Thinking back to sayings from 1940s

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I have been writing this column going on four years and just now realized that nostalgia has been absent in many of these weekly offerings.

So this week I am reaching back to the 1940s and going through today with some nostalgic sayings and characters, many of which you and I have grown up with and some who are still with us today.

Most of them came from “old radio shows.” There was a time back in the 1940s and 50s I could name practically every popular radio program on the air. I could tell you the announcers, the band leaders and sponsors of the show and nights they were aired. I suppose I was intrigued by these old programs. Of course, many of those old shows are long gone. But, the nostalgia of it all still remains.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For instance, Harlow Wilcox was the announcer on the “Fibber McGee and Molly Show.” The writer of that show included a role for him and gave him the nickname “Waxy.” I guess it was because the show was sponsored by Johnson Wax.

John Scott Trotter’s orchestra was featured on the “Bing Crosby Show” and announcer Don Wilson, with his booming voice, was right at home on the Jack Benny Show.

“Your Hit Parade” was a popular Saturday night show. Singers, Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lansen and Gisele McKenzie warbled the 10 most popular hit songs of the week.

“Red Skelton” featured David Rose’s great orchestra on his weekly show. And that famous theme, “Holiday for Strings” still rings in my ears today.

Phil Spitalny conducted his “All Girl Orchestra” and featured “Evelyn and Her Magic Violin.” His radio show was called “The Hour of Charm.”

Uncle Dave Macon, a unique old style banjo player, was one of the pioneers of the Grand Ole Opry. He had a son named Dorris who accompanied him.

J.D. Sumner, who sang with “The Sunshine Boys” in 1940s Class B Saturday Western movies, later became famous as the leader of the Stamps Quartet.

I could go on and on with literally dozens of these memories from my days of youth, so I have decided to present some of them to you and let you “match them up.”

Here here are some famous people from those days.

Hal Perry(Great Gildersleeve), Duke of Paducah, Big Joe Siedik, Candy Candito (A.K.A. Tyrone Touchbottom), Ted Danson, Justin Wilson, Emmett Ashford, Lew Childre, Horace Heidt, Gene Autry, Kate Smith, Jimmy Durante, Bill O’Reilly, Roy Rogers, Perry Como, Minnie Pearl, Bob Wills, Jimmy Sturr, Fanny Brice (A.K.A. Baby Snooks), John Lair, Bob Wills, Humphrey Bogart, Lawrence Welk, Dizzy Dean and Buddy Epsen (A.K.A. Jed Clampett).

Now, the sayings. You match them up. By the way I have added one character who does not have a match.

Round up the usual suspects; Dream Along With Me; It’s better to build boys than mend men; I was Born in Renfro Valley; Happy Trails; I garontee it; Cheers; Happy Trails; I’m going back to the wagon because these shoes are killing me; LeeeeRoyee; Silly boy; Back In The Saddle Again; I’m feeling mighty low; Good night Miss Calabash where ever you are; Well, Doggies; He slud into third base Pee Wee; Ho, ho,ho and away we go; Yer outta here Billy Martin; When The Moon Comes Over the Mountain; Good night to my mammy down in Opp, Alabammy; I’m just so proud to be here; talking points are fair and balanced; ah, hah,yes, yes, San Antone –come in here Tommy Duncan; Keep a song in your heart and a smile on your face.

How well can you match up these people with their famous sayings? Perhaps, I will give you the answers next week. And, then again I think I will just leave them for you to: “figure out.”

Speaking of celebrities, how many of you remember Robert Stack making a stop here in Atmore? I believe it was during the 1950s. He was a very popular movie actor at that time.

And, Dub (Cannonball) Taylor cooled off at Little River State Park in early 1950s. The popular cowboy “sidekick” was returning to his south Georgia home after a quail hunting trip near Jackson.

Everyone has his or her own moments of nostalgia. I was in the doctor’s office recently talking with an older gentleman as we waited for our appointments. When asked what he remembered about Atmore he told me “it was the parking meters.” He said, “I never put money in them I just left a nickel at the slot.” He said he never got any parking tickets, and many times his nickel was still there when he got back to his pickup truck.

I also remember Abner Jernigan building us a small press box at the top of the bleachers in Byrne Field. That’s where Sam Ford and I broadcast Blue Devil football games over WATM.

Boy, I really miss that station and all those songs and music that were so popular back in the early 1950s.

I really miss Tom and Ernestine, Jimmy Cruise, “Popping Off Paul,” Wayne Butts, “Bruce the Roosts” and all the others who worked there during my tenure.

I am sure all the other announcers and staff members who followed us hold dear to that station.

Yes….it always whispers to me…those days of long ago – from that famous Ken Nordine narration “The Shifting Whispering Sands” …

Next week we will take a look at people, events and places from the year 1966.

Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

This week Lowell's column goes all the way back to the 1940s. | File Photo