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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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Please, make yourself comfortable and enjoy your visit…

 

WHAT'S NEW...?

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.

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

ENJOY NOSTALGIA DIGEST — IN PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITIONS!
Since 1974, Nostalgia Digest has been dedicated to celebrating the Golden Age of Entertainment; during that time, we've seen enormous changes in the world of publishing -- and while we have no plans to convert to an online-only publication, we understand that for a lot of people around the world, the internet has changed their definition of "reading." So it is that from this point on, the current issue of Nostalgia Digest will be available in both print (while supplies last) and digital editions, so you can take the Nostalgia anywhere you go!

At present, digital-only subscriptions are not available; however, everyone with a current subscription will receive both the print and digital editions for their reading convenience. Digital issues can be purchased individually as well, but either way, you'll get the great reading you expect from Nostalgia Digest in the format that's most convenient for you — and just in time for the holidays, our brand-new Winter issue has a cover story about the timeless comedy of Bob and Ray, as well as articles about the legendary Claudette Colbert, the many singers who were part of The Jack Benny Program, the many creations of puppeteer Shari Lewis; memories of Christmas shopping in the 1950s and much, much more! And, of course, each issue of the Digest contains a complete three-month schedule for our weekly radio show, Those Were the Days, listing the shows we play each week and the order in which we play them!

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.

SPEAKING OF DIGITAL—GIVE A LISTEN...
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 (SLIGHT) RETURN OF RADIO'S GOLDEN AGE

Back in 2010, the folks at Yesterday USA invited us to create a show for their internet radio station. We responded with Radio's Golden Age, a weekly, two-hour show that lasted for six years and more than 300 episodes before we brought the series to a close in 2016. This Spring, we were delighted when the Stay Tuned America channel asked about re-playing past episodes of Radio's Golden Age. We agreed and now you can hear them every Monday and Wednesday evening. Click here for more information.


THE NOSTALGIA DIGEST PODCAST!

Ten years ago, 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, after eight years and 100 podcasts--however, you can always get a year's worth of Podcasts on compact disc -- for instance, our 2012 CD features our very first podcast, featuring conversations with Nostalgia Digest founder Chuck Schaden and Rich "Svengoolie" Koz, as well as podcasts devoted to Eve Arden, Abbott and Costello, Gunsmoke, Vic and Sade, the many voice of Sam Spade and more! Click here to get our Nostalgia Digest Podcast CDs for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and/or 2019!!


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):

Thursday, February 2, 1:30 pm: Radio and the Great American Songbook, Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg
Thursday, February 9, 12:00 pm: Radio in the 1950s, Fountaindale Public Library, 300 W. Briarcliff Road, Bolingbrook
Wednesday, February 15, 11:30 am: The Windy City on the Air: Chicago and the Golden Age of Radio, Lake Villa District Library, 140 N. Munn Road, Lindenhurst
Thursday, February 23, 2:00 pm: A Funny Thing Happened: The Evolution of Radio Comedy, Mid-Continent Public Library, 15616 E. 24 Hwy, Independence, MO [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION] Thursday, February 23, 7:00 pm: The Windy City on the Air, Midlothian Public Library, 14701 Kenton Ave., Midlothian
Tuesday, March 14, 7:00 pm: Heroes on the Air, St. Charles Public Library, One S. 6th Avenue, St. Charles
Thursday, March 16, 6:00 pm: A Beginner's Guide to the Golden Age of Radio, Ela Area Public Library, 275 Mohawk Trail, Lake Zurich [A VIRTUAL PRESENTATION]
Sunday, March 19, 2:00 pm: Radio Goes to War, Alsip-Merionette Park Library, 11960 S Pulaski Rd, Alsip


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.)

A "FACE" FOR RADIO

If you're a member of the Facebook community, we invite you to join our Nostalgia Digest Facebook group. It's a chance to meet some like-minded listeners and get news, information, and pictures pertaining to Nostalgia Digest, Those Were the Days and all related activities. We're at 2,000-plus members and counting, so you'll be in good company!

And be sure to follow us on Twitter!

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!