Lum and Abner Come to Film

From 1931 to 1954, Lum and Abner occupied a spot among the most popular shows during the Old Time Radio era.  Chester Lauck and Norris Goff attended the University of Arkansas together.  Lauck and Goff later developed their show Lum and Abner based on life in Arkansas.  The show struck a cord with many listeners.


Still from Dreaming Out Loud

My wife’s grandmother once told me that her dad told the kids not to run down the batteries in his radio because he wanted to listen to the 15 minute daily show when he got home from work.  In the mid-1940s, Lum and Abner became a 30 minute show.

Lum and Abner followed the adventures of Lum Edwards and Abner Peabody, the proprietors of the Jot ‘ Em Down Store.  If Lum and Abner were out, which happened frequently, town people took what they needed and “jotted it down” on a pad supplied for the purpose.  The stars and supporting characters were definitely stereotyped but the show was both clean and fun.

 In 1940, RKO Pictures attempted to capitalize on the popularity of the show by producing a film based on the show.  Lauck and Goff played Lum and Abner respectively.  Dreaming Out Loud was released on September 30, 1940.  The film must have been a success because RKO filmed five more films.

Four of the films are available in the Public Domain.  The Bashful Bachelor (1942), So This is Washington (1943) and Two Weeks to Live (1943) are also available on YouTube.  The other two films may be lost.

 Dreaming Out Loud runs 80 minutes and is not a typical “B” film.  It is more of a hybrid, which would be shown first on a double bill but could be a feature film at some theaters.  You can watch it for free on by clicking here.

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