Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hermits and Howls

I listened to a 1940 broadast of  "The Hermit's Cave" last night.  The howling wind and wolves accompanying the heremit's demented cackle as he introduced his ghost stories gave me no nightmares this time.  I don't remember if they did back in the '40s when I and lots of other kids listened under the covers.

That's one of just a handful of big time radio shows that originated in Detroit.  The Hermit came from WJR while WXYZ produced "The Lone Ranger,"  "The Green Hornet" and "The Challenge of the Yukon."

When the Hermit moved to the West, several of the young broadcasters who worked on the show became very famous.  One was William Conrad, later Marshal Matt Dillon on radio's "Gunsmoke." I didn't watch the TV version.  It wasn't right without Conrad as the Marshal and Parley Baer as Chester. John Dehner, one of the best known voices of the Hermit, became Palladin on radio's "Have gun will travel."

I suppose I'm a foolish old coot to feel pity for the young pups who did not grow up during radio's golden era.  What a time it was.  You used your imagination.