Affairs of the Heart, Lonesome Gal

Affairs of the Heart

Affairs of the Heart 2019
14 February 2019

For Valentines Day, we sampled five romantic radio drama series from the 1940s and 1950s, each addressing the travails we endure, the stories we tell ourselves, the results we never expect when dealing with love.

Lonesome Gal

Written, produced, and voiced by, Jean King, of Dayton, Ohio, Lonesome Gal was a very successful radio series from 1947-1950s. Identified only as "Lonesome Gal," King spoke to her primarily male audience in an intimate, sultry, come hither breathless voice—"Hiiiieee Baaayyybeee"—as if they were enjoying a candlelight dinner and wine, calling them "muffin" and "baby" and other pet names, acting as if each listener was the only man in the world. For many male listeners, King, no more than a voice on the radio, was the first virtual girlfriend. When she made public appearances, King wore a cat mask to hide her identity.

King customized her radio show for stations around the country, referring to familiar landmarks, streets, and parks, writing and recording almost 300 scripts each week. In between her brief, cooing monologues, King would sing, or play music by other singers. Sometimes, famous singers would appear, live, on her program.

The Good Salesperson

From Short Short Story, a popular radio series based on short, short stories featured in popular women's magazines during the 1930s. Each episode was short, fifteen minutes. This one was originally titled "The Good Salesman," and follows two lonely people who connect through a newspaper personal column and surprise themselves with the results.

The Valiant

From the romantic comedy series Romance, 1947-1960. During the mid-1950s, this series was written by people who worked on the adventure series Escape. Top radio stars of the day were featured. This episode speaks truth to the fact that sometimes there is real purpose to the unexplainable actions people undertake for love.

The Romance of Helen Trent

From The Romance of Helen Trent, 1933-1960. This twenty-seven-years-long series was the queen of radio soap operas, building in outlandishness through the years as one misadventure of the heart after another befell Helen Trent as she waited for her star-crossed lover to return, proclaim his love, etc. etc. We sample the hardships and heartbreaks Trent, and we, endure for love.

Bloodthirsty Kate

From Romance (see above). Shows how love can toss us about, like ships on the ocean. When this happens, even pirates have trouble finding love.

Live performance by Metropolitan Performing Arts actors, other community volunteers, and presentations by scientists from Washington State University Vancouver at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Streamed live on KXRW-FM, Vancouver's community radio.

Listen Now

This performance was recorded live. Listen now.

Cast & Credits

"Lonesome Gal"
ANNOUNCER/NARRATOR = John Barber
LONESOME GAL = Barbara Richardson

"The Good Salesperson"
Cast
ANNOUNCER/NARRATOR = John Barber
VIVIAN WILSON (Rebekah Sharpe) SARAH WILSON (Arianna Dorenbosch) RICHARD MARSHALL (Derek Nolan) MARRIAGE OFFICE CLERK (Larry Taylor)VIVIAN WILSON = Rebekah Sharpe
SARAH WILSON = Arianna Dorenbosch
RICHARD MARSHALL = Derek Nolan
MARRIAGE OFFICE CLERK = Larry Taylor

"The Valiant"
Cast
ANNOUNCER/NARRATOR = John Barber
LONESOME GAL = Barbara Richardson
SUE ROGERS = Rebekah Sharpe
JAMES DYKE = Larry Taylor
NEWSIE = Derek Nolan
CLAIRE PARIS = Arianna Dorenbosch
WARDEN = Greg Shilling
FATHER, a priest = Derek Nolan

"The Romance of Helen Trent"
Cast
ANNOUNCER/NARRATOR = John Barber
LONESOME GAL = Barbara Richardson
HELEN TRENT = Arianna Dorenbosch
GIL WHITNEY = Derek Nolan
FAY GRANVILLE = Rebekah Sharpe
BRETT CHAPMAN = Greg Shilling

"Bloodthirsty Kate"
Cast
ANNOUNCER/NARRATOR = John Barber
CAPTAIN BLACKTON = Larry Taylor
MUGGERIDGE = Derek Nolan
GONFALON = Greg Shilling
CAPTAIN BLOODTHIRSTY KATE = Arianna Dorenbosch
LOOKOUT = John Barber
BANDINAGE = Ban-din-ag; Rebekah Sharpe
LOOKOUT = Barbara Richardson

Live Music
River Twain

Stats
Live audience: 62

Press & Feedback

Hewitt, Scott. "Plays Explore Tales of Love." The Columbian, 14 Feb. 2019, p. D1, D3.

Hewitt, Scott. Kiggins Hosts Valentine's Edition of Re-Imagined Radio Performance. The Columbian, 14 Feb. 2019.