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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Eddie Albert

Albert was a consumate film actor. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Roman Holiday  (notable for introducing Audry Hepburn to filmgoers) and The Heartbreak Kid , and co-starred in the original Longest Yard  with Burt Reynolds.

Some might remember him in the '75-'78 TV series Switch  with Robert Wagner, but he was most famous for playing Oliver Wendell Douglas in TVs Green Acres .

What you might not  know was that Green Acres  actually started life as a summer radio show in 1950 titled Granby's Green Acres, and the scripts were transferred almost verbatim to TV.

"Cast: Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet as John and Martha Granby, ex-bank teller and wife who moved to the country to become farmers. Louise Erickson as Janice, their daughter. Parley Baer as Eb, the [old] hired hand. Announcer: Bob LeMond; Music: Opie Cates; Writer-Producer-Director: Jay Sommers. Granby's Green Acres  grew out of characters played by Gale Gordon and Bea Benadaret on the Lucille Ball series "My Favorite Husband ."

You can listen to four of the programs at the link.

Over the past few weeks I've been rediscovering the old radio shows my parents talked about--everything from Father Knows Best  to Abbot and Costello's classic "Who's on First?" As a member of the TV generation, I'm amazed at the number of great shows out there--many of them transferred to television to become equally as popular.

Considering the success of Nick at Night  and TVLand , I've been wondering… Why hasn't some enterprising radio programmer started a regular evening line up with a collection of these old shows? It would give "Talk Radio" a whole new meaning.

See--er--listen for yourself.

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