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Lorenzo Jones

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:34 pm
by Lou
On the Air: April 26, 1937-1938, NBC, 4 p.m. ET; 1938-1939, NBC, 11:15 a.m.; 1939-June 29, 1951, NBC, 4:30 p.m.; July 2, 1951-March 26, 1954, NBC, 5:30 p.m.; March 29, 1954-Sept. 30, 1955, NBC, 5:15 p.m.

Lorenzo Jones: Karl Swenson ... Belle Jones: Betty Garde (1937-40), Lucille Wall (1940-51)

Announcers: Don Lowe, George Putnam, Ken Roberts

Theme Song: "Beyond the Blue Horizon"; "Funiculi Funicula" (Denza)

Epigraph: We all know couples like lovable, impractical Lorenzo Jones and his devoted wife, Belle. Lorenzo's inventions have made him a character to the town -- but not to Belle, who loves him. Their struggle for security is anybody's story. But somehow with Lorenzo, it has more smiles than tears.

Premise: One of soap opera's few comedies, this Hummert drama centered on a would-be inventor whose intentions lacked logic and made him "a character to the town -- but not to Belle, who loves him." Belle Jones, Lorenzo's faithful helpmate, stood by her man against the town fathers (and mothers) who frequently had reason to question his competency. Belle often wondered to herself about Lorenzo's dreams of instant fame and fortune. Such ill-fated ideas were seldom realistic. Lorenzo, an amateur detective, was also instrumental in capturing a crook now and then. But he usually realized little more for his efforts than the security of a job at Jim Barker's garage, where he toiled as an auto mechanic while daydreaming of future gizmos. To his credit, the impractical idealogue wasn't disheartened by his failures. Never a quitter, he believed that success was just around the corner. Such perseverance, and having a good woman at his side, allowed him to dream on. Even when the series took a melodramatic turn in its final three years, the character's fans were rewarded with a redeeming spirit of optimism that sometimes eluded the heroes and heroines of their other favorite serials. The net result was more smiles than tears.

Trivia question: What other early soap opera was forced into a title change by Lorenzo Jones and under what circumstances?

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:23 am
by piqueroi
Young Widder Jones became Young Widder Brown as the Hummerts felt the surname "Jones" might confuse listeners as to which serial they were hearing.
In the summer of 1952 Lorenzo Jones took a melodramatic turn, perhaps in an attempt to boost ratings. Lorenzo had amnesia and the theme (after the first few bars of Funiculi, Funicula) became When I Grow to Old to Dream until cancellation of the serial on that sad day in 1955.

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:26 pm
by Hal Evans
As I recall Lorenzo Jones, when Lorenzo got amnesia, the spritely show theme was played slow on the organ to match the unhappiness. When finally, Lorenzo got back to normal, the original spritely theme came back. :)

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:27 pm
by piqueroi
When Lorenzo had amnesia, the theme became "When I Grow To Old To Dream". I suppose so that you'd know it was Lorenzo Jones, the organist played the first couple measures of "Funiculi, Funicula" which segued into the main theme, then you'd hear the annuncer say: And now Lorenzo Jones, the story of a man who has lost his memory and cannot even remember his own wife.

I was a faithful childhood lisstener, and do not recollect Lorenzo ever recovering from amnesia although he came to accept Belle as his wife and they planned a happy future together after Belle was rescued from Dennis Scott.

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:10 am
by Hal Evans
I've got more of an ear for music. Whatever the "writing reason," the show's original spritely andante Italian theme song came back to that from the largoesque, sorrowful time. So, heh, it ended on a "happy note," so to speak. :P {Hal Evans}

Re: Lorenzo Jones

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:21 am
by Peyton
Who remembers listening to Stella Dallas or Lorenzo Jones ?
Radio soaps listened to by my Aunt in the country, the summer I spent with her in the late 1930's. I had to be real quite while Aunt Lillie listened close to the wooden table top radio.---- We have came a long way from the good ole days.
Sweet sweet memories.

Re: Lorenzo Jones

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:33 am
by livorno
Not to start an argument but seems to me Hal Evans put his ears where the sun don't shine with respect to recognizing music. Last week an internet service OTR NOW played an isolated January 1955 episode of Lorenzo Jones. On the organ Finiculi Finicula played for two measures before the theme transferred to When I Grow Too Old to Dream and the announcer proclaimed "Lorenzo Jones, the story of a man who has lost his memory and cannot remember his own wife". Poor Lorenzo was telling Belle he simply didn't know if he might have been married to Phoebe Larkins, Gail Maddox was pursuing her own plan to entrap Lorenzo (who knew Karl Swenson was such a sexpot? LOL) and Basil Dunbar discussed Belle's plight and mystery writer Dennis Scott's investigation into whether "Mr. Lorenzo" were Belle's missing husband.

Re: Lorenzo Jones

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:55 am
by jamesbrent
If you go to the radio echoes website mentioned by H. Wilcox re "Backstage Wife updates" they offer a bunch of different radio shows ... check out the "Lorenzo Jones" and the last several on the list include the finale of the amnesia tale involving Belle, Gail Armstrong, Phoebe Larkins, Basil Dunbar, et al. You can hear that "Finiculi Finicula" opens the narrative which slowly changes to "When I Grow Too Old To Dream", verifying Livorno's statement about the theme music.

Re: Lorenzo Jones

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:49 pm
by BobC
Foe some reason I remember this program, Lorenzo Jones and His Wife Bell, from when I was a little kid in the 40's. Probably listened to it after school. I believe another reason is the opening music. It was a long time ago but every once in a while the name pops into my head, Lorenzo Jones and his wife Bell.