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The Guiding Light

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:21 pm
by Lou
On the Air: Regretfully, dates haven't been preserved by radio historians for some of this series' life. Rather than presume without fact, this material is offered with gaps. Debuting on Jan. 25, 1937 at 4:15 p.m. ET on NBC, the serial soon shifted to 3:45 p.m. Although sources don't agree, evidence suggests that the program was off the air briefly during its second year. But by the 1939-40 season it had resurfaced on NBC at 11:45 a.m. The following year it moved to 10:45 a.m. When P&G canceled on Dec. 26, 1941 the drama left the air, netting 75,000 protest letters from fans. The serial resumed 11 weeks later, on March 16, 1942 on NBC at 3:30 p.m., moving in 1942-43 to 2:30 p.m. and in 1943 to 2 p.m. When General Mills canceled on Nov. 29, 1946 the series again left the air. It returned 26 weeks later, on June 2, 1947, on CBS at 1:45 p.m. The radio version was withdrawn on June 29, 1956.

Dr. John Ruthledge: Arthur Peterson ... Mary Ruthledge: Mercedes McCambridge, Sarajane Wells ... Rose Kransky: Ruth Bailey, Charlotte Manson ... Ned Holden: John Hodiak, Ed Prentiss ... Papa Bauer: Theodore Goetz ... Bertha Bauer: Charita Bauer ... Bill Bauer: Lyle Sudrow ... Meta Bauer: Jone Allison ... Trudy Bauer: Laurette Fillbrandt ... Ted White: Arnold Moss

Announcers: Herb Allen, Clayton (Bud) Collyer, Chet Kingsbury, Fort Pearson

Theme Song: "Aphrodite" (Goetzl)

Premise: The most durable drama in the history of broadcasting (including both radio and television) was launched with a minister as its central figure. Dr. John Ruthledge, the kindly cleric of rural Five Points, pastored an interdenominational flock. His inspirational qualities were infectious, for the soap opera that swirled about him has survived for more than six decades. Drama-mama Irna Phillips, working through a succession of ministerial appointments to Five Points, expanded this tale into one of character development (a Phillips hallmark), eventually centering on the Bauer family. Papa, Meta, Trudy, Bill, Bertha and others became the focus for three decades. By the early 1950s, as the serial entered television with an enlarged cast, it had long since turned from its humble origins. Yet many of the sustaining quzalities that Phillips imbued in it continue to influence The Guiding Light and other serials in the modern era. Early on, the program had a penchant for attracting and retaining audiences with contests loaded with substantial prizes. Each competition required proof that entrants had purchased the sponsor's product. Product sales soared and the number of listeners multiplied. Some of those respondents would become lifelong fans, passing their deep devotion to this show from generation to generation.

Now it's your turn to reminisce...

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:24 am
by EricMontreal22
This is my fave of the old time radio sooaps-probably because it along with Right to Happiness both show to me the real ancestry of our current tv soaps...

My question is how come the 100 or so episodes hosted for free at all just have silent pauses where the organ should be? Makes it lose a lot of the soap atmosphere

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:58 am
by batman2
Its Over.
I hear THE GUIDING LIGHT tv series when end its run later this year.
72 years on Radio and TV is a heck of a Run.

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:22 pm
by piqueroi
I was shocked when hearing Guiding Light would cease on Sept. 18. My earliest memory is from a stay-at-home bout of the chicken pox early in 1952 when a pregnant Kathy Roberts was convincing Dr. Dick Grant he was the father of her unborn child. Last year I acquired an OTR run of the Meta/Ted/Chuckie story and met some of the Bauer associates who had vanished from the series by the time I used to catch the TV version in 1954 or '55. I'm sure CBS and P&G gave the cancellation quite some thought as this show has been a constant in the lives of so many generations now. While it's still possible to find living people who remember the storylines, someone should write a detailed summary of the show month by month, year by year. Any takers?
PS - the host of Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" was Dr. Dick Grant in the '50's.

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:54 am
by maitlandm
I have a question and have been unable to find an answer anywhere. I'm writing an article about actress Mimsey Farmer (she worked extensively on TV and in movies during the 1960s and '70s), who has said that her father wrote for the Guiding Light staring in the mid 1940s. I'm trying to find confirmation that he worked on the show. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to learn his first name, but his surname was the same as his daughter's: Farmer. He started out working for Irna Phillips in Chicago and apparently relocated to Los Angeles, where a West Coast office had just been established, in the late 1940s.

Could anyone point me to any kind of resource that might list writers who worked on the program during the '40s and '50s, before the show made the transition to TV? All I've been able to find so far is the names of the head writers. I appreciate any help!

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:29 am
by piqueroi
Had no idea that one of my screen favorites Mimsey (4 Flies on Grey Velvet and The Road to Salina) had a dad who worked for Irna Phillips. Have you attempted to personally contact Agnes Nixon who might recall names of Phillips associates other than the "headwriters" of her shows. Irna may have been kinder to her writers than the Hummerts who changed assignments frequently.

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:47 pm
by maitlandm
I hadn't thought of contacting Agnes Nixon, but I'll give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion!

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:46 am
by wthtamfm
I remember - vaguely - when TGL was on radio. It was '55 or '56 and I was four or five the day I went with my grandparents "over town" to Niantic CT. We were just crossing the RR tracks on Main Street when Papa started tuning the radio. I asked what he was doing and he replied he was trying to get TGL for Nana. Why, I asked. Because she missed it on TV and he wanted her to be able to hear it. I realized then that there was something other than news, talk and music on radio and it disturbed me a bit. I was afraid TV would go away. Now I wish it would, at least a lot of it. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be know more about what we want than we do. Otherwise, maybe they would wake up and realize they'd have an audience if they would but simulcast the soaps on radio. Fans who work could follow their favorite instead of recording it for delayed watching. All the nets would need is some simple narration for the radio side. Well, such is life...not to mention Look, Time and Newsweek.

Re: The Guiding Light

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:33 pm
by nan1
Does anyone know the month and year that Chuckie -- son of Meta Bauer and Ted White -- was born?

It would have been sometime between June of 1948 (when Meta first appeared on the show as "Jan Carter") and August of 1949 (at which point Ted White was suing for custody). But I don't know which year, or what month specifically.

Chuckie ended up dying as a young child in September of 1950. (And, days later, Meta shot and killed Ted.)

I'm working on a book, and would love to include this information about Chuckie if it's available. Any help would be appreciated!