Lum and Abner was an American network radio comedy program created by Chester Lauck and Norris Goff that was aired from 1931 to 1954. Modeled on life in the town of Waters, Arkansas, near where Lauck and Goff grew up. In 1936, Waters changed its name to Pine Ridge after the fictional town. The series was created by co-stars Chester Lauck and Norris Goff, the two characters performed as a double act, with Lum generally playing the straight man to Abners attempts to break free from Lums influence. Lum and Abner played the theme with deceptive cleverness. Lauck and Goff had known each other since childhood and attended the University of Arkansas together where they joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. They performed locally and established a blackface act which led to an audition at radio station KTHS in Hot Springs, prior to the audition, the two men decided to change their act and portray two hillbillies, due to the large number of blackface acts already in existence. After only a few shows in Hot Springs, they were picked up nationally by NBC, Lauck and Goff performed several different characters, modeling many of them on the real-life residents of Waters, Arkansas. When the Quaker contract expired, Lauck and Goff continued to broadcast on two Texas stations, WBAP and WFAA, in 1933, The Ford Dealers of America became their sponsor for approximately a year. Horlicks Malted Milk, the 1934–37 sponsor, offered a number of items, including almanacs. During this period, the show was broadcast on Chicagos WGN, effective July 1,1935, the program was also carried on WLW, KNX, and KFRC. Along with The Lone Ranger, Lum and Abner was one of Mutuals most popular programs, in 1936, Dick Huddleston of Waters petitioned the United States Post Office to change the towns name to Pine Ridge. Postum cereal sponsored Lum and Abner in 1938–40, before Alka-Seltzer picked up the duo, miles Laboratories, manufacturers of Alka-Seltzer and One-A-Day Vitamins, became the longest-running sponsor, backing the program from 1941 until 1948. Over the course of its life, Lum and Abner appeared on the two major radio networks in addition to NBC and Mutual, CBS and ABC. In 1948, the changed from a 15-minute comedic soap opera to a 30-minute self-contained show. New writers were added, including Flying Tiger ace Robert T. Smith, along with an orchestra, the new format was unpopular and the series came off the air in 1950. The duo twice made attempts to transition to television, but neither effort was picked up by a television network, the team broadcast more than 5,000 shows, of which over 1,630 episodes exist today. The archive is extensive between 1935 and 1948, a rarity for 15-minute shows that were never recorded
Chester Lauck and Norris Goff as Lum and Abner in 1949.
Image: Menu 1950 05 20 Lum & Abner
Image: Menu 1950 05 20 Lum & Abner biography and phot