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Nelson Case (February 3, 1910 – March 23, 1976) was an American radio and television announcer.[1]

Nelson Case
Nelson Case 1935.jpg
Nelson Case in 1935
Born(1910-02-03)February 3, 1910
Long Beach, California, United States
DiedMarch 23, 1976(1976-03-23) (aged 66)
Center Bridge, Pennsylvania, United States
NationalityAmerican
OccupationRadio and television announcer

Case was the son of Walter and Ethel Case. His father was a newspaperman, and his mother was a driving force in the Long Beach Community Players.[2] He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and first worked as an announcer on the school's radio station. One of his early ventures into entertainment came when "as a youngster in Long Beach, he sang and played the uke for a band called the Sunset Symphonic Six."[3]

He was a graduate of the College of William & Mary,[4] in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he met his future wife.[5]

Although Case was best known for being an announcer on popular radio and television programs (in 1953, he was "on radio 20 times a week, on TV three"[6]), a 1941 newspaper article noted that he "covered everything from news and special events to sports."[7] His assignments included "Miss America pageants ... Davis Cup tennis matches and presidential inaugurations."[8] One of his more unusual assignments came February 6, 1936, when he described a simulated air attack on New York City. With United States Army planes in the roles of bombers and defenders, Case flew in a plane to "describe the combat from the air. He [was] attached to the 'defense' squadron ..."[9]

CareerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Case's career as a professional entertainer began when, at 15, he was a pianist at radio station KFON in Long Beach, California. At 16, he started an orchestra and performed with it over KFON. In 1927, he moved to KGER (also in Long Beach) as an announcer and singer.[10] He also worked at KFI,[11] KFWB,[12] and KGFJ[13] in Los Angeles. Even after taking a position at a network, Case had a weekly program "for his baritone solo work" on KGO in San Francisco.[14]

In 1931, Case was listed as "announcer and singer with the Pacific vagabonds" on an afternoon program on WJZ-NBC.[15]

Network radioEdit

Case joined NBC in 1931 as an announcer in San Francisco.[4] In 1934, he moved to New York City to be on the NBC staff there.[5] During his years on network radio the programs he announced for included Criminal Casebook,[16] The Story of Mary Marlin, Marriage Club, Inc., The Lanny Ross Show, Against The Storm, Lone Journey, Charlie and Jessie,[17] Crime Doctor, Great Moments From Great Plays,[18] N.T.G. and His Girls,[19] Ask-It-Basket,[20] Wheatenaville,[21] Johnny Presents,[22] Hercule Poirot, Lowell Thomas Show,[23] The Ford Theater,[24] The A&P Gypsies, The Adventures of the Thin Man, Big Sister, Carefree Carnival, The Carnation Contented Hour, The Coty Playgirl, The Dave Garroway Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Exploring The Unknown, Hilda Hope, MD, Husbands And Wives, Kate Hopkins, Angel of Mercy, Life Can Be Beautiful, Mary And Bob's True Story Hour, NBC Symphony Orchestra, Orphans of Divorce, Philip Morris Playhouse, The Right Thing To Do, The Road of Life, Sky Blazers, True Story Time, and Vaughn Monroe Show.[25]

Case also was announcer for musical broadcasts by bandleaders, including Wayne King, Ray Noble, Phil Spitalny and Guy Lombardo.[18]

TelevisionEdit

During his years on television, the programs Case announced for included What's It Worth?, Trash Or Treasure?[17] The Ford Television Theater,[24] Lowell Thomas, The Ken Murray Show, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, Robert Montgomery Presents,[26] The Red Buttons Show, Road of Life, Omnibus,[27] Wide Wide World, State Trooper,[28] Jane Wyman Theater,[29] Sammy Kaye Show, Tic-Tac-Dough,[30] Fibber McGee and Molly, True Story, M Squad, The Arthur Murray Party, Saber of London, and Modern Romances.[31] Case was also host of Summer Playhouse on NBC in 1954.[32]

Later yearsEdit

In 1962, Case was one of six people forming Metroscope, a service that furnished recorded commentaries to local radio stations.[33]

