Monday, September 10, 2012

Hollywood Walk of Fame: A - C

As of this writing there are 2,476 stars in the Hollywood walk of fame. I recently read that only 10% of those are so-called radio stars.  By that math there should be about 248 radio stars on the walk. There are in fact only 238, which is 9.61%... close enough.

Because many stars cross media formats from music, to film to print and broadcasting the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce breaks this down into categories for us. Each category has an identifying emblem for it's brass radio star.  Inside the coral-pink terrazzo five-point star rimmed with brass is a circular 4-inch brass plaque showing an antique studio-style microphone Radio microphone. I'll warn you now that some category inclusions are dubious.

Since there are hundreds of these lets go at it alphabetically. This will take all week. In cases where there are two names or a state name absent a surname I have alphabetized by the first name of the listed first party. If I have already written a post about them I have inserted a link, if not then just a very abbreviated bio.

Bud Abbott - The straight man of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Lou Costello which his listed under "C."  Many comedy duos share a star. They do not.  Costello appears below.

Dear Abby - Dear Abby of the advice column by the same name. It was founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pseudonym Abigail Van Buren. Her daughter Jeanne Phillips. There was in fact a Dear Abby radio show.

Fred Allen - He was a vaudeville performer, who became a guest on a couple radio shows then began hosting The Linit Bath Club Revue starting in 1934. The eponymous Fred Allen Show debuted on NBC in 1945. His radio career is long and storied.

Steve Allen - You already know his voice. The Steve Allen Show began airing in 1956,  but his first radio gig was on KOY-AM way back in 1945. You'd know him best as the first host of the tonight show.

Don Ameche - He was a film actor in the 1930s and '40s but he started in radio. He had numerous bit parts over the years, but his big radio role was as John Bickerson... of the Bickersons. It ran 1946 to 1951 but it lives on as a model for sitcoms today.

Morey Amsterdam - He had an eponymous TV program starting in 1948. He did relatively little notable radio. He was was a regular guest on The Al Pearce Show show, and himself hosted an obscure series called the Night Club of the Air which only ran for 2 months in 1937. His inclusion is dubious.

Eddie Anderson - Anderson rose to fame playing the character of Rochester, Jack Benny's personal valet.  He began playing bit parts on the program starting in 1937.  Anderson made it to the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001. He was the man. His gravelly voice tops even Tom Waits.

Eve Arden - She was a a regular on Danny Kaye's variety program in 1946. But her career was playing the character Connie Brooks in the sitcom "Our Miss Brooks." Arden portrayed the character on radio from 1948 to 1957 then for TV from 1952 - 1956, and then a film in 1956.

Eddy Arnold - He was a country artist with over a hundred singles to his name. He made his career the hard way playing live on air. He was on WTJS-AM in Jackson, WMPS-AM in Memphis, KWK-AM in St. Louis, WHAS-AM in Louisville eventually making it to the Grand Ol' Opry on WSM-AM.

Cliff Arquette - It has been said that at one point he was performing on 13 different daily radio shows in the Chicago metro. The big one was called "Dave and Charley" which Arquette hosted with Dave Willock,it even made it on TV briefly. He later revisited his characters for the Tonight Show while Jack Paar was host.

Gene Autry - See previous post here.

Dan Avey - Avey won over 30 major journalism awards in his career including 15 Golden Mikes, which might be a record. He was a sportscaster and newscaster on stations like KXLY-AM, KWIZ-AM, KFI-AM, KFWB-AM, and KABC-AM. He retired in 2007.

Lew Ayres - He was in more than 50 films in his career but he did a tour of radioland. He acted the part of Kildare on the program "The Story of Doctor Kildare" airing 1950 through 1951. He also played the part in film. His inclusion is dubious.

Jack Bailey - He was the host of a daytime game show called "Queen for a Day."  It debuted on the Mutual Radio Network in 1945 continuing through 1948 when it jumped to television.

Art Baker - His real name was Arthur Shank. The program "Art Baker's Notebook" debuted on KFI-AM in Los Angeles in 1938. It ran for 20 years. If that wasn't enough, he went on to host the TV show "You Asked for It."

Kenny Baker - This is different fellow than the Kenny Baker that was in R2D2. This Baker was a singer on  The Jack Benny Program in the 1930s. He had his own program which didn't do so well. He went on to sang on the Texaco Star Theater radio program and do film.

