BW - EP127—001: May 1954—Everett Sloane And The 21st Precinct


Manage episode 327061642 series 2494501
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As the US began May of 1954, there was word that a new Soviet bomber had the ability to reach the United States. It was displayed for the public for the first time at the Moscow May Day Parade. On May 7th, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu would end in a French defeat. U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles declared Vietnam non-essential to security in Southeast Asia. The U.S. would not intervene for France. And as several massive U.S. fishing vessels were sinking off the coast of Alaska, the Boeing 707 was being released after two years of development. On May 1st, NBC affiliate WSM signed on with The Big Sound. WSM is a 50,000-watt clear channel station located in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded by the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, the station’s call sign stands for We Shield Millions. WSM first signed on October 5th, 1925. The next month on November 28th, The WSM Barn Dance took to the air for the first time. On December 10th, 1927, the program's host, "Judge" George D. Hay referred to the show for the first time, as The Grand Ole Opry. The Opry began running coast-to-coast on Saturday evenings in 1939. The show moved to the Ryman Auditorium in 1943. As it developed in importance, so did the city of Nashville, which became America's country music capital. By 1954, WSM was considered the outstanding music station in the country. That October 2nd a teenage Elvis Presley would have his only Opry performance. The times, they were a-changin’. Tonight, we’ll dive in for a closer look. ___________ Welcome to Breaking Walls episode 127. My name is James Scully. Tonight we keep on with our look at 1954 by picking up in May during one of the most important months of the decade. ___________ Everett Sloane was born in New York City on October 1st, 1909. At age of seven, he played Puck of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and decided to become an actor. In 1927 he joined a Theater company. He made his New York stage debut in 1928. In the 1930s Sloane was appearing on The March of Time. It was there he met a young Orson Welles. Welles hired Sloane to be part of his Mercury Theatre. He moved from New York City to Los Angeles after Welles signed his contract with RKO. Sloane had a prominent role in Citizen Kane. In the 1940s, he worked on both coasts, guest-starring in radio on Inner Sanctum Mysteries, The Shadow, The Mysterious Traveler, and in films such as The Lady From Shanghai, Journey Into Fear, and Prince of Foxes. By 1953 he was being featured on TV and starring on radio in The 21st Precinct as Captain Frank Kennelly. The 21st Precinct debuted on July 7th, 1953 over WCBS radio in New York. It put the listener into the drama from the opening phone call until the final report. In May of 1954 it was airing Wednesdays at 8:30PM against The Great Gildersleeve on NBC. Starring with Sloane was Ken Lynch as Lieutenant Matt King and Harold Stone as Sergeant Waters. John Ives produced and Stanley Niss directed. Everett Sloane continued to be a busy actor until 1965. On August 6th of that year, recently diagnosed with Glaucoma and fearing blindness, he took his own life. He was survived by his wife Lilian and two children. Everett Sloane is buried at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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