Monday, March 30, 2015
From Gangbusters to Seth Parker's Hymnal
But back to the grandfatherly thing. Lord was born in 1902, so he was
about 27 when he began impersonating a senior citizen in 1929. He had been a high school principal in Plainville, CT for 2 years before growing bored and running off to New York to try his hand at script writing. He sold some scripts for "Seth Parker's Singing School". It took off and the character "Seth Parker", a clergyman and rual philosopher based on his real-life grandfather, Hosea Phillips, had to become real... or at least real enough for radio.
Thought recorded on a sound stage in New York, he purported that the show originated in the Jonesport, Maine area. NBC ran the show six days a week under the name Sunday Evening at Seth Parker's. He published Seth Parker's Hymnal in 1930, his Album that same year, then Seth Parker and His Jonesport Folks in 1932 then a Scrap Book of "backwoods philosophy" in 1935. Lord wrote the show and played the title role until it was discontinued in 1939. Notice the overlap with Gangbusters. There was also a period when he was a cop by day and a preacher by night... at least on radio.