We came across, as perhaps you did, too, a notice or two that actress Mona Freeman had passed away at the age of 87. Hers was a relatively modest career, though she had some well-known projects among her credits.

But what we didn’t know is that Freeman was, in 1941 and at the ripe old age of 14, named NYC’s very first Miss Subways (this despite the fact that she’d never ridden the subway at the time), which meant that her photograph appeared on a poster that was seen by millions of straphangers daily….



The great Hattie McDaniel was born 119 years ago today. Happy birthday, Ms. McDaniel, wherever you may be.


Beginning at 7am ET on Thursday, June 12, TCM is showing eight Ida Lupino movies (six she starred in, two that she directed). Best get that DVR warmed up.


It was 80 years ago tonight that the world’s first drive-in theatre opened in Camden, N.J. It was the brainchild of one Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. The first movie shown at the first drive-in? Wives Beware, starring Adolphe Menjou (Wives Beware was originally released some months before under the title Two White Arms).

Mr. Hollingshead’s theatre is long gone, we’re sad to report, but the second drive-in ever built—Shankweiler’s DI in Orefield, Penn.—is still going strong.

If you’re within an hour’s drive of an ozoner, you owe it to yourself to pack up the kids and take in a movie under the stars tonight. Not sure if there’s a drive-in near you? Drive-ins.com is the place to find out.


As aficionados of all things vintage and ephemeral, we love coming across items we never knew existed, products we never knew were on the market.

When our mom passed a few years ago, we found this item among the big box of old photos that she’d long promised to organize, but never quite got around to.

The images are not of Mom, though, or one of her relatives; it’s Dad’s younger sister, Aunt Marilyn. Each page of these tiny images is perforated, like a book of stamps, and like a book of stamps, they have adhesive on the back.

We’ve not researched it, but we wouldn’t be a bit surprised if a similar product is available today, from companies like Zazzle or Shutterfly, but we found this booklet of images particularly charming.


The exact location of an historic event in Marx Brothers lore has been discovered!

Marx scholar Rob Bader has pinned down the precise place where Groucho, the first of the Brothers to enter show business (at the ripe old age of 14), auditioned for the Leroy Trio, a singing vaudeville troupe.

Where is this hallowed ground? Visit us at CladriteRadio.com to find out (you’ll also learn more about Groucho’s early misadventures in the business of show)!

And to hear Bader speak at length about the Marxes in Manhattan (you’ll also see a recreation of the Leroy Trio!), be at the Players Theatre in the West Village tonight! Tix still available!


Ask yourself this: What would Bing do?

Well, if he knew what you know — that we’re in final hours of the funding drive to keep Cladrite Radio “on the air,” that if we don’t reach our goal of $500 (we’re about two-thirds of the way there), your favorite (and ours) online radio station could be silenced — then he’d click the following link and put his money where his ears are.


Because Bing knows (or he would, if he were still with us) that there are precious few sources out there today that play his 1920s and ’30s recordings. He’d realize full well that if Cladrite Radio were to trim its programming or, worse, stop streaming altogether because its regular listeners didn’t step up, well, that would be a lose-lose all around.

We love bringing you our toe-tapping tunes of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, but we’re giving it to you straight: We need your help. You’ve got just hours to contribute what you can: Ten bucks, $25, fifty — whatever you can spare. We have some thank-you gifts for those who give at various levels, but at this point, it’s really not about the swag — it’s about keeping Cladrite Radio alive and streaming, and literally every dollar counts.



The end of the fundraising drive to keep Cladrite Radio alive and streaming is less than a week away; the renewal of our annual contract with Live365, our streaming provider, comes due April 16. If we’ve not reached our goal of $500 by then, the best-case scenario is that the number of recordings, the range of performance styles and genres of music, of orchestras and singers will become much narrower than what you’ve grown accustomed to.

Worst-case scenario? The music will stop altogether.


We realize that sounds a bit dramatic, but we’re giving it to you straight. The budget is quite tight this year, and unless you, our listeners, come through for us, a belt-tightening (or worse) will be unavoidable, and there will be less of the music we all love to be enjoyed.

The good news is, you can still play a role in keeping alive the stream of toe-tapping tunes you’ve come to expect from us. Every dollar helps, of course, but we’ve got some enticing premiums to for those who chip in at various levels.

$10 — A ten-spot will bring you a Cladrite Radio magnet for your refrigerator, your office cube, any metallic surface that could do with some decorating.

$25 — Send us twenty-five dollars and we’ll let you assist us in creating an hour of programming on Cladrite Radio: We’ll devote sixty minutes to playing your favorite songs from the Cladrite Era, your favorite artists, and when possible, your favorite songs performed by your favorite artists. And we’ll do our best to schedule that hour of programming in a time slot that suits you, so that you can invite friends, colleagues and family to listen in.

$50 — Slip us fifty bucks, and we’ll send you a Cladrite Radio t-shirt in your size of choice, plus you’ll get to help us create an hour of programming (and what the heck, we’ll throw in a magnet, too).


There are not many outlets today for enjoying the music of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, and whether you listen to Cladrite Radio once a month, once a week or every day, ask yourself how much you’d miss us if our stream of toe-tapping tunes suddenly wasn’t there for you to enjoy.

And if you come to the conclusion that life would be just a smidge less fun if we were to have our plug pulled, then do your part by chipping in what you can to help us keep the proverbial wolf from the door.

But don’t wait. Act today. Or else there may not be a Cladrite Radio tomorrow.



We were sorry to learn of the passing on Sunday of Mickey Rooney. His performing career spanned 92 years (he first appeared onstage, in his parents’ vaudeville act, at the age 17 months); that’s a record that will likely never be broken.

And we are not ashamed to admit that we are suckers for Andy Hardy movies. Rest in peace, Mickey.


Which Marx Brother Are You?

We got … Groucho! Which brother will you be?