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Original Once Upon A Tune header art

The Once Upon A Tune Radio Program

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Among the many fine Winnipeg singers in the casts of Once Upon A Time was lovely Mary Louise Nighswander, heard in at least six of the 1945 fantasies.
Among the many fine Winnipeg singers in the casts of Once Upon A Time was lovely Mary Louise Nighswander, heard in at least six of the 1945 fantasies.


Roy Locksley -- Perhaps his best work has been in his original music for the CBC series, Once Upon A Time, chidren's fantasies, with script by Ray Darby.



From the CBC to CBS


December 28 1946 Billboard announcement of Once Upon A Toon for a proposed 25 programs
December 28 1946 Billboard announcement of Once Upon A Tune for a proposed 25 programs.

January 25 1947 Lethbridge Herald article describing Ray Darby and Morris Surdin's collaboration with CBS and its Once Upon A 'Toon cycle for Columbia Workshop
January 25 1947 Lethbridge Herald article describing Ray Darby and Morris Surdin's collaboration with CBS and its Once Upon A 'Toon cycle for Columbia Workshop
The 'Once Upon A Tune' storyline referred to in the article is remarkably reminiscent of the Walt Disney animated cartoon feature, 'Little Toot' from 1948. 'Little Toot' was written by Hardie Gramatky.
You can watch it here.

Billboard magazine article of April 12 1947 lauding 'Once Upon A Tune'
Billboard magazine article of April 12 1947 lauding 'Once Upon A Tune'

The CBC Program Schedule for the week of Nov. 30 1947 provides some insight into the evolution of 'Once Upon a Time' to 'Once Upon A Tune'.
The CBC Program Schedule for
the week of Nov. 30 1947 provides some insight into the evolution of
'Once Upon a Time' to 'Once Upon
A Tune'.

Background

The Columbia Chain (CBS) began expanding its programming efforts beyond its traditional studio ensemble variety, daily and weekly sketch programs, and farm programming with the advent of the 1930s. In January 1931, CBS introduced an extensive and far more ambitious slate of new programming beginning on New Years Day 1931. Georgia Backus, CBS' head of the Dramatic Programming Division assembled an innovative team of CBS' engineers, directors and producers to mount CBS' first series of 'experimental' radio productions. The first result was CBS' Columbia Experimental Laboratory, an initial series of eight cutting edge--for the era--dramatic experiments airing on Wednesday evenings at 10 o'clock EST and 9 o'clock CST. The series premiered on January 14th 1931 and ran until March 11th 1931. While reportedly well received, Columbia Experimental Laboratory was more important for setting the stage for a remarkable history of experimental dramatic programming eventually spanning twenty-six years and retrospectives spanning over seventy years:

CBS continued its earlier 1931 series of experimental dramatic offerings with its Columbia Experimental Dramatic Laboratory which premiered on Sunday evening, June 5th 1932, running for eighteen installments until October 9th 1932. Equally well received, by the end of its run Columbia Experimental Dramatic Laboratory had introduced many of early Radio's most innovative and creative writers, producers, directors and engineers to the airwaves. Columbia's 1931 and 1932 experimental dramatic undertakings set the standard for hundreds of new programs that began appearing over 1930s Radio throughout the decade.

CBS undertakes its longest-running experimental drama series

The Columbia Broadcasting System's Columbia Workshop built even further on Columbia's earliest, ground-breaking experimental dramas. It continued--and greatly expanded--the initiatives by CBS engineers, writers and producers to demonstrate the full capabilities of many of the emerging communication and broadcasting technologies of the era. Initiated in 1936 by CBS playwright, engineer, and director, Irving Reis, Reis became the chief engineer, director and production supervisor for the series. Reis' initiatives inaugurated one of Columbia's longest-running network-sustained programming efforts, eventually spanning almost seventy years, on and off, the most famous of which was its Columbia Workshop series:

  • Columbia Workshop Experimental Series
  • Columbia Workshop Festival Series
  • Columbia Workshop
  • Columbia Workshop Time Out for Comedy cycle
  • Columbia Workshop Post-War Series [1946-1947]
  • Columbia Workshop Once Upon A Tune cycle

Columbia Workshop's final production was a unique spin-off, as well as a foreign import of sorts--Once Upon A Tune. True to Columbia Workshop's experimental roots, CBS Special Programs had first been aware of the CBC Trans-Canada production, 'Once Upon A Time,' during the summer of 1945. Written by Ray Darby, a Canadian scenarist, lyricist and children's book author, the 13-week summer run of Once Upon A Time garnered almost immediate praise from radio critics throughout North America.

From the June 3rd 1945 CBC Program Schedule:

CBC WInnipeg Launching Ambitious New Music-Drama Series -- 'Once Upon a Time,' by Ray Darby, Scheduled on Trans-Canada June 3rd -- Esse Ljungh Will Produce Thirteen Dramatic Fantasias, With Original Music by Roy Locksley as Summer Feature from Winnipeg. head

Three Masqueteers inset
The three men chiefly responsible for CBC's new Trans-Canada network summer series of drama-fantasies, 'Once Upon A Time' (beginning Sunday, June 3, at 5:00 p.m.) are here, as our whimsical artist has caught them. Left to right: Roy Locklsey, conductor; Esse Ljungh, producer; and Ray Darby, author. While the quaint figures of Darby's fancy float about in the pictorial stratosphere, Locksley wields his baton, Ljungh consults his stopwatch, and Darby shoulders a might pen.

"ONE of our biggest undertakings, which will strain our musical and dramatic resources to the limit," is Esse Ljungh's comment on his new series, "Once Upon a Time," beginning on CBC's Trans-Canada network Sunday June 3, at 5:00 p.m. from Winnipeg.
     Ljungh, as Prairie Region drama producer; Roy Locksley, as conductor; and Ray Darby, as author, are combining their talents in this ambitious series, which will run for thirteen summer weeks. They will use large dramatic casts, a concert orchestra specializing in novel effects, and male and mixed choruses.

Original Work

     Author, conductor, and producer are aiming at originality in all phases of this work. The stories are original products of Darby's pen, Locksley is writing original music for them, and the production methods and effects Ljungh will use are new and striking.
     The opening program, Sunday, June 3, is a repeat of Darby's successful play "Peter and the Bugs," done on CBC's Trans-Canada network on Christmas Day, 1944. The success of this program led author and producer to plan a complete series along cimilar lines. "Peter Smith and the Bugs" is based on Darby's book of that name.

