Archive Photo, National Archives (Public Domain)

Today, November 16th, is my birthday. It turns out, I share my special day with Mary Margaret McBride, the 'first lady of radio.' Coincidence? Oh, no. My coworkers refer to me as the 'Queen.'

I recently celebrated 10 years on the WKDQ morning show.

I feel so fortunate to have this career, but none of it would have happened without Ms. McBride. According to Wikipedia Mary Margaret was an amazing radio and entertainment pioneer -

....an American radio interview host and writer. Her popular radio shows spanned more than 40 years. In the 1940s the daily audience for her housewife-oriented program numbered from six to eight million listeners. She was called "The First Lady of Radio."

 

She interviewed figures well known in the world of arts and entertainment, and politics, with a style recognized as original to herself. She accepted advertising only for products she was prepared to endorse from her own experience, and turned down all tobacco or alcohol products.

 

Maybe the most interesting and incredible similarity to Leslie on air is this....

 

McBride first worked steadily in radio for WOR in New York City, starting in 1934. This daily women's-advice show, with her persona as "Martha Deane", a kind and witty grandmother......

 

Originally, McBride's character "Martha Deane" was to be a grandmother with six children and many grandchildren-all imaginary. They were all named and described; she was to memorize the details. Her job was to talk colloquially and dispense philosophy. She kept getting all her "grandchildren's" names mixed up and within three weeks she jettisoned the whole tribe on air. She remained Martha Deane, but was no longer a grandmother.

I have also been known to embellish my stories sometimes.  Everything you hear is not true. There are times I will add things for the purpose of humor and to always keep you guessing. You just never know when I'm just full of it and when I'm not. LOL.

I also, never plan anything. Its all improv. Yet another way we are kind of similar. You just never know what you were going to get with her. She even dabbed in TV which is what I originally wanted  to do before theater and radio.

Her NBC show in the 1940s had broad range of guests, from politicians to generals to movie stars; she never announced her guests in advance, so the audience tuned in with no idea what they would get. Beginning during World War II, she began "breaking the color line", mixing in African American guests. McBride was a popular media figure; there is a tea rosenamed for her.

Take a look at a pilot for her television show.

 

WOW.  I love it. I feel so honored to share my bday with such an amazing women.

Read more about her here!

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