Life Can Be Beautiful

Last updated
Life Can Be Beautiful
Cast of Life Can Be Beautiful October 1940.jpg
The cast in 1940 from left: Ralph Locke ("Papa David" Solomon), Mitzi Gould (Rita), John Holbrook (Stephen Hamilton), Alice Reinhardt ("Chichi" Conrad)
GenreSoap opera
Country of originUnited States
Language(s)English
SyndicatesCBS
StarringAlice Reinheart
Ralph Locke
John Holbrook
Carl Eastman
Mitzi Gould
AnnouncerRalph Edwards
Ed Herlihy
Created byDon Becker
Carl Bixby
Written byDon Becker
Carl Bixby
Opening themeMelody in C
Sponsored byIvory Soap

Life Can Be Beautiful was a daytime drama broadcast on NBC and CBS during its 16-year run. The program was also facetiously known to many as Elsie Beebe, a contrived acronym based on the show's initials.

Contents

Scripted by Don Becker and Carl Bixby, it was billed as "an inspiring message of faith drawn from life" and remained one of the leading soap operas through the 1940s. [1] Becker also composed the program's theme song, Melody in C. [2]

Sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Spic and Span, it premiered September 5, 1938 on NBC and moved two months later to CBS, where it was heard from November 7, 1938 to June 21, 1946. Concurrently, it was also airing on NBC from 1939 to 1941. The final run was on NBC from 1946 to 1954.

Characters and story

Carol Conrad (Alice Reinheart, 1938–46 and Teri Keane, 1946-54), aka Chichi, was a teen on the run until Papa David Solomon (Ralph Locke), owner of the Slightly Read Bookshop, gave her a home. She continued to live in the back room of the bookstore while engaging in a romance with crippled law student Stephen Hamilton (John Holbrook, Earl Larrimore). The couple was briefly married in 1944. [1]

Ralph Edwards and Ed Herlihy were the announcers. [1]

Cultural legacy

In 1948, "Life Can Be Beautiful" was a song by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson.

The title was sometimes employed as a sarcastic catchphrase, as when it was spoken by William Holden in Sunset Boulevard (1950) and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). In the 1944 film I'll Be Seeing You , Ginger Rogers’ character mentions the radio program "Life Can Be Wonderful" to Joseph Cotton’s character during a romantic moment. Jack Benny also alluded to the program on his radio series, and Homer and Jethro released a 1959 album called Life Can Be Miserable.

The phrase entered the language and continues to the present day with both humorous and legitimate usage. It has been used for titles of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and self-help books.

Related Research Articles

<i>Guiding Light</i> television series

Guiding Light is an American radio and television soap opera. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running drama in television in American history, broadcast on CBS for 57 years from June 30, 1952, until September 18, 2009, overlapping a 19-year broadcast on radio from 1937 to 1956. With 72 years of radio and television runs, Guiding Light is the longest running soap opera, ahead of General Hospital, and is the fifth-longest running program in all of broadcast history; only the American country music radio program Grand Ole Opry, the BBC religious program The Daily Service (1928), the CBS religious program Music and the Spoken Word (1929), and the Norwegian children's radio program Lørdagsbarnetimen (1924–2010) have been on the air longer.

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 created, produced, and wrote 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.

<i>Portia Faces Life</i> American radio and telecast soap opera

Portia Faces Life is an American soap opera first broadcast over radio from 1940 to 1953, and also on television for a single season in the mid-1950s. It began in syndication on April 1, 1940, and was broadcast on some stations that carried NBC programs, although it does not seem to have been an official part of that network's programming. The original title was Portia Blake Faces Life.

<i>Ma Perkins</i> soap opera

Ma Perkins is an American radio soap opera which was heard on NBC from 1933 to 1949 and on CBS from 1942 to 1960. Between 1942 and 1949, the show was heard simultaneously on both networks. During part of its run on NBC, that network's coverage was augmented by use of transcriptions. Beginning April 1, 1935, nine stations broadcast the transcriptions. Oxydol dropped its sponsorship in 1956. The program continued with various sponsors until 1960.

<i>The Aldrich Family</i> American radio situation comedy

The Aldrich Family, a popular radio teenage situation comedy, was also presented in films, television and comic books. In the radio series' opening exchange, awkward teen Henry's mother called, "Hen-reeeeeeeeeeeee! Hen-ree Al-drich!", and he responded with a breaking adolescent voice, "Com-ing, Mother!"

