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More Tarzan Radio Memories
|The Texaco Star Theatre program of October 18, 1939 had as its guest, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Host Ken Murray tried to talk Burroughs into starring as Tarzan instead of Johnny Weissmuller. Murray put on his production of "Tarzan" for ERB, entitled; The Home Life of Mr. and Mrs. Tarzan or The Apes of Wrath. Along with Ken Murray and ERB were Frances Langford, Kenny Baker and Irene Ryan. This skit takes up a portion of the first half of the hour-long program.|
October 18, 1939 ~ Summary
Variety and drama. Features:
Ken Murray, Francis Langford, Kenny Baker. Irene, of Tim and Irene.
From the President of the Evergreen Theatres Corporation, Seattle: "Listened to our radio broadcast last week, and you wer very good. As a matter of fact, you sounded as if you were part of the program and had been doing it every week."
CABBAGES AND KINGS
Aired on KGMB, Honolulu ~ 5:45 pm, March 31, 1943
Script by Edgar Rice Burroughs
All my life I have been trying to remember to say no whenever anyone asked me to do something. But, having a poor memory, I almost invariably say yes. Then it is too late. That is why I am here this afternoon.
To pinch hit for Webb Edwards is a job several sizes too large for me. So are his professional shoes. I shall rattle around in them like a pea in a bass drum. Anyway, it wasn't my idea. It was Owen Cunningham's.
Fortunately for me, the program's title Cabbages and Kings, permits me "To talk of many things." This is a break for me; because, due to my forgetting to say no, I am sentenced to stick to any one subject, I could easily tell all I know in two minutes or less.
Broadcasting, for me, is often a horrible experience. It may be the same for my audience. But here it gets the break. All it has to do is turn a knob, but I have to go on to the bitter end.
Have you ever broadcast? Have you ever looked into the leering face of a mike that had a thumb in each ear and was waggling its palms at you? Have you experienced the horrors of mike fright? It's something like sea sickness. You never know when it's going to hit you.
It hit me hard the first time that a mike looked me in the eye and dared me to say something. It was in a radio station on the roof of the Hotel Sherman in Chicago many, many, years ago. In those days, one just sat down and talked to the darned thing. There were no scripts. No censors. But I was wise to my own limitations -- or -- some of them. I wrote down my oratorical gems. All you have to do, I said to myself, is read what you've written.
The moment that I started, I developed a combination of hoof and mouth disease and Saint Virus' Dance. My hands shook so that I couldn't read what I'd written. I developed other symptoms. But I lived through the broadcast. I have lived through many others since that day. That is sometimes the worst part of it. You do live through them.
After I finished my first broadcast, the program manager told me that Ethel Barrymore had been the guest star at the opening of the station a week before. And she had developed such a case of mike fright that she had not been able to say a word! That revived my drooping ego.
Those of you who have never heard of me before -- those of you who have not already turned your knobs -- may have guessed that I am a fiction writer by profession. Not that what I have been saying is fiction, but because you have realized that I have been taking advantage of that time honored prerogative of fiction writers -- to pad. We become adept in that because we are paid by the word. All that has gone before has been padding.
If I can find enough more padding, I may be able to finish out my thirteen minutes without divulging any military secrets. I don't know any.
I recently returned from three months roaming around the South and Southwest Pacific. So you might as well resign yourselves to listening to some of my experiences.
I spent some time on an island that looks out across the Coral Sea. My son, an Air Force officer, who had been down there a couple of times, warned me against the plague of flies and mosquitoes I should find there. So I took leather gloves, a head net, and six bottles of Staway. He also advised me to take a mosquito bar.
There are more flies in the dining room of the hotel in which I live here in Honolulu than I saw on that entire island, and the mosquitoes there are anemic. I slept under mosquito bars all the time I was there because every bed and cot on the island is equipped with them. And I wore my head net once. That was when I bivouacked in forest with a tank outfit. It was a rainy, drizzly day; and as soon as we dismounted from our vehicles, officers and men commenced to don head nets. I endured mine for something less than thirty minutes. They complicate smoking. You have to inhale a mouthful of net with every puff. I preferred the mosquitoes.
If there are highlights among our experiences, there must also be low lights. The low light of that experience was going to bed at night. An orderly had set up the commanding officer's cot and mine beneath a couple of shelter halves strung from the branches of trees.
It was dark and raining when the commanding officer decided to turn in. The grass was knee high and wet. Beneath the grass was mud. An upright pole, cut from a tree, supported our canvas roof next to my cot. That was all I had to hang my clothes on. Try it some time. Then try to crawl under a mosquito bar into an army cot without taking a lot of mud and mosquitoes with you.
