Pepper Young's Family

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Pepper Young's Family

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

On the Air: When this series moved to daytime, it occupied almost a dozen quarter-hour time periods on all four radio networks. For five seasons it was broadcast on dual networks. The drama attained the unthinkable in 1937-38, airing on three networks daily -- NBC Blue at 11:15 a.m. ET, MBS at 1:30 p.m. and NBC Red at 3:00 p.m. -- a feat no other regularly scheduled commercial series achieved. The soap opera's most enduring segment was at 3:30 p.m. on NBC (1938-56). The serial began as "Red Adams" Oct. 2, 1932 on NBC Blue Sunday at 10:30 p.m. It was last heard Jan. 2, 1959 on NBC at 3:45 p.m.

Larry (Pepper) Young: Curtis Arnall (1934-37), Lawson Zerbe (1937-45), Mason Adams (1945-59) ... Peggy Young: Elizabeth Wragge ... Mary Young: Marion Barney ... Sam Young: Bill Adams, Thomas Chalmers, Jack Roseleigh ... Linda Benton Young: Eunice Howard

Announcers: Martin Block, Alan Kent, Richard Stark

Theme Song: "Au Matin"

Premise: It took three name changes for this compelling little drama to get up to speed before turning into the extraordinary tale of life in a typical post-Depression home. When it emerged at last, it turned into one of the best-loved stories of American fiction. And it brought to the forefront one of the most inventive talents that serialdom ever discovered. Elaine Sterne Carrington's attention to authenticity and detail and her obsession with making her narratives believable met with favorable public reaction. Of the major creators of soap operas, she alone claimed to have dictated every word of every script bearing her name. "Pepper Young's Family" and its predecessor titles ["Red Adams," "Red Davis," "Forever Young"] aired for 27 years, rivaling other washboard weepers at the zenith of the longevity scale. Starting as a weekly nighttime frolic similar to "The Aldrich Family," this lighthearted tale of a teenage youth and his kin evolved over time into a serious melodrama. With less pathos and heartache than its counterparts, the serial had its darker moments too. Eventually the central character grew to manhood, becoming a responsible member of society. His family's exploits were so popular that the program was broadcast three times daily, the only soap opera ever to attain such exalted status.

Now it's your turn to reminisce...

Hal Evans
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Postby Hal Evans » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:30 pm

RIP Mason Adams not so long ago. He was the executive editor in The Lou Grant Show on TV. He was the voiceover for Smuckers jams. "With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good." I'll bet there were a lot of out-take guffaws during those recording sessions. :) I first heard his voice on a U.S. Navy transcription show called "Let's Go To Town." :P

Larry M
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Postby Larry M » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:30 pm

I've been collecting OTR soap operas for some time, and last year acquired forty-seven episodes of "Pepper Young's Family." These are continuous, with two interwoven plot strands. The first begins with the failure of Sam Young's business and the threatened loss of the family home, and the other deals with Peggy Young's troubled engagement to Carter Trent, son of wealthy parents and prospective heir to a great fortune.

Having listened to hundreds of radio soap opera episodes, it has occurred to me that there is something like a magic formula for producing a good one. According to the formula, about eighty percent of the content needs to deal with the ordinary domestic activities of everyday life (the "soap" component) and about twenty percent with moments of dramatic intensity (the "opera" component). Too little drama, and our attention may wander. Too much, and we may find ourselves with fifteen minutes of hysteria.

These episodes of "Pepper Young's Family" successfully strike that necessary balance between the commonplace and the eventful. The Youngs do seem like real people, having to make decisions about what to eat for breakfast or when to tend the flower garden or what to wear on this or that occasion. But we are joining them at a particularly difficult and challenging time in their lives. In many respects they are just like us ("your friends, the Youngs" as every episode reminds us); and that makes us all the more sympathetic to their trials and sufferings. No wonder the show was so popular.

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Postby batman2 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:14 am

Wasn't Burgress Meredith a cast member of Pepper Young's Family during the early years?

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