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Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon MP3 Cover Art

Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On the Moon Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas
Jonathan Thomas . . etc., was a worthy alternative to The Cinnamon Bear, but the cast, while clearly versatile, pales in comparison to the twelve icons of Radio that made up the ensemble cast of The Cinnamon Bear. In all fairness, no radio program of the 20th century can claim a cast of the quality and fame as that of 1937's The Cinnamon Bear, so in that respect comparing any other program with The Cinnamon Bear is simply a non-starter. Most radio historians would agree that the original cast of The Cinnamon Bear was simply one of those serendipitous flukes of Radio History that was never again equalled.

That being said, the as yet uncredited cast of Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon acquit themselves quite well. They do stretch improvisation at times--to the adult ear--such as the regrettable attempts to imitate Jimmy Durante and Katharine Hepburn. But overall, the cast is quite versatile and entertaining. This is, after all, a children's program.

The storyline itself is quite cleverly written, well-crafted, and fanciful enough to delight any child--of any age. The rythmic and almost poetic naming of most of the characters is very smart indeed, and is sure to remain in the memory of any child who hears the serial because of its cleverness. That's the type of wordsmithing cleverness that remains with a juvenile listener until years later--perhaps even adulthood, until that 'Aha!' moment when they get it. And in that respect it holds up especially well.

The exposition--of necessity--becomes longer and longer with each new episode. But that's a strength as well as a script limitation. There's always sufficient introductory exposition to allow any listening child to catch up fully with the plot, no matter how late in the run they first tune it in. However, by the 2oth episode, there's literally more exposition than plot.

Nevertheless, on sum, Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon stands the test of Time as a fully engaging, delightfully conceived Children's Adventure quite capable of capturing the imagination of a child of the 21st Century, as that of a child of any earlier century. It remains devoid of any technological or cultural hurdles and the underlying plot is as timeless today as during any preceding era.

Taken serially, it presents any child with a natural sequence of events leading to a desired outcome and--in that regard as well--survives the cultural and social expanse of its seventy years quite admirably. And indeed, played back and enjoyed serially over the month preceding Christmas Eve, would certainly engage any child with a mounting anticipation of the now universal Wonder of Christmas and its deeper cultural and social meaning.

We would, however, suggest that a child not be presented with more than one of the series' Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon, The Cinnamon Bear, and Jump-Jump And The Ice Queen during the same Christmas Season. The inevitable temptation to interweave their various--and distinctive--plots would probably prove somewhat distracting--or even disappointing--to a complete enjoyment of any single series.

We hope you take this advice in the spirit in which it is intended. We don't mean to imply that any child you'd care to enjoy any of these three excellent adventures with is intellectually incapable of keeping the various plots separate. We simply understand from our own experience that it's far more satisfying to follow along with the various storylines as separate, anticipatory Christmas Season experiences over three, separate, yearly airings.

The theoretical run dates clearly varied by broadcast market, although we know that the series first aired during the holiday season of 1938. Broadcasters were asked to play one episode per day for the 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, culminating with the final episode on Christmas Eve. Contrary to The Cinnamon Bear, the known episodes were aired seven days a week until Christmas Eve. By contrast, the Cinnamon Bear was designed to air six days a week, Monday through Saturday, to end on Christmas Day.

Contrary to other accounts, the Serial didn't truly hit its stride until 1939, when it began running head to head in the same markets as The Adventures of The Cinnamon Bear.

Series Derivatives:

Genre: Golden Age Radio Juvenile Christmas Adventure Serial
Network(s): C. P. MacGregor Syndication
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 38-11-29 01 The Man In The Moon
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 38-11-29 through 38-12-24, daily through Christmas Eve, in twenty-six 12-minute installments.
Syndication: C. P. MacGregor Syndication
Sponsors: (Commercials added in local markets)
Director(s): Unknown
Principal Actors: Pinto Colvig (?) as The Man in The Moon
Recurring Character(s): Six Year Old Jonathan Thomas
'Guz', the Koala Bear ['Teddy Bear']
The Man In The Moon
Old King Cole
Santa Claus
The Squeebobliums
Gorgonzola, the Horse of Another Color (Red, Green, and Blue)
Little Bo Peep
The Witch of Rumplestitch
The Three Dwarves, Sneezle, Wheezle, and Beelzebub
Teenya, the Fairy Queen of The Land of Never-Be-Mean
The Dragon with the Thirteen Tails
Whiskery Bill, The Squirrel
The Keeper of the Rainbow
Sir Algernon Q. Whipplesnapple, The Walrus
Tiddle and Le Wink
Gygraff, The Lion King of The Forest
The Elfin King of Any Old Thing
The Giant Toad
The Three Heralds, Me, Myself, and I
The Mad Hatter
The Jabberwocky Bird
Good Queen Alice
King Squeebeeble of Squeebobble
Protagonist(s): Six Year Old Jonathan Thomas
Author(s): Unknown
Writer(s) Unknown
Music Direction: Unknown
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Unknown
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation: 26
Total Episodes in Collection: 26
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Radio Archive website, Jose Fritz.

Notes on Provenances:

All above cited provenances are in error in one form or another. None of the titles for the 'OTR/OTRR generated' episodes in circulation are correct--as, regretably, might be expected. OTR is . . . well it's OTR. However, The radioGOLDINdex and Radio Archives titles were fairly accurate, as was most of their background information.

