Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Who chose the scripts for the Mary Frances Rhymer book?

Do you ever wonder who chose the scripts for the Mary Frances Rhymer book?

Follow along here. It's 1972. People are starving for material from the collection you own - the collection of scripts you can choose from to write a book.

You decide to write a book (that is, all you pretty much have to do is pick out a bunch of scripts and put them in a book). That's pretty easy, because your husband was Paul Rhymer. He wrote the best radio show ever.

So, all you have to do in order to sell bazillions of books is to pick out 30 or so great scripts. I'll say it again - that's pretty easy, because your husband was Paul Rhymer. He wrote the best radio show ever.

That book came out in 1972 when there was very, very little information about the show floating around. Here it is, 43 years later and we many scripts at our beck and call - just like Mary Frances Rhymer did. Except she had anything and everything to choose from - thousands more than we have.

So, you sit down and you start choosing scripts to put into a book. Certainly while reading these scripts you must be thinking - I'm going to choose the very best of these! Right?

How in then world do you put 35-01-01 New Year's Day - Rush Has Three Jobs in there? It's not horrible, but it's not special. Half of the book is like that.  Quaint.  Rhymeresque.  Some are very different than what we are used to.  But are they the 30 scripts that tell you what kind of a radio show we all love?  Are they 30 of the best scripts?

The fact is, there really are some wonderful scripts in her book.  But what makes you squash your eyebrows is where are all the scripts that should be there and aren't?  Did whoever choose the scripts ever listen to the show?


  1. Barb Schwarz confided to us that Bill Idelson had compiled and edited both collections for Mrs. Rhymer. He was a trusted friend, and Mrs. Rhymer herself didn't really understand the humor of the show.

  2. Addendum: If you read Bill Idelson's Vic & Sade book, it's clear he favors the earlier, pre-Uncle Fletcher days of the program. I don't think there's a single Uncle Fletcher script or mention in his book; there's only a passing reference to Clarence Hartzell. A friend of the late Mr. Idelson told me that he was quite a curmudgeon in his later years.

  3. And just one more thing: A great many of the episodes on the Vic & Sade webpage were sourced from the cache of disks in the Library of Congress. Barb Schwarz and a few others knew of those at least as far back as the '80s. Their release was contingent upon Mrs. Rhymer giving her consent, which she didn't do, because she thought the fan club "had enough material already." This sort of thinking boggles MY mind because you'd think she'd want to further Paul Rhymer's legacy, but I guess she was more concerned about protecting it. She may have gotten such a notion from Rhymer himself, who hints at a certain degree of bitterness in his letters to Idelson. At any rate, when Ms. Schwarz finally got a go-ahead from Paul Parke Rhymer in the late '90s, there was a rider to the effect that the very existence of the disks/recordings was top secret; absolutely nothing about the cache could be shared outside the Friends of Vic & Sade. Rumors got out and about anyway; I had a collector pursue me for information (which he didn't get). In the end, the episodes were published at large anyway.

  4. Brent,
    Thanks for sharing this info.


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