Blue Network US radio network (1927-1945), business division of National Broadcasting Company

The Blue Network was the on-air name of the now defunct American radio network, which ran from 1927 to 1945. Beginning as one of the two radio networks owned by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the independent Blue Network was born of a divestiture in 1942, arising from antitrust litigation, and is the direct predecessor of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC)—organized 1943–1945 as a separate independent radio network and later TV broadcaster.

Dennis Day Actor, comedian and singer (1916-1988)

Dennis Day was an American singer, radio, television and film personality and comedian of Irish descent.

The Guiding Light (TGL) was an American radio series which became a television soap opera.

<i>Young Doctor Malone</i> US television program

Young Doctor Malone is an American soap opera, created by Irna Phillips, which had a long run on radio and television from 1939 to 1963. The producer was Betty Corday (1912–1987), who also produced Pepper Young's Family and later was a co-creator with husband Ted Corday of NBC Daytime's Days of Our Lives.

<i>Blondie</i> (radio series) 1940s radio sitcom adapted from the Blondie comic strip

Blondie is a radio situation comedy adapted from the long-run Blondie comic strip by Chic Young. The radio program ran on several networks from 1939 to 1950.

<i>Backstage Wife</i>

Backstage Wife is an American soap opera radio program that details the travails of Mary Noble, a girl from a small town in Iowa who came to New York seeking her future.

<i>Bachelors Children</i>

Bachelor's Children was a domestic daytime drama broadcast which originated on Chicago's WGN in 1935-36, continuing on CBS and NBC until September 27, 1946.

Barbara Jo Allen American actress

Barbara Jo Allen was an actress also known as Vera Vague, the spinster character she created and portrayed on radio and in films during the 1940s and 1950s. She based the character on a woman she had seen delivering a PTA literature lecture in a confused manner. As Vague, she popularized the catch phrase "You dear boy!"

<i>Big Sister</i> (radio series)

Big Sister was a daytime radio drama series created by Lillian Lauferty and broadcast on CBS from September 14, 1936, to December 26, 1952. It was sponsored by Lever Brothers for Rinso until 1946 when Procter & Gamble became the sponsor.

<i>Rosemary</i> (radio series)

Rosemary is an American radio soap opera broadcast on NBC Radio from October 2, 1944 to March 23, 1945, and on CBS Radio from March 26, 1945 to July 1, 1955. Starring Betty Winkler as Rosemary Dawson Roberts, the program's only sponsor was Procter & Gamble, primarily for Ivory Snow dishwashing liquid, Camay soap, Dash and Tide laundry detergents and Prell shampoo. The series was created by Elaine Carrington, who had previously created Pepper Young's Family (1932-1959) and When a Girl Marries (1939-1957).

<i>Your Family and Mine</i>

Your Family and Mine is an American radio drama series that aired April 25, 1938–April 28, 1939, on NBC, and May 1, 1939–April 26, 1940, on CBS. Sponsored by Sealtest, the 15-minute soap opera program aired weekdays at 5:15 p.m. ET on NBC, and at 2:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

<i>Our Gal Sunday</i>

Our Gal Sunday is an American soap opera produced by Frank and Anne Hummert, network broadcast via CBS from March 29, 1937, to January 2, 1959, starring Dorothy Lowell and, after Lowell's 1944 death, Vivian Smolen in the title role.

Kitty Foyle is an American old-time radio and television soap opera originally aired during the 1940s and 1950s that was based on the successful 1940 film of the same name starring Ginger Rogers. Kitty Foyle was created by soap opera mogul Irna Phillips of Guiding Light fame and produced by daytime radio monarchs Frank and Anne Hummert of Helen Trent recognition. The program originally starred Julie Stevens in the title role of Kitty Foyle on radio. On television, the title role was portrayed by Kathleen Murray.

Valiant Lady is an American radio soap opera that was broadcast on ABC, CBS, and NBC at various times from March 7, 1938, through August 23, 1946, and later between October 8, 1951, and February 19, 1952.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp.  394-395. ISBN   978-0-19-507678-3 . Retrieved 2019-07-24. Life Can Be Beautiful, soap opera.
  2. "Thursday's Highlights" (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. 14 (5): 50. September 1940. Retrieved 9 March 2015.

Listen to