This Friday is National Reading Day, which coincides with Dr. Seuss' birthday. It was over 80 years ago that Theodore Geisel (1904 - 1991) took on the nom de plume "Dr. Seuss" and entered the children's book market. His greatest stories have been adapted into box office hits, TV specials, kiddies records, and even Broadway plays.
One of the earliest media adaptations of Dr. Seuss' works was a radio adaption of "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" for The American School Of The Air on January 18, 1940. The program was directed by Nila Mack "the fairy godmother or radio" behind the children's classic Let's Pretend (1929 - 1954 CBS).
|Actor Howard Lindsay and writer/director Nila Mack. From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 17, 1940 page 19.|
While this broadcast does exist, what I have posted on YouTube is an adaptation by Mack that was broadcast August 18, 1940 for the Columbia Workshop. It is unknown if this is the same script that was used for the earlier broadcast. Heard in the cast is child actor Jack Grimes, a regular "Let's Pretender", best remembered today for being the second Jimmy Olsen on radio's Adventures of Superman.
Dr. Seuss was just on of many classic children's books authors to have their works adapted during that great period known as the "Golden Age of Radio". Following National Reading Day I will post more classic adaptations of children's literature. Enjoy!