Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hollywood Walk of Fame: M - R

You may have noticed that at least a dozen names on this list have had no business being on the list: side kicks, spouses, extended family, former landlords... etc. There seems to have been a gravitational pull to some popular shows where a large number of the regulars got Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although fame is distinctly relative, and not always enduring... some of these are not like the others.

Gordon MacRae - Coming from Broadway he made an odd pick for host of  The Railroad Hour. It ran from from 1948 until 1954 starting on ABC and moving to NBC in 1949. In that some era, he guested on the Bell telephone hour. the rest of his career was in film.

Guy Madison - From 1951 to 1954 he played Wild Bill Hickok on the Mutual Network. He later played the same character on a television series.

Ted Malone - He began his radio work as an announcing and playing ukulele KMBC,  In 1929. His early work on air even included poetry readings, especially his program "Between the Bookends" and "Pilgrimage of Poetry." He later branched out into variety shows and quiz shows like Yankee Doodle Quiz in 1943.

Hal March - One half of the comedy duo Sweeny and March on the program of the same name on CBS 1946 to 1948, revived on NBC in 1951.  He is most famous for the quiz show scandal that took down The $64,000 Question which he hosted.

Mark & Brian -   Also known as Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps. They came to Los Angeles in 1987, and debuted a morning show at KLOS-FM. They started working together at WAPI in Birmingham. they retired the show just this year after a 25 year reign.

Mary Martin - She sang everywhere: The Bing Crosby Show, Good news in 1938, Stage Door Canteen, Theater USA, CBS Mystery Theater and others. She never had a starring role in radio, her recording career was huge however and you can't separate the two.

Tony Martin - He was a regularly featured vocalist on the Burns and Allen show 1936 - 1937. In 19398 and 1939 he showed up on "Tune Up Time" on CBS, then the "Carnation Contented Hour" 1948 - 1951. His recording career was much more significant however.

Groucho Marx - Famous now for his black and white film appearances he also spent time in radio. NBC Blue carried the series "Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel" in 1932 and Blue Ribbon town int eh 1940s.  But Groucho was best known on radio as host of "You Bet Your Life" which ran on ABC radio in 1947 and 1949 before moving to TV.

Mary Margaret McBride - See previous post here

Clem McCarthy - A sportscaster who called boxing, horse racing and whatever else came up. His best known  for the often re-run clip of his announcing on NBC the 1938 Joe Louis-Max Schmeling rematch.He did some bit parts too including the Eddie Bracken show in 1945.

Smilin' Ed McConnell - He started singing on CBS in 1932 as the Sunshine Melody Man doing gospel numbers.  His children's show, Smilin' Ed's Gang launched in 1944 ran through 1953 on NBC. After the show moved to TV he was replaced be a less fat host.

Joel McCrea - Famous for his movie roles, his biggest radio role was as Jayce Pearson on the radio Tales of the Texas Rangers. It ran 1950 to 1952. When it was revamped for TV he didn't get cast.

Hattie McDaniel - See previous post here.

Graham McNamee - Starting in radio in 1923 his first jobs of any note were in sports writing and announcing on WEAF. He did the play-by-play announcing for the 1926 World Series and went on to announce for the Rose Bowl and championship boxing. In the 1930s he was an announcer for an announcer on Rudy Vallee, Ed Wynn's and others. 

Don McNeill - See previous post here.

James Melton - In 1927 he began singing on radio with a cabaret group. Though he never had his own program , he was a regular performer. He was on The Firestone Hour in 1933, on Ward's Family Theater in 1935, The Sealtest Sunday Night Party (1936), The Palmolive Beauty Box Theater (1937), The Song Shop (1938), the Bell Telephone Hour (1940), Texaco Star Theater (1944) and Harvest of Stars in1945.

Bob Miller - He is a sports announcer doing  play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings since 1972 on XTRA-AM later moving to KTLK.  Miller moved over to TV announcing for the games in 1990 when the Kings stopped simulcasting  games on TV and radio. He was inducted into the Hockey hall of fame in 2000.
*Corrections from KoHoSo

Ken Minyard & Robert Arthur  - This morning team started their run on KABC-AM in 19723 and continued until 1990 when Artur retired. Minyard tried other co-hosts but was cancelled in 1998. He tried father & song show on KRLA for a year-and-a-half then returned to KABC in 2001 and retired in 2005.

