Member Weeks Radio Drama: How ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘Gunsmoke’ and Other Shows Began

There was a time when mom and dad Piper on the “Couple Next Door” had first names, when “Gunsmoke’s” Marshal Matt Dillon and “Johnny Dollar” had different names, when famous filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock directed “Suspense” and when the “Great Gildersleeve” sold girdles instead of city water. These and many other surprises are revealed when 97.9 WHAV FM presents “How They Began” for seven nights beginning Sunday, Sept. 15, at 10 p.m. Never-broadcast “audition” episodes and rare pilots are heard during this special week of WHAV’s “If You Believe” drive for monthly members. Start your monthly membership with online payment or use the “Bill Me” option here or by calling 978-374-1900 weekdays. If you’re already a current member, thank you for your support of Greater Haverhill’s only public radio station.

‘If You Believe…’ How a Monthly WHAV Membership Helps You

If you believe an informed public makes for better neighbors, employees, volunteers, customers, leaders and voters, your monthly membership subscription is needed during WHAV’s current drive. Very few people are aware newsrooms are shrinking across the country with local news the biggest casualty. In fact, a recent survey found only 14% of adults pay for local news. Let’s do better in Greater Haverhill. Nonprofit WHAV must raise an additional $100,000 just to provide the same level of local, news, emergency alerts, sports, weather, “Win for Breakfast” live morning show, Haverhill Hillies football, live broadcasts of Haverhill City Council and Haverhill School Committee and more.

In Advance of WHAV Pledge Week, Eddie Cantor Tutors Danny Kaye on Radio

Before next week’s WHAV membership pledge drive—which starts with live Haverhill Hillies Football and continues with special fall programming—Danny Kaye is on the air Thursday to show you how to prepare for a radio show. At 10 p.m., Thursday (repeated at 1 a.m.), a slot normally occupied by Eve Arden and “Our Miss Brooks,” Danny Kaye not only kicks off his broadcasting career, but Arden’s as well. Dating back to Jan. 6, 1945, Kaye’s first show introduces series regular Eve Arden. As Kaye stresses over how to begin on-air, comedian Eddie Cantor shows him how to do it and steals the show.

Lloyd Bridges on Monday’s ‘Suspense;’ Learn More About the ‘Airplane’ Actor

Lloyd Bridges has murder on his mind when he stars Monday night in “Rub Down and Out” on “Suspense.”

While you may remember him for his portrayal of Steve McCroskey in the 1980 parody film, “Airplane,” you may be surprised to learn he was yet another actor blacklisted for communist connections during the 1950s, uttered a profanity while ad-libbing during a dramatic performance on live television in 1956 and almost was cast as the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise in “Star Trek.”

Father of Beau and Jeff Bridges, he began his career playing bit parts for Columbia Pictures during the 1940s. He gained lead roles for Universal after World War II and before being briefly blacklisted for his membership in the Actors’ Laboratory Theatre, which opposed racial segregation and was accused of having communist connections. It seems an unlikely coincidence that a string of formerly blacklisted stars ended up appearing on CBS radio’s “Suspense” once William N. Robson took over as director of the series in 1956. Perhaps, it was because Robson, himself, was listed among 151 entertainment professionals listed as a communist sympathizer in the 1950 publication of “Red Channels.” Among the causes for the listing were simply a 1946 speech Robson made protesting limits on the freedom of expression and supporting Progressive Party presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Henry Wallace. Bridges entered television during the early 1950s where he was both praised for his emotional performance and criticized for a slip of the tongue during the live telecast of “Tragedy in a Temporary Town” on “The Alcoa Hour.” He became the lead character, Mike Nelson, in the television series “Sea Hunt” in 1958.

This Week’s Radio Drama

Saturday, Aug. 24
Gunsmoke: “Gone Straight,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: “Touchup Matter,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Suspense: “Rain Tonight,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Dimension X: “Lost Race,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Great Gildersleeve: Grace Vies for Gildy’s Attention, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Our Miss Brooks: New Girl in Town, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Couple Next Door: Meeting the English Neighbor, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 31

Gunsmoke: “Jesse,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: “Morning After Matter,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Sherwood Reflects on Merrimack River Voyage, Discusses Upcoming Chamber Events

Listen to the full interview below. Shortly after returning from a four-day journey down the Merrimack River, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President Dougan Sherwood reflected on his experiences from the voyage, which he described as, “wonderful.”

Sherwood, who joined WHAV’s Win Damon on “Win for Breakfast” on Monday, Aug. 19, discussed the journey that commenced in Franklin, N.H., and concluded at Plum Island. Sherwood talked about the difficulty of the trip, commenting that, “these were long, long days on the river.” Nonetheless, Sherwood asserted that the trip was valuable for all those who participated

“We go to know a number of different people from communities in the greater Merrimack Valley…We really got a better understanding of what this river is all about,” he said. Many community leaders joined Sherwood on the trek, including politicians state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, and state Reps.