April 03, 2003

Media hooha

Did you know that the Mercury Theater on the Air radio program (playlist) lasted only five months? Yup, the program that aired H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds in 1938 in news-bulletin format was short-lived. This and other fascinating facts can be found at the Radio Hall of Fame. The list of members has some very familiar names. Whether you listen to current talk-radio or NPR, old-time dramas, music or sports, you'll recognize some of these folks. From Wolfman Jack to Susan Stamberg, Rick Dees to Paul Harvey, they're in there.

I happened across the site while looking for the name of a 1960s television show; it was a crime/legal drama with a catchy theme song. I remember the first part of the name as H-A-double R-I, but I can't remember the rest. I found a match called Harrigan and Son which sort of matches the genre I was thinking of, but it was only on for two seasons (1960-1961), and that seems an awfully short time to have embedded the song in my memory (late update: I found the theme on SitcomsOnline; sure enough, it was Harrigan and Son!) It starred Pat O'Brien as the lawyer/father.

Speaking of theme songs, if you're looking for .wav files of movie and television theme music, try this site; the guy (as a hobby!) has over 8,200 themes in zipped format, and he'll take requests. Poke around a little; he outlines the process of mailing them. The amount of mail he gets is staggering.

Posted by Linkmeister at April 3, 2003 07:47 AM

Oooo, fun linkage!
And I have a series of tapes of the Mercury Theater - Dracula is a hoot - but I didn't know that it was such a short lived series. One of the reasons it was short lived wasn't due to lack of sponsors - after the War o the Worlds hooha the old sponsors dropped the show but new ones stepped in. I think it had more to do with the fact that most of the team got better job offers, especially from Hollywood. Brilliant bunch that Mercury crowd, and not just Welles.

Posted by: batty at April 3, 2003 07:54 AM

And I have never seen Harrigan and Son - but I do know who Pat O'Brien is!

...Must check out those wav files now...

Posted by: batty at April 3, 2003 07:56 AM

Actually, Batty, Mercury had no sponsors for the first five months, then picked up Campbell and was renamed, at least according to the site.

Posted by: Linkmeister at April 3, 2003 09:57 AM

I do remember Harrigan and Son. Good ole' Pat could play lawyers, Priests, and drunks..(hmmm, or are they all the same?)
Wasn't he on a tv show about "Father Of The Bride"? something along that genre....

Posted by: toxiclabrat at April 3, 2003 11:23 AM