Monday, March 21, 2011

An interview with Harold Peary

I listened to an interview with Harold Peary last night that took place in the early 1970's.  I took some notes and thought I would share with you some fascinating items:
  • Most of the origin of the Great Gildersleeve program came from Peary himself.  Though he was married, he was also raising a nephew and a niece and had "a colored house-keeper named, 'Birdie' "
  • Though the audition was sponsored by Johnson's Wax, Mr. S.C. Johnson did not like the program and refused to buy it.  One month later, Kraft Foods bought the program.
  • Lillian Randolph (Birdie) was also Madame Queen on Amos 'n' Andy.
  • Lurene Tuttle was in her early 30's while playing Marjorie and was embarrassed to do so.
  • Una Murkel played the part of Lila Ransome for a short time while Shirley Mitchell had a baby.
  • The first year of the Great Gildersleeve program saw them pitted against Elenor Roosevelt on CBS - and beat her out by almost 3 rating points!
  • In the 1930's Chicago was the center of radio production, not Los Angeles or New York.
  • On the Tom Mix show, he played 7 different characters.
  • Peary often played the part of the dog on Little Orphan Annie and Tom Mix.
  • It was Peary who did the voice for Gooey Fooey on Fibber McGee and Molly.
  • When Peary lived in Chicago, the name of the street he lived on was called, "Throckmorten" and suggested this name to writer Don Quinn.

©Jimbo 2010/2011

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