Just Plain Bill
, Drawing of Ruth Russell by actor-singer Norman Sweetser (1894-1980)
Bill the Barber
Daytime dramatic serial
CBS, Blue, NBC Red
Frank and Anne Hummert
Robert Hardy Andrews,
September 19, 1932 to 1955
"Darling Nellie Gray"
"Polly Wolly Doodle"
Kolyonos Toothpaste, Anacin
Just Plain Bill was a long-running 15-minute daytime radio drama program heard on CBS Radio and NBC Radio. The series was sponsored by Anacin for 18 of the program's 23-year run. Other sponsors over the years were Kolynos toothpaste, Clapp's baby food, and BiSoDol. It was "the real-life story of people just like people we all know."
Originally called Bill the Barber, the program began on CBS September 19, 1932. It told the story of Bill Davidson (Arthur Hughes), a barber in the town of Hartville, and his daughter Nancy (Ruth Russell). Bill often became involved in helping his friends and neighbors when he wasn't cutting hair. Also in the cast: Dick Janaver (1911-1999).
The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who produced many radio daytime drama series, including Amanda of Honeymoon Hill, Backstage Wife, Front Page Farrell, John's Other Wife, Little Orphan Annie, Ma Perkins, Mr. Chameleon, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, Our Gal Sunday and Young Widder Brown.
Music was by Hal Brown (1865-1942), who played harmonica and whistled the Just Plain Bill opening theme, "Darling Nellie Gray". The closing theme was "Polly Wolly Doodle." Don Pardo was the program's announcer. The series came to an end in 1955.
1 Cultural references,
2 Listen to,
3 See also,
4 External links,
In The Three Stooges short Goofs and Saddles Larry Fine's character is known as "Just Plain Bill".
An episode of The Jack Benny Program has Jack shopping for a new car, passing up such dealers as Madman Muntz in favor of "Just Plain Bill".
In the M*A*S*H episode "Major Fred C. Dobbs", Hawkeye tape-records an encounter between Frank Burns and Hot Lips in the latter's tent, then plays it back for Frank in the guise of "my favorite armed forces soap opera, Just Plain MacArthur".
The comedy team Bob and Ray parodied the show in their sketch "Just Fancy Dan."
Just Plain Bill