Father and Mother
Barbour on the cover of Radio Guide.
OMF's immense popularity is proven as it comes in second in both Radio Guide's "Favorite Program" and "Best Dramatic Program" categories taken in the 1940's.
One Man's Family
Introduction to the family mp3
One Man's Family is dedicated to the Mothers and Fathers of the Younger Generation and to their Bewildering Offspring.
Tonight we bring you Chapter One, Book One, entitled "Introducing the Barbour Family."
America's first family was inspired from John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga.
Carlton E. Morse's attempt to create a real-life American family with real emotions and problems started on April 24, 1932 as a 13 week trial on local West Coast stations and quickly moved Coast to Coast lasting 27 years. Morse considered his creation a family drama instead of a Soap Opera.
Winner of the Peabody award for radio excellence, One Man's Family (OMF), heard primetime weekly on NBC, brought out subtle character development and conflict that made the show addictive. To regular listeners, the Barbours became real people and part of their family. Listeners named their babies after the characters (especially Cliff and Claudia), wrote Christmas cards, get well cards, and letters of advice to the family.
When its sponsor, Standard Brand, dropped the show in 1949 and there was a hint that the show might be dropped 75,000 protest letters poured into NBC.
OMF continued without a sponsor weekly on Sunday nights until Miles Laboratories sponsored a 15-minute nightly version on June 5, 1950.
The show unfolded in chapters and books. After 27 years, 136 books with 3,256 chapters had been written making it the longest-running noninterrupted serial in the history of American radio.
The show did finally end on May 8, 1959 and with it ended a golden era of radio.
OMF was a pioneer in TV as well as radio. Carlton E. Morse went to NY in 1949 to put together a TV show. The original scripts were dusted off and a new cast assembled. The show started with Chapter One, Book One. Two separate versions were attempted on NBC TV (NBC Primetime, 1949 - 1952;
NBC Daytime, 1954 - 1955).