This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
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BIRTH OF THE CINNAMON BEAR
by Dennis Crow © 2006
(From Radio Recall, December 2006)
Entering into the world in 1937 was a little four inch Teddy Bear with a lush green bow tied around his neck. His name was Paddy O'Cinnamon and he lived in the attic of a big old-fashioned house owned by the Barton family. He was about to be discovered, not just by the Barton children, twins Judy and Jimmy, as they went searching for ornaments, but by the whole country who would take the little bear into their hearts, let his spirit grow, and bring him out each Christmas for a trip to Maybeland.
When Judy and Jimmy went to the attic that November day in 1937, they were really seeking the silver star which always sat atop their Christmas tree. Their search crossed the path of little Paddy O'Cinnamon, (The Cinnamon Bear) who had shoe-button eyes and a ferocious growl. He showed them a small hole through with the Crazy Quilt dragon had absconded with their star and invited Judy and Jimmy to pursue the dragon to wherever his larcenous nature took him.
Paddy would function as a guide and they'd chase the dragon throughout Maybeland. Paddy magically "De-grew" the twins so they'd fit through the attic tunnel, fired up a miniature airplane powered by soda pop, and flew the Barton kids into a startling and wondrous adventure.
So begins The Cinnamon Bear, a delightful, one-of-a-kind radio series for children produced by TRANSCO in 1937, and intended to be heard in twenty-six 15 minute cliff-hanger installments, between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
This year I will send the sheet music for the title song so you can perform it on your piano. I have copies of the songs and a Maybeland map, all for you to keep at no cost, if you provide me a postal address. I can not send them in e-mail. There are many sources for the program set and First Generation Archives have great sounding, newly made compact disks.
If you haven't already, this is a great way to begin a yearly listening tradition with your own families and promote a life-long love for old-time
radio in its purest form.
To request the free CB materials from Dennis, you can write him at 3976 SE 10th Drive, Gresham OR 97080, or email to:
Editor's Addendum: The Cinnamon Bear series has the distinction of being aired on some radio station every year since 1937. With Barbara Jean Wong as "Judy" and Buddy Duncan as CB, the 26 episodes boasted a multitude of OTR stars in supporting roles. They included: Hanley Stafford, Verna Felton, Howard McNear, Elliot Lewis, Gale Gordon, Martha Wentworth and others.
Glanville Heisch not only wrote the script, he also penned most of the lyrics to the songs, which were sung by the Paul Taylor Quartet. The popularity of the series never wavered. In the mid 1980s, its fan club, the Cinnamon Bear Brigade, had over 400 members, making it larger than most OTR clubs.
When you listen to it this year, pay particular attention to the voice of "Jimmy." So far, he's the only one in the cast that CB fans have been unable to identify in the past 69 years.