The Sentimental Locomotive

    Other titles in the series are: June 10 -- The Sentimental Locomotive; June 17 -- The Master of Hampstead Queen, and--in order not yet decided--The Wabbits of Warren, Time Incorporated, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Two Trains, and a sequel to Peter Smith and the Bugs called Peter Smith and the Sky People. The stories are all in Darby's familiar whimsical manner. In the Two Trains, for example, two dreams meet in a collision--one the dream of a little boy, riding on the train with his mother, who wants to be an engineer; and the other the dream of a train's engineer, who wants to be a little boy again. Time Incorporated is an adventure with Father Time himself. In The Sentimental Locomotive, a hard-working engine named Hubert falls in love with a cute little French trick named Fifi, and puffs all the way to Montral to learn enough French to woo her. Alas! he learns it all from signs in the roundhouse and it turns out to be stuff like--"Voyez lentement' danger en avant" and "Removez la grease excess des essieu et les roux!"


Vetean Winnipeg Actors i Drama-Fantasy Opener sub-head

Beetle -- George Secord inset
Spider --  George Waight inset
The wise and venerable beetle of Ray Darby's "Peter Smith and the Bugs," which will open the new drama-fantasy series "Once Upon A Time" on Sunday, June 3 (Trans-Canada network, 5:00 p.m.) will be played by GEORGE SECORD, Winnipeg actor of many roles and seasons.
In Ray Darby's new fantasia series "Once Upon A Time" (Trans-Canada network, Sundays, 5: 00 p.m.) GEORGE WAIGHT, veteran CBC actor, will play the important role of the Spider in "Peter Smith and the Bugs," scheduled to open the series on June 3.

    In the opening play of Ray Darby's new fantastic drama series "Once Upon A Time" (CBC Trans-Canada Network, Sunday, June 3rd, 5:00 p.m.) two veteran actors of Winnipeg will add another odd touch to their long records of varying roles.
     George Waight, stalwart Winnipeg banker, athlete, and painter of charming water colours, made his most remarkable Winnipeg hit in a command performance of "Othello" before the Earl and Countess of Bessborough. George was known as a "natural" Othello. His massive physique, and swarthily-handsome features made the role inevitably his when John Craig produced the play with a Winnipeg cast in the far-off thirties. His role in the repeat of "Peter Smith and the Bugs," first 1n the "Once Upon A Time" series, is a far cry from Shakespeare's tragic hero. He plays the Spider, a whimsical personage with a heart of gold and a tendency to humorous quirks of character.
     George Secord, who will play the Beetle in "Peter Smith," wishes he had a dollar for every time he ·has said "Aha! me proud beauty!" on the repertory stage. George has played stock in a hundred towns and cities of Canada and the United States. He is the dean of Winnipeg's radio-acting fraternity, and is heard from CBC Winnipeg in the Thursday dramas, the Farm Broadcast, and many other programs.


And from the Sunday, June 3, 1945 listing from the same CBC Program Schedule:

ONCE UPON A TIME (5:00 p.m.)

     A 13-weeks' series of musical and
dramatic fantasies for chlldren from
six to sixty, by Ray Darby, Winnipeg
author, with original music by
Roy Locksley. Tonight's program is a
repeat of Darby's successful play
"Peter Smith and the Bugs," done
originally over CBC on Christmas
Day, 1944. By the magic of a bluebottle's
wing, Peter is "magnified small," and
enters into the fantastic world of the
beetles and spiders. The climax comes
when the friendly bugs lose the magic
wing and can't get Peter "magnified big"
again. But it all comes right in the end.
Kay Parkin will play Peter again, with
Jack Scott as narrator, George Waight as
the Spider. and George Secord as the
Beetle.


From the June 10th 1945 CBC Program Schedule:

The Sentimental Locomotive
Hubert was a hard-working western locomotive and Fifi was a cute little French trick from the far East. When he first saw her, Hubert nearly jumped off the track. But later, when he had puffed clear across the Dominion to learn enough French to woo her, and had come back with such remarks as "Removez la grease" and "danger en avant" -- picked up in the Montreal roundhouse -- it was Fifi's turn to jump off the track. You can hear how the romance turned out by listening to Ray Darby's play, "The Sentimental Locomotive," one of the series of drama-fantasies under the general title of "Once Upon a Time," over CBC's Trans-Canada network on Sunday, June 10, at 5;00 p.m.

From the July 1st 1945 CBC Program Schedule:

'Variety' Review Praises Fantasies -- New York Weekly sees Darby's 'Once Upon a Time' series as 'something new' head

     The New York weekly "Variety" (Hix Nix Stix Pix), widely advertised as the bible of the theatrical fraternity and the North America sure-cure for academic English, glances occasionally at the Canadia radio scene. Glancing recently, it encountered a CBS Winnipeg origination, Ray Darby's drama-fantasy series, Once Upon a Time, heard Sundays at 5 p.m., and this is what its reviewer, Paul Gormley, had to say about it:
     Once Upon A Time, summer CBC replacement for Ozzie and Harriet, is one of the smoothest airers to come over the Canadian webs since the crystal set went out. Displaying exceptional co-operation between writer, producer and the man with the baton, this 13-week series, although designed for the juves, will have the adults leaning on it like Pop plays with Junior's toy train. Slick production, on-the-button timing, boff-scripting and music, blended to a super-silk schedule, make "Once" probably the "something new" the industry has been Sherlocking for, at least in the way of musi-drama. If the rest of the show in the lsit, all written by Darby, hit the standards this one set (3), Canadian dialers are sitting pretty for the hot days.
     "Once" teed off with an air version of Darby's juve best-seller, "Peter Smith and the Bugs." Done in easy verse, story told of a
six-year-old friend of insects who got a present of a trip through insect land. Reduced to bug-size, he went to a party on an ant hill, heard the beetle band give out, caught a sky show by dragonfly B-29s. The music was cued to play as important a part as any of the characters, and songs were planty but refused to interfere with the general effect. The only clean-up to suggest would be substitution of straight lines for the verse. Dialers will find themselves waiting for the rhyme rather than the story. Vocals were handled by the unbilled but okay warblers. Music, songs, script and story were perfectly balanced.
     Waight, Winnipeg banker and vet stock and radio man, played the key spot as the spider for all he had, but not overmuch. Second, top
'Peg air actor, okay as the ancient beetle who settled all problems. The Peter role got a boff doing by Kay Parkin and the narration-in-verse by Scott topped any previous CBC voicing.
     Incidentally, sound effects were few, most of them worked into the original Locksley score more by suggestion than by actual sounds.
With a happy Sun. p.m. spot and the CBC Trans-Canada net to play on, the "Once" series is due for a pop summer run. There's a sizable possibility radio can find in it a medium for bringing musicomedy to the air in its best form.

And from the Sunday, July 1, 1945 listing from the same CBC Program Schedule:

ONCE UPON A TIME (5:00 p.m.)

     Out beyond the sunset, a veil of
shadow across the red and gold, like
a dancing swarm of summer gnats--so
went little Johnny Jones, to a
kingdom of light and licorice candy
and circuses. This is a tale, says Ray
Darby, who wrote "Beyond the Sun-
set," which you won't believe. But
never mind! You may not believe it,
but you probably will enjoy this tender
little story which is the fifth in
Darby's drama-fantasy series, Once
Upon A Time. The music is again by
Roy Locksley, and Esse Ljungh directs
t.he players and produces the
broadcast. "Beyond the Sunset" is
in rather more serious vein than preceding
plays in the series, the story
of a dream of heaven.


