Posted ByGerry O. on February 24, 2004 at 07:02:03:
In Reply to: Re: Mary's Recordings posted byLL on February 24, 2004 at 00:49:39:
: Sources vary, saying that it started in 1948 or 1949. However, there are definitely shows after that time and into the 50s where Mary actually appeared in person. She did not appear in person on the last show of 1955, and copies circulate both with and without her voice. We have both in the library.
I really don't think that it started as early as 1948 or 49. Even during most of the early 50's it seems like Mary is doing the show "live" on stage with the rest of the cast.
She definitely is "phoning it in" during the final radio season, and she may have been doing it for a season or two before that.
You can really tell when Mary's recorded lines
are inserted into the show. Her delivery is very dull and listless...nothing like the vivacious Mary of the "live" shows. Most of the time it really sounds like she's at home sitting on the sofa or at the dining room table reading her lines into a tape recorder.
Years ago when I was a young Jack Benny fan, just starting to collect his radio shows, I acquired some of the 1954-1955 episodes. At that time I didn't know the story about Mary recording her lines at home, but as I listened to these shows, and to Mary's listless delivery, I can remember thinking that something wasn't quite right about Mary on these shows. (Sometimes even the audio quality of her inserted lines differs slightly from the rest of the stage-performed program).