Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Joan Davis, Radio Star

Though many know her primarily for her film or television work, Joan Davis was also a major radio star in the 1940s. One of my goals in writing about her was to better document her work on popular shows such as The Sealtest Village Store, The Joan Davis Show, and Leave It to Joan. To do so was one of the biggest challenges in researching and writing the book, which is why I was especially pleased by a review in the August newsletter of the Radio Collectors of America.

Leave It to Joan, with Joseph Kearns.
According to reviewer Bob Jennings, Joan Davis: America's Queen of Film, Radio and Television Comedy "offers the best and certainly the most complete examination of Joan Davis' radio career ever assembled ... he has connected almost all the radio programs Joan Davis did, including all of her guest appearances, with plots, cast, and background information that reveals some of [the] turmoil and pressure that creating those shows caused." In conclusion, he notes, "This is a good book. It is well worth the asking price, and it's a reference book anyone who has an interest in the life and career of Joan Davis will find invaluable..."

Since only a small percentage of Joan Davis' radio comedy is currently in circulation among Old Time Radio collectors. I can't help agreeing with Mr. Jennings when he writes, "Perhaps it is not being too optimistic to believe that treasure troves of Joan Davis' original radio shows may yet surface." Here's hoping!

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