Sunday, July 17, 2011

Radio's Home Folks

You've probably never heard of Vic and Sade. It's a shame. The program, written by Paul Rhymer during the golden age of radio, was the most popular show in radio history. Boasting an audience of 7,000,000 at its peak, and appearing for 14 years, on three national networks, Vic and Sade is a genuine American masterpiece.

Art Van Harvey, Bernadine Flynn and Billy Idelson are Vic, Sade and Rush Gook

Vic, Sade and their eventual son, Rush

Vic and Sade is American Art. It's radio at its finest. To understand you have to listen.

One of my favorite episodes is this one, where Uncle Fletcher explains why he carries a large collection of keys.

At the end of the essay linked above is a link to the repository of other episodes. Vic and Sade can be enjoyed piecemeal, but, to fully appreciate the show, you have to listen to quite a few episodes. It has a form, like music, starting and ending on a theme. There are inside jokes and characters to know. The episodes are only 15 minutes. Think of it as a podcast from the golden age of radio. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


My wife recently came across an wonderfully obsessive blog by James Mason covering Vic and Sade. To really appreciate the depth here, you have to be a V&S afficiando—though the magnitude is clear to anyone who browses the site. I would almost believe that James has listened to these episodes as much as we have… OK, perhaps he has. The difference is, he takes notes, and publishes them. Check it out. It's a marvelous bit of obscure creation.



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