Saturday, December 19, 2015

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 18 - Dancing Dan's Christmas (Damon Runyon Theater)

Every so often, you find a Christmas story that was broadcast at another time of the year.  This is the case with this offering from the great Damon Runyon Theater called Dancing Dan's Christmas.  This first broadcast on March 13, 1949 as far as we can tell.   It was produced by the Mayfair Transcription Company and pretty much only ran in 1949.  It was broadcast over many different stations, but not as a network program.   Mayfair Transcription Company was run by movie star Alan Ladd, who's Box 13 is one of my favorite series.

This is the second year I have showcased different Old Time Radio programs for Christmas.  Here is a link to all the 2014 OTR Christmas entries.  If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148).  He does a great job of showcasing great holiday themed episodes, especially as we get closer to Christmas and the end of December.  I actually heard this driving the other week as part of the Frank Sinatra blocks that he setup to celebrate the centennial of his birth.

Ann Arbor Dance Classics Nutcracker 2015 (Milan High School, Michigan)
A very different type of dancing!  The Ann Arbor Dance Classics Nutcracker - December 11, 2015

The Damon Runyon Theater is a great series and takes you right into the world of Damon Runyon.   Damon Runyon captures a romanticized version the charming lives of New York's gamblers and other rougher characters like Harry The Horse and Broadway. The show starred John Brown as Broadway, who serves as the central figure and narrator of the stories.  If you like Guys and Dolls, you will love these great dramatizations for radio.  Watch for some entries soon about sports fans from this series - something I hope to do in the new year.

As we know and feel, the holidays are a time when many of us put aside the grudges we held all year and reached out to help our fellow man.  It is also a time when some of us chart a new course for our lives, embracing the warmth and love that is abundant (or seemingly so) at this time of year.  Such was the case for Dancing Dan.  Seems that Dan was being chased down by another hoodlum for dancing with the wrong gal.  Everyone knew he was being stalked, especially Broadway.  And when Dan helps out a friend down on his luck to take his role as Santa Claus for a friend who is too sick to do it.  How on earth is Dan going to be safe if he is out and about in public?  So Dancing Dan gets on the red suit and is off to the Department Store.  Along the way he drummed up business for the Salvation Army's red kettle.  And since it is the holidays, the fortune for Dancing Dan is not quite as bad as it might seem!

These are fun stories to hear and certainly take you back in more ways than one.  I hope you enjoy this treat from Damon Runyon.

Dancing Dan's Christmas (March 13, 1949)
Original story - Dancing Dan's Christmas by Damon Runyon

Here are some links to programs relating to Damon Runyon Theater:

              25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links

              25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

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