Read a good book on OTR lately? Share your comments about it here
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Postby Lou » Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:53 pm


By Jim Cox

Don't let the title keep you from seeking out this book. It is much, much more than a book on radio soap operas. Jim has written a great book, comprehensive histories of 31 of network radio's most durable soap operas. They include: "Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories, Backstage Wife, Big Sister, The Brighter Day, David Harum, Front Page Farrell, The Guiding Light, Hilltop House, Just Plain Bill, Life Can Be Beautiful, The Light of the World, Lora Lawton, Lorenzo Jones, Ma Perkins, One Man's Family, Our Gal Sunday, Pepper Young's Family, Perry Mason, Portia Faces Life, The Right to Happiness, Road of Life, The Romance of Helen Trent, Rosemary, The Second Mrs. Burton, Stella Dallas, This Is Nora Drake, Today's Children, Wendy Warren and the News, When a Girl Marries, Young Doctor Malone, & Young Widder Brown." Don't be disappointed if one of your favorite "soaps" isn't in the above list. Many others are also discussed in this book.

If you enjoy facts, there are plenty. Each of the series covered in depth includes extensive information on casts, writers, production personnel, sponsors, ratings, dates on the air, and time slots. There is biographical information on many actors, producers, directors, & writers. Also, the opening lines for many soap operas are included. You'll find appendices on "Soap Opera Firsts, Lasts, and Mosts" & "Adult Weekday Radio Serials By Year of Debut." There is an excellent annotated bibliography.

Jim Cox manages to blend facts, entertaining anecdotes, scripting and plotting techniques, plot lines, and a generous portion of Radio history into a highly informative, readable, & enjoyable book. No small feat in deed! This book really captures the vitality of radio soap operas in such a way that the reader feels like the shows are still on the air. Even though the last radio "soap" went off the air nearly four decades ago, they live on in Jim's book.

Jim states this book was a labor of love. The love of his subject matter clearly shows through. The Great Radio Soap Operas is a book well worth adding to your Old-Time Radio library.

As the editor of an OTR club newsletter, I received a review copy from the publisher that I have since turned over to my OTR club's library. As a Christmas present I BOUGHT myself a copy of this book. It is that good!

This book is available from the ususal Internet sources at no discount. It is also available directly from the publisher:

McFarland & Co. Inc.
Box 611
Jefferson, NC 28640
Order Line: 1-800-253-2187

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