Family Skeleton


Family Skeleton , starring Mercedes McCambridge, was CBS' attempt at a daily evening soap opera. The series aired from June 1953 to January 1955 to generally lackluster reviews. Only two episodes have survived. The series was created and written by legendary radio producer Carleton E. Morse, famous for his programs I Love a Mystery and One Man’s Family. McCambridge was a noted radio, theater, and Oscar-winning movie actress (1949’s All the King’s Men ). H er presence was intended to draw an audience for the series and its unusual evening time slot. Her role was as Sara Ann Spence… who created a family scandal when she was 25. She is a grammar school teacher, and elopes with a stranger in town, Garth Waite. I n some episodes listeners heard her conscience, played by I Love a Mystery actor Russell Thorson. Having a male voice of conscience was to reflect the what she learned from her father, prominent J udge Rodger Lincoln Spence, in the town of Florence, where the story takes place. Thorson was also the show’s narrator. W hen he spoke as Sara’s conscience, music played in the background, referred to by the staff as “conscience music.” One Hollywood area radio and TV critic said of the series “My sincerest sympathy to its star, Mercedes McCambridge.” * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.