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Hello and Welcome to the new home of Funny Valentine Press, the home of Nostalgia Digest Magazine, the entertaining, educational quarterly magazine devoted to the “Golden Age” of radio, movies, music and television!

 

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WHAT'S NEW...?

"FALL" INTO MYSTERY -- AND A LOT MORE -- WITH NOSTALGIA DIGEST!
So how do you follow a Swimsuit Issue? In the case of Nostalgia Digest, you celebrate a master of mystery! Since 1974, Nostalgia Digest has been dedicated to celebrating the Golden Age of Entertainment -- and the new Autumn issue has a cover story about the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, in addition to a 70th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney's Peter Pan; articles about actress Sylvia Sidney, the famous Hollywood Canteen, Vic and Sade and more--including the complete three-month schedule for our two weekly radio shows, Those Were the Days and Radio's Golden Age, listing the shows we play each week and the order in which we play them! Best of all, the Nostalgia Digest is available in both print and digital editions, so you can take the Nostalgia anywhere you go!

Whatever the reason, whatever the season, a subscription to Nostalgia Digest makes a great gift for a friend, a loved one... or for you... and you can order your subscription by clicking here!

By the way, we're pleased to announce that Nostalgia Digest is now in more than 400 stores in North America, including select Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million stores.

THE RETURN OF RADIO'S GOLDEN AGE!
What could be more fun than hosting an old-time radio show? How about hosting two old-time radio shows?!?

You're invited to join Steve Darnall on Sunday, September 3 for the first broadcast of Radio's Golden Age, a new three-hour dedicated to classic sounds from... well, from the Golden Age of Radio, that will air Sundays from 6-9 pm Central time at KXEL-AM, a 50,000-watt station in Waterloo, IA.

"I first hosted a show called Radio's Golden Age at the 10-watt radio station of Lyons Township High School," Steve recalls. "I used the title again when I hosted an internet show back in the 'teens.' When KXEL contacted me about hosting a new show for them, I contemplated using another name, but then I figured maybe the third time really would be the charm. In any case, I'm looking forward spending my Sunday evenings with these great performers from the past -- and of course, I'll still be hosting Those Were the Days every Saturday afternoon on WDCB."

KEN ALEXANDER: 1929-2022
We are saddened to announce that our good friend and longtime Those Were the Days announcer Ken Alexander passed away on November 2, 2022, at the age of 93. Ken was a part of our radio family for some 35 years, as an announcer, a "permanent guest host," a reader of vintage newspapers and a man of many voices during TWTD's annual Hallowe'en shows. The November 5 Those Were the Days program featured host Steve Darnall and former host Chuck Schaden paying tribute to Ken Alexander, with memories and sound clips from his time on TWTD; the complete four-hour broadcast is available as a four-CD "audio transcript" by clicking here; in addition, the Spring 2023 issue of Nostalgia Digest has an article about Ken's remarkable career; copies are available by clicking here.

Some years ago, Ken wrote about his radio career for this website; you can read his recollections here. RIP.

THE NOSTALGIA SHOP GOES DIGITAL!
For many years, the Nostalgia Shop has made hundreds of hours of classic old-time radio available on compact disc and now, select collections are also available as digital downloads! Now you can take the sounds of radio's past with you wherever you go and play them on the device of your choice! Click here to see what's available and start listening!

KARL PEARSON JOINS THE WDCB TEAM
For nearly fifty years, Those Were the Days listeners have heard and enjoyed the knowledge and enthusiasm of big band historian Karl Pearson during his annual appearances on our show. This year, Radio listeners have the chance to hear Karl not only as a guest on our show, but as the host of his own show, Juke Box Saturday Night, which airs every Saturday on WDCB from 5-6 pm CST--immediately following Those Were the Days. The show will cover the depth and breadth of the big band band era, from the 1920s into the 1950s (with plenty of great moments from the 1930s and '40s), with famous studio recordings, samples of classic radio broadcasts and some other rare and interesting items. We couldn't be more excited for Karl and we hope you'll enjoy Juke Box Saturday Night, right after Those Were the Days! To hear both shows live on Saturday, click here.

A LIMITED-EDITION PRINT FROM NOSTALGIA DIGEST
In 2020, Nostalgia Digest celebrated the 100th anniversary of commercial radio in the United States with a special cover story--and a special cover, drawn by Chicago-area artist Mark Braun. The issue sold out quickly and several people asked if there were plans to make Mark's artwork available as a stand-alone piece. We're pleased to announce that Mark has graciously allowed us to make his cover art available as a limited-edition 18" x 24" print, which is available while supplies last. It's a great gift designed to brighten the walls of the radio fan in your life and you can get a copy by clicking here.