Ostensibly conceived for a juvenile audience, that Summer 1945 run (June 3rd to August 26th) of Once Upon A Time--replacing family favorite Ozzie and Harriett for 13 weeks--soon attracted not only the young of age, but the young of heart as well. Within its first three weeks it was attracting larger and larger audiences of adults, as well as children. Indeed, after its initial Summer 1945 run, those thirteen episodes aired in repeats throughout the Dominion for the remainder of 1945.

'Once Upon A Tune' debuts for Columbia Workshop

So popular was Once Upon A Time, that CBC Trans-Canada aired 12 more installments of the series during the Summer of 1946 (July 7th to September 22nd), this time retaining Ray Darby, but replacing composer Roy Locksley with composer-conductor Morris Surdin. The series--and principals--having moved to Toronto for the 1946 Summer run of Once Upon A Time by December 1946, Darby and Surdin had already produced a backlog of twenty-five episodes.

CBS felt the time was ripe to introduce the team of Darby and Surdin to a larger nationwide American audience. Given the creative genius of the team, Columbia Workshop deemed the former Once Upon A Time as the ideal swan song for Columbia Workshop's ten years of exceptionally innovative and--then--cutting edge radio programming.

From the December 29th, 1946 edition of the Trenton Times-Advertiser:

     A brand new kind of original music-comedy series, yclept "Once Upon A Tune," defying precise definition yet promising countless ear-thrills, begins on Columbia network next Sunday (CBS, 2:30-3 p.m., EST).
     Perhaps the best way to tell about it is to quote what those who have heard trial programs say it is--yet, the authors protest, it isn't:
     "Radio's nearest thing to Disney films"; "concocted with dashes of Gilbert and Sullivan, Aesop, and George Ade, Rogers and Hart"; "utterly charming!"
     These air products are the result of a mad acrivening-music team who have descended on the United States via Canada with visas made out to aesthetic-looking, prolific-writer Ray Darby and heavy-set, bubbly-humored composer Morris Surdin. By their literary-lyrical alchemy, locomotives conversse and sing fit to burst their boilers, tugboats pridefully declaim their ocean-going propensities in speech and son, an eight-year old Western badman makes Pancho Villa sound like Lord Fauntelroy.
     At the outset, the series is slated for three Sundays as showcase presentations before moving to the distinguished proscenium of Columbia Workshop on February 1 for an extended run, Saturdays from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., EST.


Rebranded Once Upon A Tune, CBS gave Ray Darby and Morris Surdin carte blanche to mount their tried and true formula over American airwaves. Needless to say, with Once Upon A Tune's premiere on January 5th 1947, forward, the Darby-Surdin team garnered equally immediate praise from America's harshest, most exacting television and radio critics.

From the January 28, 1947 edition of the Canton Repository:

Radio in Review -- Once Upon a Time head 

     The freshest wittiest radio programs to be heard on the American air in many a long year is the Columbia Broadcasting System's new series, "Once Upon a Tune."  These broadcasts are a sort of musical satire and fantasy, both rare qualities in radio, which have been delighting Canadians for the last two years.  During that period, week after week, the authors, a couple of talented and tireless Canadians named Ray Darby and Morris Surdin, have been turning in new and imaginative scripts each with four or five original songs and lyrics.  C.B.S. has taken its pick of the best of the series.

     The programs have been compared to Disney's films, Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas and Aesop's fables.  They're a little bit of each, which means it's difficult to capture their charm in print.  For one thing, the frequent use of singing locomotives or talking horses is not always a happy device to bolster up a tale that has no other reason for existing.  Darby and Surdin triumphantly get away with it, chiefly because their owlish lyrics and lilting tunes make almost anything acceptable.
     Recently, for instance, the Darby-Surdin team dwelt upon the imaginative adventures of Thomas Jones, age 8.  Thomas, who would rather be known as Tortilla, is intimately acquainted with Superman, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy and the Lone Ranger.  In fact, several times he has had to help them out of their difficulties.  (He's the one who got Superman out of the clutches of the Moon people).
 
INTREPID TORTILLA
     Thomas--or Tortilla--tells a narrator about the time he captured the Spider, the most dangerous outlaw of the West.  The  Spider had been terrorizing Desert Gulch and the whole community turned out to implore the Sheriff to call in Tortilla Jones, "the bravest Texas Ranger in the world."
     "Tortilla Jones," sing the townsfolk.
     "He's the roughest ridin' hombre.
     "He's Tortilla Jones.
     "The biggest, bravest rootin' tootin' hombre.
     "In the torrid zones.
     "He's the man who singlehanded captured desprit Bill.
     "And surrounded 20 rustlers on the Dead Man's Hill."
     "Sheriff, I'm the fastest drawing hombre in the whole West," says Tortilla, in a little boy's voice that belies his exploits.  "Gee," says the Sheriff.  "Gosh," say the townsfolk.  Tortilla and his horse Sterling set out after the Spider.  Sterling, incidentally, can talk (having learned it from Donald Duck), sing, and is also radar-equipped.
 
VERSATILE HORSE
     "I'm Tortilla Jones' palomino horse," sings Sterling in a voice not unlike Mortimer Snerd's.
     "I'm so clever I can really talk, of course.
     "I speak English, French and Latin
     "With a tongue as smooth as satin
     "And I even sent a message once in Morse."
     In spite of their great talents, Tortilla and Sterling run into plenty of trouble with the spider, who has been laying for Tortilla ever since he helped Dick Tracy capture his brother, Grapefruit Face .
     The Spider snares Tortilla's jet-propelled horse and buggy with a gigantic spider web and ties him hand and foot, which gives him an excuse to sing a duet with his pal Slug.
     SPIDER:  I'm a very lucky bandit, that I am.
     SLUG:  You can say that again.
     SPIDER:  I have robbed the stage and now I'm going to scram.
     SLUG:  Me too.
     SPIDER:  But I've got Tortilla Jones.
     And I feel it in my bones
     That I'll have no further trouble from that man.
 
MOTHER INTERFERES
     Sterling gets Tortilla out of this by gnawing the ropes off his arms and the youngster subdues the Spider in hand-to-hand combat, employing the same grip he uses on lions and tigers.  "You're done for, Spider," pants Tortilla. "Aw, heck," says the Spider. The 8-year old then starts to tell about his adventures in the frozen North at well below zero but is interrupted by his mother who demands that he come in the house and clean up the mud he tracked into the family room.
     This synopsis doesn't begin to convey the charm of "Once Upon A Tune." For one thing, music is likely to burst forth at any time -- background music, choral singing and solos. Much of the story is told in song and the authors work a great many sound effects -- pistol shots, the crack of a whip, the thudding of horses' hooves -- into the rhythm of the music.
     I don't know how long Messrs Darby and Surdin can keep up the pace but I hope it's a long time. "Once Upon A Tune" was first heard on Sundays at 2:30 p.m., but this week moves over to the "Columbia Workshop" spot, 6:15 p.m. Saturdays.

