Wednesday, December 10, 2014

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 10 - Juggler of Notre Dame (Nelson Eddy)

Working on sending out one blog entry each day in December to showcase great Old Time Radio for the Christmas season.  Here is a link to all the entries.  Here is day #10 - The Gulf Screen Guild's Theater Production of the Juggler of Notre Dame.  This wonderful performance includes beautiful songs by Nelson Eddy.

If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great programs available throughout the month of December on his great show.  You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web. One place to find these shows is the 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive. This is a great resources for many of these wonderful radio shows!

93/365/2284 (September 12, 2014) - Squirrels at the University of Michigan (September 12, 2014)

Juggling Squirrel at the University of Michigan - September 12, 2014

I have wanted to write about this piece for a while - and thought I did.  Better late than never.  The Screen Guild Theater is quite interesting.  It is best summed up by the start of the article in the Digital Del:

"The Screen Guild programs were some of Radio's longest running charity programs. Why charity? From the outset, the various Screen Guild programs were conceived, produced and broadcast for the express purpose of raising money for the Motion Picture Relief Fund. Over the years, the Motion Picture Relief Fund appeal extended to raising funds for a Country Home and Hospital for retired, ill, indigent, or destitute Motion Picture Industry artists."

This wonderful series was broadcast at CBS Radio and supported by Gulf Oil.  This episode was first performed on December 22, 1940 (and repeated the following two years as The Juggler of Our Lady), this dramatization Anatole France's 1892 miracle story, Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. Brought into the performance were narrator Ronald Coleman and singer Nelson Eddy.  The Juggler of Notre Dame tells the story of Barnaby, a poor traveling juggler who traveled the countryside performing for children and townspeople for coins that kept him going.  Barnaby did not speak in this story, but his activity was told through the narration by Ronald Coleman and the songs of Nelson Eddy, playing the monk who befriended the juggler.

The monk came across Barnaby on an awful stormy evening and took him to the monastery.  So taken by the warmth of the monastery, Barnaby begged to stay there and work, forsaking his the juggling that had been his vocation for all these years.  As the days grew closer to Christmas, each of the monks were carefully creating a gift to celebrate the birth of the Lord.  What Barnaby did was simply beautiful.

While it is a wonderful story, the piece is wonderful to listen to because of the beautiful singing Nelson Eddy provides.  My wife's uncle loved Nelson Eddy, so his songs are always welcome in my home.  I hope that he can bring the Christmas spirit to your home.  Here is the episode:

Here are some links to programs relating to Screen Guild Theater:
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:

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