Phil Baker - He hosted a number of big radio programs in his career. Starting in 1933 Baker starred in his own NBC series "The Armour Jester." He was also the host of the popular quiz show "Take It or Leave It," which later became "The $64 Question." He also appeared on Duffy's Tavern in 1944.

Lionel Barrymore - He portrayed the character Doctor Gillespie on the program Doctor Kildare in the 1940s. He also performed in the radio series, Mayor of the Town, and got a bit typecast playing Ebenezer Scrooge on the radio every Xmas from 1934 to1953. He also hosted the AFRS "Concert Hall" Radio Show in he late 1940s.

Brian Beirne -  He actually trade-marked the nick name "Mr. Rock N' Roll."  Beirne was a DJ for KRTH-FM known as K-EARTH 101. After 29 years on air years he retired in 2004.

William Bendix -  His program "The Life of Riley" aired from 1944 through 1951. When it was revised for television "The Life of Riley" ran from 1953 to 1958. His character's tag line "What a revoltin' development" lives on.

Jack Benny - The Jack Benny show ran from 1932 to 1955. It became a television program from 1960 through 1964 on CBS, then NBC for another year. His career requires no further explanation.

Edgar Bergen - A ventriloquist who guested on Rudy Vallée's program in 1936, then a regular bit on the Chase and Sanborn Hour in 1937. That was followed by the Charlie McCarthy Show which lasted 2 years. He jumped to Film and TV from there.

Milton Berle - He made his reputation as a regular on on The Rudy Vallee Hour, and the Gillette Original Community Sing in 1936. The Milton Berle Show only ran a year from 1947 - 1948. Berle became the host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater taking over for Jack Carter.. His reign ran from 1948 to 1955 when it jumped to TV.

Ben Bernie - He was called  The Old Maestro. He broadcast on NBC Blue WJZ-AM starting in 1923. His program ran on CBS through most of the 1930s.  He slowly started to segue into film around 1937 and left radio. His last starring radio role was the "Ben Bernie War Workers" program" which ran from 1941 to 1943.

Rodney Bingenheimer - Rodney has been hosting his own program "Rodney on the ROQ" on KROQ since August of 1976. They'll probably have to tear it from his cold dead hands.

Mel Blanc - Now just famous for his voice work on Warner Bros cartoons, he actually began in radio. In 1927 he began doing voice over the KGW-AM program The Hoot Owls. He jumped to KEX-AM in 1933 to produce his Cobweb And Nuts show which lasted 2 years. He followed that with a spin on the Johnny Murray Show, then The Joe Penner Show, then a big win on the Jack Benny Show. He got his own program "The Mel Blanc Show", which ran from 1946  into 1947. It didn't matter.. he'd already discovered cartoon work. The die was cast.

Ford Bond - Bond was a radio announcer peaking in the mid 1940s. He did Manhattan Merry-Go-Round, Fun At Breakfast, Kraft Music Hall, Easy Aces, and many others. He began on WHAS-AM in Louisville in 1922. He died in 1962 after retiring to the Virgin islands. Can't knock that.

Edward Bowes - He was host of  Major Bowes' Amateur Hour on WHN-AM in 1934. The show ran until 1946 when he retired. He died two months later.

Bill Boyd - A western Swing man he played on air at many stations including WRR-AMKTER-AM and KSKY-AM in Dallas and alter WKNE and WPWA. His band The Cowboys Ramblers, had their own popular radio show, "The Bill Boyd Ranch House" around 1947 on WRR.

Eddie Bracken - Another vaudeville man who moved to radio. It was his success in film that landed him his very own "Eddie Bracken Show." It ran for 2 years on CBS 1946 and 1947.

Tom Breneman - Breneman was the host of "Breakfast in Hollywood." It debuted on the Blue Network in 1941, but moved to ABC, NBC and Mutual at various times. It initially launched as "Breakfast on the Boulevard" on KFWB-AM in Los Angeles.  It was so big it had a magazine, he had a restaurant and they made a movie about the program in 1946. It was finally cancelled in 1948 only because he died.

Fanny Brice - She spent most of her career trapped in the role of Baby Snooks. The character first appeared in a skit on The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air. At the age of 60 she was still typecast as a child.

Ray Briem - Ray retired from radio in 2008 after a long career at KABC-AM. As a conservative talk show host. He'd been a long time radio man having even hosted programs for AFRS.