StyleEdit

Case became was what he called "a soft sell announcer," using a natural, conversational delivery that he said was "the opposite of the shouting, hammering type."[34] Early in his career, he responded to a newspaper's questionnaire by writing, in part:

The days when a program was introduced by stentorian blasts from the announcer are over. Nowadays he tries to be pleasant, cordial and friendly with his chatter .. both in introducing musical numbers and in giving commercial announcements.[35]

A newspaper columnist wrote, "[H]e broadcasts a feeling of sincerity unlike anyone else and his personality is broadcast to the listener and viewer who gets a feeling, 'Now, there's a guy I can trust.'"[36]

MilitaryEdit

Case was active in the Civil Air Patrol, being promoted to Flight commander in 1942.[37] At one point he filled in for a sick colleague on a radio broadcast, hurried to Roosevelt Field to practice maneuvers with the CAP, then dashed back to the studio for a rehearsal and broadcast.[38]

During World War II, Case was an aviator in the United States Navy[39] for three years.[6] He later was a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve.[40]

Professional organizationsEdit

In 1932, Case was elected president of a group of announcers "within the NBC headquarters in San Francisco."[41] A news brief noted, "Association officials say that they are not organized as a union but are merely grouped together to ask the network for a raise in salaries when they are given spot announcements to make."[41]

Later, in New York, organization became more official and Case became more involved. In 1947, he was elected to a one-year term on the board of directors of the American Federation of Radio Artists' New York local.[42] In 1948, he was elected president of the New York local[43] and a vice-president of AFRA at the national level.[44] For 1949, he was re-elected to the New York local board[45] and re-elected president of the local.[46]

HobbiesEdit

Case enjoyed writing fiction and composing music.[5] He also was described as "a great record fan."[47] When he bought a high fidelity sound system, he bought 130 LP records to play on it.[47] He accumulated "such a tremendous collection of jazz records that record companies, compiling albums of old-time jazz, often do their research in his library."[48]

He was also a writer. In 1952, he wrote a book, History of the Brooklyn Dodgers.[49] In 1953, his article, "Can TV Commercials Be Improved?," was published in Academy Magazine.[50]

In the 1960s, Case and his wife lived on an 84-acre farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he raised Angus cattle as a hobby.[34]

FamilyEdit

Case married Sarah Lee, a descendant of Robert E. Lee and Ethan Allen. They had a daughter, Virginia Lee, and a son, Nelson, Jr.[51] They were divorced in 1947.[52] His second marriage, on September 5, 1947, was to Nondas Metcalfe, an actress and writer.[53] They moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania, in 1958 and still made their home there when he died.[54]

