Sit down, close your eyes and let your mind form the images as you relive the golden age of radio programs. Each week we'll feature a different and exciting program in MP3 format. Just click on the radio image below to be transported back in time.

This Week

 

Flash Gordon

 

On the Planet Mongo

April 27, 1935

 

Flash Gordon blasted into amazing inter-planetary adventures on California radio in 1935, thrilling West Coast whiz kids and adults alike.

Gale Gordon, whose career spans decades (as well as galaxies), plays all-star American athlete Flash. Gordon career includes so many shows, he deserves his own collection disc! A few of his starring roles were Dr. Petrie on Fu Manchu, Mayor LaTrivia on Fibber McGee and Molly, Rumson Bullard on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Atterbury on My Favorite Husband, and Principal Conklin on Our Miss Brooks. He was also in the star-studded Cinnamon Bear children's classic. Of course, he took his Mr. Conklin on to TV, and movie buffs know he played many fine comedy roles on the silver screen.

Meanwhile, back in outer space - Flash is accompanied by his beautiful American sweetheart, Dale Arden, and Dr. Zarkov, a great scientist. Our heroes fly to the planet Mongo, ruled by Ming, a merciless dictator who threatens his world with weapons of mass destruction. (Sound familiar? It did in 1935 too...) Sadly, we don't know who played Dale, but Ming was portrayed by Bruno Wick... a great name in itself.

The Flash franchise has offered inspiration for many creative imaginations. The Hearst comic strip featured the wonderful artistry of Alex Raymond, and the fine Republic Serial series of Flash Gordon adventures starring the most excellent Flash, Larry "Buster" Crabbe flying wonderfully clunky sparkler-driven rocket ships. Yet these radio adventures are high-flying fun, and comics fans will love the list of comic favorites in commercials for the Hearst 32-page Comic Weekly. In the last of the shows, which seems to now be lost, Flash and pals land back on Earth in the jungle, and hook up with Jungle Jim (another Hearst property)…who thus begin his own adventurous serial career on radio.

 

  Huntington Beach News


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