Don Ameche And The Story Behind The Empire Builders

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Manage episode 230272764 series 1286771
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The Empire Builders first came to the NBC Blue airwaves on January 14th, 1929, the day after Wyatt Earp passed away. Sponsored by The Great Northern Railroad, it was an anthology series set near the geographical rail lines the sponsor owned in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and California. The series was named after the company founder, James J. Hill, who was nicknamed, “The Empire Builder.” It may have been the first western drama in radio history. While the music was lush, thanks to a full orchestra, sound effects were primitive and unrealistic. Footsteps were often eliminated all together, and gunshots were made by slapping a wooden lathe on a leather pillow. Each show was produced live, at NBC’s WJZ studios in New York city, and aired at 10:30PM eastern time on Monday evenings.

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