Stella Dallas started in 1937 and ended it's long run in 1955.
Stella Dallas was a true melodrama about a Mother's love...Based around the characters from the Barbara Stanwyck movie of the same name. The story of woman with poor beginings, who leaves her daughter Laurel (Stella calling her Lolly-baby) with her rich husband who can give her the life Stella can not, but Stella longs for her child. Stella's bit on the rough side but eternally good hearted but always caught in drama like kidnappers, murder and crazy maniacs. Always falling in love with the wrong man.
Stella Dallas started in 1937 and ended it's long run in 1955.
The Brighter Day evolved from the show Joyce Jordan MD the character of Liz Dennis was introduced and the character of Joyce was phased off and the shows name was changed. Created by Irna Phillips show ran from 1948 until 1956 on NBC and was a typical Phillips Soap with a sappy epigraph opening. It also had religious overtones that was very common in Phillips shows.
It eventually made it's way to CBS Television and ran from 1954-1962. The character of Liz leaving and Rev. Dennis her brother becoming the center of the show.
The Romance of Helen Trent was on air for 27 years and considered by many as "The Queen of the Daytime Soaps"...The real life drama of Helen Trent...fights back bravely, successfully, to prove...that because a women is 35, and more romance in life need not be over... Helen was eternally 35 and never able to find true lasting love, she had over 28 different suitors try to win her but something always happened. The most remembered beau was Gil who tried to win her devotion for 18 years.
Helen Trent was a Hollywood Costume Designer and was played by 2 main actresses over the 27 years Virginia Clark and Julie Stevens (a third Betty Ruth Smith played Helen for a short time). It was one of the team of Frank and Anne Hummert's most successful shows.
Just Plain Bill ran for 23 successful years on daytime Radio and was sponsored by Anacin for most of the run, created by the team of Frank and Anne Hummert, who created many hit radio show including Our Gal Sunday, Little Orphan Annie, Backstage Wife, Ma Perkins and Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons and many more shows.
Just Plain Bill was a bit different from other soap series on radio in that the lead character was male. Bill Davidson a widowed barber who dispensed wisdom to the town folks of Hartsville; the show was often compared to Ma Perkins because the kindly older leading character seemed to be the only wise persons in their respected towns. Bill was a magnet for murder cases that only he could solve and always remained a gentle soul and moral rock in Hartsville.
Here is a single episode of Just Plain Bill...Also notice how the series differed from other soaps in the music which was a guitar and harmonica not the usual organ music...Enjoy!
The saga of Mary Noble ordinary woman and her husband Larry successful Broadway Star. The basic plot of the whole series was this simple, lovely, tortured common woman raised on a farm and how she dealt with the strange array of glamorous women always after her handsome famous talented husband. It ran from 1935 until 1959 and didn't stray from the basic story of Mary and Larry difficult love.
Created by the team of Frank and Anne Hummert, Backstage Wife was popular and easily mocked, Comedy Team Bob and Ray did a satire of the show called Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife (which I will feature later this month!!!).
.....and Now "the story of what it means to be the wife of a famous star!"
Against the Storm ran from 1939 to 1952 and was sponsored by Ivory Soap... It was called the Non-Soapy Soap Opera or "the thinking woman's" daytime drama. It won a Peabody Award but tended to be a bit to high-brow for the average Soap listener who enjoyed the high drama of Stella Dallas or far fetched storylines of Our Gal Sunday.
Here is a typical episode of Against the Storm...
This is Nora Drake was "a story seen through the window of a woman's heart" debuting in 1947 and running until 1959, Nora was your typical soap heroine born orphan and became a nurse, falling in love with a handsome Doctor only to be cast off for another woman but truly he only loved Nora...It had all the usual Soap Opera dramatic points and it would seem Nora could not find true happiness or love!!! (Great Stuff!!)
Pepper Young's Family was a extremely popular Soap Opera running from 1932- 1959 the story of Larry "Pepper" Young (Red Adams was the characters first name on air but changed by the Sponsor Beech Nut Gum because Adams Gum was it's chief competitor on the market) Pepper was a high school athlete and the show followed him and his younger sister Betty and his family living in the small town of Elmwood. Elaine Carrington created and wrote the series (often compared to Irna Phillips) It dealt with young love, high school life and family relations; basic up's and down's of middle class life. It grew in scope in later years with Pepper becoming a reporter, stories dealing with the Young families money issues and Pepper falling for an older woman.
A few actors played the lead role of Pepper Young and the most famous was Burgess Meredith and Mason Adams both busy radio actors who went on to successful TV careers.
Here is a great example why PYF was such a great series....
Created and written by Irna Phillips The Guiding Light began on daytime radio in 1937 on NBC and finished it's long run on radio 1956 on CBS; it already had jumped to CBS TV in 1952 and ran until 2009 where it became the longest running soap opera in broadcast history. (Running 72 years!!!!!) Of coarse the storylines and characters changed over the years but GL was always credited to Irna Phillips until it's end.
Irna Phillips created several daytime serials (Today's Children, The Right to Happiness and The Woman in White) earning the name "the queen of soaps" but Guiding Light was special, it started as a more religious show, hence the name, but became more and more like the other soap's mostly dealing with matters of the heart and troubled romance. Phillips wrote all her series herself and produced them independently.
It's main sponsor thru it's CBS years was Duz Soap and it's famous jiggle began each episode...
Marlin Hurts created the character Beulah for the Fibber McGee and Molly program, Beulah was hired to help Molly take care of the McGee Home and became a fan favorite with her weekly laugh fits over Fibber's silly jokes ending each round with her catch phrase "Love that man!". Like Amos and Andy, Marlin Hurts was a white man but did a convincing black woman's voice, many times the biggest laugh was when the studio audience first saw this man stand up at the mike and the voice came out. The character proved popular and Hurts would play both Mr. Hurts and Beulah on the show, but Hurts suddenly died in 1946 of heart attack; the sponsor eventually thought better to cast a real African-American actress in the role and Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel took over and the ratings soared and again she was front runner in helping black actors in to get starring roles on Radio, TV and Movies. Many famous black actresses would go on to play the part Lilian Randolph, Louise Beavers and Amanda Randolph.
Beulah was a gentle character with a big heart and here a Summer episode from 1945.