Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Mighty Music Box

I recently learned of the death of Tom Delong  at age 75, on July 12th.  He wrote numerous books on old time radio (The Mighty Music Box), singers (Frank Munn) and  reference works (Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 Through 1960).  When he was in the midst of writing Music Box, he interviewed my mother for details about my father’s career.  Later, after her death, he invited me to attend a celebration of the book’s publication in 1980 at the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut.  I loaned the library a portrait of my father for the occasion.  At the event, I also met some of my father’s radio colleagues—Maria Gambarelli (who performed with Roxy’s Gang), baritone Douglas Stanbury, and Arthur Tracy (also known as The Street Singer on radio).  All of this was long before I got the idea to write a book about my father, so I was less interested in these early radio legends than I should have been!  Nevertheless, Tom’s book The Mighty Music Box is well worth reading for anyone interested in old time radio, and I am sorry to hear of his passing.