Copyright 1947, for The Tribune


John Crosby, though usually relatively acerbic and curmudgeonly in his Radio and Television criticism was quite uncharacteristically taken with Columbia Workshop's final cycle. Penned and composed by Ray Darby and Morris Surdin, respectively, Canadian Radio listeners had enjoyed Darby and Surdin's creations for almost two years prior to their incorporation into the Columbia Workshop canon.

To be clear, Once Upon A Tune wasn't simply a rebroadcast of the previous Once Upon A Time, CBC series. Once Upon A Tune was a completely new series, while based on the tried and true Ray Darby productions of the previous two years in Canada. The Darby scripts for "Tortilla Jones" and "The Sentimental Locomotive," while originally airing over the CBC's Once Upon A Time on July 20th and July 27th of 1946, were re-scored and re-performed with American actors for their Once Upon A Tune broadcasts. There may have been others. But if the seven circulating exemplars of Once Upon A Tune are representative of the rest of the series, this was a genuinely innovative series indeed. The concepts, original songs, verse and performers were all top-notch. Though unbilled, the performers behind the series were some of East Coast Radio's finest: Minerva Pious, Parker Fennelly. Everett Sloane, Arnold Stang, Ruth Gilbert, and Joe DiSantis among them.

In a typically unique departure from mainstream Radio, Columbia Workshop fashioned Darby and Surdin's mini-masterpieces into 'Cartoons for Radio,' decidedly aimed at the younger set--or at the very least the young at heart. The cycle marked the end of Columbia Workshop. Though the CBS Radio Workshop would air in the mid-1950s, Columbia Workshop's almost ten years of Radio innovation and education came to an end with Once Upon A Tune. But a fitting end it was. The Workshop had introduced many fanciful and light-hearted juvenile adventures over its ten years. Once Upon A Tune was an entirely fitting and appropriate wrap to the series. Brilliantly scripted, beautifully composed, Once Upon A Tune's Sixteen chapters immediately captured the hearts--and critical acclaim--of North American listeners. The cycle also proved that a highly listenable and entertaining series of quality adventures targeted to the young of heart and years could certainly find an appreciative audience.

Series Derivatives:

Once Upon a Time
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Juvenile Musical Comedies
Network(s): CBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1945):

45-06-03 01 Peter Smith and the Bugs

CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1946):

46-07-07 01
Title Unknown

CBS 'Once Upon A Tune' (1947):

47-01-05 01 Tugboat Danny

Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1945):

45-06-03 to 45-08-26; CBC [ Winnipeg]; Thirteen, 30-minute episodes; Sundays at 5:00 p.m.

CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1946):

46-07-07 to 46-09-22; CBC [Toronto] ; Twelve, 30-minute episodes; Sundays at 5:00 p.m.

CBS 'Once Upon A Tune' (1947):

47-01-05 to 47-05-24; CBS; Sixteen, 30-minute programs;

Syndication: CBC Trans-Canada; Columbia Broadcasting System
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): Carl Beier [ Producer-director]
Ray Darby and Morris Surdin [Creators]
Principal Actors: CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1945):
George Waight, George Secord, Beth Lockerbie, Jack Scott, Gladys Rutherford, William Burgess, Lawrence Abbott, Jack Anthony, Kerr Wilson, Peg Dixon, Jean Murray, Lorne Chandonet, Billy Hammond, Eve Henderson, Jack Whitehouse, Robert Jarman, Tom Benson, Marguerite Scott, Kay Parkin, Maurice Desourdy, Russ Carrier.

CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1946):
Unknown

CBS 'Once Upon A Tune' (1947):

Minerva Pious, Parker Fennelly. Everett Sloane, Sandy Becker, Arnold Stang, Mae Questel, Nicholas Joy, Frank Twedell, Ruth Gilbert, Jack Grimes, Howard Smith, William Lynn, Dort Clark, Joe DiSantis

Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s):
Author(s): None
Writer(s) CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1945):
Ray Darby and John Phillips

CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1946):
Ray Darby and John Phillips

CBS 'Once Upon A Tune' (1947):
Ray Darby

Music Direction: CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1945):
Roy Locksley
Speaking Chorus--Pat Anderson, Hilda Morrison, Alice Steele, Jean Gibson, Maxime Miller (voice of the theme signature).
Singers--Mary Koshowsky, Jean Fredericks, Olivia Dean, Gwen Bradshaw, Gloria Huckles, Katherine Sadowy, Stephie Konyk, S. Cohen, Mary Dumanchuck, Phyllis Stirling, Mary Louise Nighswander, Jean Ramsay.
University of Manitoba Glee Club Chorus--John Bergsagel, Dan Bergsagel, Sam Kantorovich, Chuck Campbell, Monte Halperin, Douglas Stewart, Huntley Cameron, Sid Chernick, Frank Hamats, Ron Dodds.

CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1946):
Ray Darby [ Lyricist]; Morris Surdin [Composer-Conductor]

CBS 'Once Upon A Tune' (1947):
Ray Darby [ Lyricist]; Morris Surdin [Composer-Conductor]

Musical Theme(s):
Announcer(s):
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1945): 13

CBC Trans-Canada 'Once Upon A Time' (1946): 12

CBS 'Once Upon A Tune' (1947): 16 [two repeats]

Episodes in Circulation: 7
Total Episodes in Collection: 7
Provenances:


Contributor Jerry Haendiges.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

Neither Once Upon A Time nor Once Upon A Tune have escaped the sloppy research and blunt-force guesses of the OTR Community--perhaps best epitomized by the work of one sloppy OTR fiction writer in particular:

