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February 16, 2013

February 16, 2013

Who do you know who lives at this address?

Envelope graphic, with fake stamp of CHRS logo marked "donation", and addressed "Occupant, 117 Elm Street, Centerville, USA"

And who was heard to say this?

text of words "Coming, Mother!"

My best efforts have told me that this show is probably a previously unencoded one.  But perhaps fans of this series can tell us if it is or not, or even which one it is.

The Aldrich Family 14

None of the episodes that I’ve been able to find match the plot (Henry wants a dollar to buy a box of candy for Virginia Lee – sounds a lot like a number of other episodes of this show, though, doesn’t it?).  So, this might be a previously-unencoded episode.

As it is, I cannot find a specific listing for it.  The nearest number listed in Mackenzie’s book is #17 440413.  Assuming that the AFRS catalogued these in order (not a reliable assumption, I’m guessing), then this episode might be 440323 (#230).  Or if you go by Goldin, Program #15 is 490407, so it could be 490324.

Perhaps if some recognizes who is playing Henry or his father, that could narrow it down for us.

Photo of actor Ezra Stone as Henry Aldrich, at an old-fashioned switchboard, making a mess of multiple lines

The sound is a little compromised by some surface noise at the beginning, but it gets better.  Since this might well be a lost episode, I guess it’s better than it still being lost!

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Label for Aldrich Family 14

To open this file, use the following password, all lower-case, with underlines between each word.

two images spelling out "please" and "pledge"

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. I checked with AFRS historian and collector Thom Whetston. This is what he wrote to me:

    “That’s a 1943/4 label. A lot of those were pressed by RCA. If it was, the year would be on the matrix. Sometimes things went out of sequence but

    The Aldrich Family. April 12, 1944. Program #61. can be a baseline.

    I’d be pretty comfortable with early 1943”

    Does the matrix not have a date in it?

    Thom’s website is at http://afrtsarchive.blogspot.com

  2. Thom W and Randy Riddle have been exchanging e-mails and copying me in. There seems to be confidence that there should be a date etched in the matrix around the label, and that it should be accurate… but of course, there are always exceptions…

    1. Thank you for both your replies, Joe.

      I will look at the surface around the label the next time we have volunteers hours, to see if there is helpful information there.

  3. The surface around the label is etched with the following information:

    “Aldrich #51, Part 2, Time 15:45, SS-2-17-8”

    Side one is partly scratched away, but says essentially the same thing.

  4. What does this tell us? Is the source of the disc “The Aldrich Family” the network broadcast numbered #51? OTRR and Haendiges date this as 400704. This is unlikely since the other AFRS recordings I have checked in our stock match the program # stamp to the etched number exactly.

    If we just use the baseline provided by Thom Weston via Joe Webb above (which is the same as listed in Goldin), and trust that AFRS did their transfers and numbering exactly in network broadcast order, and assume that the label is stamped correctly, then we have network broadcast #186 430325.

    If the paper label is perhaps stamped “14” incorrectly and it is actually AFRS #51, then that means that this show is network broadcast #223 440203. This assumes again that AFRS did their transfers and numbering in exact broadcast order.

    Of course the best possible circumstance is for someone to find the original scripts or a script log, and send me on an all-expense paid trip to go to them, and read them to learn which show this is exactly.

    Since that’s unlikely to happen, and as uncertain as it is, I’ll leave it to individual collectors to decide how to label their copies.

    Whew!

  5. What we do know: The network did not exist prior to mid 1942. It’s possible it could have been a several year old broadcast remastered but incredibly unlikely. The AFRS program numbers do not always correspond to consecutive air dates, They only indicate AFRS program number and sometimes there can be multiple #1 shows, sometimes years apart, I still think early 1943, but not nessesarily that particular date. Isn’t this fun?

    1. It can be all a big confusion, but we still enjoy old time radio in spite of it.

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Thom.

  6. There is good reason to go with the 3/25/43 date. Based on a show listing in the Wisconsin State Journal http://jjonz.us/RadioLogs/pagesnfiles/logs_files_RH/1940s_RH/40-44/1943/43rh_03Mar/43-03-25-%28Thu%29_%5BWSJ%5D.pdf#search=%27aldrich%20sulk%20father%27
    The description is “Henry Aldrich and his father both sulk when their bluffs are called.” At 9:51 Mrs. A asks Henry if he’s sulking.
    That may seem a bit tenuous, but i checked the descriptions of all of the shows for six months before and after, and others, and I found nothing like the plotline of the story. This was the closest match.
    I know that newspaper plotlines are not always reliable. Once I saw a newspaper TV listing for “Hogan’s Heroes” that was “Hogan tricks Klink”!
    What makes me think this is okay is that all of the other plot descriptions were much more specific, and none were even close.

    1. I agree with you that it seems “a bit tenuous,” particularly since the biggest parts of the whole episode were the dollar, the candy, and Father’s jacket. The sulking sounds like such a small part in comparison.

      Plus torn jackets, wanting a dollar and candy have played parts in other episodes, no question, so sulking might as well.

      Anyway, I’m dubious enough that I’m not going to take sides yet; at least not until someone is ready to pay for me to fly somewhere to read a script. [Audience laughs now]

      Thank you, Joe, for putting the hard work into looking this one up, and keeping the whole thing interesting for us all.

  7. The Lima News of 43-03-25 has a more complete description of the show and it is nothing like the show posted:

    “Both Henry Aldrich and his lawyer father are tripped up by their own bluffs. Henry stoutly denies any interest in girls, then has to prove it with respect to his favorite, Kathleen. Sam Aldrich, miffed at the Red Cross for failing to ask him to sneak at a rally, says he wouldn’t do it if they begged him to. and has to refuse.)”

    http://jjonz.us/RadioLogs/pagesnfiles/logs_files_RH/1940s_RH/40-44/1943/43rh_03Mar/43-03-25-(Thu)_%5bLMN%5d.pdf

    1. Thank you, Bob, for contributing some research for this show.

      The mystery clears a little, but still is deeper than our resources!

  8. This is from February 10, 1944. I know this because I have a number of scripts from this series. The AFRS excised references to Valentine’s Day. That was why Henry wanted the dollar to buy Virginia a box of candy. Valentine’s Day was coming up.

  9. Well, I have to say that until I am able to confirm from a primary source, I will leave it up to the downloaders to decide how to label their copy.

    Thanks for contributing, James.

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