Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesterday!
The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama Variety and Comedy (SPERDVAC) is asking for your support in producing its 24th Convention happening from Friday, November 15, 2013 through Sunday, November 17, 2013 at the Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood, California. Simply put: a boost to our funding means a bigger and better convention for all attending!
WHAT EXACTLY IS A SPERDVAC CONVENTION?
Well, basically, it’s a three-day celebration of the art form of radio drama, a fond remembrance of the Golden Age of Radio, and a chance to meet (and see perform) some of the very people who made it happen in those glory days of network radio. Plus, these radio professionals are joined by other stars of television and films.
The SPERDVAC convention consists of six live radio re-creations drawn from many genres: comedy, mystery, and drama. During the daytime hours on Friday and Saturday, intimate panels will feature the stars talking about their careers. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about them, plus it’s a nice way to meet them in person. Friday and Saturday night dinners will include top-notch live radio re-creations. Sunday morning we’ll conclude the festivities with a brunch and a special program.
WHAT IS SPERDVAC?
SPERDVAC is a non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1974 and has honored over 450 people who worked during the Golden Days of radio. SPERDVAC is also the home of many master reels and transcription discs of our radio history. Collections housed in the organization include the works of Cecil B. DeMille’s “Lux Radio Theater,” a weekly old-time radio show featuring Cecile B. DeMille introducing movie stars who then performed radio versions of their famous movies. Other SPERDVAC collections include “The Lone Ranger,” the Vincent Price Collection, and the June Lockhart Collection.
SPERDVAC produces a newsletter 11 times during the year. Membership meetings featuring radio performers and writers are held several times a year in the Los Angeles area. Some of our past conventions have featured Himan Brown (“The CBS Radio Mystery Theater”) directing Burgess Meredith. A favorite old-time radio show, “The Shadow,” has been re-created with many of the original cast members. Our “Lone Ranger” recreation included original announcer Fred Foy reprising his role.
WHAT AM I SUPPORTING WITH THIS YEAR’S CONVENTION?
Our plans include a wide range of show re-creations and panel topics: from pop music to panels with movie stars who worked on radio. Attendees are able to meet and talk to these friendly and warm actors throughout the weekend.
We are supported by our existing membership and have secured the talents of veteran re-creation directors to put the shows together. But in order to be able to invite as many out-of-town performers to the convention, we need your help. Although these stars graciously donate their time and talent to us, SPERDVAC needs to be able to cover their expenses while they are joining us at the convention. Essentially, this means food and lodging and travel arrangements.
Here is a tentative list of some of our guests (in alphabetical order):
• Ed Ames – The Ames Brothers, “Daniel Boone”
• H.B. Barnum – “Jack Benny Show”
• Ivy Bethune – “Days of Our Lives,” “Superman”
• Tommy Cook – Alexander on “Blondie”
• Ben Cooper – “Gunsmoke”
• Jill Corey – “Your Hit Parade”
• Ivan Cury – radio’s “Bobby Benson”
• Joan Del Mar – “Jack Benny,” “Dr. Christian”
• Tony Dow – “Leave It to Beaver”
• Tiger Fafara – “Leave It to Beaver”
• June Foray – “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”
• Barbara Fuller – “One Man’s Family”
• Tom Hatten – “Family Film Festival”
• Gladys Holland – “Dragnet”
• Marsha Hunt – films “Lost Angel” and “The Human Comedy”
• Marvin Kaplan – “Alice,” It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”
• “Shotgun Tom” Kelly – disc jockey K-EARTH
• Monica Lewis – voice of Miss Chaquita Banana
• Rose Marie – “The Dick Van Dyke Show”
• Wink Martindale – disc jockey, TV game show host
• Chuck McCann – the voice of Sonny in Cocoa Puffs TV ads, “Boston Legal”
• Doug McIntyre – KABC radio personality
• Gloria McMillan – the principal’s daughter on “Our Miss Brooks”
• Jan Merlin – “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet”
• Shirley Mitchell – “I Love Lucy”
• Terry Moore – Oscar nominated actress in “Come Back Little Sheba”
• Tom Murphy – disc jockey
• Alan Oppenheimer – “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Murphy Brown”
• Gary Owens – “Laugh-In”
• Melinda Peterson – “As the World Turns”
• Amy Pietz – “Caroline in the City”
• Phil Proctor – “Firesign Theatre,” “Rugrats”
• Sue Raney – “The Jack Carson Show”
• Patricia Rye – “Coast to Coast on a Bus”
• Mark Silverman – “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Rugrats”
• Stuffy Singer – “Jack Benny Show” and “Bob Hope Show”
• Chuck Southcott – KMPC
• Dick Van Patten – “Eight is Enough”
• Janet Waldo – Judy Jetson in “The Jetsons” cartoon series
• Beverly Washburn – “Old Yeller,” “Jack Benny Show,” “Star Trek”
• Peggy Webber – “Dragnet”
• Jimmy Weldon –Webster Webfoot and voices on the “Yogi Bear Show”
• John Wilder – director and writer of TV’s “The Streets of San Francisco”
• Plus, Randy and Chris McMillan – performing live music for our re-creations
Our goal is to raise $5,000 to help cover some of the costs of bringing the stars who live outside of California to our convention and to provide live music for our radio re-creation programs.
Of course, anything you can give is truly appreciated and ALL funds raised will go directly to the purposes stated above. SPERDVAC will not receive any portion of your contributions.
WHAT DO I GET?
As a donor for the SPERDVAC 24th Convention, you are entitled to more than just our heartfelt thanks! You need swag! Our rewards, you can see range from what you’d expect, such as Convention Booklets, T-shirts, and copies of radio recreation scripts, but we’ve also used our imagination to offer some unique items such as lunch with the one-and-only Chuck McCann and even a chance to join the cast or sound effects team! We hope you find something that grabs your interest!
HOW EXACTLY DO I DONATE?
Thanks for asking! It’s easy.
First, create a Kickstarter account.
Second, sign at Amazon.com if you already have an account, or you can set one up.
Third, pledge the amount you would like to donate to SPERDVAC’s 24th Convention.
Finally, share this project with your friends and anyone else you think would find this project interesting!
Remember, our list of guests is likely to grow. Updates will appear on our website and Facebook pages. Plus, keep up to date with EXCLUSIVE convention updates from our staff as an added benefit to being a donor. And don’t forget to “like” our SPERDVAC Facebook page!
Please take a moment to look at the accompanying video we’ve put together. Hosted by John Gassman and Larry Gassman of Same Time, Same Station, we think you’ll enjoy seeing highlights from our past conventions and sharing in our memories.
Here’s looking forward to making more of both! THANK YOU!
Risks and challenges
Of course the main risk in producing a convention celebrating Old Time Radio is that some guests may have to bow out due to last-minute scheduling conflicts or if they are not feeling well enough to travel to the Los Angeles area. But, rest assured, the convention will happen at the Beverly Garland Hotel and there will be plenty of stars from radio’s past (many of whom also worked in film and television).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)