Let me say a few words about who should really take credit for this book and the two volumes that will soon follow it.
It all began over twenty five years ago when I was looking for some way to enhance my radio show which I called Life in the Past Lane. At the time I was doing much the same thing that many others have done. I was simply replaying radio shows of the past and talking about them. I got to thinking about the many performers and technicians who made them and were still around at that time. Why not call them up, talk with them and then play the results on the air?
To make a long story short, I developed a sort of Hollywood and New York underground and managed to get access to some hard to come by phone numbers. Much to my surprise, those folks were all more than willing to talk at length about their careers and their lives.
It went so well that I decided to expand the project and include theatre, movies, early television and some fine musicians. The end result was that, over a two year span I was able to record over eighty extensive interviews with some of the people who made media history. Therefore—they are the ones who wrote this book. All I did was pull it together.
1) True Boardman-child actor in silent films & long time writer, producer and director for radio and television.
2) Irving Fein-personal manager and agent for both Jack Benny & George Burns.
3) Susan Sackett & Cheryl Blythe-Biographers of George Burns & Gracie Allen.
4) Dick Jurgens-Swing Band Leader.
5) Frank DeVol-Musician, Arranger and actor.
6) Lina Romay-Singer with Xavier Cugat.
7) Joan Peyser-Biographer of Leonard Bernstein.
8) Janet Waldo-Many radio roles-Voice of Judy Jetson.
9) Mel Blanc-Man of 1000 voices.
10)Ralph Bellamy-Over 80 film roles.
11)Evelyn Keyes-Many movies including Gone With the Wind.
12)Bill Dakota-Director of the James Dean Foundation.
13)Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee-Inherit the Wind, Mame and many other plays.
14)Arch Oboler-Writer, Producer and director of over 800 plays
15)John Houseman-Federal Theatre plus, plus.
16)Elliott Lewis-Mr. Everything in radio.
17)William N. Robson-Radio pioneer and risk taker.
18)Norman Corwin and his Biographer, R. Leroy Bannerman (Both)