No, that was not the lowest low light. That came the next morning at reveille. It was still dark and raining. My clothes were cold and stiff with rain. But I had to get into them. I also had to lace up a pair of high GI shoes and a pair of leggings. That for me, is a major endeavor in broad daylight.
But I had a swell time. And if I ever get the chance to go out again with Lt. Ben M. Brothers of Rocky Mount, N.C., who commanded that tank outfit, I'll grab it. If his fiancee happens to be listening in, I'd like to tell her what a fine officer and regular person I found Ben Brothers to be. She is Lt. Hazel E. Evans, Army Nurse Corps, stationed at an Army hospital here.
Brothers let me fire a 37mm gun from his command tank. I took careful aim at a mountain. Brothers, one of his sergeants, and I were watching. It was the consensus of opinion that I missed the mountain. There must have been something wrong with the gun. I did much better with a 3" anti-aircraft gun right here in Oahu. I aimed at the sky and hit it.
While I was down there, I saw only two Jap prisoners. They were in a hospital. Both were asleep. ONe was crazy. The other was an artist. The crazy one looked sane. The artist looked crazy. Neither of them, much to my surprise, looked like a god. They looked like something the cat had dragged in and then decided it didn't want. However, it is certain that even the crazy one had more brains than most Japs. He had had sense enough to surrender.
One day, I went up with a plane load of parachutists to watch them jump. As they occupied all the seats, I sat on a metal box about 8" high. It had an A roof. It was a comfortable seat. I sat opposite the doorway through which the men were to jump. The door was open. It gives one a funny feeling to look out through the open doorway of a troop carrying plane -- a sort of empty feeling.
When the pilot banked to the left -- and he never banked the other way -- my box had a tendency to slide toward the open doorway. Had he ever made a steep bank, the box and I would have slid out into space. And neither of us had a parachute.
It was interesting to watch the men's faces. Their expressions were tense -- sometimes strained. Soldiers usually kid and joke a lot. There was no kidding -- no joking. It was like going to the funeral of a loved one. Nobody said a word for a long time. Then the undertaker -- pardon me! -- I mean Jumpmaster -- warned: "Coming in Range!" By this time you could have cut the tenseness with a dull knife. Then came: "Stand by!" The men rose from their seats on either side of the fuselage. "Hook on!" Each man attached his individual static line to the main static line that runs overhead along the center of the plane. At last, the fateful word for which all were waiting: "Go!"
The leading man was already standing in the doorway, the others crowded in single file behind him. So rapidly they disappeared, so close together were they, that they seemed to be pushing those ahead of them form the plane. In a matter of seconds they were gone. Twelve men can jump in six seconds.
Thirty-seven men jumped that morning in three flights. There was not even a minor injury. In the two years they have been jumping in that outfit there has not been a jumping fatality. I have suffered more injuries playing tennis. It doesn't require as much guts.
Thirteen minutes is a long time. But it can't last forever -- I hope. So stick by me. Don't leave me all alone on the air, talking to myself. Perhaps you'd like to hear something about Australia. Or I can pad a little more. O.K. then; if you insist, I'll talk about Australia.
I landed there the day before Christmas with a bale of soiled clothes and my luxuriant mane of hair badly needing cutting. And they had four holidays in a row! And when Australia decrees a holiday, by golly, it is a holiday. Everything stops, including laundries and barbers.
The city I was in is a big city. I can't tell you the name of it; because it is a military secret. The Japs have lost their geography books so they don't know about it.
And speaking of military secrets reminds me of something that has nothing to do with Australia, but should be good for a few seconds of padding. On one of the islands I visited, a soldier asked me to autograph a snapshot of myself. He wanted to send it to his girl back home. The next day he came to me with a worried look on his face. It seems he wasn't sure that the censor would pass the picture. He asked me if I were a military secret.
The Australians are swell people. We have been brought up to believe that nobody loves an American. So it was mighty nice to find that the Australians seemed genuinely fond of us. They were hospitable and friendly. They try to be helpful. If I stood still on a sidewalk and looked bewildered, perfect strangers would come up and offer to guide me. They seemed to sense that I was lost.
But Australians are not perfect. They drive on the wrong side of the street, for one thing. And, for another, they don't speak very good English. They call a street car a tram and an elevator a lift. And they have funny money: the guinea, the pound, or quid, the florin, the shilling, or bob, six pence, thruppence, penny. If the Australians had not been fundamentally honest they could have taken me for a beautiful ride. I never learned to make change properly, or rather count the change that some one else made.
If you give a lady tram conductor a shilling to pay your fare an d she hands you back a six-pence, a thruppence and two pennies the size of cart wheels, it doesn't seem exactly cricket to take out a pencil and paper and try to figure the thing out. And anyway, you become so intrigued by the kangaroos on the pennies that you forget to count your change.
