Monday, March 10, 2014

Sandor Weisberger and Sick of it All

Judson Fountain's longtime radio drammer sidekick Sandor Weisberger was cast as a muckraking TV news reporter in a 1994 hardcore punk video "Step Down," by the band Sick of it All. We don't know if the band knew about Weisberger from his escapades with Judson or simply knew of him as a local character.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Judson could not be reached for comment ...

Himan Brown, Developer of Radio Dramas, Dies at 99

The New York Times
June 7, 2010

Himan Brown, who long before there was television created immensely popular radio dramas like The Adventures of the Thin Man, The Inner Sanctum, and Dick Tracy, employing an arsenal of beguiling sound effects that terrified or tickled the shows’ many listeners, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 99.

[continue obit]

HT: Lou Smith

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Plots Carefully Compounded (And Confounded)

OK, for those drammers where no specific location is mentioned, I vote that, as Judson admirers, we agree to set them in Cockeysville, Maryland.

This matchbook cover is currently up for auction on eBay.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

discovering the Fountain of youth

There are few enough writeups—even on blogs!—about Judson that we can afford to allow any to escape our (and your) attention. Here's a take by the Morris S.P.U.D.S. (Seekers of Paranormal and Unusual Discoveries).

Above: vintage photo of young Judson under makeup as an old hag.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

someplace to donate the owd hag's money

KMSU Radio (Mankato MN) is hosting their on-air pledge drive from October 14-25. Their program Shuffle Function ("Pop Music as Pornography") offers a Judson two-fer (scroll to bottom at link) to all who pledge $100 to the non-commercial Minnesota State University station.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Drew Friedman fine art print of Judson

The cover of the Judson CD Dark, Dark, Dark Tales has been adapted as a fine art print. The work, by Drew Friedman, with typography by Laura Lindgren, is now available in a limited edition of 15 at The illustration is identical to the CD cover, but the typography has been modified to reflect Judson's best-known radio drama.

Each archival-quality print is numbered and signed by the artist. When the edition sells out, the work will not be reissued in any large display format.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Miriam Wolfe, The WOR Witch

(She was throwing herself into witch voices on WOR at the tender age of 12, and judging by the picture at left, she was good. We don't know of a link between Miriam Wolfe and Judson, but there's an interesting alignment of the planets here, since Judson, to whom Toronto and Brooklyn were both 'home towns,' also handled demonic cackles for Let's Pretend. Miriam died in 2000; here's her obit.)

Miriam Wolfe, Vocally Adroit Actress, 78
October 5, 2000

Miriam Wolfe, whose long acting career embraced radio, television and the theater, died on Sept. 29 at her home in Toronto. She was 78.

Ms. Wolfe played a wide variety of characters during her lifetime but was perhaps best known for her skill at conveying an assortment of wicked witches, evil queens and nasty stepmothers on programs like Nila Mack's ''Let's Pretend,'' a popular Saturday morning children's show on WCBS radio during the 1930's, 40's and early 50's. A demonic cackle Ms. Wolfe had mastered as a child sent chills over the airwaves, especially in Mutual Network's radio serial ''The Witch's Tale.''

Born in Brooklyn, Ms. Wolfe made her acting debut at 4, reciting poems on ''The Uncle Gee Bee Kiddie Hour'' on WBGS radio [sic], an early station in New York. In later years she played parts on ''Studio One'' and ''Ford Theater,'' working with the likes of Lucille Ball, Montgomery Clift and Ingrid Bergman. She also appeared on ''Mystery Hall,'' ''Casey, Crime Photographer'' and ''Suspense.'' In the 1950's, Ms. Wolfe joined ''The Rayburn & Finch Comedy Hour.'' She also acted on ''The Adventures of Popeye,'' playing Olive Oyl.

(At left: Miriam Wolfe, substantially later in her career, with Russ Thompson.)

In 1956 Ms. Wolfe moved to Canada, where she married John Forrest Mackay Ross and went to work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as an actor, writer and director. While there, she adapted, directed and played all the roles in a radio version of Paul Bowles's ''You Are Not I.'' She also appeared on Canadian television in shows like ''Wayne and Shuster.'' On many occasions, she continued to be heard but not seen as the dubbed-in voices of characters in films and cartoons.

Her theater work included the Broadway production of ''Make Momma Happy'' and a production of Tennessee Williams's ''Rose Tattoo'' in Hollywood. And she was the author of ''Listening to Language: The Sounds of English.''

She is survived by a son, Michael Ross, of Occidental, Calif.

Why would they have The Uncle Gee Bee Kiddie Hour on “WBGS?”
It was, of course, WGBS, later WINS.
Biggest shocker : Wayne and Shuster had their own TV show. Now that's scary.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shedding a little "dark" on the subject

As autumn descends, it's getting dark earlier. Halloween looms. It's getting spooky out there. This year's fun-with-fear fest will be marked by a new CD collection of Judson Fountain reddio drammers, to be released shortly by Innova. The portraits of Judson and Sandor were provided by legendary caricaturist (and charter Fountainhead) Drew Friedman, and the cover and booklet were designed by Laura Lindgren. We'll have more info the CD shortly.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The many faces of Judson Fountain - all of them missing

Thirteen years.

It's been nearly thirteen years since any of us who have affection and admiration for Judson and his work have heard from him.

In 1995, Judson and Sandor visited WFMU and learned, to some extent, about their cult status. When I was informed, a day before they were due in the studio, that these two guys were going to be in front of a microphone for the first time in years, I started working on a new script. It was faithful to the old style but included a third voice, that of "The Old Codger," a WFMU legend who was born to do a drammer with Judson and Sandor - some time in the late ninteenth century.

The result - The Ugly Roomer - was performed by the trio live, on-air, with no rehearsal, the coldest of cold reads. But it worked: Judson and Sandor laughed at their own lines as they read them for the first time. I recently learned that "The Ugly Roomer" will appear on the second Judson Fountain CD, Dark Dark Dark Tales... and Other Dark Tales. As Frank Morgan says in The Wizard of Oz, "Well, bust my buttons!"

I got to say hi to Judson on the phone that day. It was a surreal experience.

And then, we lost touch. Our bad.

I've dropped a few bucks into the coffers of those "locate anyone instantly" internet sites, and while they returned some results that looked promising, nothing panned out. I've made a lot of phone calls to a lot of Fountains around the U.S. and Canada - and no soap.
I like being scared by Judson in his radio productions, but scarier still is the thought that he might no longer be with us.

Google "Judson Fountain" and you get dozens of hits. It's hard to believe Judson himself hasn't wandered into a library somewhere (if he is internetless at home), sat down at a computer and entered his own name... only to discover that he has a CD out and is the subject of numerous tributes. Judson even has famous fans.

Judson's got money waiting for him. Probably not much, but there's an escrow fund from the CD's and if anybody ever orders a Judson T-Shirt (I designed it for myself and recently made the made the design available to anyone who wants one) 100% of the money received will be put aside for Judson.

Are you good at finding people? Do you have a friend that's a private eye? Have you seen anyone matching the description? Become a hero to all of us and find Judson. He should be sharing in this.

One thing I know for sure is that he would be thrilled by all that's happened over the past thirteen years. And one other thing I know for sure: the third Judson Fountain CD would be all-new material... and absolutely great.