Found – an article in an Australian comic book collectors magazine from about 30 years ago. Slightly truncated but a view of radio before internet radio quietly revived the medium. The author refers to himself as part of ‘…a lost race of knob-twiddlers, racing up and down the dial in search of something other than canned music, football and talkback.’
Listening to repeats of the Glumms on BL’s City Extra a few years ago stirred in me a deep well of nostalgia for the fifties and sixties, when radio still had a lot more to offer than pop music, sport and Parliamentary frolics. To an isolated child, as I was, radio was friend, entertainment and to a large extent, education. During the day, as part of my correspondence schooling, I listened to the schools broadcasts, but at night I had a galaxy of choice, from situation comedy and soap opera, to suspense, variety and science fiction.
‘Life with the Glumms’ was a regular part of the comedy show ‘Take it From Here’. It was a satire on the saccharine family show ‘Life with the Lyons’, starring Ben Lyon, Bebe Daniels and their children. The Lyons had strong American accents, and the whole show had a definite American bias – I preferred the Wodehousian delights of the divinely decadent George Cole in ‘A Life of Bliss’, who was forever getting into scrapes with his girlfriends – how innocent people were then. The theme of the show was ‘a Bachelor Gay’, and no one doubted George’s sexual preferences for a moment.
In Australia, the doyen of the serials was Blue Hills.
In England, it was The Archers. They droned on week after week, stolidly discussing their way through births, marriages, deaths, accidents, disasters, and more plot convolutions in a week than Sons and Daughters might face in a year. Dan, Philip, Grace and Gwen et al had been chewing the bacon fat ever since I could remember, and the Ancient Walter Gabriel got ever more ancient, but never died…