Goldsmith Publishing: Radio Star Series®

The Goldsmith Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois published four books during the Golden AgeÑthree in 1934 and one in 1935. The publisher's goal was "to publish good books for red blooded boys and girls, without anything in the stories or illustrations which may cause fright, suggest fear, or glorify mischief."

The books were known as the Radio Star Series®. Storylines were built upon imaginary escapades of four of the six most popular radio personalities between 1932 and 1934: Eddie Cantor, Jack Pearl, Joe Penner, and Ed Wynn.

The books were soft covered, 64 pages in length. Black and white illustrations by Whitman's Henry Vallely, appeared opposite each page of text. Each books sold for 15¢.

EDDIE CANTOR IN LAUGH LAND Radio Star Series® 1934; soft cover; glued binding. Size: 5" x 5 1/8" x 1/2"; 64 pages. Author: Harold Sherman. Artist: Henry Vallely.

COLLECTOR'S NOTES: The Eddie Cantor Show was the biggest blockbuster in early radio. Cantor had played vaudeville and Broadway stage, becoming one of the great stars of the 1930s before Chase and Sandborn placed him on Sunday night radio in Spetember 1931. Cantor was the first to have a live, laughing radio studio audience. It made the program livelier than other programs.



FIRE CHIEF ED WYNN AND HIS OLD FIRE HORSE Radio Star Series® 1934; soft cover; glued binding. Size: 5" x5 1/8" x 1/2"; 64 pages. Author: Harold Sherman. Artist: Henry Vallely.

COLLECTOR'S NOTES: Ed Wynn was a stage headliner who played more than a dozen Broadway shows, including two Ziegfeld Follies, before entering radio. Sponsored by Texaco, "The Fire Chief" radio program premiered on April 26, 1932. It remained among the top five shows for three years. Because of his stage background, Wynn was the only performer to appear in full costume and makeup for a radio broadcast.



JACK PEARL AS DETECTIVE BARON MUNCHAUSEN Radio Star Series® 1934; soft cover; glued binding. Size: 5" x 5 1/8" x 1/2"; 64 pages. Author: Harold Sherman. Artist: Ferd Himme.

COLLECTOR'S NOTES: Before radio, Jack Pearl had worked his way up through revues, vaudeville, and burlesque. On September 8, 1932, "The Jack Pearl Show" began as a 60-minute, Thursday night program. It was a comedy-variety show sponsored by Lucky Strike, and it built around a dialect centered in Pearl's characterization of Baron Munchausen. His catch phrase, "Vas you dere, Sharlie?" became a nationally known phrase. In 1933 it was the top rated radio show, but it faded rapidly in 1934. The storyline of this book was adapted from radio scripts.



JOE PENNER'S DUCK FARM Radio Star Series® 1934; soft cover; glued binding. Size: 5" x 5 1/8" x 1/2"; 64 pages. Author: Harold Sherman. Artist: Henry Vallely.

COLLECTOR'S NOTES: Joe Penner, who consantly smoked a cigar and appeared in a floppy hat, had climbed the vaudeville-burlesque ladder where he developed, as part of his act, the continual interruption of people with zany phrases such as "Wanna buy a duck?" After playing a popular bit on "The Rudy Vallee Show", Penner starred on Fleischman's "The Baker's Broadcast" which began on CBS on October 8, 1933. He filled the airwaves with one-liner comedy. Because he was not given enough freedom to innovate, he quit in 1935.


EDDIE CANTOR ED WYNN JACK PEARL JOE PENNER

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