THE NOSTALGIA DIGEST PODCAST!

Back in 2012, we launched the Nostalgia Digest Podcast and began a run that lasted for eight years and 100 episodes! Devoted to people, performers, topics and shows that have been featured in the pages of Nostalgia Digest magazine, the Nostalgia Digest podcast lets you take the fun and memories of the Digest anywhere you go!

At the end of 2020, we made the decision to put the Nostalgia Digest Podcast on hiatus however, we're pleased to announce that in response to our listeners, we're making all 100 podcasts available for download, in addition to offering a year's worth of Podcasts on CD! Hear our conversations with Bob and Ray's Bob Elliott, actresses Marsha Hunt and Patty McCormack, Rich "Svengoolie" Koz, comedian Robert Klein, comic book artist Alex Ross, Jack Benny's daughter and Harpo Marx's son and many more... and our podcasts devoted to everyone from Eve Arden to Benny Goodman to Eddie "Rochester" Anderson! Click here to learn more about the Nostalgia Digest Podcast!!


LIBRARY BOOK-INGS

Over the last decade, thousands of old-time radio fans have turned out to hear Nostalgia Digest publisher and Those Were the Days host Steve Darnall talk about the Golden Age of Radio, sharing some stories and sound clips from some of the era's most memorable stars and shows! Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic led many libraries to either close or limit their facilities; as a result, we're offering a combination of in-person and "virtual" programs (all libraries in Illinois unless otherwise noted; all times Central):

Wednesday, October 4, 2:00 pm: Lights Out, Everybody: Mystery and Horror in the Golden Age of Radio, Algonquin Area Public Library, 2600 Harnish Drive, Algonquin
Thursday, October 5, 1:00 pm: Radio in the 1950s: From Golden Age to TV Age, DeKalb County Public Library, 309 Oak Street, DeKalb
Thursday, October 5, 6:30 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, DeKalb County Public Library, 309 Oak Street, DeKalb [NOTE: That's right, we're doing two presentations in one day for the DeKalb library! Join us for either one... or both!]
Tuesday, October 10, 6:00 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, LaSalle Public Library, 305 Marquette Street, LaSalle
Thursday, October 12, 12:00 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, Fountaindale Pubic Library, 300 W. Briarcliff Road, Fountaindale
Tuesday, October 16, 1:00 pm: Radio in the Windy City, Helen Plum Public Library, 411 S. Main Street, Lombard
Tuesday, October 17, 6:00 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, Autauga-Prattville Public Library, 254 Doster St, Prattville, AL [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION]
Thursday, October 19, 12:00 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg
Thursday, October 26, 1:00 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, Bloomfield Public Library, 1015 Blue Hills Avenue, Bloomfield, CT [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION]
Thursday, October 26, 6:30 pm: Lights Out, Everybody, Palos Park Public Library, 12330 S. Forest Glen Blvd., Palos Park
Monday, November 6, 2:00 pm: Heroes on the Air Bronxville Public Library, 201 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, NY [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION]
Wednesday, November 8, 1:00 pm: A Beginner's Guide to the Golden Age of Radio, Elmwood Park Public Library, 1 W. Conti Pkwy, Elmwood Park
Wednesday, November 8, 7:00 pm: Radio Goes to War, Bensenville Community Public Library, 200 S. Church Road, Bensenville [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION]
Tuesday, November 28, 2:00 pm: Radio in the 1950s: From Golden Age to TV Age, Indian Trails Public Library, 355 Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling
Tuesday, November 28, 6:00 pm: Radio and the Great American Songbook, Somerset County Library of New Jersey, 100 Community Drive, Skillman, New Jersey [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION]

Hopefully we'll be back in your neck of the woods before too long!

To learn more about each of Steve's eight presentations, click here--and if you'd like to book Steve Darnall to give a presentation (virtual or otherwise) to your group, click here.)

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II
Some of you know that Those Were the Days program recently commemorated the 75th anniversary of World War II by featuring news and entertainment broadcasts that were heard originally seventy-five years ago and just as we were pleased for the chance to share this unique chapter in American history and radio history, we're also pleased to announce that we've joined forces with the good folks at accuradio.com to create an online radio channel devoted to the music of World War II! We've gone through our music library to give listeners as complete as possible a look at the music America was listening to during the War years, from hit songs to love songs, from novelty numbers to patriotic tunes and given our radio roots, we've also included some wartime messages from the Golden Age of Radio, featuring Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Edward R. Murrow and others! Click here to listen!