  • Episode #11 is titled 'Whiskery Bill Meets Sir Algie' not 'Whiskery Bill Meets Sir Algy.' Algie is the proper diminutive of Algernon, not Algy.
  • Episode #22 is titled 'Kermit The Hermit', not 'Kirmit The Hermit'.
  • The 'Magic Word' from Episode #6 is "hon-squee-non-squee-giggly-vay", not "hon-squee-non-squee-giggle-de-vay."
  • The name of the inhabitants of Squeebobble--as narrated and scripted within each episode--are Squeebobliums. Not Squeebobblians, Squeebobblyians, or Squeebeeblians.
  • The name of Jonathan Thomas's bear is Guz, not Gus. And not to put too fine a point on it, but Guz is a Koala Bear, not a 'Teddy Bear.'
  • Gorgonzola is not just 'A Horse'. He's a horse of another color--red, blue and green, to be specific. The entire point of the gag is that he's A Horse of Another Color.
  • Teenya is not simply 'the Fairy Queen'. She's The Fairy Queen of The Land of Never-Be-Mean. Again, that's the gag. The use of aliteration and rhyme is completely lost, otherwise.
  • The Elfin King is The Elfin King of Any Old Thing. That's the rhyming gag.
  • The Witch is not the Rumplestitch, the Witch. She's The Witch of Rumplestitch.
  • The Lion King of the Forest is named Gygraff, not O'Gygraff, or Gyraf, Giraffe, or Giggeraff. And yes, I suppose we're all Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but this was intended as a Thanksgiving - Christmas program, not a Saint Paddy's Day program.

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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]

Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On the Moon Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
The Man In The Moon
[ Premiere Episode ]
The Court of Old King Cole
Gorgonzola The Horse of Another Color
In The Valley Of The Three Dwarves
The Magic Word
Fairy Queen
The Dragon With The Thirteen Tails
Whiskery Bill
Asleep for a Million Trillion Years
The Slumber Cave
Whiskery Bill Meets Sir Algie
The Rainbow Bridge
Growing A Red, Red Rose
Crossing the Ice-Covered River
The Lion King
A Box of Roars
The Wall Of Doors
Looking Glass Land
Good Queen Alice
King Squeebeeble
Growing Large and Small
Kermit The Hermit
The Pea Soup Fog
A Reward for the Capture of Jonathan
Prisoners of King Squeebeeble
Santa is Rescued
[ Last Episode ]

Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On the Moon Biographies

C.P. MacGregor
(Series Syndicator)
Producer, Transcriber, Studio Owner
Founded: Los Angeles, CA

Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon
Proudly We Hail
The La Rosa Hollywood Theatre Of Stars
Salute To Reservists
Better Living Radio Theatre
Keep Your Guard Up
Heartbeat Theatre [for The Salvation Army]

The Henry King Show
The California National Guard Show
The Cavalcade Of Drama
Skippy Hollywood Theatre
The New National Guard Show

and literally thousands more.

C.P. MacGregor c. 1945
C.P. MacGregor c. 1945

1939 promo for C.P. MacGregor's 'Proof of Profit Plan'

The Don Lee Network c. 1940
The Don Lee Network c. 1940
Information on C.P. MacGregor and his family remains somewhat sketchy, but he's one of the more fascinating icons of the era of The Golden Age of Radio. In 1924, MacGregor was Brunswick Records manager for the San Francisco territory. He later founded his own studios--C.P. MacGregor Studios--at 729 S. Western Avenue, Hollywood, CA. He was referred to as "the DeMille of the discs."

This first of his companies--MacGregor and Ingram Company--was incorporated around 1929. Some of their electrical transcriptions of the era bear the call letters of KFRC, 610 AM, San Francisco--one of the 31 stations comprising the West Coast Don Lee-Mutual Network. Given the close association between Don Lee and C.P. MacGregor there's every likelihood that MacGregor often used Don Lee's KFRC Studios in San Francisco before establishing himself in the Melrose District of Los Angeles.

By 1932 the company had changed its name to MacGregor & Sollie, located on Mission Street, in San Francisco and survived until approximately 1937. MacGregor & Sollie promoted their San Francisco transcriptions as Hollywood-style dramas. Stations from coast to coast routinely contracted with MacGregor & Sollie for their syndicated transcriptions at $17.50 for each episode.

By 1945 the C.P. Macgregor Studios had migrated to 729 South Western Avenue, Hollywood, CA. Throughout that era C.P.MacGregor had begun to adopt 16" transcription discs exclusively.

MacGregor was a prolific, diverse producer and distributor of syndicated transcription discs, producing The Shadow, Cecil and Sally, AFRS programs, Al Jolson, Jubilee, Lux Radio Theatre, Hollywood Theatre, and Eb and Zeb. He also produced hundreds of commercial recording sessions with the lofty likes of Leadbelly, Charlie Parker, Stan Kenton, Peggy Lee and hundreds of other prominent Jazz and contemporary recording artists. Liberty Records--the predecessor to Capitol Records--recorded in their studios in the mid-1940s.

It goes without saying that MacGregor operated in a highly competitive field, with the likes of Westinghouse's World Broadcasting System and the Radio Networks themselves. That he was able meet his much larger competitors head-on--and dominate them--speaks volumes for C.P. MacGregor's quality and business acumen.

Today the Library of Congress has possession of the entire surviving MacGregor collection, including the surviving output of the 1931 through 1970 masters and recording ledgers from all three companies: MacGregor and Ingram, MacGregor and Sollie, and C. P. MacGregor.

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