Everett Mitchell - See previous post here.

Vaughn Monroe - This big band leader hosted the Camel Caravan radio program starting in 1946 and running through 1953, seven straight years. He also guested on a number of other programs. His radio resume is a little thin actually.

Garry Moore - He started out in 1937, at WBAL-AM as an announcer. His first network gig was NBC Blue Network's Club Matinee, 1939-43. He got shared billing on the Jimmy Durante-Garry Moore Show, from 1943-48 then did  a year as the Garry Moore Show which crossed over to TV.

Frank Morgan - Coming from a family of radio performers, he is the 2nd most famous after his own niece. The Frank Morgan Show ran on NBC 1944-1945 followed by the Maxwell House Coffee Hour. But he also played Daddy Higgins, father to the Franny Brice character Baby Snooks.

Henry Morgan - He started as an errand boy at WMCA in 1932, after several odd jobs, in 1940, he was offered a daily 15-minute series "Meet Mr. Morgan" on Mutual which mixed ad lib comedy with zany records. Most famous for fighting with his sponsors he also erroneously made the communist black list in the 1950s. He recovered and later hosted TV quiz shows.

Robert W. Morgan - He started out on College station WWST in Wooster Ohio in 1955. He put in time at KACY, KTEE, KOMY, KMBY, KROY, KMAK, KEWB, KHJ.where he was a 'Boss Jock'. He was a Los Angeles institution who only retired in 1970.

Carlton E. Morse - He got a job script writing at KGO-AM  which went very well indeed. His work was mostly action and mystery but he also did some soap operas. his series "I Love a Mystery" ran from 1939 to 1942 on the NBC Blue Network and was revived by Mutual from 1949 through 1953.

Ken Murray - He was the first host  of "Queen for a Day", on the Mutual network from 1945 to 1957. It was a show that was part audience response and part reality programming. It crossed over to TV and only ended when Murray had a heart attack in 1964.

Edward R. Murrow - An extraordinarily famous and respected journalist, his radio career literally jumped directly from covering a children's chorus to covering Nazi aggression in 1938. He became a regular on the nascent "World News Roundup" where he remained thru 1947. Murrow later hosted "This I Believe" which was both erudite and esoteric.

Conrad Nagel - On CBS from 1937 to 1947 he hosted and directed the radio program Silver Theater. Overlapping that he also hosted the Radio Readers Digest from 1942 to 1945. He also was the announcer for Alec Templeton Time in 1939.

John Nesbitt - He wrote and announced for "Headlines of the Past" in 1937. Which grew into a new program " The Passing Parade" which ran until 1951 on NBC.  He also did bits under that title as segments on the Westinghouse Program.

Chuck Niles - Sometimes billed as the only jazz disc jockey on the walk of fame. Actually there are two counting him and Dave Garroway. He rose to fame on  KNOB-FM around 1957 and crossed the street to KBCA in 1965. Starting in 1990 he DJ'd on the infamous KLON-FM, (now KKJZ) he died in 2004.

Ken Niles - A radio announcer and producer at Don Lee Networks, even working on Louella Parsons' Hollywood Hotel show. He did a series of radio dramas called ''Theater of the Mind'' in 1928 and also announced for Camel Caravan, the "Bing Crosby Show'' and ''The Abbott and Costello Show.''

Wendell Niles - He was an announcer on several successful shows: The Bob Hope Show, The Burns & Allen Show, The Milton Berle Show and The Chase and Sanborn Hour. He was also in a couple bad films with a guy named Ronald Regan

Walter O'Keefe - He hosted The Walter O'Keefe Show from 1928 to1937, and then in 1938 with "Battle of the Sexes." Later quiz shows like "Double or Nothing," in the 1940s brought him to even greater national prominence.

Gary Owens - He became a big-time TV announcer but started out on a podunk station, KORN-AM. He moved to KMA in 1956, then KROY in 1959 and finally KEWB. He moved to sister station KFWB in 1951 and then KMPC in 1962 where he stayed for 20 years.

