Life Can Be Beautiful

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

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Life Can Be Beautiful

Postby Lou » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:33 pm

On the Air: Sept. 5, 1938-Sept. 27, 1940, CBS, 1:15 p.m. ET; 1939-40, NBC, 9:45 a.m.; 1940-41, NBC, 5:45 p.m.; Sept. 30, 1940-June 21, 1946, CBS, 1 p.m.; Aug. 5, 1946-June 25, 1954, NBC, 3 p.m.

Papa David Solomon: Ralph Locke ... Carol (Chichi) Conrad: Alice Reinheart (1938-46), Teri Keane (1946-54) ... Stephen Hamilton: John Holbrook, Earl Larrimore

Announcers: Bob Dixon, Ralph Edwards, Don Hancock, Ed Herlihy, Ron Rawson

Theme Song: "Melody in C" (Don Becker)

Premise: Every episode of this soap opera opened with a snippet from a great thinker who advocated a positive frame of mind. It worked well; in essence, this was what the serial was about. The philosophical proprietor of the Slightly Read Book Shop, Papa David Solomon, waxed eloquently on a recurring theme to his young wards: take charge of present circumstances and turn them into something valuable. An oft-repeated message that "life can be beautiful" spoke to the hearts and minds of Carol (Chichi) Conrad and Stephen Hamilton. Obviously, it also spoke to the millions of listeners who kept this serial near the top of the weekday charts for most of its long run. Destined from the start to become husband and wife, Stephen and Chichi saw their lives take radical departures from the past sometime after their marriage and the birth of a child. The serial, in fact, took a near 180-degree turn for a while, enterting a dark period that no one could have predicted. Despite that, writers Carl Bixby and Don Becker, speaking through Papa David, never rescinded their exhortations about the happy life. In the end, Chichi -- inspired by the greatly admired patriarch's teachings -- kept the faith, practicing most of what the old man had espoused.

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