  • Once Upon A Tune wasn't a "rare venture into the realm of fantasy" over radio by any metric. By the time it was adopted as Columbia Workshop's swan song, it had already aired--for two years--throughout Canada. And in fact, by 1945, Columbia Workshop itself had repeatedly 'ventured into the realm of fantasy over radio,' Norman Corwin's own fanciful productions among many of them.
  • Once Upon A Time by no means "made its formal 'debut' playing for twelve weeks over CBC." That same OTR author was off by both one year and one episode. The CBC Trans-Canada production of Once Upon A Time first aired out of Winnipeg--to great Dominion-wide fanfare--on June 3rd 1945--not July 1946. It first aired for thirteen episodes--not twelve episodes. More significantly, there is compelling evidence that Once Upon A Time may have very first aired--under Esse Ljungh's direction--between October 1939 and November 1939 over CBO-Ottawa at 11:30 on Monday nights--hardly an ideal juvenile programming timeslot, even in Canada.
  • Indeed New York's Variety weekly uncharacteristically heaped great praise on Once Upon A Time's first Summer 1945 episode in mid-June of 1945. The notoriety of Variety's lavish praise of Once Upon A Time couldn't possibly have escaped the attention of CBS and the Columbia Workshop team. Writer Ray Darby's musical collaborator on that Summer 1945 season of Once Upon A Time was Roy Locksley, not Morris Surdin.
  • It was CBC Trans-Canada producer-director Esse Ljungh that accompanied writer/creator Ray Darby in relocating from Winnipeg to Toronto during 1946. It was also during that time that Darby and Ljungh first teamed up with composer Morris Surdin; to collaborate on the Summer 1946 season of Once Upon A Time--this time broadcast from Toronto.
  • "The Natural History of Nonsense" wasn't the fourth episode of Once Upon A Tune. It was the final episode of Columbia Workshop.
  • Once Upon A Tune writer Ray Darby's $40,000 contract with CBS was for seven years, not nine years.

Most importantly, there is no longer any question as to whether Once Upon A Tune was a final Columbia Workshop production. Throughout the newpaper and magazine articles of the era, Once Upon A Tune was consistently referred to as an extension of Columbia Workshop.


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Once Upon A Time Radio Programme Log [Summer of 1945]

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
45-05-27
--
--
45-05-27 CBC Program Schedule
5:00 p.m. -- Ozzie and Hariett
(30 minutes)

45-06-03
1
Peter Smith and the Bugs
N
[Premiere over CBC Trans-Canada; from Winnipeg; Sundays at 5 p.m.]

45-06-03 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     A 13-weeks' series of musical and dramatic fantasies for chlldren from six to sixty, by Ray Darby, Winnipeg author, with original music by Roy Locksley. Tonight's program is a repeat of Darby's successful play "Peter Smith and the Bugs," done originally over CBC on Christmas Day, 1944. By the magic of a bluebottle's wing, Peter is "magnified small," and enters into the fantastic world of the beetles and spiders. The climax comes when the friendly bugs lose the magic wing and can't get Peter "magnified big" again. But it all comes right in the end.
     Kay Parkin will play Peter again, with Jack Scott as narrator, George Waight as the Spider. and George Secord as the Beetle.

45-06-10
2
The Sentimental Locomotive
N
45-06-10 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     The second of Ray Darby's drama-fantasies from Winnipeg deals with the romantic adventures of Hubert, the sentimental locomotive. "The Sentimental Locomotive" wll be produced by Esse Ljungh, with original music by Roy Locksley.
     Hubert's passion for the piquant French number, Fifi, is the theme of the drama.

45-06-17
3
The Master of Hampstead Queen
N
45-06-17 CBC Program Schedule
5:00 p.m. -- Once Upon A Time
(30 minutes)

45-06-17 The Winnipeg Tribune
    
Esse Ljungh now directs three drama series weekly over CBC. Sunday, the third in the current series of drama fantasies, Once Upon A Time, will receive presentation at 5 p.m., under Ljungh's direction. Ray Darby authors the scripts with original musical scores and effects by Roy Locksley.
    
Sunday's fantasy is entitled The Master of Hampstead Queen. It is a deep sea fable of Davy Jones and his fahomless locker, where the souls of great sailors carry on to all eternity.

45-06-24
4
The Wabbits of Warren
N
45-06-24 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     Wabbit Warren, in case you want to go there some time, is exactly four miles east and six miles west. You meet, first of all, Mr. Henry, "a wonderful wag of a Wabbit, Henry, the head of the clan; the boss so we're told of the Wabblt household, and known as a keen business man."
     Then there's Mrs, Matilda, the workingest wife of a Wabbit, and the eldest son, Roscoe, a very mathematical Wabbit, and Teeny-"the weenieth withp of a Wabbit, whoth pinnieth are pretty and crithp; whoth mithlng a tooth, and to tell you the truth, the tooth that ith mithed makth her lithp." Which is all very well, but things an~ never perfect, and in the offing looms a Great. Calamity -- two Great Calamities -- booby-traps in Lettuce Street and a Big Bad Coyote.
     Roscoe, however is equal to the situation, and listeners large and small can be assured that when they finally bid the Wabbit family good-bye, all is well.
    
This is No.4 in Ray Darby's series of drama fantasies for children from six to sixty, heard from Winnipeg, with Esse Ljungh directing and special music by Roy Locksley.

45-07-01
5
Beyond the Sunset
N
45-07-01 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     Out beyond the sunset, a veil of shadow across the red and gold, like a dancing swarm of summer gnats--so went little Johnny Jones, to a kingdom of light and licorice candy and circuses. This is a tale, says Ray Darby, who wrote "Beyond the Sunset," which you won't believe. But never mind! You may not believe it, but you probably will enjoy this tender little story which is the fifth in Darby's drama-fantasy series, Once Upon A Time. The music is again by Roy Locksley, and Esse Ljungh directs the players and produces the broadcast. "Beyond the Sunset" is in rather more serious vein than preceding plays in the series, the story of a dream of heaven.

45-07-08
6
The Biography of a Mosquito
N
45-07-08 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     "The Biography of a Mosquito" is today's play-a tragic tale, but then, life is tragic, isn't it? Deep in the mud of a Manitoba ditch he came into this life-Lester, the greatest mosquito of them all. Of humble origin-his father and mother had little, an inch of swampy water, mortgaged-yet greatness was born in his soul.
    Step by step through his stormy life, with its struggles, its defeats, its triumphs, the narrative follows him, until at last the fatal squirt gun of Joe, the implacable human enemy, brings him down to the dust. Wrapped in a rose leaf, he is buried in his native ditch. All day long the mourners file past, singing the mosquitoes' national anthem:
    "O Lester we raise our hats to you! Long may you buzz, o'er field and wood and slough.
    
The sixth of Ray Darby's amusing drama-fantasies parodies the manners
and affectations of modern biographers in a hilarious comedy. Esse Ljungh will direct the players, and Roy Locksley will arrange the music and conduct the orchestra.

45-07-15
7
The Little Lead Soldier and the Dresden Doll
N
45-07-15 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     In "The Little Lead Soldier and the Dresden Doll," Ray Darby has written a new story for a favorite setting of fantasy-midnight in the nursery, when the toys come to life and carryon their own intriguing affairs.
     The Dresden doll-prettiest of all the dainty ladies of the toy shelf-is as exacting as she is beautiful; she demands that her lover, the lead soldier, bring her the tail of the fierce tiger that roams the forest rug; she sighs for the blue wool flower that blooms impossibly high on the steep mountain of the cushion; he asks for a handful of stars. After risking his life to bring her all this tribute, the lead soldier-like many another man before him-discovers that the way to please his love is something quite different.
     Amusing songs for which Roy Locksley has written special music are a feature of the story. Production is by Esse W. Ljungh. "Once Upon A Time" originates in Winnipeg.

