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Steve Frame
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Posted Image Bachelor's Children (radio)

Sponsor: Old Dutch Cleanser; later in the run - Colgate toothpast, Palmolive soap, Wonder Bread & Hostess Cup Cakes
Network: WGN-Chicago, CBS, NBC Red
First Broadcast: September 28, 1936
Last Broadcast: September 27, 1946
Writer: Bess Flynn
Awards: Best Daytime Serial Program 1941 - Movie-Radio Guide Award

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Known Cast Members:

Nelson Olmstead (Joe Huston); Helen Van Tuyl (Ellen Collins); Marie Nelson (Ellen Collins); Andrew Stanton (unknown role); Jonathan Hole (Dr. Clifford); Patricia Dunlap (unknown role); Olan Soule (Sam Ryder); Hugh Studebaker (unknown role); Marjorie Hannon (Ruth Ann Graham); Janice Gilbert (role unknown); Arthur Kohl (Arthur Kohl); and Russ Young (announcer)

Theme Songs:

The show had 3 theme songs in it's history.

#1: Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life (from Naughty Marietta)
#2: Brahms' Lullaby (Wiegenlied) Opus 49, No. 4
#3: Could My Song On Wings Go Flying?

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Olan Soule (Sam Ryder)

Basic Summary:

This domestic daytime serial tells the story of best friends Dr. Bob Graham and Sam Ryder, and the two women they fall in love with. When Dr. Bob was a young man serving in the military, his sergeant looked after him and helped him through some trying times. Years later, the sergeant made a dying request that Dr. Bob become guardian of his two beautiful daughters who were still under twenty-one.

Dr. Bob eventually fell in love with Ruth Ann, and Sam with her twin sister Janet. As might be expected, the developing relationships were fraught with difficulties. Sam especially had trouble with strong-willed Janet, who couldn't stand him at first.

Although this soap opera is not as well remembered as some others, the surviving episodes are almost all charming and engrossing.

Some Episode Summaries

July 8, 1938: Early evening ("almost dark outside") in the living room of Dr. Bob Graham's house, Janet and Bob sitting together. Janet has been reading an article in an art magazine about pictures, and asks Dr. Bob if she can move one of his to where it will get better light. He gets a ladder from the pantry and starts to help her, but has to leave when he receives a telephone call informing him that a baby has swallowed a button. Sam comes in and begins helping Janet. She falls off the ladder and he catches her. In his arms, she realizes for the first time that she loves him and always has.

July 11, 1938: Sam and Janet discuss their love, despite Sam's engagement to Marjorie.

February 13, 1939: Mr. Williams introduces his giggly wife to Janet, Dr. Bob, and Sam. The Williams' were just married this morning and are heading for Montana.

December 22, 1939: Janet is having a difficult time delivering her baby, Dr. Bob Graham is worried. A flashback episode of the romance of Janet and Sam.

June 6, 1944: Dr. Bob's amnesiac wife has an eye opening discussion with Ellen. What did Joan Grey do in Dr. Bob's past?

June 7, 1944: The fictitious Jane Grey isn't so imaginary after all, and is invited to a social event as well!

April 17, 1945: No one has come to the party thrown by Ruth Ann and Sam. Dr. Bob sits in Joe Rafetto's Italian restaurant, very despondent.

Some Episode Dates & Titles

1936/09/28 First Episode
1938/07/08 Janet Falls For Sam
1938/07/11 Sam And Janet Discuss Their Love
1939/01/24 The Wedding Of Sam And Janet
1939/02/13 Mr Williams Introduces His Wife
1939/09/21 Doctor Plans An 'Operation'
1939/12/22 Janet Delivers Her Baby
1939/12/25 It's A Girl!
1941/12/08 A Baby Shower
1944/06/06 What Did Joan Do In Doctor Bob's Past?
1944/06/07 Joan Grey Is Not Imaginary
1945/04/17 No-One Comes To The Party
1946/09/27 Last Episode

About The Writer:

Bess McAllister Flynn, author of radio soap opera, Bachelor's Children, lived in Des Plaines in the 1920s and 30s. Bachelor's Children, sponsored by Old Dutch Cleanser, ran from 1936 to 1946, on CBS radio. It received the Movie-Radio Guide Award of 1941 as "radio's best daytime serial program." It was recognized as the "most representative script on the way of life of an average American family." 1920-1950: The Big Broadcast

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Russ Young (Announcer)

Researched by Steve Frame, 29 August 2007

Sources: Amazon.com; Radio Web Links; Old-Time Radio; Radio GOLDINdex; Daytime Classics, TIME Magazine Nov. 30, 1942; Radio Back When; BACHELOR'S CHILDREN A Synopsis Of The Radio Program by Flynn, Bess; IMDb.com; wttw11.com; Wikipedia.org; Information And Help To The New Collector - Part VII, SERIALS: (PART 2) - SOAPS ON RADIO by Terry G.G. Salomonson; ClassicThemes.com
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