Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Kitchen Klatter

Leanna Field Driftmier was the host of the daily half hour radio program Kitchen-Klatter. Her program  first aired in 1926 and ran into 1959 a total stretch of 33 years. The program is sometimes referred to as the longest-running homemaker show in US radio history. For the record I cannot corroborate that claim. Her 33 years-run is impressive, but I suspect the definition of "home-maker show" as opposed to "cooking show" is key to the claim. More here.

Leanna's brother actually gets some credit for the start of her radio career. He was Henry Field who founded the radio station KFNF-AM in 1924. Leanna debuted there assisting her sister Helen on another home maker program "The Mother’s Hour" When Helen left the show in 1926 Leanna took over and renamed it Kitchen-Klatter. That monicker does have a bit more pizazz. More here.

Driftmier continued to host that program for over three decades virtually without interruption. When she injured her back in 1930, she hosted the show from her bedroom. After she recovered she was still wheelchair-bound, and she continued to host the program from that position from her own kitchen. I suspect that she is one of the earliest radio personalities to broadcast from a wheel chair, and almost certainly the only one with a cooking show. But "only cooking show host in a wheelchair" doesn't have the same ring to it.

In 1950 the program crossed the street to KMA-AM. She continued until 1959 when her daughter Lucile Driftmier Verness took over the program so she could retire from broadcasting. She continued to guest on the program intermittently until her death in 1976. The program lasted another 9 years.