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Canada’s radio rally

Here’s an ad from the January 8 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming radio broadcast.

My first thought: while I genuinely believe that the Radio Rally broadcasted from all of the places that it said it did, listeners at the time would have had no way of knowing whether everything was just being simulated in a studio somewhere. I live in a more cynical age.

I looked up the Canadian-born stars in the list:

  • Walter Huston (1883-1950) eventually won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), which was directed by his son John. Three generations of his descendants have become actors and directors.
  • David Manners (1900-1998) was born Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom, so you can’t blame him for taking a stage name. He appeared in a number of movies in the 1930s, including Tod Browning’s 1931 version of Dracula. He stopped acting in movies in 1936, became an American citizen in the early 1940s (after officially changing his name to David Manners), and quit acting entirely in 1953.
  • Rodolphe Plamondon (1876-1940) was both a tenor and a cello player. He had a long and distinguished career in Europe.
  • Fifi D’Orsay (1904-1983) was born Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier in Montreal. Moving to New York to become an actress, she pretended that she was from France, presuming successfully that no one could tell the difference between Quebec French and France French. She was billed in the Greenwich Village Follies as “Mademoiselle Fifi”. She became an American citizen in 1936.
  • Ned Sparks (1883-1957) was a character actor best known for his deadpan expression (which wouldn’t have translated to radio) and his deep, gravelly voice (which would). He retired from movies in 1947.
  • I couldn’t find anything for Arlene Jackson.
  • John B. Kennedy (1894-1961) was a journalist, radio correspondent, and film narrator. His Wikipedia page lists him as American, but states that he was born in Quebec City; I have no idea when or if he became a U.S. citizen. He was 23 years older than John F. Kennedy, the future president of the United States, but pre-deceased him by only two years.
  • Jimmy Wallington (1907-1972) was a radio announcer and actor. His Internet Movie Database page states that he was born in Rochester, New York, so either this page has it wrong or he wasn’t actually Canadian.

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