45-07-22
8
Two Trains
N
45-07-22 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     "Two Trains" is the tale of two dreams: a little boy's dream of the marvellous engine he'll drive when he's grown-up, and an engineer's dream of a train that isn't bound down to time and place and split-second scheduling. The two dream trains run into a head-on collision -- anything can happen in Ray Darby's series of Once Upon a Time stories. Billy Hammond, ten-year-old Winnipeg actor plays the small boy.
     Special effects include rhythmic train songs, and the chant of the porter and dining-car waiter. Roy Locksley has again written the music for the fantasy, and production is by Esse W. Ljungh. Once Upon A Time is broadcast from Winnipeg.

45-07-29
9
Time Incorporated
N
45-07-29 CBC Program Schedule
5:00 p.m. -- Once Upon A Time
(30 minutes)

45-08-05
10
Old Macdonald Had A Farm
N
45-08-05 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     Old Macdonald - he who had a farm-has run into a problem. His cow, his pig, his sheep-all want to be aristocrats. The cow will eat nothing but bluebells, the pig wears a monocle and runs to muscle instead of bacon, the sheep grows long fleece and no mutton. Things are looking pretty grim, when Old Macdonald has an idea. He imports one more "crittur," with a pedigree as old as Adam. What is it? That's Ray Darby's secret for the moment, to be unfolded today in "Old Macdonald Had A Farm," next in the Once Upon a Time Series. Roy Locksley's gay music, and Esse Ljungh's inspired direction continue to embellish this charming series.

45-08-12
11
The Adventures of Glen Alan
N
45-08-12 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     This week's drama-fantasy is a little moral tale called "The Adventures of Glen Alan," a little boy who was (a) afraid of the dark; (b) envious of other people, like frogs; and (c) well, a little bit lazy. But things kept happening to Glen, and by and by he had learned not to be afraid of the dark, to be satisfied with what he could do himself and not anxious to imitate others, and to get a lot of satisfaction out of keeping busy. The drama-fantasies are by Ray Darby of Winnipeg, with special music by Roy Locksley, and production by Esse Ljungh.

45-08-19
12
The Forgotten Melody
N
45-08-19 CBC Program Schedule

ONCE UPON A TIME
(5:00 p.m.)

     The eternal problem of the artist is the theme of Ray Darby's drama-fantasy for today, second last of the series. In the laughier of children, the murmuring of young lovers, the troubled questioning of parents, and the resigned quietness of the aged, the great musician hears the supreme melody which will crown his lifetime of work. But it sounds for amoment on the air, and is gone before his slow fingers can trace the notes. He cannot get it down on the paper. The melody is lost forever.
"
The Forgotten Melody" is the title of this pIece, a theme rather more serious than usual. The important musical score is written by Roy Locksley, and Esse Ljungh directs the players.

45-08-26
13
Peter Smith and the Sky-People
N
45-08-26 CBC Program Schedule
5:00 p.m. -- Once Upon A Time
(30 minutes)

45-08-26 The Winnipeg Tribune
     Peter Smith and the Sky-People is the title of the final drama-fantasy in CBC's series from Winnipeg, Once Upon A Time, heard Sundays at 5 p.m. over CBK, CKY. It is a radio adaptation from a forthcoming book under the same title by Ray Darby and John Phillips. The radio script is also by Darby. The Winnipeg players are directed by Esse Ljungh.
     The Once Upon A Time series was launched June 3 with Darby writing the scripts, Ljungh directing and producing and Roy Locksley, composing and conducting special music. Shortly after the first broadcast, Variety published a rave review, which said in part that this series was "probably the something new the industry has been Sherlocking for, at least in the way of musi-drama"
     Taking part in the series were casts of actors, choral speakers, singers and musicians totalling more than 60. These are some of the players and others, who, in association with Ray Darby, Locksley and Ljungh, contributed to the success of the fantasies:
     Actors--George Waight, George Secord, Beth Lockerbie, Jack Scott, GLadys Rutherford, William Burgess, Lawrence Abbott, Jack Anthony, Kerr Wilson, Peg Dixon, Jean Murray, Lorne Chandonet, Billy Hammond, Eve Henderson, Jack Whitehouse, Robert Jarman, Tom Benson, Marguerite Scott, Kay Parkin, Maurice Desourdy, Russ Carrier.
     Speaking Chorus--Pat Anderson, Hilda Morrison, Alice Steele, Jean Gibson, Maxime Miller (voice of the theme signature).
     Singers--Mary Koshowsky, Jean Fredericks, Olivia Dean, Gwen Bradshaw, Gloria Huckles, Katherine Sadowy, Stephie Konyk, S. Cohen, Mary Dumanchuck, Phyllis Stirling, Mary Louise Nighswander, Jean Ramsay.
     University of Manitoba Glee Club Chorus--John Bergsagel, Dan Bergsagel, Sam Kantorovich, Chuck Campbell, Monte Halperin, Douglas Stewart, Huntley Cameron, Sid Chernick, Frank Hamats, Ron Dodds.

45-09-02
--
--





Once Upon A Time Radio Programme Log [Summer of 1946]

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-06-30
--
--
46-06-29 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY--8:00 p.m.--Concert Hall

46-07-07
1
Title Unknown
N
[Premiere over CBC Trans-Canada; from Toronto; Sundays at 5 p.m.]

46-07-06 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time

46-07-14
2
Title Unknown
N
46-07-13 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time

46-07-21
3
Tortilla Jones
N
46-07-20 The Winnipeg Tribune
8:00 p.m.
Musicians and actors will combine in CBC's Once Upon A Time series on Sunday, to tell the story of
Tortilla Jones, a little boy with an heroic imagination. The fantasy will be enacted by a group of Toronto radio actors under direction of Esse Ljungh, with musical accompaniment by a 12-piece orchestra and choral group, directed by Morris Surdin. Ray Darby is author of the scripts.

46-07-28
4
The Sentimental Locomotive
N
46-07-27 The Winnipeg Tribune
The complicated romance between two railway engines--one English, the other French--forms the basis for the story of the sentimental locomotive on the program Once Upon A Time on CKY at 8 p.m. The "Sentimental Locomotive" was first broadcast from Winnipeg last year.

