Friday, November 29, 2013

Bob McFadden to Host Mary Lee Tucker – Nov. 28, 1955

Every year the Morning Journal sponsors the wonderful Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-a-Child campaign, in which readers and organizations donate money to buy warm coats for needy school age children. In the old days, however, the newspaper's Mary Lee Tucker name was also associated with a benefit show sponsored by the Lorain City Club made up of local performers.

In 1955, the show was hosted by a nationally known entertainer – Bob McFadden, who was also an Ohioan.

Who was Bob McFadden? Well, before I tell you what I know about him, here is the story announcing his Mary Lee Tucker hosting duties as it appeared in the Lorain Journal on November 28, 1955 – 58 years ago yesterday.

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Famed Satirist
Bob McFadden To Emcee Yule Show

BOB McFADDEN
To Emcee Christmas Show
Bob McFadden, billed as America's foremost satirist, will be master of ceremonies for the annual Mary Lee Tucker Christmas benefit show.

HE WILL APPEAR with the best local talent available on the fast moving two hour show to be presented Dec. 7 at the Palace theater, Show Director Harold Saladin announced today.

The show is sponsored by the Lorain City Club. Proceeds will be used for the six point program of Christmas sharing of The Journal's Mary Lee Tucker department.

Saladin said a total of 65 acts of local talent have auditioned at the three tryouts held the past three Sundays. Announcement of the acts selected for the show will be made later this week.

"ALL THE ACTS are good," Saladin declared. "But we can not possibly use all of them. We only wish we could. It's going to be a tough job deciding which ones to select."

A comparative newcomer, McFadden is a triple threat in the entertainment field, Saladin said.

"Just to hear America's newest and most hilarious entertainer sing would be anyone's money's worth," Saladin stated. "To listen to his brand of humor would more than suffice in any show. And to hear his impressions of famous personalities would put a smile on the sourest face.

"But in offering all three, Bob McFadden finds a place in show business all his own."

McFADDEN WAS discovered in the U. S. Navy in 1950. He was assigned to work with the Armed Forces Radio Network as singing master of ceremonies at a special navy show called "The Bob McFadden Show."

Sent to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a a special navy show, he was seen by the manager of the fabulous Condado Beach hotel.

After a successful engagement at the Condado he was immediately starred in the show in Jack's club and since leaving San Juan in 1950 he has steadily climbed toward becoming one of the country's leading personalities.

FEW PERFORMERS have made such a strong impression on the public or played so many top spots in so short a time. In five years in the business, he has appeared in leading clubs in the midwest, at the Dallas State Fair, Canadian Exposition and many of the other state and national functions throughout the country.

He was a winner on an Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout program, has appeared on the Guide Right program and The Courtesy Hour and as a guest artist on many radio programs. He has also appeared in many of the leading hotels across the country.

McFadden is an Ohioan, born at East Liverpool. His father did a singing and soft shoe act in vaudeville prior to becoming a salesman.

McFADDEN ATTENDED East Liverpool high school and then went to a special chemical analysis training school in a steel company where he worked for two years before entering the Navy.

On his days off he studied singing in Pittsburgh. He was classified as a radioman second class in the Navy and kept busy with his radio program when assigned to the Armed Forces Radio.

PATRON TICKETS for the show at $2.50 each may be obtained at The Journal office.

Regular reserved seat tickets, selling at $1.50 each, may be obtained at The Journal, Owens Record Rack, 617 Broadway; the Palace Theater; Rusine's, 822 Broadway; Santarelli's delicatessen, 812 E. Erie; and Henes florist, 2113 Broadway.

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Bob McFadden ended up having a great career as a voice-over actor in commercials and in animated cartoons. This Wiki page lists his considerable credits.

Baby Boomers will remember the Milton the Monster Show. McFadden was the voice of Milton and several of the other monsters on that show.

McFadden also worked on many Rankin and Bass Christmas specials and TV movies.

His most visible role was – not surprisingly – another lovable monster, namely Boo Berry, the advertising mascot for General Mills' cereal of the same name.



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