GABLE ON RADIO

Marlene Deitrich and Clark Gable (seen here with host Cecil B. DeMille) starred in "The Legionnaire and the Lady," the first Lux Radio Theatre Broadcast from Hollywood, on June 1, 1936

A List of Gable's Appearances on Radio


CLARK GABLE PLAYS LEAD IN FULL LENGTH VERISON OF HIS 'MISLEADING LADY' ON COLUMBIA SYSTEM TONIGHT.

San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 1935

Gable in Radio Theater

Clark Gable will make his first appearance in a full length radio drama tonight as star of the rai-drama His Misleading Lady.

Gable's appearances on the air lanes heretofore have been characterized by their brevity. In tonight's story he plays the part of a Jack Graighen who proposes to a Helen Steele at a party and then discovers that he has been led to propose as a result of a wager between Helen and her friends. The plot really gets underway when Graighen kidnaps Miss Steele.   (KFRC, 6-7 pm)


CLARK GABLE TO PORTRAY GEORGE WASHINGTON IN 'CARAVAN' PLAY TONIGHT

San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, 20 October, 1936,  p.10

By Herb Caen

The evolution of a great lover:

Clark Gable, first in the hearts of his countrywomen, tonight portrays the man first in the hearts of his countrymen.

And he'll enjoy it.

 It seems Gable, who has definite dramatic ambitions, every once in a while gets fed up with his never varying motion picture duties.

He storms into the big boss' office, raves, rants, beats his head against the wall, begs to be cast as MacBeth. Or even the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

But nothing happens. Said big boss smiles blandly, shifts his corona from port to starboard, maintains an expressive silence.

But, aha! Gable has one out.

His motion picture contract allows him five radio broadcasts yearly. And so he lets radio provide that emotional outlet.

Tonight his heart will be light. Guest-starred on the Rupert Hughes' 'Caravan', he'll face the Columbia microphone as George Washington in Maxwell Anderson's Valley Forge.

 Incidentally, it will be interesting to note Hughes' introduction of this Washington-glorifying play.

For Hughes is noted as a semi-debunker of the first President. His biography of Washington can hardly be described as a glowing tribute. Anderson chose the opposite and more popular course. Its all on KFRC at 6.30 pm.


Facts about Lux Radio Theater:

  • "Lux Radio Theater" began in 1934 on the NBC Blue Network. Incidentally NBC had a red and blue network; the latter became ABC.
  • Film legend Cecil B. DeMille was one of the hosts for the series.
  • Virtually every headliner in Hollywood such as Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracey, Bette Davis and Clark Gable starred in an episode of "Lux Radio Theater."
  • The show had an estimated radio audience of 40-million...in 1936! The series began 2 years earlier but didn't get major attention until it moved to Hollywood.
  • The cast and crew was huge - at least 50 people were required for each episode. The sponsor of course was Lever Brothers and its Lux soap.
  • Some film stars confessed that they were frightened to appear, knowing they were being heard 'live' by millions of listeners.
  • Near the end of its run it was estimated that the "Lux Radio Theater" went through 52,000 pages of scripts.
  • William Keighley replaced Cecil B. DeMille in 1945.
  • During its 21-year run, Lux Radio Theater presented just about every movie or play of note.
  • For more on Lux Radio Theater and other old-time radio classics, you might want to check out the book, "Raised On Radio" by Gerald Nachman. It is published by Pantheon Press.
  • The show almost flopped at its home base in New York because it ran out of Broadway plays to adapt. That's why it moved to Hollywood.
  • The two Hollywood homes for the Lux Radio Theater were the Music Box Theater, and the Huntington Hartford Theater.
  • Female stars on the show received free Lux Soap for years afterwards.
  • Cecil B. DeMille left the show in protest over a $1.00 union charge.

Credit:

Many thanks to Chrystopher Spicer who provided the first two newspaper articles.

Lux Radio Theater Facts quote from this source - KNX1070 NEWSRADIO


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