DeathEdit

Case died of a heart attack March 23, 1976, in Doylestown Hospital in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He was survived by his wife, his son, and his daughter.[54]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Nelson Case". Michener Art Museum. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  2. ^ Masterson, Iola (January 29, 1956). "Community Players to Honor 'First Lady' on Anniversary". Independent Press-Telegram. p. 57. Retrieved April 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ "Mr. Busy Voice Returns to the Air Lanes". Independent Press-Telegram. October 10, 1954. p. 10. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ a b "Nelson Case" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 1, 1931. p. 20. Retrieved April 6, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c Owen, Kent (October 1, 1935). "Along Radio Lane". The Racine Journal-Times. p. 9. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ a b Oliver, Wayne (March 22, 1953). "Announcer Finds It Difficult To Change From Radio to TV". The Times Recorder. p. 14. Retrieved April 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ "Army Tests to Be Made on the Radio". Belvidere Daily Republican. July 26, 1941. p. 5. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  8. ^ "Case". Independent. March 26, 1976. p. 2. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  9. ^ "Air Corps Attacks over Radio Today". The Gazette and Daily. February 6, 1936. p. 4. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  10. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920–1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 120.
  11. ^ "Did You Get One?". The Escanaba Daily Press. February 2, 1928. p. 8. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  12. ^ "(Radio listing)". Santa Ana Register. December 28, 1930. p. 8. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  13. ^ "L. A. Stations". Santa Ana Register. February 15, 1930. p. 17. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  14. ^ "Behind the Microphone" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 15, 1932. p. 17. Retrieved April 6, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "(Radio listing)". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. October 21, 1931. p. 2. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  16. ^ "Criminal Casebook". Billboard. August 21, 1948. p. 10. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Nelson Case: Career". Michener Art Museum. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Nelson Case Joins Johnny in Air Show". The Fresno Bee The Republican. August 5, 1941. p. 7. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  19. ^ "In the World of Radio". Belvidere Daily Republican. October 9, 1935. p. 7. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  20. ^ "Wendell Willkie in City To Broadcast Over WHP". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 3, 1940. p. 17. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  21. ^ "Wheatena" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 1, 1932. p. 22. Retrieved April 6, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Thompson, Edgar A. (August 1, 1941). "Riding the Airwaves". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 2. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  23. ^ "Production" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 19, 1946. p. 58. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ a b Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1949). The 1949 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 138.
  25. ^ "Nelson Case". OTRRpedia. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  26. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1952). The 1952 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 934.
  27. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1955). The 1955 Radio and Television Yearbook. Radio Daily Corp. P. 1173.
  28. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1957). The 1957 Radio Annual and Television Year Book. Radio Daily Corp. P. 1196.
  29. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1958). The 1958 Radio Annual and Television Year Book. Radio Daily Corp. P. 1117.
  30. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1959). The 1959 Radio Annual and Television Year Book. Radio Daily Corp. P. 1212.
  31. ^ Alicoate, Charles A., Ed. (1960). The 1960 Radio Annual and Television Year Book. Radio Daily Corp. P. 1198
  32. ^ Witte, Lawrence (May 14, 1954). "TV-Radio News Bits". The Evening Independent. p. 20. Retrieved April 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  33. ^ "News commentary series". Broadcasting. August 6, 1962. p. 74. Retrieved April 9, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ a b "Bucks TV Announcer Likes 'Soft Sell'". The Bristol Daily Courier. June 2, 1962. p. 21. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  35. ^ Ranson, Jo (March 24, 1932). "Radio Dial-Log". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 25. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  36. ^ Steinhauser, Si (April 11, 1952). "Outlook For More TV Dark". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 13. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  37. ^ "Behind the Mike" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 24, 1942. p. 36. Retrieved April 6, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ "On The Air". The Circleville Herald. June 19, 1942. p. 5. Retrieved April 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  39. ^ "Behind the Mike" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 5, 1942. p. 38. Retrieved April 6, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ Halkenhauser, Ronnie (January 26, 1947). "Landings Via Radar Demonstrated by Navy". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 4. Retrieved April 7, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  41. ^ a b "Announcers Organize" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 1, 1934. p. 8. Retrieved April 6, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  42. ^ "Results of N.Y. AFRA Elections Announced" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 1, 1947. p. 83. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  43. ^ "N.YY. AFRA Elects" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 12, 1948. p. 89. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ "Talent Merger" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 6, 1948. p. 28. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  45. ^ "AFRA Vote" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 20, 1948. p. 69. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ "Case Re-elected" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 10, 1949. p. 67. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  47. ^ a b Kleiner, Dick (January 13, 1955). "The Marquee". The Morning Herald. p. 11. Retrieved April 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  48. ^ Kleiner, Dick (January 20, 1956). "The Marquee". The Kingston Daily Freeman. p. 5. Retrieved April 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  49. ^ "(untitled brief)" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 9, 1952. p. 83. Retrieved April 9, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  50. ^ "(untitled brief)" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 29, 1952. p. 64. Retrieved April 9, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  51. ^ "Sight & Sound: On the Air". Pottstown Mercury. September 5, 1935. p. 11. Retrieved April 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  52. ^ "Decrees Granted". Nevada State Journal. July 2, 1947. p. 12. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  53. ^ "Production" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 15, 1947. p. 146. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  54. ^ a b "TV, radio announcer Nelson Case, 66, dies". Chicago Tribune. March 25, 1976. p. Section 3-Page 10. Retrieved April 9, 2015.

External linksEdit