Ozzie Ozzie & Harriet Nelson - They started doing their routine on on Red Skelton's radio show, then in 1944 they got their own radio series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.It moved to TV in 1952 and continued to be a ratings winner.

Frank Parker - A golden era vocalist who sang on both the Jack Benny Show, and the Burns and Allen show. He later hosted Bride and Groom, and was a panelist on the quiz show “The Masquerade Party." Another dubious inclusion.

Parkyakarkus - Parkyakarkus is a character played by Harry Einstein. While there are many stage names on the walk.. there are few fictional characters. He is most famous for dying on stage at the Friar's Club Roast of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 1958. He also was on radio briefly pretending to be Greek on Eddie Cantor's radio show in the 1930s and played the same role on his own show "Meet Me At Parkys." 

Louella Parsons - A gossipy Hearst writer, her column parlayed into a radio show starting in 1928> she tried again in 1931 then in 1934 won out armed with better sponsorship on "Hollywood Hotel" via CBS. It ran until 1938.  Her feud with another gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper was legendary.

Al Pearce - His first time on air was with the San Francisco Real Estate Glee Club in 1928. he did a little sketch comedy on KFRC-AM, but the The Happy Go Lucky Hour is what hit big. Starting in 1928 it hit big in 1932 and moved to the NBC Blue network running thru 1935. He went on to try many single season shows for CBS into the late 1940s.

Jack Pearl - A vaudeville man who graduated to radio with the Ziegfeld Follies of the Air in 1932. He was also the host of The Lucky Strike Hour from 1932 to 1934 and his own Jack Pearl Show, which ran from  1936 through early 1937.

Drew Pearson - A known muck-raker of the D.C. beltway in his day, he had a 15-minute program twice a week on the Mutual from 1935 to 1936. It expanded to a 30 minute slot on NBC as "Listen America" running from 1939 to 1941 when it was revamped into "Drew Pearson Comments" running from 1941 to 1953.

Harold Peary - A player of bit parts who got lucky playing Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, on  Fibber McGee & Molly. It was spun off in 1941by NBC as "The Great Gildersleeve" with him in the leading role. it lasted another 16 years and 4 feature films.

Joe Penner - See previous post here.

Dick Powell - Most of his work was on film but he also was repeatedly featured on Lux Radio Theatre. In his dozen or so appearances he was in "Gold Diggers" in 1936, "Model Wife" in 1941, "Murder, My Sweet" in 1945 and "To the Ends of the Earth" in 1949.

Basil Rathbone - A Shakespearean actor best known for playing  Sherlock Holmes in 17 films made between and in a radio series "The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" running from 1939 to 1946 on NBC Blue.

Quentin Reynolds - He was war correspondent who rose to prominence for covering the Blitz in London in WWII. He also filled in one season for Walter Winchell in 1946.

Grantland Rice - He was a sports writer of some renown, having made his debut on WJZ in 1922 announcing the World Series.  His 1955 book The Tumult and The Shouting was broadcast, as The Grantland Rice Story in fifty-two episodes on NBC inexplicably narrated by Jimmy Powers instead of Mr. Rice.

Irene Rich - Beginning as a star in silent films she also hosted the drama "Dear John", aka The Irene Rich Show.  It ran from 1933 to 1944.

Robert Ripley - See Previous post here.

Roy Rogers - His show broadcast 100 episodes on NBC over six seasons between 1951 and 1957. He even proposed to his first wife on air, met his second wife at a radio station, and while he did license his stage name, he had nothing to do with those nasty restaurants.

Will Rogers - See previous post here.

Mickey Rooney - By far more famous as a film actor, he also starred in a 1948 CBS radio series, "Shorty Bell" as Andy Hardy revisiting the character form the films. He and the original cast also did a syndicated radio version of The Hardy Family in 1949 and 1950.

Lanny Ross - A singer and actor he famously worked on shows like ''Show Boat,'' ''Troubador of the Moon,'' ''The Swift Show'' and his own program ''The Lanny Ross Show." It ran 1941 thru 1949 on CBS with a set also on AFRS.

Charles Ruggles - He was a film actor, appearing in almost 100 different films. He did bit parts in Front Line Theatre, the Roma Wines Show and probably others. His inclusion is dubious.