Friday, January 09, 2009


On Monday, we looked back at The Guiding Light's Rose Kransky who, in 1939, shocked her family and neighbors in the Chicago suburb of Five Points by choosing to keep and raise her illegitimate son, Johnny.

Rose's travails became so popular that on October 16 of that same year, GL creator Irna Phillips spun Rose off into her own radio show, The Right To Happiness.

Rose, her mother (who was only known as Mrs. Kransky - no first name) and her brother, Jacob, left five points and settled in another suburb nearby. Rose went to work for Doris Cameron.

Doris was in the process of burying her husband, when Doris' daughter, Carolyn, returned to town and fell in love with Bill - the man her mother had been having an affair with!

Unable to compete with such more neighbors, the Kranskys returned to The Guiding Light, where poor Johnny was struck by a car and died, thus ending his mother's second attempt to wed Charles, Johnny's biological father. Rose would go on to work as a governess for wealthy Edward and Norma. Though attracted to Edward, Rose kept her distance. Only after Norma died, did Edward and Rose admit their feelings for each other and married.

Meanwhile, back on The Right to Happiness, Carolyn tried to commit suicide after finding out that Bill was in love with her mother. To save Carolyn's life, Doris renounced her claim on the man.

But the most interesting character on The Right to Happiness may have been The Voice From the Past.

Played by dulcet-toned radio personality Marvin Mueller, he really was just a voice. From the past. That was prone to speaking up at the oddest times to announce, "I know this because -- I am The Past!"

No wonder Doris' brother killed his wife and then himself, leaving daughter Louise nearly clinically insane. The Past was speaking to them!

Though initially owned by P&G, the company sold all of their radio soaps to CBS in 1956 so they could focus on developing two brand new television properties - As The World Turns and The Edge of Night.

The Right to Happiness stayed on the radio until November 25, 1960. Also going off the air that Friday after Thanksgiving were Ma Perkins, Young Dr. Malone and The Second Mrs. Burton. It was known as "The Day Radio Drama Died."