed ] the program began on CBS on September 19, 1932. It was originally broadcast at night, but on October 16, 1933, CBS added a daytime version. Night broadcasts ended in 1935, leaving only the daytime program thereafter until the show ended on September 30, 1955.
It told the story of Bill Davidson (Arthur Hughes), a barberin the town of Hartville, and his daughter Nancy (Ruth Russell). Bill often became involved in helping his friends and neighbors when he wasn't cutting hair. Davidson was seldom directly affected by the problems in which he became involved, but he wanted to help people — especially Nancy — when they faced difficulties. Also in the cast: Dick Janaver (1911-1999).
The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who produced many radio daytime drama series, including Amanda of Honeymoon Hill , Backstage Wife , Front Page Farrell , John's Other Wife , Little Orphan Annie , Ma Perkins , Mr. Chameleon, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons , Our Gal Sunday and Young Widder Brown .
Music was by Hal Brown (1865–1942), who played harmonica and whistled the Just Plain Bill opening theme, "Darling Nellie Gray". The closing theme was "Polly Wolly Doodle." Don Pardo was the program's announcer towards the end of the series, which came to an end on September 30, 1955.
Characters in Just Plain Bill and the actors who portrayed them included those shown in the table below.
|Bill Davidson||Arthur Hughes|
|Nancy Donovan||Ruth Russell |
|Kerry Donovan||James Meighan|
|Wiki Donovan||Sarah Fussell |
|Kathleen Chatton||Ara Gerald|
|Jonathan Hillery||Macdonald Carey|
|Shirley King||Audrey Egan|
|Reba Britton||Charlotte Lawrence|
|Margaret Burns||Elizabeth Day|
|Humphrey Fuller||Charles Eggleston|
|Pearl Sutton||Ann Shepherd|
|John Britton||William Woodson|
|Laticia Davenport||Vera Allen|
Announcers included Andre Baruch, Fielden Farrington, Ed Herlihy, and Roger Krupp.
The series was sponsored by Anacin for 18 of the program's 23-year run.[ citation needed ] Its initial sponsor was Kolynos toothpaste, In September 1936, Anacin and BiSoDol replaced Kolynos, with each product sponsoring half of the episodes in a week. (Even with the change, corporate sponsorship remained the same, since all three products had the same manufacturer.) A later sponsor was Clapp’s baby food.
In The Three Stooges short Goofs and Saddles Larry Fine's character is known as "Just Plain Bill."
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