The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Broadcasting

Voices: James Arness, 1923 – 2011

  June 18 1954, Them  

  March 8, 1955, Gunsmoke  

James Arness, from “Them!” to “Gunsmoke” and "How the West Was Won." Times TV critic Howard Rosenberg interviewed Arness (or tried to) in 1981 as he began working on “McClain’s Law.” Arness was thrifty with his comments – except when it came to the environment. 

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Vice President Predicts 'Long, Costly' Struggle in Southeast Asia

  May 24, 1961, Southeast Asia  

  May 24, 1961, Joan Davis Dies  

May 24, 1961: Radio and TV comedy star Joan Davis dies of a heart attack and gets a Page 1 obituary with a jump. Raymond Chandler got an six-paragraph obituary on Page 4.  Davis was 48 when she died.

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  May 14, 2011, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: STRANGE CASE -- Dan Barton plays the central figure in a homicide with an unusual twist in "A Matter of Degree," Goodson-Todman's production in the new "The Web" telefilm series for Screen Gems in a photo stamped July 14, 1957. ]

[Please congratulate Pat in Michigan, Mary Mallory and Rogét-L.A. for identifying our mystery guest as Dan Barton (d. 2009)!]

Here’s our weekend mystery fellow!

There’s a new photo on the jump!

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Jim Murray, May 14, 1961

  May 14, 1961, KFI  

  May 14, 1961, Jim Murray  

May 14, 1961: Rinold George Duren, is the victim -- or the beneficiary, if you want to look at it that way -- of the most monumental case of nearsightedness in the annals of sport, if not in the annals of optometry. The movies' Mr. Magoo, who frequently confuses the Sahara Desert with Malibu Beach or a lion with a housecat, is a hawkeye by comparison.

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From the Stacks -- 'The Long Season'

  The Long Season  

I haven’t read a baseball book since my mother gave away my trading cards of the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Braves. No, I’m not quite that old. I got them from a neighbor lady who was surreptitiously cleaning out her son’s room and I imagine they are still circulating on EBay. 

On Jim Murray’s recommendation, I got a copy of Jim Brosnan’s 1960 baseball diary “The Long Season” from the library, and discovered that “Season” is as unlike the heroic sports biographies of my youth (“as told to Bob Considine”)  as a glossy travel book is to a group of airline pilots critiquing the world’s worst airports.   

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Jim Murray, April 17, 1961

  April 17, 1961, Levi's  

  April 17, 1961, Jim Murray  

April 17, 1961: Jim Murray pulls together a column of various items, including this line about Vin Scully, who is “the only redheaded broadcaster I know who makes a ball game sound like a ball game and not the end of the world.”

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Jim Murray, April 14, 1961

  April 14, 1961, Alex Perez  

  April 14, 1961, Jim Murray  

April 14, 1961: The arrival of major league baseball in Los Angeles has curtailed network TV's games of the week, so that sports announcer Dizzy Dean is off the local airwaves, which may be good news to Los Angeles’ English teachers, Jim Murray says. 

Dizzy, you understand, was so busy most of his life picking cotton and learning to throw the change-up, he picked up only a nodding acquaintance with the language of his forefathers. And to better acquaint you not with the King's English but with Dean's English, an undergrowth of syntax which would make Noah Webster set fire to his dictionary, we present herewith Murray's Handy Guide to network listening ala Dean and an English translation wherever possible.

"Farn" -- participle of the verb "to fire," most used as in "Drysdale's really farn that ball today,” also as in "light in a far in the farplace."

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Paul Coates, April 4, 1961


April 4, 1961: Paul Coates has an update on the Watts Towers. On the jump, Al Capp writes about Jim Hagerty, President Eisenhower's former press secretary, who is heading ABC's news operations. One goal is to cut 90 seconds off the weather report!

The Watts Towers on the Daily Mirror

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  March 19, 2011, Mystery Photo  

  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: Yes, this is Portland Hoffa, the wife of radio comedian Fred Allen. I discovered Allen’s radio shows after his death in 1956 and always wondered about the women named Portland Hoffa. In scanning these pictures, I came across news photos that were taken after Allen collapsed and died while out for a walk in New York.  He was 62.]

Nobody identified last weekend’s mystery lady and these are all the photos I had. What to do? Answer: Mystery companion!] 

Here’s our weekend mystery lady….

There’s a new photo on the jump!

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Paul Coates, March 23, 1961

  March 23, 1961, Cover  

March 23, 1961: Desi Arnaz, ABC and the National Italian American League to Combat Defamation
reach an agreement that fictional characters in “The Untouchables” will not have Italian names. Arnaz also agrees to show the contributions of Italian Americans in a favorable light. Paul Coates uses this as a point of departure for a satire.

I apologize for the poor quality of this scan. Sometimes it’s awfully difficult to get anything legible off the microfilm.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, March 17, 1941

  March 17, 1941, 45 Killed  

  March 17, 1941, Comics  

March 17, 1941: Turn back the Hollywood clock about two years to the time when an ex-vaudevillian was struggling for radio recognition. After two or three broadcasts he found himself on the proverbial horns of a dilemma; he couldn't do his best work without an audience, and none of the fans who streamed in and out of the station was intrigued enough to attend his show.

Then came a great idea! Our hero bribed the studio page boys to rope off the corridor so that fans leaving the very popular program immediately preceding his own were automatically diverted into the studio from which he broadcast. One there, they usually remained.

The schemer's name? Read on...


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Jim Murray, Feb. 27, March 14, 1961

  March 14, 1961, Patterson  

  Feb. 27, 1961,Jim Murray  

Feb. 27, 1961: Jim Murray takes his wife and two other women to see boxing at the Olympic. One question: The best way to wash blood out of boxers’ trunks.

Murray writes a nice piece about Angel Macias, who is at the Angels training camp, even though he is 16 and too young to be signed to a contract.Murray mentions a TV documentary about Macias titled "How Tall Is a Giant," which sounds like it might be worth seeing. 
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