Cecil Brown - Brown was famous as a WWII news commentator. He was hired by CBS in 1940. His career gained ground criticizing Mussolini but lost it criticizing the British. After the war he became a commentator for the Mutual Network.

Bob Burns - He was a regular on the Kraft Music Hall program, and Rudy Vallee's show The Fleischmann Hour starting in 1935. Prior to that he'd only done random appearances on programs like "The Fun Factory." He hosted the Academy Awards in 1938 which improved is cache. His own radio show, The Arkansas Traveler ran from 1941 to 1943 and was followed by  The Bob Burns Show  which ran 1943 to 1947.

Judy Canova - Her career exploded after a 1931 guest spot on the Fleischmann Yeast Hour. She did a series of films, then got her own radio show 1in 1943, The Judy Canova Show. It ran for 12 years. She moved on to TV and had a long career there as well.

Eddie Cantor - See previous post here.

Ken Carpenter - Ken was an NBC Radio Announcer. He was probably best known for announcing Bing Crosby on the Kraft Music Hall radio variety program for 27 years. He started his career in KFI-AM in 1929 as a sports announcer. He stayed with NBC doing sports color until 1942.

Jack Carson - He appeared in 1938 on the Kraft Music Hall while Bing Crosby's was host. He guested several more times and got own CBS radio show, the Jack Carson Show,  in 1943.  The show lasted 4 years. he left to host The Sealtest Village Store program where he stayed until 1948.

Bud Collyer - Bud was Superman on The Adventures of Superman on the Mutual Network in 1940. That iconic work would probably be enough but he also acted on all 3 major networks. He went on to host TV game shows like Beat the Clock and to Tell the Truth.

Jerry Colonna - He had the greatest mustache ever made. He was famous on radio as Bob Hope's zany sidekick. He actually started as a serious trombonist in the CBS house orchestra. He even recorded as a part Raymond Scott's famous Quintette and of course played on the Kraft Music Hall.

Perry Como - Como is most famous for his recording career and his early work hosting television programs. His work on the radio program "Beat the Band" was notable, lasting on NBC radio from 1940 to 1944. Btu it represents the bulk of his radio career.

Spade Cooley - He had his own TV show starting in 1947 but before that he was on radio a bit. He guested in 1946 on Gene Autry's Program "Melody Ranch." Then with his own show "Spade Cooley Time" on KFVD-AM. He went straight from there to KTLA-TV.

Charles Correll - He played the character Andy Brown of Amos & Andy alongside Freeman Gosden. The bit began on WMAQ-AM in 1926 as Sam 'n' Henry and continued on to WGN-AM, where it became Amos and Andy. It became syndicated and continued on in different forms until 1962.

Lou Costello - He was the shorter stouter half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott. They began in vaudeville individually, then as a team and signed up with the William Morris Agency in 1938. They became a regular feature on The Kate Smith Hour and rapidly moved into film.

Bing Crosby - Bing appears at least 5 other times on this page for launching other careers during his tenure on the Kraft Music Hall from 1935 to 1946. But he'd already been host of the Woodbury Soap Program, the Chesterfield's Music Program, The Cremo Singers and The Radio Singers on CBS back in 1931. his first appearance was probably in 1929 on Old Gold presents the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

Bob Crosby - Despite am 18-month interruption for WWII the "Bob Crosby Show" ran on NBC and CBS separately from  1943 to 1950. He moved from there to a show called "Club Fifteen" on CBS from 1947 to 1953. From 1952 to 1955 he was a band leader on the Jack Benny Show. That was followed by a half hour Bob Crosby Show that ran on CBS from 1953–1957. He tried a little TV show in Australia in the 1960s but it fizzled.

Milton Cross - See previous post here.

Frank Crumit - Crumit was a vaudeville man. He and his wife Julia Sanderson were a comedy and singing duo in 1928 on CBS as the "Singing Sweethearts" even though they were already divorced. In 1030 they started co-hosting a quiz show called "The Battle of the Sexes", which ran 13 years. they started a new program on WABC-AM, but it was abruptly cut short when Crumit died of  a heart attack in 1943.

Bill Cunningham - This is not the same radio man as right-winger Bill Cunningham in Cincinnati. This is the man who hosted "Meet the Boss" from 1944-1952 carried by Mutual Broadcasting.