46-08-04
5
Title Unknown
N
46-08-03 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time

46-08-11
6
Title Unknown
N
46-08-10 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time

46-08-18
7
Title Unknown
N
46-08-17 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time; Darby, Ljungh

46-08-25
8
Title Unknown
N
46-08-24 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time

46-09-01
9
Title Unknown
N
46-08-31 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time

46-09-08
10
Title Unknown
N
46-09-07 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time; Darby, Ljungh

46-09-15
11
Title Unknown
N
46-09-14 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time; Darby, Ljungh

46-09-22
12
Title Unknown
N
46-09-21 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Once Upon A Time; Darby, Ljungh

46-09-29
--
--
46-09-28 The Winnipeg Tribune
SUN. EVE.
CKY, CBK--8:00 p.m.--Community Chest Program






Once Upon A Tune Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
--
--
47-01-05
1
Tugboat Danny
N
[The initial three installments of Once Upon A Tune begin airing on the Sunday following the remaining Columbia Workshop presentations ]

46-12-
xx Corning Evening Leader
Sunday--CBS 2:30 p.m.,
Once Upon A Tune, new music comedy series, previously heard in Canada.

47-01-04 Sandusky Register
Sunday -- CBS, 2:30 p. m.
Once Upon A Tune: new music comedy series, preeviously heard in Canada.

47-01-04 Gloversville and Johnstown Morning Herald
CBS believes there should be a bit of excitement around its network at exactly 2:30 Sunday afternoon. Reason therefore is
the introduction of a new musical comedy series bearing the listed title of "Once Upon a Tune." A sort of fairy story set to music, it is the work of two Canadians, Ray Darby and Morris Surdin. As a matter of fact it has been a Canadian radio reature for a couple of years.

47-01-05 New York Times
2:30--Once Upon a Tune
(
Premiere)

47-01-05 Washington Post
WTOP--2:30--Once Upon a Time

47-01-04 Times-Recorder
Sunday--2:45--WJR--Once Upon A Tune

47-01-05 San Antonio Express
KTSA--1:30--Once Upon A Tune

47-01-05 Canton Repository
"Once Upon A Tune" at 2:30 (CBS): Premiere broadcast of a new type of radio show. Featured player will be "
Tugboat Danny" who is just what his name implies, a tugboat.

47-01-12
2
Special Delivery

N
[Begins three installments of what is to become a new cycle of Columbia Workshop called Once Upon A Tune]

47-01-04 Times-Recorder
Sunday--2:45--WJR--Once Upon A Tune

47-01-12 Richmond Times Dispatch
2:30 p.m., CBS --
"Special Delivery," a mixture of fantasy and reality concerning a retiring mailman, is to be the second presentation in Columbia network's Once Upon a Time series.

47-01-04 New York Post
Sunday
2:30 p.m. -- WCBS Once Upon A Tune
"Special Delivery".

47-01-05 San Antonio Express
KTSA--1:30--Once Upon A Tune

47-01-11 Reno Evening Gazette
KOLO--11:30 P.M. Once upon Tune.

47-01-12 San Antonio Express
KTSA--1:30--Once Upon A Tune

47-01-19
3
Tortilla Jones
N
47-01-18 The Evening News
TOMORROW
WCBS
2:30 -- Once Upon A Tunes
"Tortilla Jones".

47-01-19 San Antonio Express
KSL--12:30--Once Upon A Tune

47-01-19 Zanesville Times Recorder
2:30 P .M. WJR--Once Upon a Tune; 2:45 P.M. WJR--Once Upon a Tune.

47-01-19 Jacksonville Daily Journal
2:30--Once Upon a Tune, a Musical--cbs

47-01-19 Canton Repository
Miscellaneous
"Tortilla Jones," a fantasy of a little boy who envisions himself as a famous Texas ranger on a great and periolous adventure, is the third presentation of the CBS "Once Upon a Time" series at 2:30.

47-01-20 Time Magazine
Once Upon a Tune (Sun. 2:30 p.m., CBS).
Something new and good, at least for small fry: a musically animated cartoon on the air.

47-01-26
--
Head In the Clouds
--
[ Broadcast postponed until 47-04-12]

47-01-26 San Antonio Express
KTSA--1:30--Once Upon A Tune

47-02-01 The Sentimental Locomotive
Sentimental Locomotive
Head in The Clouds
Y
[Moves from Sundays to Saturdays; nationwide premiere, replacing Columbia Workshop and called "Once Upon A Tune"]

47-01-31 Canton Repository
TOMORROW
"Once Upon A Tune" at 6:15 (CBS): Formerly heard on Sundays, the show now replaces "Columbia Workshop." The fantasy play will be the
"The Sentimental Locomotive."

47-01-31 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS
LOVE-SICK TRAIN
(5:15 P.M.) A brand new kind of original music-comedy series titled "Once Upon A Tune" makes its debut with "The Sentimental Locomotive." Designed for listeners from 6 to 60, the program has been called "radio's nearest thing to Disney films," "fairly-tales, but for grown-ups too," "a concoction with a dash of Gilbert and Sullivan, Aesop and George Ade, Rogers and Hart," "utterly charming."

47-02-01 New York Times
6:15--WCBS--
Once Upon a Time

47-02-01 Nevada State Journal
KSL--3:15 Columbia Workshop

47-02-08
5
One of Our Bongs Is Missing
Y
47-02-01 Nevada State Journal
KSL--3:15 Columbia Workshop

47-02-07 The Oregonian
TOMORROW
"
One of Our Bongs Is Missing," a fantasy about a radio time signal that goes out on its own and gets into all sorts of adventures, is CBS's One Upon a Tune presentation via KOIN at 3:15. Words and music are by Morris Surdin, the story by Ray Darby. Producer-director is Carl Beier.

47-02-07 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS
ONCE UPON A TUNE
(5:15 P.M.) Newest thing in radio is CBS' "Once Upon A Tune," fantasies set to music in delightfully entertaining fashion. This week you'll hear the whimsical story of the final bong of a radio time signal. This bong became dissatisfied and decided to get away from it all. His story is titled "One of Our Bongs Is Missing."

47-02-15
6
Henry The Spook
Y
47-02-14 News-Palladium
Saturday - 6:00pm Once Upon a Tune, WBBM

47-02-14 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS
HENRY THE SPOOK
(5:15 P.M.) The first radio appearance of a romantic ghost will take place when "Henry the Spook" ogles in his ecto and pitches some woo-o-o-o, on "Once Upon A Tune." Henry graduated from Spook University with a DH degree (doctor of haunting).

Announces
Two Bits as Chapter 7.
47-02-22
7
Two Bits
N
47-02-21 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS
"TWO BITS" (5:15 P.M.) The adventure of a 25c piece and his steadfast stribing to get into the pocket of someone who will spend him for something worthwhile, is the whimsical tale told in words and music on "Once Upon A Tune."

47-02-22 News-Palladium
Saturday - 6:00pm Once Upon a Tune, WBBM

47-02-27 San Antonio Express
KTSA--9:30--Once UponTune

47-02-23 Buffalo Courier-Express
AIR BUBBLES
The Eddie Bracken show will be replaced at the end of March by one starring Tenor Tony Martin with guest stars; that's in the 9:30 p.m. spot on Sundays via WGR . . . That station, by the way, is rebroadcasting yesterday's Columbia Workshop edition of Once Upon a Tune at 11:30 o'clock tonight.

