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!
Decorative Trees, Holidays 2007
If your 50...like some people I know...one could guess that your first exposure to the great actor Lionel Barrymore was in Frank Capra's brilliant It's a Wonderful Life. In this 1946 holiday classic, Barrymore played the bitter and evil Mr. Potter - the arch rival to Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey. His distinct voice and menacing role forever made him the evil heavy in any movie. But then I started listening to Barrymore on old time radio, especially as Dr. Gillespie in the radio series Dr. Kildare.
Not that long ago, I discovered Mayor of the Town. In that series, Lionel Barrymore plays the mayor of an unnamed small town, somewhere in America. Playing the mayor's housekeeper, Marilly, was the great actress Agnes Moorehead, who is best know for her role on Bewitched. The series is pretty sweet, as Barrymore not only plays the Mayor, but also as a virtual grandparent for everyone in town. In these two Christmas episodes, Barrymore is at his best - and is just perfect for radio.
On Christmas Eve 1942, the cast of Mayor of the Town performed Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Barrymore naturally plays Scrooge and does a fantastic job. Listen for yourself:
A few years later, and a few weeks after Christmas, there was a great Christmas themed episode on this series. In the Burning Christmas Tree episode, the Mayor seeks to help out a sick girl who is tremendously saddened when the tree that was by her bed had to be thrown out. The little girl needed a reason to be happy when her tree was taken away from her. And the Mayor had just the perfect way to do that.
Here are some links to programs relating to Mayor of the Town:
- Mayor of the Town radio program episodes via the Internet Archive
- Mayor of the Town on Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs
- Mayor of the Town information from Wikipedia
- See also 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive.
- Christmas Scripts at Generic Radio Workshop - no they are not from Abbot and Costello!
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:
- All Entries
- Day 1 - Nick Carter's Christmas Adventure
- Day 2 - The Saint is No Santa Claus
- Day 3 - Stolen Rings at Christmas with Boston Blackie
- Day 4 - Dragnet's Christmas Episodes
- Day 5 - Nero Wolfe & the Slaughtered Santas
- Day 6 - The Plot To Murder Santa Claus (with Frank Sinatra as Rocky Fortune)
- Day 7 - Christmas at Mission San Gabriel with Romance of the Ranchos
- Day 8 - Arch Oboler's Christmas 1918
- Day 9 - The Story of Silent Night (Hallmark Playhouse)
- Day 10 - Juggler of Notre Dame (with Nelson Eddy)
- Day 11 - Candy Matson's Christmas Episodes
- Day 12 - Lionel Barrymore's Mayor of the Town