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Anybody Here Remember Radio?

This song is by Stan Freberg and appears on the album Tip of the Freberg: The Stan Freberg Collection 1951-1998 (1999).

Thank you. And now we'd like to...

Mr. Freberg?

Yes? Who - who are you?

I'm Mary Ann Feenster, I'm ten years old, and I've been sitting in the audience?

Yes?

I've been thinking about what you said about how you're doing this because there aren't any more radio programs?

Uh - yes?

Mr. Freberg. What's a radio program?

Well. When you listen to the radio in the morning, what do you hear?

Disc jockeys and news, or sometimes news and disc jockeys.

Ah.

Is it possible to hear something else?

It was back in the 1940s. Yes.

Back in the olden days?

Yes. There were what we call radio programs, like what we're doing here, with actors, and live musicians, and sound effects men, and guest stars.

Oh, you mean like a television program, when the picture tube blows out.

Something like that. Yes.

What did you look at?

You didn't look at anything. You just listened.

Boy, talk about your radical ideas.

Look. Dear. You're just too young to remember, I guess. I'll have someone from the audience explain it. Anybody here remember radio? Anybody, anybody at all?

I do.

Oh, good. Here's a lady. Here's a lady. Come right up here, madam. Watch your step, dear. You do remember radio programs, do you?

Oh, yes, yes, I remember them.

You used to listen to them, did you?

I did as a girl, yes. My goodness, yes.

For the benefit of this young lady, could you tell us what it was like?

Well, it was... oh dear. I'm trying to remember...

Just take your time.

Well, if my memory serves me correctly, we'd hurry to get the dishes done, and we'd all sit around the living room, listening to the... uh...

...Radio.

Radio. That's it.

Pardon me, what did you look at while the radio was on?

Oh, we looked at each other. Kind of stared off into space while Inner Sanctum was on, The Whistler, The Shadow! "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit." Do you know who said that?

Who?

Lamont Cranston. That's who. Compared to him, my dear, James Bond is a fink.

But I still don't know what you used for pictures.

You used your imagination.

Your what?

Look. You could do things on radio, see, that you couldn't possibly do on television. My sound effects man and I will give you a demonstration right now.

Ok.

Okay, people. Now when I give you the cue, I want the 500 foot mountain of whipped cream to be shoved into Lake Michigan, which has been drained and filled with hot chocolate. Then, the Royal Canadian Air Force will appear overhead, towing a ten ton maraschino cherry, which will be dropped into the whipped cream, to the cheering of 25,000 extras. All right, cue the mountain.

Cue the Air Force.

Cue the maraschino cherry.

Okay, 25,000 cheering extras.

Now. You wanna try that on television?

I see what you mean.

You see, radio was a very special medium. It stretched the imagination.

But doesn't television stretch the imagination?

Up to 21 inches, yes.

Mr. Freberg?

Yes?

What did they do with all those radio people? Did they go into a rest home?

No, they went into television and, after about 26 weeks, they went into a rest home. Thanks for being with us.

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