Ma Perkins

Hosted by Jim Cox, author of The Great Radio Soap Operas (31 Classic Daytime Dramas, 1930-1960)

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Lou
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Ma Perkins

Postby Lou » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:20 pm

On the Air: Dec. 4, 1933-March 30, 1934, NBC, 3 p.m. ET; April 2, 1934-July 8, 1949, NBC, 3:15 p.m.; 1936-Feb. 5, 1937, MBS, 11:30 a.m.; Feb. 8, 1937-Dec. 31, 1937, NBC Blue; Jan. 3, 1938-May 27, 1938, CBS, 10:45 a.m.; May 30, 1938-Nov. 18, 1938, NBC Blue; Sept. 28, 1942-June 29, 1956, CBS, 1:15 p.m.; Oct. 8, 1956-Nov. 25, 1960, CBS, 1:15 p.m.

Ma Perkins: Virginia Payne ... Shuffle Shober: Charles Egleston (1933-58), Edwin Wolfe (1958-60) ... Willie Fitz: Murray Forbes ... Evey Perkins Fitz: Laurette Fillbrandt, Dora Johnson, Kay Campbell (1945-60) ... Fay Perkins Henderson: Rita Ascot, Cheer Brentson, Margaret Draper, Laurette Fillbrandt, Marjorie Hannan ... John Perkins: Gilbert Faust

Announcers: Jack Brinkley, Bob Brown, Dan Donaldson ("Charlie Warren"), Marvin Miller ("Charlie Warren"), Bob Pfeiffer, Dick Wells

Theme Song: "Ma Perkins" (Larsen and Marcotte)

Premise: An affable widow blessed with the wisdom of Solomon and situated in a rural, closely knit community marked by pathos and heartache were the parameters of this beloved drama. Such factors combined to distinguish it as one of the most enduring and heartwarming serials of radio's Golden Age. Ma's convivial spirit, her love for humanity and her concern that reason prevail and decency be practiced were hallmarks that endeared her to those in the drama and millions listening at home. As the unassuming conscience of Rushville Center (and possibly the nation), she was sought by citizens for her advice in solving moral and ethical mires. More often than not, the dilemmas involved her own little enclave -- three children (including one who died in the war), their mates, her grandchildren and Ma's closest friend and business associate. Actress Virginia Payne, age 23 when she began the part, went all the way in the title role. Fans held her in the same exalted esteem they assigned to the character she played. The show's writers had the good fortune of being given 27 years to develop and interrelate the principal figures. Although all of it was purely make believe, of course, to those who welcomed it across the decades for a daily shot of adrenaline, this narrative seemed very real indeed. Their anguish, when the serial departed, may have been among the loudest cries that any audio network brass ever heard.

Your turn...

Nick

Ma Perkins TV pilot

Postby Nick » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:44 pm

In Jim Cox' previous soap book he mentioned a Ma Perkin's television pilot being filmed. Does anyone know a bit more about this? Were the radio cast playing the same roles like the Aunt Jenny and Big Sister television one shots?

Hal Evans

"Charlie Warrren" Ma Perkins Announcer

Postby Hal Evans » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:44 am

First of all, kudos to Lou for the write-up on Ma Perkins. Wow, the whole cast, et al! The "Charlie Warren" referred to: might that be the Charles Warren that's the anncr on the Don Imus cable show? And if so, that must also be the same newscaster Charles Warren that was on Mutual that i recall hearing in the 50s and 60s. Thank You. :)

Lou
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Postby Lou » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:38 pm

Hal -

Thanks for the kudos, but the credit really belongs to Jim Cox -- I merely copied some of his comments from the old BBS.

Hal Evans
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Postby Hal Evans » Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:46 pm

You forgot one prominent cast member: Studs Terkel. Studs played the bad guy or the head bad guy, who was always from New York! Studs write about his tenure on MP in at least one of his books. He recalls a program where MP and her brood are lost in a snowstorm. Shuffle says, "You get behind me Ma, and I'll break the wind for you!" Studs said there was suppressed laugher in the studio. Fortunately, there was wind sound effects. So the engineers brought up the wind sound. And I RECALL that broadcast! I wondered why the heck the wind kept roaring and you nobody talked. And I recall background talk and laughs.

wthtamfm
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Re: Ma Perkins

Postby wthtamfm » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:37 am

Is there a recording of Ma Perkins last broadcast and if so, is it possible to get a copy?


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