47-03-01
8
Atom From Apple
N
47-02-28 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS
ONCE UPON A TUNE
(5:15 P.M.) The delightful story of an unspectacular atom's efforts to follow in the footsteps of his famous cousin, Atom-from-Uranium, is told in "Adam-from-Apple" om the whimsical "Once Upon A Tune."

47-02-28 News-Palladium
Saturday - 6:00pm Once Upon a Tune, WBBM

47-03-08
9
Ferdinand The Bullfrog
Y
47-03-06 San Antonio Express
KTSA--9:30--Once UponTune

47-03-08 New York Evening Post
6:15--WCBS, Once Upon a Tune, "
Ferdinand the Bullfrog."

Announces a repeat of
Tortilla Jones as next.
47-03-15
10
Tortilla Jones
Y
[Announces 10th Chapter of Once Upon A 'Tune, special repeat broadcast of Tortilla Jones]

47-03-15 Olean Times Herald
6:15 Once Upon a Tune: 'Tortilla Jones'

47-03-14 Oakland Tribune
Saturday--KQW--3:15 Once Upon a Tune'

Announces
No More Rainy Saturdays as next.
47-03-22
11
No More Rainy Saturdays
N
47-03-22 Oakland Tribune
KQW-3:15, Once Upon a Tune.

47-03-24 New York Evening Post
Once Upon a Tune, CBS's delightful fantasy,
switches to Saturdays 8 p.m. this week.

47-03-29
12
The Sentimental Locomotive
N
[Moves to 7:00 p.m., Saturdays]

47-03-29 San Antonio Express
KTSA 7:00 Once Upon Tune

47-03-29 New York Evening Post
8:30--WCBS, Once Upon a tune, "
The Sentimental Locomotive."

47-03-29 Salamanca Republican Press
Please note these corrections on
network listings:

CBS—Tonight, 8 Once Upon A Tune,
new time.


47-04-05
13
The Wabbits of Warren
N
[Easter Program]

47-04-05 San Antonio Express
KTSA 7:00 Once Upon Tune

47-04-05 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Curtain Time (WMAQ): Easter tale of
the "Wabbits of Warren."

47-04-05 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
ONCE UPON A TUNE (7 P.M.) The Easter season is heralded with a special holiday music-comedy, "The Wabbits of Warren." The Wabbits are a happy and prosperous family until the tragic day when Baby Easter Wabbit is kidnapped.

47-04-05 New York Evening Post
D.R.H., New York, is sore at CBS's Once Upon a Tune. "Why don't they rename it The Itsy Bitsy Wadio Pwogwam? One more gram of icky cuteness and (paraphrasing Dorothy Parker) this constant wistener will be weady to fwow up." And Paul Kalos, 8, of Rega Park, writes, "My sister, 6 , and I listen to Once Upon a Tune, a good program for children, but we have to be in bed at 8. Please have it changed to an earlier hour.

47-04-12
14
Head In the Clouds
N
47-04-11 Lubbock Evening Journal
Saturday
7, Once Upon A Tune "
Head in the Clouds";

47-04-12 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Once Upon a Tune (WBBM):
fantasy about a couple of tall buildings that take a trip to the country.

47-04-19
15
When the World Was New
Y
47-04-19 The Evening News
WCBS
8:00 -- Once Upon A Tune "
When World Was New"

47-04-18 Geneva Daily Times
Saturday 9 Once Upon A Tune "
When The World Was Young."

Announces
Time Unlimited as next.
47-04-26
16
Time Unlimited
N
[ Final episode; series continues in repeats in some regions of the U.S.]

47-04-26 Mason City GLobe-Gazette
ONCE UPON A TUNE (7 P.M.) The chaos which develops when Father Time decides to take a vacation from regulating the Four Seasons and leaves them in mutual charge, is told in song and story in "Time Unlimited."

47-04-26 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 Once Upon a Tune WBBM

47-05-03
--
Title Unknown
--
47-05-03 Dixon Evening Telegraph
7:00 Once Upon a Tune--WBBM

47-05-03 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 Bill Goodwin WBBM

47-05-10
--
Title Unknown
--
47-05-10 Mattoon Daily Journal-Gazette
6:00--Once Upon a Tune--CBS

47-05-17
--
Title Unknown
--
47-05-17 Mattoon Daily Journal-Gazette
6:00--Once Upon a Tune--CBS

47-05-24
--
Title Unknown
--
47-05-24 El Paso Herald-Post
5:00--Once Upon a Tune (CBS)

47-05-31
--
--
47-06-12 New York Evening Post
CBS Columbia Workshop and Once Upon a Tune were excellent, but have been dropped.







Once Upon A Tune Radio Program Biographies




Ray Darby
(Creator, Writer, Lyricist and Author)

(1912-1982)

Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Education:
Unknown

Radiography:

1939 Crossroads of Youth
1944 Peter and the Bugs
1945 American School of the Air
1945 Winnipeg Summer Theatre
1945 Once Upon A Time
1945 Tale of the Lonesome Pine
1946 Once Upon A Time
1947 Once Upon A Tune
1947 Grand Marquee
1947 The Gallant Green Horn
1948 Destination Freedom


Ray Darby for Once Upon A Tune


From the December 31st 1946 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press:

Ray Darby Gets Big U.S. Radio Contract

Chalk up the name of another local boy who has made good on the other side of the line. Ray Darby, who got his start in radio in Winnipeg, has been handed a seven-year contract by the Columbia Broadcasting System in New York at a fee which, he states, "is staggering to me."
     The first fruits of the contract will be heard over all CBS stations, Jan. 5, from New York, when a programme written by Ray and another Canadian, Morris Surdin, takes the air. The title of the show is Once Upon a Time.
     Ray says in a letter that the contract is "I think one of the best ever granted by CBS. We (Morris Surdin and himself) will both be required to live in New York. The show will begin Jan. 5 at 2:30 p.m. over all CBS stations. Beginning in February it moves to a Saturday night spot, the Columbia Workshop time, 6:15 to 6:45."
     Ray Darby moved to Toronto after a successful radio career in Winnipeg. It was in this city that he first began to develop his writing ability. He broke into radio writing CBC broadcast dramas and also a juvenile deliquency documentary series, Crossroads of Youth. His books for children, Peter Smith and the Bugs and Oomah were also favorably received.
     The Eugene Field Society of St. Louis, Mo., conferred an honorary membership on Rady for the "literary skill and craftsmanship exhibited in a book for children entitled Oomah." The Field Society was organized in 1935 by authors and newsmen to perpetuate the memory of the famous poet and journalist. Ray was the first Canadian to recieve membership.
     He left the city in 1945, moving to Toronto where he contributed, among other things, a Sunday morning CBC programme entitled Alan and Me. He is married. Mrs. Darby was at one time a member of the Winnipeg Ballet.





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