Wednesday, July 12, 2017

American History on Old Time Radio: Alexander Hamilton on Cavalcade of America

It has been a long time since I have shared some recordings from Old Time Radio, but I wanted to use the anniversary of Alexander Hamilton's death (on July 12, 1804) to showcase a few episodes relating to one our Founding Fathers.  I have pulled together a few episodes that showcase the biography of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  I have wanted to do this since seeing the Musical Hamilton (totally brilliant) and visited a number of Alexander Hamilton historic sights in New York City when I was there in February.

I will try to get these posted this week as we think about the duel and the death of Alexander Hamilton 213 years ago this week.  I will use this to start a series on American History on Old Time Radio - which should be fun (at least for me).  I have some more series to get building up over the next couple of months - hopefully you like them also.

Alexander Hamilton Statue in Central Park (New York City) - February 18, 2017

Alexander Hamilton Statue in Central Park (New York City) - February 18, 2017

The Cavalcade of America is a great series sponsored by DuPont.  The purpose of the program has been one of great study and I am definitely glad that I have a few episodes to talk about it.  The long-running show ran from 1935 to 1953 and then had a second life on television.  Starting first on the CBS Network, it moved to NBC in 1939.  This 30 minute program provided a great platform to showcase some of the lesser known incidents and people who made the country great.  Not only was this series a great source of historical dramas, there were numerous fictional stories brought in as well.  From the Internet Archive page (see link below),  "The company's motto, 'Maker of better things for better living through chemistry,' was read at the beginning of each program, and the dramas emphasized humanitarian progress, particularly improvements in the lives of women, often through technological innovation."

Cavalcade had two episodes that feature Alexander Hamilton - and both are really fantastic.  I am going to list them in the order in which they cover his life, not their broadcast dates.

"Ready On The Right" was featured on Cavalcade on October 21, 1952, and starred Jackie Cooper in the role of Alexander Hamilton.  This story focused on Hamilton's service as General Washington's Aide de Campe while trying to get a field command.  He would finally get his command just prior to the Battle of Yorktown and was instrumental in the victory over the British troops in the decisive battle of the Revolutionary War.  Also staring in this episode was Edwin Jerome, Rosemary Rice, Arnold Moss, Lon Clark, and Staats Cotsworth (who also starred as Casey, Crime Photographer).

Ready on the Right (October 21, 1952)

"The Gentleman From The Islands" was featured over ten years earlier on this long running program and provided a very nice dramatization of the events leading up to Hamilton's duel with Aaron Burr. The episode features Alfred Lunt in the role of Alexander Hamilton who provides a very confident voice to the part. Also featured in the cast are Edwin Jerome, Ted Jewett, Karl Swenson, James McCallion, Frank Readick, Kenny Delmar, Will Geer, Arlene Francis, with announcing by Bud Collyer (who prominently played Superman for many a year on radio).

The Gentleman From The Islands (July 6, 1942)

I hope you enjoy these episodes and this new series coming your way.  

Here are some links to programs relating to Old Time Radio and Cavalcade of America:
Here are some of my other blog entries relating to Old Time Radio

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