Frank and Anne Hummert’s Radio Factory

The Programs and Personalities of Broadcasting’s Most Prolific Producers


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About the Book

Frank and Anne Hummert brought at least 125 separate series to the airwaves. The production dynasty over which they presided extended far beyond the serialized melodrama that became their trademark. Their genres also included music, mystery, juvenile adventure, quiz, sports, news, comedy and dramatic theater. The Hummerts tried to appeal to everyone’s tastes and probably influenced more old time radio listeners than anyone else. By the 1940s the twosome controlled four and a half hours of the national weekday broadcast schedule.
This book explores the private lives and professional dealings of broadcasting’s most prolific creator-producers. There are five appendices: a list of all broadcast series that were created, adapted, supervised, augmented or influenced by the Hummerts; a list of the most active players among radio producers stemming from the Golden Age and their best-remembered titles; a collection of statements attributed to Frank or Anne that express their philosophy of broadcast programming; a chronology of defining moments in the Hummerts’ lives; and three sample programming schedules that give the reader a clear understanding of the Hummerts’ involvement in radio producing.

About the Author(s)

Jim Cox, a leading radio historian, is an award-winning author of numerous books on the subject. A retired college professor, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Cox
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1631-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
1. Ethereal Empire      5
2. The Odd Couple      11
3. Merrie Melodies      47
4. Mystery Theater      65
5. Child’s Play      81
6. Matinee Melodrama      95
7. The Troika      125
8. The Moguls of Melodrama      145
Appendix A: Prolific Producers      151
Appendix B: Hummert Broadcast Series      157
Appendix C: In Their Own Words      181
Appendix D: A Hummert Chronology      185
Appendix E: Typical Air Features Schedules      191
Notes      197
Bibliography      209
Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A sprightly book, pure and simple…author’s approach…is fun…light, likable reading”—Classic Images
  • “Important…great…fascinating…Cox has done it again…well worth reading…well worth adding to your library”—The Illustrated Press
  • “Heavily researched”—Radiogram
  • “Long-anticipated…in-depth…full and fascinating…enlightens readers”—SPERDVAC Radiogram
  • “Fascinating and well-written”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly
  • “A full and fascinating picture…Cox enlightens readers”—Bookmarks
  • “Enlightening…highly informative”—Air Check
  • “Helpful”—Journal of Radio Studies
  • “Engaging…jam-packed…well illustrated”—Radio Recall
  • “A splendid job…an outstanding book…a must book for OTR enthusiasts”—Chattanooga Airwaves.