1944 Orson Welles Radio Almanac (part 1)
A Wellesian smorgasbord of comedy, trivia, music and drama, with Agnes Moorehead as president of the Orson Welles Swoon Club. Musical guests include Nat King Cole and Kid Ory. Orson Welles Almanac (CBS) director: Orson Welles music: Lud Gluskin series cast and guest stars include: Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins, Hans Conried, Keenan Wynn, Groucho Marx, Lionel Barrymore, Hedda Hopper, Victor Moore, Lucille Ball, Charles Laughton, Betty Hutton, Mary Boland, Dennis Day, Aurora Miranda, Ann Sothern, the Wilde Twins, Marjorie Reynolds, Martha O'Driscoll, Lynn Bari, Lana Turner, Susan Hayward, Ruth Terry part 2 is here: http://www.archive.org/details/1944OrsonWellesRadioAlmanacpart2
This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.
Orson Welles does variety
I had only known Welles as that big, bombastic _mahsta thespian_ with the imported accent who did those portentous wine commercials ... oh yeah, and bellowed all through _Citizen Kane_. Who knew that, in between, he did this lively wartime variety show? What's more, it featured silly comedy sketches with recurring characters, including Welles as himself, skewering his egotistical, self-glorifying image. In my experience, despite some scrappy directing and ad-libbing, OTR doesn't offer better fun than this. The series is only too brief. The dates in the episode list were Wednesdays.
It's fascinating to hear, over half a century later, how Orson Welles used radio to mesmerize America.