BW – EP98: Christmas Week 1947 with Radio’s Biggest Stars

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In Breaking Walls Episode 98 we continue our trilogy on the most popular season in radio history with a look at Christmas Week 1947.


• Ralph Edwards and Truth or Consequences—A Record Rated Show
• It’s Christmas Week and Jerusalem is in Shambles
• The Eternal Light and One Man’s Family
• Jack Benny Does Last Minute Christmas Shopping
• Fred Allen’s Highest Rated Season Becomes His Downfall When the Music Stops
• Walter Winchell gives ABC a Ratings Win
• Breakfast with Fred Waring
• CBS Dominates Monday Nights and Lux Radio Broadcasts Miracle on 34th Street
• Lora Lawton’s Husband is Missing
• Milton Berle’s Finally Cracks the Top-50
• NBC’s Tuesday Night Comedy Dominations
• The Lone Ranger Hangs ‘Em High
• Lionel Barrymore’s Christmas Tradition
• Christmas Eve with Bing and Gildersleeve
• Road to Rio Opens
• Merry Christmas 1947 with King George VI
• Don Ameche Hosts an Elgin Special
• The Right to Happiness—December’s Highest-Rated Soap Opera
• Gracie Allen is Sick, Al Jolson is Rich, and Casey is Lonely
• Father Patrick and Family Theatre
• A Crippling Blizzard and the Last Sustained Half-Hour Suspense
• Looking Ahead to the End of the Year


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The reading material used in today’s episode was:
• On the Air — By John Dunning
• Network Radio Ratings, 1932-53 — by Jim Ramsburg

As well as articles from:
• Broadcasting Magazine: December 8th, and December 22nd, 1947
• LIFE Magazine: December 22nd, 1947 and January 5th, 1948
• Radio Daily From the entire month of December 1947

On the interview front:

• Don Ameche, Mel Blanc, Himan Brown, Staats Cottsworth, John Gibson, Jim Jordan, Mandel Kramer, E.G. Marshall, Jan Miner, Vincent Price and Bill Spier were with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. These interviews can be heard at

• Chuck Schaden interviewed Milton Berle, Dennis Day, Ralph Edwards, Virginia Gregg, Jim Jordan, Mercedes McCambridge, Shirley Mitchell, Carlton E. Morse, Hal Peary, Lurene Tuttle, and Don Wilson. Hear their full chats at

• Johnny Carson was with Orson Welles on The Tonight Show, and Fred Allen was with Tex and Jinx on November 24th, 1954.

• John Dunning was with Roberta Goodwin Bailey, and Westinghouse interviewed Fran Carlon.

• SPERDVAC with Vic Perrin, and Frank Brese was with Elliott Reid.


Selected Music featured in today’s episode was:
• Sleigh Ride – By Lloyd Glenn and His Orchestra
• White Christmas – By Booker T and the MGs
• Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day – By the Marlborough Cathedral Choir
• It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – By Andy Williams
• Jingle Bells – By J.P. Torres
• I Saw Three Ships – By The Norwich Cathedral Choir
• I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Baby It’s Cold Outside – By Jackie Gleason and Jack Marshall
• Christmas Is – by Lou Rawls
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A special thank you to Ted Davenport and Jerry Haendiges: two radio show collectors who helped supply material for this episode. They’re who the large retailers go to.

Ted’s got a Facebook group –
For Jerry, please visit

I’d also like to thank Walden Hughes and John and Larry Gassman of SPERDVAC –


A Special Thank you to:
Tony Adams
Ryan Kramer
Barry Nadler
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Terry Wallace


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