I played poker one day with a couple of other Americans. We used Australian paper money. It had a strange psychological effect on me. It was just like playing with stage money. Ordinarily, if I make a 25 cent raise with U.S. money, I'm splurging outrageously. But I flung around pound and half-pound notes with utter abandon for an hour. Fortunately for me, Lady Luck was smiling. After that session my compatriots refused to play pokier with me any more -- and I had all the paper money. I found out later that I could buy things with it.
Another thing about Australians that I couldn't understand any better than I could understand their weird monetary system, is the way they go in swimming with man-eating sharks. While I was there, a fifteen year old girl was killed by a shark in two feet of water in almost the exact geographical center of the city. Every year the sharks take their toll, yet the Australians keep right on swimming around with them. No matter they sing Waltzing Matilda as they go into battle. They are a bit goofy.
And now, my poor anemic fellow citizens, listen to this: While I was in Australia I had a grilled steak for breakfast every morning, lamb for lunch, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner, varied occasionally by a steak-and-kidney pie. I had all the butter I could eat. But why go on? The suicide rate here is already too high.
But I might mention, in passing, that they brew excellent beer in Australia and seem to have plenty of it. Also, for your information, whiskey there means Scotch. They don't dignify Bourbon or rye with the sacred name of whiskey. Of course, this was all hearsay. I wouldn't know of my own experience. Naturally.
And now, as I am running out of both time and padding, I'll say Aloha! And if you don't hear about me again for the duration, you'll know that I've wangled an assignment in Australia from my boss, Frank Tremaine, the United Press Bureau Chief here. Good old Frank!
has Joan Burroughs and a soundbite of ERB dictating a Tarzan novel
"Thanks to Pete Ogden at ERBANIA, we bring you a 1960s interview with Joan (Burroughs) Pierce
that includes a soundbite of ERB dictating a Tarzan novel.
Also: Johnny Carson as the Apeman."
The remarkable radio version of the Tarzan legend created by Edgar Rice Burroughs was broadcast in 1932. The flavor is highly dramatic capturing the enthusiasm of this era. This tape follows the original story, telling how Jane came to Africa and leading up to the encounter between the two. Future tapes issued of Tarzan and the Apes will be in exact sequence, picking up where this recording leaves off. You'll find this an extremely interesting cartridge and we think you'll come back for more.
Return with us now.
Welcome to the world of radio -- as it really was. The radio of the 1930's -- 1940's -- even the 1950's: the radio of "Amos 'n' Andy" . . . "Inner Sanctum" . . . "Ma Perkins" . . . and so much more.
If you lived as an adult through those years, the recordings available will be like a trip back to a simpler time. Return to us now to an era when the latest trials and tribulations of your favorite radio hero mattered dearly, and it was difficult, if not impossible, to endure the wait until the next hour or the next week.
These tapes are authentic transcriptions of the original broadcasts. They are not recreations or imitations in any manner. On these cartridges are the sounds that actually went out over the airwaves, and because of this we ask that you please do not try to compare what you hear to the near-perfect musical recordings of the 1970s. On our product you will hear noises of every description -- enough to send a hi-fi buff running for cover. Please keep this in mind. There will never be another chance to record what is now lost forever. There is no way to return to the past to make a better tape. Our engineers have utilized every known moder technique to enhance the quality of the sound you hear.
So prepare to enjoy an experience that can be duplicated no other way. Please "return with us now" to the theatre of the mind.
Tarzan Audio Programs
Directed by Johnny Weissmuller, Jr.
Tarzan Club Button
Ad on Promo Tarzan Booklet
ERB in ape costume with wife Florence in 1936.
Return with us now to those thrilling ERBzines of Yesteryear:Visit our other ERB of the Air OTR Sites ERBzine 0011
Tarzan in Radio's Golden Age
ERB of the Air
Tarzan of the Air Radio Promo Handout
Tarzan Radio Casts
Tarzan and the Diamond of Ashair
39-Episode Radio Serial
Summarized by Bill Hillman
Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr
Dell Comic & Radio Serial Comparision
By Duane Adams
Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr
Radio Serial Episodes 1-18
Summarized by Duane Adams
Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr
Radio Serial Episodes 19-39
Summarized by Duane Adams
The Signal Oil Feature is presented at: ERBzine 0169
DIAMOND OF ASHER ~ SERIAL SUMMARIES BY BILL HILLMAN
INTRO to 39 Episodes WEEK 1 ~ 99.05,14 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6 WEEK 7 WEEK 8 WEEK 9 WEEK 10 WEEK 11 WEEK 12 WEEK 13 . .
THE 1951 COMMODORE RADIO SERIES
All episodes start at: ERBzine No. 2338
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