Monday, December 03, 2007

Cheerio! on KPO-AM

At first I thought Cheerio was fiction. The tale seemed mythical, and the main character too good-hearted and idealistic to be real. It's turns out he was just a California.I read some of that first book and it's mostly crap. He lionizes and exaggerates like a talking head on Fox News. But some parts ring true:Charles Kellogg Field entered broadcasting in his sixties and was “Cheerio” on KGO-AM in the mid 1930s. He wrote the semi-autobiographical “The Story of Cheerio” in 1936. Four years later he penned a book of quotations “Cheerio’s Book of Days; Comfort, Cheer and Encouragement for Every Day in the Year.” You can read some here.

Mr. Field wrote "The Story of Cheerio: in 1936. From it's cheerful presentation and that of it's follow up you can tell that Field intends Cheerio to be inspiring. Born in 1873 in Vermont he graduated from Stanford in 1895 and began writing plays and short fiction. He became the editor of Sunset Magazine in 1911. It was an artsy mad about naturalism and the bohemians. The magazine had a pro-worker stance that many today might mistake as anti-industry. But pre-union and pre-OSHA and pre-minimum wage there were many more wrongs to be written about.

He began his foray into radio in 1922 at KPO-AM. The goal of the show was to reach the "shut-ins, and convalescent invalids." the show was popular enough it appears to have been syndicated on WEAF-AM at least briefly. I'd say more the the tale is somewhat hard to collaborate.

In 1936, he bought the Johnson-Field house and turned the barn into a theater. Supposedly, he hanged himself from the banister in 1948. But as much as the rest has been exaggerated I wont confirm that.