OLD TIME RADIO - CD-ROM - 33 mp3
Total Playtime: 15:54:00
The First Nighter Program was a long-running radio anthology comedy-drama series broadcast from 1930 to 1953. The host was Mr. First Nighter (Charles P. Hughes, Macdonald Carey, Bret Morrison, Marvin Miller, Don Briggs and Rye Billsbury [later known as Michael Rye]).
The show's opening recreated the aural atmosphere of a Broadway opening. Before each week's drama began, Mr. First Nighter was first heard walking on Broadway, emerging from the noise of people and street traffic into the crowded lobby of "the Little Theater Off Times Square" and then taking his seat in the third row center, where he gave the whispered introduction: The house lights have dimmed, and the curtain is about to go up on tonight's production.
Romantic comedies were the specialty of the series, and the principal roles were played by the teams of Don Ameche and June Meredith (1930-36), Ameche and Betty Lou Gerson (1935-36), Les Tremayne and Barbara Luddy (1936-43) and Olan Soule and Luddy (1943 and after).
Joseph T. Ainley produced and directed the series. The announcers were Larry Keating and Vincent Pelletier. Music was provided by Eric Sagerquist (1930-44), Caesar Petrillo (1945-46) and Frank Worth (1947-53).
The most popular episode may have been the annual Christmas episode, "Little Town of Bethlehem," which was first performed in 1937 and every year afterwards at the request of the listening audience.
Performing before a studio audience, the actors wore formal attire, with Luddy in a gown and Tremayne clad in evening clothes and top hat.
The series ran on three radio networks in the following timeline: 11/27/30 to 09/29/33 NBC-Blue, 10/06/33 to 02/12/37 NBC, 02/19/37 to 12/21/37 CBS, 01/07/38 to 08/26/38 NBC, 09/02/38 to 05/29/42 CBS, 10/04/42 to 10/25/44 Mutual, 10/20/45 to 04/13/46 CBS, 10/04/47 to 10/20/49 CBS, 04/27/52 to 09/27/53 NBC (repeats).
The show was hosted by The Campana Company and solely featured commercials for their products. Due largely in part to this exposure, their Italian Balm became the best-selling hand lotion in the United States in the 1930s.
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First Nighter 39-04-28 (0417) Three Who Face Death
First Nighter 39-10-13 (0441) A Symphony With Your Spaghetti
First Nighter 41-03-25 (0502) Love and Gazozza
First Nighter 44-03-29 (0615) The Chinese Gong
First Nighter 44-05-03 (0620) Mother's Angel Children
First Nighter 44-05-24 (0623) Speak Ever So Gently
First Nighter 44-05-31 (0624) Give up the Ship
First Nighter 44-06-07 (0625) Susan Stepped Out
First Nighter 44-06-14 (0626) Just a Bum (Repeat)
First Nighter 44-07-19 (0631) The Heart That Has Truly Loved
First Nighter 44-10-11 (0643) Oh Say Can You See ( Repeat)
First Nighter 45-12-22 (0656) Little Town of Bethlehem (Repeat)
First Nighter 47-10-18 (0674) Wolf in Sheep's Skin
First Nighter 47-10-25 (0765) No Nanny
First Nighter 48-01-01 (0685) The One in the Middle
First Nighter 48-01-08 (0686) Help Wanted, Female
First Nighter 48-01-22 (0688) The Mind Reader
First Nighter 48-01-29 (0689) A Writer in the Family
First Nighter 48-02-05 (0690) Drink for the Damned (Repeat)
First Nighter 48-02-12 (0691) Love Is Stranger Than Fiction
First Nighter 48-02-19 (0692) Oh, Bury Me Not
First Nighter 48-03-04 (0694) An Order by the Leutenant
First Nighter 48-03-11 (0695) There's Something in the Air (Repeat)
First Nighter 48-05-06 (0703) The Tin Box
First Nighter 48-06-17 (0709) Old Lady Shakespere (Repeat)
First Nighter 49-03-10 (0731) No Greater Need
First Nighter 52-04-27 (0764) Refresher Course (Repeat)
First Nighter 52-07-20 (0772) Speak Ever So Gently (Repeat)
First Nighter 52-12-23 (0790) Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem ( Repeat)
First Nighter 53-01-06 (0792) A Good Joe
First Nighter 53-01-13 (0793) A Shower for the Bridesmaid
First Nighter 53-08-04 (0821) Two Loves Has She
First Nighter 53-09-01 (0825) The Honest Dope (Repeat)