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Take That, Tilly

RW editor takes the fall in a good cause

Photos by Mike Lanke

A hearty note of gratitude to the Crosley Radio Players in Terre Haute, Ind., who hosted me during their recent live stage show and allowed me to take a turn at their microphones. I played bad guy “Tilly” in an episode of “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar” that originally aired in 1962.

Crosley Radio Players, made up mostly of lifelong broadcasters, is an example of what can result when you combine energetic leadership with talented people.

The idea came about four years ago. Steve Ridge approached Jerry Arnold and suggested staging a Christmas show for the residents of a local nursing home. They decided to recreate a 1941 “Fibber McGee and Molly” episode; it was a hit.

Now the group has a regular gig at a local dinner theater, where it recently signed up for another four months. The shows feature period-correct commercials, news, music and props; and those RCA mics are not just for display. Crosley Radio granted the troupe permission to use its name.

The event has a modern-day sponsor, Caboodle Cupcakes, with its spots woven into the fabric of the stage program. That’s Pam Schalburg doing her best Carmen Miranda at left, wearing a cupcake, while Steve Hall does the voiceover.

Jerry Arnold, the energetic organizer, is a true believer in the power of radio and audio to connect with people.

Cast pix and more info are at And you’ll be happy to know that bad guy “Tilly,” shown at right, got what was coming to him by the end of the show.