Old Radio Programs

An Archive Of Historical Old Radio Broadcasts

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Hallmark Playhouse

The series is the direct descendant of two old-time radio dramatic anthologies sponsored previously by Hallmark: Radio Reader's Digest, adapting stories from the popular magazine (though the magazine never sponsored the show); and, its successor, The Hallmark Playhouse, which premiered on CBS in 1948. The Hallmark Playhouse changed to more serious literature from all genres. The Hallmark Hall of Fame debuted on 24 December 1951 on NBC television with the first opera written specifically for television, Amahl and the Night Visitors, by Gian Carlo Menotti, featuring Chet Allen and Rosemary Kuhlmann. It was the first time a major corporation developed a television project specifically as a means of promoting its products to the viewing public. The program was such a success that it was restaged by Hallmark several times during a period of fifteen years. Amahl was also staged by other NBC television anthologies. Under the supervision of creative executives at its advertising agency, Foote, Cone, and Belding in Chicago, Hallmark also transformed its radio Hallmark Playhouse into a Hallmark Hall of Fame format—this time, featuring stories of pioneers of all types in America—from 1953 through 1955. [wikipedia]


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